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Letter to the editor – Samui’s Immigration Department

 As a longtime resident of Koh Samui the thing I dread most is having to visit the islands Immigration Police near Nathon. I’ve been lucky enough to have traveled during my business career and I have to say with the exception of the Soviet Union, Koh Samui’s Immigration department is just about the worst I have ever had the misfortune to encounter. Met by unhelpful and morose looking staff who avoid eye contact leaving their customers standing around wondering what on earth is going on. Piles of people’s private and personal details stacked in every conceivable space the whole place has an air of run down indifference of the uncaring workforce who have the misfortune to work there. I dread the yearly Visa renewal and 90 day reports.
Just imagine my surprise though when I recently visited the office in order to obtain a Letter of Residency and was greeted by four smiling young ladies in green matching Tee shirts behind a newly planned reception area. No unoganised mass of people jostling for attention but a clear uncluttered welcome, “Hello” said one of the young lady ”how may I help You”. I was so taken aback I actually looked behind to see who she was talking to but no things have actually changed and for the very first time I was given genuine assistance plus a numbered ticket and a time when my letter would be available. Amazingly the same young lady welcomed me on my return and I collect my letter with no problems at all. Cost me 500 baht though for a service that should be provided free of charge but who cares. Even the dreaded Khun Nok had a hint of a smile on his face but on reflection I think it must have been a touch of wind!! Ginger Marks

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