This is the Thailand I know & have experienced. Walking into a store, they immediately greet & welcome you, making you feel at home. And it is this that make me keep coming back to this Amazing country.
Of course, there are many other reasons one come back - its colourful shopping, local designs, its nature of lush forest & wonderful islands & beaches. So, currently, as my first holiday this year, I've headed up to this country again - and for the first time to its famous beach paradise, Phuket.
I've been bragging about the Thai warmth & hospitality to nearly everyone I've spoken to about travels... as my previous experiences have been simply wonderful. I really felt 'grand'.
First Non Smile
I guessed I must have once again put too high an expectation... hoping to be back in a dreamy holiday in the land of smiles in all 'grandeur'.
But, surprise was I. Arrival at the airport up to hiring of the car and even at the resort, there was no familiar warmth welcome. No Sawadeekap/ Sawadeeka, and the smile is a lil less. Sometimes there were no smile.
It did get me a lil taken aback, as my previous encounters in Krabi, or even bustling Bangkok has been somewhat very different.
So, on the 1st day, I was a lil embarrassed as now I couldn't brag about these smiling faces - it was like quite a contradiction to what I've mentioned. And I was dissapointed in a way. I kept thinking maybe the South & central Thailand is somewhat different in their customs.
The Shopping Centre Save The Day
But then just when I thought to resign myself not to expect too much, the Central Shopping Festival saved the day. The service staffs at the outlets were much friendlier & again, I see the all familiar clasps of hands & that Thai smile.
It gives qutie a weird feeling - I've always thought this was their culture. But, maybe it's not so much, or time has changed. And has it resigned to the service sector for tourists?
More To Come
I hope that the smile continues in this trip, as it really is an 'attraction' in a way. I'm now at Patong beach writing this, and will hopefully bring more smiles & photos of this dreamy island getaway :) Kap!