Stranded foreign tourists are expressing their gratitude to Thai local authorities and the people of Thailand for their hospitality and assistance after being stranded in the South of the country due to flight cancellations amid the current Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) outbreak.
Foreigners stuck on Ko Phi Phi are expressing their sincere appreciation and gratitude for Thailand’s renowned hospitality and warmth to strangers, and say they are coping as well as can be expected given the current conditions that prevent them from returning home to their respective countries.
They are keen to express their appreciation, including praising the Thais for being a good host, each is receiving free medical care, free food, free masks, free hand washing gel, and free visa exemption while staying in a tropical paradise.
One foreign visitor said, “The generosity of the Thai people has warmed my heart after spending two months on a small island in the South of Thailand during the global COVID-19 outbreak. Thailand is helping foreign tourists regardless of their status with compassion, warmth and kindness.”
As part of Ko Phi Phi’s ‘We Care, We Share’ initiative, it is covering the medical expenses for everyone possibly infected with COVID-19, in addition to providing free masks and hand washing gel.
Tourists on Ko Phi Phi are also given two free meals a day, along with daily monitoring of symptoms and free testing for those at risk.
Another tourist who posted a message said she had also been stranded on the island for two months and wished to thank Thailand for being a good host, and that she would never forget the kindness extended to her.
Foreign travellers are also finding sanctuary in Thai Buddhist temples across the country.
In Surat Thani, Ivan, a 25-year-old Russian engineering student stranded in the country’s South said he could not return home because of the suspension of air services between the two countries. He asked to reside at Wat Mai Phatthana Ram in Surat Thani on 26 March and has remained there ever since.
Ivan is lending a hand with the daily temple work, preparing food in the temple cafeteria, giving out food boxes to Thai villagers in need, while also assisting local villagers who are also dealing with an outbreak of foot and mouth disease in Surat Thani cattle.