Friday, April 24, 2015

The holiday in Koh Samui starts and ends at the airport. And how Tourism Authority of Thailand got things right.


This morning at Koh Samui Airport,
living a #Travelife
So this morning, there I was at Koh Samui's tiny airport, checking in to fly to Hong Kong and still living a #Travelife.

I have to say, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has certainly got it right. They're doing the marketing campaigns but they're also ensuring that their infrastructure is keeping up with expectations.

Some other countries focus solely on the marketing without improving the product to keep in line with expectations from a marketing campaign.

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PASSED THE TEST

As my friends will tell you, I am the most finicky traveler this side of the planet.

And Koh Samui's tiny airport passes with flying colors.

This means that I wouldn't have been tearing my hair out this morning, in the off chance that my flight was delayed and I had to spend several hours waiting at the airport.

This is the check-in for business class
for Bangkok Airways


KOH SAMUI AIRPORT
IS CLEAN, NICE, USER-FRIENDLY
AND ATTRACTIVE

It's clean, nice, attractive, and most importantly, it looks safe. You can walk around without qualms.

Here's the other thing. It actually has a resort atmosphere, in keeping with the whole island, so it's almost like an extension of your vacation.

A completely stressless experience.

The food at the Bangkok Airways lounge

NICE SHOPS FOR TOURISTS
AT KOH SAMUI AIRPORT

The shops, too, are well curated.

Except for the Jim Thompson boutique, nothing much was my type. But I have to say that each store was attractive and the kind that tourists would happily go into.

Even the restaurants were bright, airy and clean-looking at first glance. No dirty dishes, no trash, no mess.

KOH SAMUI AIRPORT 
LOOKS LIKE AN OUTLET MALL


The walkways were clean and, frankly, the whole set-up reminded me of an outlet mall in Hawaii.

The Bangkok Airways business class lounge, too, was great. It looked like the lobby of a Club Med resort. 

And when I sat down, a smiling attendant immediately came up to take my orders as they operate the business class lounge like a restaurant -- with a menu and all.


GREAT FOOD AND DRINKS
AT THE BANGKOK AIRWAYS LOUNGE
IN KOH SAMUI

What a joy.

They had fresh coconut juice on the menu, and pad thai. The coconut juice came in its shell and it was just wonderful.

Meanwhile, the pad thai was really delicious. I found out later that the lounge orders it from a nearby restaurant whenever a business class passenger orders it from them.


WHY CAN'T MORE SOUTHEAST ASIAN AIRPORTS
BE LIKE THIS?

The restaurant/ lounge set-up may be asking too much, considering what a horror the lounges in the airports of another Southeast Asian country are.

But is it too much to ask that the airports be clean and bright like Koh Samui's tiny airport?

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Why can't more airports in some other Southeast Asian country (I hope you know which one I mean) be more like this?

It makes everything so pleasant, from arrival all the way to departure, in a never-ending, and never-endingly eventful #Travelife.



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