Thiruvananthapuram: UNDP advisor John Samuel who has been working in Thailand for more than seven years has come out with a detailed account of Thailand rubbishing Devaswom Board president Prayar Gopalakrishnan. Mr Samuel, a Malayali who has worked in many countries as part of the UNDP, pointed out in a Facebook post that Mr Gopalakrishnan can learn from that country how to keep both Sabarimala and Kerala clean. Mr Gopalakrishnan had made a statement that Sabarimala will be turned into Thailand if opened to women.
Mr Samuel listed reasons for tourists choosing Thailand as a destination: (a) A very safe country to travel. (b) So beautiful - tropical forests, beaches, hills and plains. (c) The best value for money hotels- where else in the world we can have a five-star hotel at USD 50? (d) Most people are honest (in my last twenty-five years of travel, I was never cheated or pickpocketed). (e) Very good food. (f) The best of heritage tourism-Angkorwat is very close to Thai - Cambodia border, and the place is well connected. You will get all foods in the world like New York and the best of the conference facility. One of the biggest reasons is health care. Bangkok has at least three world-class hospitals. Most of the Arabs and Bangladeshis come there, Mr Samuel pointed out.
Thailand is one of the most industrialised countries in Southeast Asia with a vibrant agro-processing base. The country is the largest producer of rubber, and one of the best export quality rice come from the country. Regarding tourism - the highest number actually from China and India- and most of them are package tourism where there is hardly any great opportunity for 'sex' - unless someone is desperate for it.
"The point is most of the tourists come for all the reasons I mentioned, and these are also due to relatively high-quality infrastructure," he says. "I have never seen electricity going there. The place is far safer than Delhi and many parts of India. Let him visit the Ganapathy temple in Silom and see how clean it is! Or visit Ayodhya or Sukhothai - or learn about the Thai version of Mahabharata- or learn that the best of Thai massage is also in some of the temples."