The innocuously named Downtown Inn gained a sinister reputation last year after three foreign tourists and a Thai tour guide died in adjoining rooms within a period of about two weeks. The foreigners were a British couple and a 23-year-old New Zealand woman. Three of the victims died at the hotel and the fourth succumbed in hospital.
Chemicals used by the hotel to kill bedbugs are strongly suspected although the cause is officially unknown.
The Downtown Inn, located near Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar, was dubbed “the death hotel” after the fatalities and even compared to the Bates Motel – the property that featured in the Alfred Hitchcock film Psycho. Hardly good for business.
The hotel’s doors and windows are being removed by a demolition company and signs have been posted advising that the hotel is to be pulled down, The Bangkok Post reported.
Chiang Mai’s head of public health, Surasing Visaruthrat, told the paper that the incident had damaged the image of Chiang Mai as one of the country’s top tourist destinations.
Fortunately for Chiang Mai, it doesn’t feature in the latest weird scandal to be exposed by Thai investigators. Police arrested a British citizen in Bangkok after finding six roasted human foetuses packed in his luggage.
Chow Hok Kuen, 28 and of Taiwanese origin, was seized after police made the grisly discovery in Bangkok’s Chinatown district. Detectives pounced after learning that infant corpses were being offered to wealthy clients on a black magic services website, Britain’s Independent newspaper reported.
The paper cited reports that the six foetuses had been covered in gold leaf after being roasted as part of a black magic ritual. The suspect is believed to have been trying to smuggle them into Taiwan to sell them for a fortune. The Downtown Inn is not implicated and neither is Chiang Mai.
Written by : Peter Needham