Chiang Mai —
Concerns have been raised about the behavior of two foreign tourists at Wat Chiang Man, a revered Buddhist temple in Chiang Mai, after they were observed sunbathing on the temple’s premises on Sunday, January 14th, 2024.
According to local reports, the two women, identified only as European travelers, were seen sunbathing in the grassy area near the temple’s sanctuary and old pagoda, wearing tank tops and shorts. An unidentified resident, disturbed by the sight, approached temple authorities to inform them of the situation.
However, while the temple authorities stated to the concerned resident that they would inform the tourists’ guide of the tourists’ inappropriate behavior, no further action was taken, as alleged by the concerned resident. The tourists reportedly continued sunbathing seemingly unfazed for an uncertain period of time, the resident added. At this point, the concerned citizen put the photos on social media intending to bring attention to the issue.
This incident has sparked heated debate among Thai social media users, with some criticizing that the temple authorities should have handled the situation better. Some netizens even proposed installing warning signs against sunbathing at the temple, specifically for foreign tourists. Meanwhile, English language media and many foreigners reportedly didn’t see the issue or claimed the incident was a so-called storm in a teapot.
Wat Chiang Man is one of the most popular historical landmarks in Chiang Mai located in the Sri Phum sub-district, Mueang district. It attracts many Thai and international visitors daily.
It was unclear as of press time if police or other legal entities would seek to bring the tourists in for any sort of questioning or even if there were any legal charges that could take place.