While travelling, I’ve read quite a few books. Usually I was able to swap them in hostels or buy cheaply at second-hand book stores. As a reader I am not very picky, and will go for anything printed. Especially when on the road for months on end. So not everything I’ve read was of high grade. However, every now and then I was able to get some quality books. Like “The Wealth and Poverty of Nations”, a book that discusses the burning topic of Why Some Are So Rich and Some So Poor. The main point of the book is that climate, natural resources or luck are just not enough to answer that question. Culture, ethics and science are all involved as well. Of course, all the basic principles that contribute to the wealth of nations apply to businesses as well. The main factor in success is knowing your customers, and being ready to go the extra mile to provide quality service. Here’s an example of how it should be done.
We stayed in Bangkok for just a few days, before embarking on a classical SE-Asia tour through Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos. From Laos we went back to Thailand, for a couple of weeks of diving at Ko Phi Phi, but not before we’ve spent a day on Khao San Road, getting massages and doing some shopping. We’ve arrived on a night train from Laos, and were rather dirty and tired.
We went to Donna Guesthouse, where we’ve stayed two months before, hoping we’d be able to rent a room for the day, just to store our bags and use the shower. We never got the chance to ask. The owner immediately recognized us (mind you we were there more than two months before, for just 3 or 4 nights, and its in Khao San Road, the most touristy place in Thailand!), asked how our trip was, and for how long we were going to be in Bangkok.
When he heard we were leaving the same evening, he offered us to store the bags at the place and use the shower, refused to receive money for such a minor service and insisted to provide us with towels as well. In essence, he treated us as friends rather than as a chance to earn a couple of coins. Its been almost two years since, but I remember that small encounter as one of the most positive things I’ve experienced while travelling and if anybody asks me about a tip for a good place to stay in Bangkok I say without hesitation – Donna Guesthouse.