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Thailand – Sweden comparisons

June 19, 2011

Right now we are in Sweden. The tourist folder for this particular region, there is only one folder, is free of charge for companies as well as for tourists. This is strikingly different from a Chiang Mai tourist folder, where companies have to pay tonnes of money for advertisements, and where there are at least 15 different folders in town, only allowing the major attractions to be seen.

In the Swedish folder there are 128 attractions listed for the area Södertälje-Norrköping, including elephant riding and some churches. In that respect it resembles a Chiang Mai tourist magazine. However, the great number of organic farms, gardens, organic shopping and national parks is a striking difference from the Chiang Mai tourist magazines. In fact, a Thai tourist going to this part of Sweden will have difficulties in finding indoor activities. Swedes love nature and so summer vacation is mostly about trekking, camping, outdoor swimming at 17°C, gardening but also excellent dining in remote and well hidden countryside restaurants. Swedish tourists with such preferences will have problems in finding such activities in Chiang Mai, because although they exist, they are not considered important by the Thais.

Thai tourists going to Sweden, if they can afford staying here, will have great difficulties finding shopping arcades and mega project parks. While the Swedes treasure small and private countryside initiatives, the Thais treasure roadside restaurants, shopping and gigantic tourist projects where they enjoy being a member of a crowd. Until the Thai tourist industry becomes less industrial and more passionate, we must overcome the differences. Allowing members of the Thai tourist industry actually visiting the west (other than Paris and London) would help them understanding what Europeans like (in addition to beaches).

Ketsanee Seehamongkol

A vacation on the Swedish countryside is simple but very relaxing. Similar experiences in an exotic environment such as Thailand is also appreciated, but not easy to find.

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