So much has been written about the negative aspects of Thailand and that prompts me to tell you about some rather boring but positive experiences I have had. Possibly it was because of my first time visit for only 3 weeks that I avoided the negatives
or perhaps it was where I hung out that made the difference. I'm not sure – but anyway
1. THE TEMPLE OF THE GOLDEN BUDDHA: One day my guide / girlfriend / now wife and I went to the Wat with the 20 ton gold Buddha. While there we visited the gift shop and purchased 2 necklaces with small Buddhas enclosed in glass. I gave the saleslady a
1000 baht note and she short changed me 80 baht. Not wanting to embarrass her or cause a scene over $2, I decided to forget it as the profits went to the Wat anyway and probably a good cause. Later, as we continued our tour, the saleslady found
me and said that she was sorry but that she had overcharged me and returned the 80 baht. TIT
2. TAXI DRIVER: I was in Bangkok over Songkran and my guide / girlfriend went home for two days to celebrate with family. Having nothing in particular to do, I hailed a taxi and told him to just drive me around the city. Traffic was non-existent and the
ride was pleasant. About halfway through the tour the driver, a very nice young man with decent English, asked me if I wanted to visit a jewellery shop. I thought, what the hell, I'm not doing anything and I'm sure not going to buy anything
and I knew they would reward him for bringing me. He took me to this huge shop with a dozen or so absolutely gorgeous Thai women outside in long bright coloured silk dresses, one of which was to be my "guide". I ended up buying a single
garnet earring for about $20 and emerged about 30 minutes later to my taxi driver who had a HUGE smile on his face. Seems they thought I looked like a real sucker and gave him 200 baht for bringing me. He told me he would not charge me for the
trip because of this. I paid him anyway. Then he offered to take me and a friend to the floating market (about 70 k) for 500 baht if I didn't mind him bringing his son along. His son has never been there and he can't afford to take off
work to go there. His shift is 6 AM to midnight which makes me wonder when he had time to make a baby. TIT
3.AMBASSADOR HOTEL COFFEE SHOP: I'm an early riser, so early that the restaurant isn't open but there is a coffee shop by the elevators to the tower. After my second day of ordering Columbian and reading the Bangkok Post, the following days
when I would emerge from the elevator the waitress would automatically get my coffee and newspaper and place it on my favourite table before I got there. TIT
4. CENTER POINT APARTMENTS: The computer room here is out of the way and not visible from the front desk. Every morning I would check my e-mail and reply without checking in. There are no timers on the computer and everyone took my word for how much time
I used. No-one asked me to check in first. TIT
5. STREET VENDOR: I wanted to buy my employees a token gift from Thailand and decided on the small green glass Buddhas made in China. They were 50 baht each and when I told her I wanted 30 of them, she thought I wanted to pay 30 and was pretty upset.
When I finally got through to her that I wanted 30 pieces, I got this big smile and a 20% discount without asking for it. TIT
6. THAI AIRWAYS: I wouldn't even know where to start with this group. I have never been treated like this on any American flight.
In addition, I received very good service, no mixed up orders, at all of the restaurants, bars, hotels, taxis / limos and attractions I visited which included the Honey Hotel, Country Road Bar, the seafood buffet next to the Ambassador to name just a
Maybe my time is yet to come – we'll see in January when I return for a traditional wedding with my son and wife at the DC Palace Hotel in Samutprakarn. They'll be plenty of opportunity to gouge me on this one. I already know the expected dowry
/ whatever is B50,000 and that sounds reasonable to me, so maybe everything else will go as well. What do you think Stick??
It is great to hear something positive for a change!