Sunday, September 07, 2008

Another Trip To Koh Chang !

My Girlfriend and Her Sister

I have just got back from Koh Chang again !! My girlfriend and I spent 3 nights there, this time with her sister. It was like a ghost town ! Very, very few tourists were visible compared with last week. I spoke to a couple of hotel owners who I know and they were very unhappy ! The reason ? The political problems in Bangkok.

It would seem that as soon as foreign countries issued 'Thailand travel advice' many people cancelled reservations and some even went home early ! I really do not understand it - the problems are not affecting the tourist areas or anywhere near them ! The western press have really gone over the top.

Anyway, we stayed 2 nights at the Chang Buri Hotel and Resort in the Whitesands Beach area. I tried to get a reasonable discount with little success. I could only get a 200baht a night off, despite suggesting that it was a buyers market... in fact there were just two rooms occupied in the entire hotel.

Thats typical of many Thai businesses. When they have less customers than normal, they tend to increase or maintain prices because they still want to make the same money as they were before. They either 1. Do not realise that by lowering prices they were more likely to get business, or 2. They do not want to 'give away' anything to foreigners. I think it is more likely to be the 2nd reason.

Talking about not wanting to give anything away to foriegners reminds me of a time I was in a Villa Supermarket in Bangkok. Campbells were advertising that purchasers of 4 tins of their soup would get a free soup bowl at the point of sale.

I bought 8 tins and therefore expected to get 2 soup bowls. When I paid, the girl on the checkout pretended not to understand when I asked for the bowls. Then she said they had none; then I pointed to a stack of them under her till. Then she said they were for Thai people not foreigners ! I complained to the manager who was very apologetic ( the main customers of Villa supermarkets are foreigners ) As a result I got the bowls and the girl got some words of advice.

Anyway, back to Koh Chang. We stayed for 2 nights at The Chang Buri, then moved to Paddy Palms Irish Pub and Hotel just up the road. This place was much cheaper and the room was excellent - the rooms are only about a year old. The food in Paddy Palms is also excellent, my favourite is the Bangers and Mash ! The menu covers Thai and English dishes and the 'value for money' is very good. Even my Thai girlfriend was impressed ! Paddy Palms comes highly recommended !

Please people, if anyone is contemplating cancelling a trip to Thailand think again. The chances of you having a problem due to the political crisis are very low. You have more chance of getting hurt crossing the road !

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