“You see TV last night?”

“Government promotion on tourist in Thailand, today only!”

“Government sponsors gasciline. Take Tuk Tuk for 3 hours, go to many many places, only THB20.”

“Only government Tuk Tuk, with 2 flags, 1 yellow flag and 1 Thai flag, and driver wear uniform.”

tuk tuk

When I first heard about it, it was during Songran (Thai New Year) in April this year. I thought Wow! I am lucky. This time, similar story repeated, instead of celebrating Songran, it was the celebration of Thai King’s 60 years anniversary of being a king. Am I lucky again?

Slowly, I realise that this ‘one day only’ special promotion seems to happen all the time. Often we bump into helpful tourist police, teacher, or government officer who gives us tips to some ‘well-known temples’ such as ‘lucky buddha, open for tourist only today’ and ‘respected’ gem shop or tailor for a special ‘one day only’ sale. In return, they get ‘gascoline coupon’ for bringing you there and commissions on anything you buy.

Today, besides touring at temples and tailor shops, we were brought to so called TAT government authorised tourist information center which helps us plan our trip to Koh Samui with double or triple the price we get in Khao San road. Therefore, I turned down the offer in no time and one agent was furious, he ended up told me, “go back to Malaysia better.” Hey, that’s not cool! So with my half smiling face I replied, “Thank you for your time and being so ‘POLITE’.”

After all, besides dealing with the tailor shop while browsing their product and the TAT agent, we get to move around cheaply on a Tuk Tuk, it often drives into small lanes and it was fun watching the Thai livelihood in the less touristy districts.