LIVING IN THAILAND DURING COVID

Why did a Filipina end up here?

I grew up dreaming of far-away lands and postcard picture destination. But never really imagined living there and finding my way.  My native Philippines, and Thailand have the same warm climate, inexpensive cost of living, beautiful islands, beaches, and laidback lifestyle that have attracted tourists and ex-pats from around the world for both short-term and long-term stays. #livinginparadise is the dream for many. The first time I visited here a few years ago, I instantly fell in love with Thai food and culture. I love Filipino food, but Thai food is certainly unique, diverse, fantastic and oh so tasty. I was just traveling here for 3 months a few years back and I promised myself I would come back!!  Now here I am living for more than a year now thanks to Covid-19, tourists can get a special visa extension to stay longer in Thailand till the world re-opens and the pandemic is over. As the cases rise in the Philippines it still feels a bit unsafe to go back. And now I have fallen in love with my life here.

 

Thailand is a special place to live. It has endless natural beauty, beautiful oceans, fantastic beaches, fabulous diving and snorkeling, high mountains in the north, great and inexpensive foods, happy, kind and generous people. You can live a tranquil, enjoyable life here with nature surrounding in peace and harmony. Or head out in search of some of the world’s best nightlife. An endless array of stunning villas with fabulous views of shimmering blue-green ocean, pink dolphins, monkeys, and the ever, present beach & Soi dogs.

 

The breathtaking sunsets expose a dramatic kaleidoscope of colors every single night it seems! Make sure you are facing west at sunset and bring your favorite drink to a beautiful beach or viewpoint to make memories sure to last a lifetime! Some of the world’s most beautiful beaches are located in the south of the country. From the bustling seaside resorts of Koh Samui, Krabi, Phuket and Pattaya to the more tranquil islands of Phi Phi, Tao, Muk, Chang and Lanta, there is something for everyone who dreams of happy living or retirement in the tropics.

 

 

 

How is it Living here during Covid-19?

 

Despite this tremendous event in our life, I am healthy and lucky that when the Covid-19 started last year, we decided to move right away from Pattaya to the beautiful island of Koh Samui. It is in the Gulf of Thailand, about 35 km northeast of Surat Thani town (9°N, 100°E). It is the most significant island in the Chumphon Archipelago. The island measures some 25 kilometers (16 mi) at its widest point. To the north are the populated resort islands of Koh Pha-ngan, Ko Tao, and tiny Ko Nang Yuan. Koh Samui (Samui Island) is a cosmopolitan melting pot, attracting budget travelers staying for a month or two in simple beachside bungalows, to the wealthiest holidaymakers dropping in for a weekend at one of the many luxury resorts or villa on the many white-sand beaches of Koh Samui. Koh Samui is unique among Thailand’s islands in maintaining a broad appeal for everyone. There is so much to love here!

 

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a dramatic loss of human life worldwide. Every day we are encountering a lot of troubles, difficulties, disasters, but we’re still alive even though we are hanging in a tree, breathing underwater, and struggling as soon as we wake up in the morning the thing is “We Are Still Here”! Some people lose their job due to pandemic, some are struggling to put food on a table. A strong ex-pat community has bonded together to help people struggling to feed their families by donating food on regular basis. There’s also a very large Burmese community many whose jobs has been disrupted or lost in the pandemic. The resilience of the wonderful people of Koh Samui is inspiring to me and love to see all the communities holding hands together to help each other. The truth is people can adapt and adjust; that’s the nature of human beings. But of course, we should still do our part to at least help end this pandemic, we have to be cautious not just for ourselves but for other people, by wearing a mask you protect yourself and you protect others. Wash hands regularly. While no foods or dietary supplements can prevent or cure COVID-19 infection, healthy diets are important for supporting immune systems.

 

My amazing 18 months of time on the 3 islands of the archipelago have been some of the happiest days of my Life.

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Written by:

Maysun Briones

03 May 2021