By Percy Roxas.
Myla Leilani Caceres,
Director of Sales & Marketing,
Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park.
This 40-something hardworking Filipina is, in her own words, responsible for “a full spectrum of sales and marketing strategy to maximize profitability in all key market segments of Crowne Plaza Bangkok Lumpini Park.” Pretty, perky, and always fun to be with, she’s a work hard, play hard type of a person, aiming to always balance work and family (“My kids especially,” she says). And consistenly loyal.
“I always have brand loyalty in my blood!,” she tells Lookeast, “I’ve always used the same perfume, carries the same particular brand of bags and shoes, wears the same brand of RTWs, it goes all the way to food….”
And probably even to her ideal holiday, which has always had to do with water: beaches, lakes, pools, etc. “I love spending my holiday surrounded with anything related with water because it gives me calm and a feeling inner peace,” she says. “Plus my kids enjoy lots of water sports.”
Not surprisingly, her personal favorite place in Thailand is Koh Samui. “With its beautiful beaches, and dream escape hotels and resorts, the island of Samui, situated off the east coast of Thailand, is the kind of place most people in the world dream of visiting,” she says. “We once lived there and my daughter just loves it,” she shares. “She was only four then, and I remember how we spend our weekends driving around the island, and having our lunches at local seafood restaurants by the beach.
“What’s special about Samui is the diversity of interesting things you can do and see. Whether or not you’re on an organized tour or by yourself, you will be fascinated by what it has to offer. While the coastline in general is very attractive, one of the most intriguing things to see is this stunning 12m- high golden Buddha, the Big Buddha, which is also a great place to pick up lucky trinkets as well food that Thailand is famous for. Other famous attractions are the well-known “Grandma and Grandpa” rocks, the mummified monks, and the enticing waterfalls around the island; but there’s really more to ensure you an unforgettable holiday.
“There are lots of things and activities to do — from island hopping to jungle trekking to nightlife. The beaches are quiet and peaceful by day, depending which side of the island you are staying. And there are options to escape the tourist hordes and virgin beaches, unspoiled sanctuaries, and natural beauty in its purest form is always an open possibility.”
Myla first learned about it when she first came to Thailand in the 1990s. “Since my first visit, it has become my favorite destination in Thailand,” she says. She’s been there several times she has actually lost count how many times she has visited.
She laments a little bit about the fact that as Samui becomes very popular as a tourist destination, so some parts of the island have become already too commercial. And prices have become higher too, she says, although by world standards, they still can be considered very reasonable. Another downside, she thinks, are the local taxi drivers.
“Using a local taxi in Samui can cost extraordinarily high and even though most taxis have meters, many drivers do not use them. “Negotiating a price in advance with the local taxi drivers can be a big hassle,” she says. “Rates usually start from about Bt100 to Bt600-Bt700 from Nathon to Lamai or similar distance.”
But the downsides are not enough to prevent her from visiting Samui again. In fact, she’d like to visit it in the next few weeks with her kids, hubby and some close friends.
Must-Do: Bungy Jumping, Go Kart, Samui Shooting Range, Island Safari & Elephant Rides, Island Hopping, Diving and tons of water sports activities
Must-See: Big Buddha, Na Muang and Hin Lad Waterfalls, Hin Ta Hin Yai Rocks, Butterfly & Magic Garden,
Sleep at: Intercontinental Baan Taling Nam Koh Samui
Eat at: There are lots of nice seafood restaurant at The Fisherman’s Village.
Drink at: Reggae Pub in Chaweng Beach
Bring: Fun, nature-loving people…can be friends and family
Don’t forget: Suntan lotion, swim wear, sun glasses, camera,
Others: Water shoes, mosquito repellant, standard medicine + first aid kit
Anything else? Your credit cards for shopping (there will be lots of shops in Chaweng for your shopping)