PHUKET EXPOSED: Sompol Sitthiwetch
Manager at Connect Guesthouse (gay friendly Patong hotel); co-chairman of Andaman Power
Saturday 19 May 2012, 02:15PM
How many years have you lived in Phuket?
I have lived here for 13 years. I am originally from Khon Kaen, in northeast Thailand.
Why did you move here?
I moved to Phuket to study a Bachelor of Business Administration at the Prince of Songkla University. After I graduated I decided to start work in Phuket.
Because I am a ladyboy, Phuket gave me the opportunity to obtain a high level position in the hotel and tourism industry.
What does your job involve?
Being the manager of Connect Guesthouse in Patong, I have the responsibility of taking care of everything within the guesthouse, which has 25 rooms and a restaurant.
Andaman Power is an organisation that helps support gays, ladyboys and sex workers in the Patong and wider Phuket area. It helps provide knowledge and awareness of safe sex practices and HIV/Aids. As a volunteer I help out, and also give them free condoms and other items.
What is the best thing about living here?
It is a good place to be for a ladyboy I think. Many hotels are able to give ladyboys the opportunity to work. I have a good salary here, the weather is good, and many people are gay-friendly.
What do you do to relax?
I love to travel outside of Phuket, finding new delicious restaurants and surfing the web.
Favourite food or dish?
I like all Isarn food, particularly papaya salad.
What music do you like?
R&B and pop music. My favourite Thai singer is Jennifer Kim, and I also like Kylie Minogue.
Best advice you have for people moving to Phuket?
For people who will work here, there are a lot of hotel jobs available, and the minimum wage is now B300 a day, which is a good thing. For those who will move to Phuket to relax, Phuket is a beautiful island with lots of great culture and local food.
The person you admire the most and why?
My mother of course. She is a good role model for me. She always tells me it doesn’t matter who you are, as long as you make sure you’re a good person.
Where would you take someone on a first date?
Promthep Cape for sunset.
Favourite place on the island, and why?
Thalang Road in Phuket Town, because it combines the romance of Phuket with the island’s historical significance – plus I like the traditional Thai-style buildings. Depending on if I want a quiet or big night out, I like Patong or Rang Hill in Phuket Town.