Local People, Ko Samui
I would like to share this with you as it blew us away during our visit to Koh Samui.
Being South African, we love good quality red wine and having visited Thailand before we knew that if you wanted good red wine in Thailand you either take it with you or blow half your budget on a half decent bottle.
We legally imported our quota of two bottles per person and jealously guarded our stash for consumption at just the right moment. Late one evening after arriving back at our hotel from Chaweng we decided to walk down to the beach and enjoy one of those heavy bricks in our baggage. We could only find two plastic cups (sacrilege) and walked down to the beach area to do our thing.
The Beach bar was just closing and the waiter was busy putting away the tables for the night. As we sat down on the beach he came down to us and said that we must please come and sit at the bar. I explained to him that we had our own wine and that we were happy to be where we were. This guy just wouldn't have it - he brought out a table with a table cloth, chairs, proper glasses and even lit a lantern for us.
Fondest memory: I once again explained to him that we did not intend to buy anything from his bar and that we are just going to have our wine and leave. He still insisted that we were welcome to use the bar. I offered to pay him a corkage fee which he declined. I then offered him a glass of wine which he refused as he was working. I explained to him that it was probably the best wine in the world and definitively the best wine in Thailand. He agreed but still would not have some.
Our waiter then asked if we had a camera. I said yes but that we left it in our room. He insisted that I go and get it because he felt that he absolutely must take a picture for us. We took pictures of all us in all the possible combinations.
We had one of our best evenings out on the beach and as we enjoyed our wine, another hotel down the beach launched a few of those paper and candle hot air balloons which slowly drifted up and past us. What can I say? I'm a romantic bastard.
Service and unsolicited kindness like this is totally unheard of where we come from and we fondly remember our evening with a nameless waiter from Thailand. This would certainly never ever ever happen to you in South Africa.
I include one of the photographs of our photo shoot. If you ever visit the Beach Bar at the Samui Palm Beach Resort and see this waiter there, stick with him, he'll make you feel famous
this place has a good mix of activities that ensures that your time is not wasted finding out what to do or where to go. It caters for all needs within the confines of an island 20km x 20km roughly. Take time to get away by motorbike and do some exploring, get lost on your own beach. stop and go to the markets and taste the local cuisine.
Fondest memory: The smiles on peoples faces when they realise that your out to have fun too. If you show respect and compassion you will be rewarded. Try to learn the local tongue and you will recieve more smiles as well.
Fondest memory: Back in 1987 there weren't many tourists on Samui, just a few backpackers. Farang travellers attracted quite a lot of attention from the locals, especially the kids.
Fondest memory: Chatting with the staff at this restaurant dressed in traditional clothing. They had gone to a lot of effort to look good so the least I could do was take their photo and show it to the world via VT!