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5 hours ago, starfish said:

So they said, let´s make Chaweng future-proof and install "electric car charging docks" in front of every major business there. This goes in line with their wish to only attract "quality" tourists in the future, who will drive down beachroad in a Tesla, and while they spend their quality millions in quality shops and restaurants, they will charge the batteries of their electric cars on those boxes.

My next door neighbor drives electric BMW – there seems to be a few of them on the island, BMWs – so might be a good idea; especially since the nationality of my next door neighbor, and the next, next door also, are from those countries generally increasing in percentage of foreign Caucasian guests, and in higher number than many "old-time" Europen countries, even when summing Top-3 of them. TAT seems to read the future well...👍😉

 

Perhaps I also should consider electric next time, if there is free charging on Chaweng's beach road...🤔 -cool, then both my car and myself can charge batteries in the nightlife...😎

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21 minutes ago, khunPer said:

My next door neighbor drives electric BMW – there seems to be a few of them on the island, BMWs – so might be a good idea; especially since the nationality of my next door neighbor, and the next, next door also, are from those countries generally increasing in percentage of foreign Caucasian guests, and in higher number than many "old-time" Europen countries, even when summing Top-3 of them. TAT seems to read the future well...👍😉

 

Perhaps I also should consider electric next time, if there is free charging on Chaweng's beach road...🤔 -cool, then both my car and myself can charge batteries in the nightlife...😎

I didn´t say "free", there´s no such thing as "free" in this country . . .

 

 

 

 

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1 hour ago, starfish said:

I didn´t say "free", there´s no such thing as "free" in this country . . .

I don't mind paying for having my car's batteries charged, "free" would just be an extra pleasant surplus, I normally also pay for having my batteries own charged, at least for the drink that provides me my wings...🤣

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Chinese go into to business everywhere. There's more than a 1,000 Chinese, believe it or not. : )

  I remember being to a small island in Tahiti and to a small island in Jamaica, both had 1 market and it was owned by Chinese.

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2 hours ago, elgenon said:

Chinese go into to business everywhere. There's more than a 1,000 Chinese, believe it or not. : )

  I remember being to a small island in Tahiti and to a small island in Jamaica, both had 1 market and it was owned by Chinese.

If it has passed your attention, the original inhabitants of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are Chinese, arrived from Hainan in 1600s, and again 100-200 years later in a 2nd wave, and settled on the almost empty islands; there were only a few Malays living there.

 

Chinese are excellent to change business plans and survive. They originally grew cotton on Samui, but the cotton plants unfortunately died, so they quickly changed business plan and began to grow coconuts instead, making Samui coconuts a brand name of the best, and exported the nuts to Bangkok.

 

Unfortunately some young German backpackers commuted to the Samui on a coconut boat, feel in love with island, and when they came home wrote about "paradise" in a travel magazine, where after more backpackers arrived, and it resulted in something like a kind of hippie-invasion. The Chinese families having coconut plantagens by the beaches began to sense another business and made small huts from bamboo to rent on daily basis by the backpackers; some of the old-timers told that the rent was five baht a day. The first backpacker huts were by the beach next to Maenam village, and in front of Lamai village. Restaurants and later amusement followed, first on the beach of Lamai in the late 1970s, later in the empty, otherwise fairly useless beach area by Chaweng Lake in the 1980s.

 

When more mature foreigners than the hippies discovered paradise, the Chinese families changed their huts to high end resorts – and also some Chinese business families from Bangkok invested money on the island, don't forget that around 1900 half of Bangkoks population were Chinese that in the early 1900s became Thai citizens with new Thai-style family names – and when foreigners wished to settle, and the tourism further expanded with multiple resorts, the Chinese also began to both rent out and sell some of their land for a fortune, and sell building materials.

 

Yes Chinese go into business everywhere, even on Samui, and the original 19 Chinese families or so that according to the old tale settled and controlled Samui from old time have multiplied to more than a thousand rich Chinese people on the island, believe it or not, and that's why we for example have numerous Chinese temples...

 

Chinese_Tempel_DSC06693.jpg.475d918d0c272a8eccbd635c5fd1b1aa.jpg

 

wIMG_0682_Guan-Yu_Hua-Tanon(1024).jpg.fe66bb56597313dab4490b381f21f088.jpg

 

-and Chinese Budai (the fat laughing monk is not Buddha)....

 

Budai_Buddha_DSC05650.jpg.45e5e96fb9f6e4f88ba3a58323ee6655.jpg

 

-and at least one China Town on Samui...😉

 

wIMG_9455_China-Town-Maenam_w1024.jpg.5b15ee3105d8d9537f1da11beeafb3ab.jpg

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On 5/21/2021 at 10:42 PM, gearbox said:

More businesses are still closing permanently. A lot of the staff has moved outside Samui,  so when eventually they start to reopen there won't be enough workers initially.

A lot of places look a bit dilapidated now, they would need some investment for a bit of refurbishing before opening.

Some of the public infrastructure like footpaths is slowly degrading,  hopefully they'll find money for it later as very few businesses are paying taxes now.

 

"Some of the public infrastructure like footpaths is slowly degrading"

 

Actually to give credit where it is due, the roads have improved tremendously - especially in and around Lamai - don't know about Chaweng - never go there.

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2 hours ago, sambum said:

 

Actually to give credit where it is due, the roads have improved tremendously - especially in and around Lamai - don't know about Chaweng - never go there.

Up here at the pointy end (Bangrak, Plai Laem and Choengmon) all of the roads have been widened and tarmac'd along with new footpaths, drains and street lights.  👍

 

and yes - they always put the street lights in the middle of the footpath.  😉

 

The bad news - it can be a bit of a race track at night.

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10 minutes ago, Tropicalevo said:

Up here at the pointy end (Bangrak, Plai Laem and Choengmon) all of the roads have been widened and tarmac'd along with new footpaths, drains and street lights.  👍

 

and yes - they always put the street lights in the middle of the footpath.  😉

 

The bad news - it can be a bit of a race track at night.

 

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Maybe available at Lazada?

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On 5/29/2021 at 2:32 PM, khunPer said:

The future – "going forward" – of Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach is not what you see right now during a Covid-19 lockdown, it's what's coming after the pandemic.

 

The visitors to Samui already began to change during the last decade from it's original mix, originating from old time back packers, however with some major changes after the airport opened in late 1980s, when some people began staying in many star resorts, and more families arrived, and not to forget more Asian turists.

 

Asian tourists had already become the majority in Thailand before the Covid-pandemic, but Samui was still a destination for a huge amount of Westerners. Where 43% of visitors in Chiang Mai were Chinese in 2018, and 40% in Pattaya, and 35% on Phuket, there were only 15% Chinese on Samui. Pattya counted India as second largest group with 10% and South Korea as number three with 7%, whilst Samui had 10% Germans and 10% Brits in those positions. But the mix of guests on Samui might well continue to change in favor of more Asians in the future.

 

Furthermore I have an impression of that the interest from later visitors in general are for high-end accommodation rather than budget solutions. Especially in the later years befor the C-19 the number of several star resorts increased, and there are still a number under construction, whilst the "old fashioned" resorts were already suffering from little less customers. Also "old-timer" Westerners came in smaller numbers – some of the original returning hippie-era backpackers might simply have grown too old, or, as some of my friends, older and well-established enough to seek higher end accommodation with aircon, and travel by air instead of train and boat – the trend for experiencing amazing Thailand seemed to have topped around 2012-2014, so that also resulted in a little decline of Western tourists. Furthermore, in the period 2012-2014 the total number of foreign tourists in Thailand were about 25 million, whilst in 2019 it was almost 40 million, so relative the number of Westerners in total might seem halfed; but not on Samui, however both relative fewer, and in real numbers also little fewer.

 

Statistically have European tourists the lowest spending per day with average $125. Americans are second lowest with $147, but very small in number, 0.55% of the total arrivals in 2019; some individual European countries ranged higher with 1.98% Brits, 1.29% Germans and 0.92% French. However Russians made it up for the Caucasians with 6.78%, helped by o.48% from Ukraine. In 2019 the tourist stats showed 57.80% Chinese arrivals, 5.19% Japanese, 4.05% South Koreans and 2.90% from India, the latter has been mentioned as the future tourists for Phuket, and perhaps also Samui, don't forget India is within range of Airbus 320-family airplanes. Chinese are the highest daily spenders with $192, Middle East came in second with $190 a day, but low in numbers, and Asians in average (excluding ASEAN) spends $175 a day; i.e. Asians are more attractive tourists than Westerners, from en economical point of view.

 

Just looking at the numbers justify my impression of Samui turning more into higher end accommodation, and also a different shopping interest. Chinese tourists are said to love shopping in brand name malls, which justify places like Central Festival and the number of small brand name shopping malls replacing the old market stalls with mainly cheap clothes and copy-ware, paintings and souvenirs. However Chinese and Asian tourists are said to stay only 4-5 days, whilst Westerners typically stay two weeks – which might partly justify the lower daily spending – so the much higher number of Asians in arrivals stats are relative less viewed in daily number of residents compared to Westerners.

 

I've been noticing the young folks that are coming for partying. They are widely replacing the old time backpacker folks that created the party reputation of the islands, with stories about bonfires and guitars on Chaweng Beach on full moon nights – Time Magazine had a story about that the Full Moon Part originated on Chaweng's beach and later moved to Phangan, I'm not sure it's the true story, but it's one of many – and all other nights they were later also partying. They lived from next to nothing in cheap huts on the beaches of Chaweng and Lamai – some have posted that in the beginning a hut would cost 5 baht a day, but 100 baht is often mentioned, and when I came first time in 2001 then 300 baht the going rate – they were eating fried rice chicken for 30 baht, or less, from street kitchens, or like affordable restaurants, so they had enough spare money for Meekong-Coke and/or mushroom-shakes. It's changed; today's young folks want nice aircon rooms, good restaurants, and sit in trendy cafés or pubs before partying on beaches, or in clubs; and they seem to have enough funds piled up in their plastic cards for spending. That's why places like Ark Bar could grow so big from a modest palm-leaf roofed beach bar, to a huge resort with standard hotel-quality rooms.

 

The beaches of Chaweng and Lamai have become two different places, even both of them originates from the happy hippies. Where Chaweng Beach became party-zone and grew big based on that, including a number of several star resorts, Lamai Beach changed to more typical Thai beach destination with numerous bars spread widely over the beach road-area and more affordable life-style, where the few nightlife clubs slowly disappeared. Later it also seemed like some of the bars couldn't survive, as Samui is no longer an attractive destination for middle aged single gentlemen, who rather wish to spend the holiday budget in the nightlife, than on accommodation and domestic travelling. In Chaweng the typical beer bar era already began to fade out a decade, or more, ago; the party tourists are not heading for beer bars, and the family tourists neither; but the trendy pubs, attracting the party people, not only survived, but also grew in size.

 

I don't think the future after C-19 will change much of the already began progress, rather cement and forward changes from old style to the new era. Especially Asian tourists will quickly return and head for their 4-5 days in several star resorts, head out for gourmet restaurants, if not dining inside the walls of their resorts, and some of the guests will also seek trendy evening life and nightlife. A number of young folks will also return and pick-up the party where they left it, they seem to already really miss festivals and parties, not to forget a sabbat-year in South East Asia. However, some more of the old-time Samui-style will disappear, or just not reopen, but it will simply be replaces by something else within reasonable time.

 

Another already ongoing change that I also believe will continue is accommodation in pool villas and like, rather than old-fashioned rooms. Two pairs, or families, travelling together rent a private villa with their own pool, and might even cook a few meals "at home". Compared to the price of two or more, depending of eventual children, ordinary double rooms in the old-fashioned resorts, the private villa might cost the same; i.e. 1,500 to 2,500 baht a day times 2 easily justify a daily pool-villa rate of 3,000 to 5,000 baht; a private pool-villa might even be a cheaper solution in some cases (experience from my friends). Larger groups will head for luxury villas with more bedrooms. A trend for both Westerners and Asian is that the price is not as important as the quality of the holiday – I hear that often – in older time a holiday budget was limited, so the price was the most important for at all making the adventure of travelling possible.

 

So my "forward" crystal ball view is that it might take little time, perhaps up to two years, but both Chaweng Beach and Lamai Beach will come back alive when the pandemic is under control, but the already ongoing changes from old era towards a new time will just happen little more rapid than it would without the C-19 pandemic...🙂

 

Good post, but are your fingers not sore?  I had to give my eyes a rest half way through! 🤣

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I suppose it is easy to forget how much of a Chinese influence the island already has.  I did notice many of the motorbike rental shops pre-covid were being operated by Chinese as well.  They didn't want to rent to Thai people, my wife had the hardest time trying to find a bike for us, eventually had to get it from the hotel in Bophut.

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20 hours ago, khunPer said:

If it has passed your attention, the original inhabitants of Koh Samui and Koh Phangan are Chinese, arrived from Hainan in 1600s, and again 100-200 years later in a 2nd wave, and settled on the almost empty islands; there were only a few Malays living there.

 

Chinese are excellent to change business plans and survive. They originally grew cotton on Samui, but the cotton plants unfortunately died, so they quickly changed business plan and began to grow coconuts instead, making Samui coconuts a brand name of the best, and exported the nuts to Bangkok.

 

Unfortunately some young German backpackers commuted to the Samui on a coconut boat, feel in love with island, and when they came home wrote about "paradise" in a travel magazine, where after more backpackers arrived, and it resulted in something like a kind of hippie-invasion. The Chinese families having coconut plantagens by the beaches began to sense another business and made small huts from bamboo to rent on daily basis by the backpackers; some of the old-timers told that the rent was five baht a day. The first backpacker huts were by the beach next to Maenam village, and in front of Lamai village. Restaurants and later amusement followed, first on the beach of Lamai in the late 1970s, later in the empty, otherwise fairly useless beach area by Chaweng Lake in the 1980s.

 

When more mature foreigners than the hippies discovered paradise, the Chinese families changed their huts to high end resorts – and also some Chinese business families from Bangkok invested money on the island, don't forget that around 1900 half of Bangkoks population were Chinese that in the early 1900s became Thai citizens with new Thai-style family names – and when foreigners wished to settle, and the tourism further expanded with multiple resorts, the Chinese also began to both rent out and sell some of their land for a fortune, and sell building materials.

 

Yes Chinese go into business everywhere, even on Samui, and the original 19 Chinese families or so that according to the old tale settled and controlled Samui from old time have multiplied to more than a thousand rich Chinese people on the island, believe it or not, and that's why we for example have numerous Chinese temples...

 

Chinese_Tempel_DSC06693.jpg.475d918d0c272a8eccbd635c5fd1b1aa.jpg

 

wIMG_0682_Guan-Yu_Hua-Tanon(1024).jpg.fe66bb56597313dab4490b381f21f088.jpg

 

-and Chinese Budai (the fat laughing monk is not Buddha)....

 

Budai_Buddha_DSC05650.jpg.45e5e96fb9f6e4f88ba3a58323ee6655.jpg

 

-and at least one China Town on Samui...😉

 

wIMG_9455_China-Town-Maenam_w1024.jpg.5b15ee3105d8d9537f1da11beeafb3ab.jpg

Hard working people. I prefer the more relaxed Thais though. Isn't the Thaksin family Chinese? Many Chinese family changed their names. Is it correct that all the South East Asian economies are controlled by people with a Chinese heritage?

 

I recall dating a mainland Chinese woman who said her mother told her to not talk about business on dates. She only talked about business. Just not sexy to me. Now if I wanted to start a business, it might be sexy to me. 555

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2 hours ago, elgenon said:

Hard working people. I prefer the more relaxed Thais though. Isn't the Thaksin family Chinese? Many Chinese family changed their names. Is it correct that all the South East Asian economies are controlled by people with a Chinese heritage?

 

I recall dating a mainland Chinese woman who said her mother told her to not talk about business on dates. She only talked about business. Just not sexy to me. Now if I wanted to start a business, it might be sexy to me. 555

The Chinese families that originally came for the rice trade, and later settled in Thailand, had to change their Chinese family names to new Thai family names when they settled. But as their new names should be unique compared to all existing family names in Thailand, where a family name originally consisted of two unique syllables, were added more syllables, so it's said, that the longer a family name, the later a foreign family settled.

 

Around 1900 half of Bangkok's population were Chinese, and Chinese settlers' new Thai family names often ended up four syllables – Shi-na-wa-tra is an example, and yes the family has Chinese roots, like ithe most, or at least many, of the wealthy Thai business families, and high rank elite. The latest Chinese settlers have six syllables in their family name, like the author to my source book "Bridging the Gap" (p 177-178), Kriengsak Niratpattanasai...🙂

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17 hours ago, khunPer said:

The Chinese families that originally came for the rice trade, and later settled in Thailand, had to change their Chinese family names to new Thai family names when they settled. But as their new names should be unique compared to all existing family names in Thailand, where a family name originally consisted of two unique syllables, were added more syllables, so it's said, that the longer a family name, the later a foreign family settled.

 

Around 1900 half of Bangkok's population were Chinese, and Chinese settlers' new Thai family names often ended up four syllables – Shi-na-wa-tra is an example, and yes the family has Chinese roots, like ithe most, or at least many, of the wealthy Thai business families, and high rank elite. The latest Chinese settlers have six syllables in their family name, like the author to my source book "Bridging the Gap" (p 177-178), Kriengsak Niratpattanasai...🙂

I have questions about the syllables, but what you said is fascinating. I wonder if the average Thai knows this. 

 

I always wondered how the Thais got from no last names to ginormous ones.

 

How did the Thais come to have last names? How were they decided upon?

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On 6/5/2021 at 11:23 PM, khunPer said:

To my knowledge it dates back at least more than 100 years. In the beginning Thai family names should consist of two unique syllables and maximum ten Thai characters, and each family should provide five suggestions for a family name, and wait about a month till the names were checked against others, then one of them might be approved. Some says that a syllable should be a unique sound, others say that each syllable, or the whole name, must have a meaning in Thai language; I haven't been searching for further details (so far).

 

The first family name registrations were for the original old time families, of which many came from Lao and today's Cambodia that both were part of old Thai kingdoms. People from there were moved to the fairly uninhabited Isaan plateau for rice farming, and to be closer to the capital of the kingdom for use as work force and soldiers; forced labor and slavery was common until at least mid 1800s.

 

An off topic remark concerning the areas of the older-time kingdom is Angkor Wat, which you might have noticed that there are a huge model of inside Grand Palace. King Mongkut, Rama IV – who was the king that employed the English teacher Anna Lennowens around 1860 – wished to show the power of a KIng of Siam and ordered the newly re-discovered ruins of Angkor Wat in Siam Reap, which translates to "Defeat of Siam" from a battle in mid 1500s, also know as Nakhon Siam, meaning "Siam's City", moved to Bangkok. The temple was however too large to move, and the workers were also attacked by Khmers – Thailand lost Nakhon Siam to French Indochina around 1900 – so Rama IV ended up with only a miniature of the temple (source: A History of Thailand, Cambridge 2005, p. 49-50).

 

wIMG_9483_Angkor-miniature_w1024.jpg.65f44916aaee166e6ccf8bf8220d88d8.jpg

 

When there were no more unique names with two-syllables  available people had to choose a family name with three syllables. I know Isaan families, some of the are Khmers, with both two and three syllables in their family names, so they have been registered fairly early. Later it became four syllables, and that is said to be in the beginning of the 1900s, or around 1910-1920, when many Chinese settlers became Thai citizens and had to choose Thai family names instead of their short Chinese names, such as Tang and Lim.

Unfortunately we often know most Thai people by first name or nickname only, but some of the family names I know from the original Chinese Samui families have four syllables, so they might have registered family name about 100 years ago...🙂

So interesting. hard to believe Thais had short names. Do you personally know any Thais with 2 syllable last names?

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1 hour ago, elgenon said:

So interesting. hard to believe Thais had short names. Do you personally know any Thais with 2 syllable last names?

My gf’s is Osot and a good friend’s is Arom.

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5 hours ago, elgenon said:

So interesting. hard to believe Thais had short names. Do you personally know any Thais with 2 syllable last names?

Yes, I mentioned that I know Thais with both two and three syllables in their family names, my first Isaan gold digger-girlfriend had two syllables in her family name...👍😀

 

The author of the book I mentioned quoted names like "Boonmee" and "Srisai".

 

I once dated a Chinese girl from the south, she had three syllables in her family name, so her family might have been among early migrants changing to Thai nationality. My present long-time girlfriend with khmer background also has three syllables in her family name...🙂

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On 6/8/2021 at 8:30 PM, Andrew Dwyer said:

My gf’s is Osot and a good friend’s is Arom.

Wow! Unicorns according to my experience. Interesting. If I saw those those names I wouldn't think there were Thai

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On 6/9/2021 at 12:24 AM, khunPer said:

Yes, I mentioned that I know Thais with both two and three syllables in their family names, my first Isaan gold digger-girlfriend had two syllables in her family name...👍😀

 

The author of the book I mentioned quoted names like "Boonmee" and "Srisai".

 

I once dated a Chinese girl from the south, she had three syllables in her family name, so her family might have been among early migrants changing to Thai nationality. My present long-time girlfriend with khmer background also has three syllables in her family name...🙂

Very interesting. If the subject is not too boring for you, how did first names become long?

 

I see if my Thai friends know about their family names. 555

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