Former Pattaya taxi group president finds new hope after Covid–19 pandemic with successful melon farm

Pattaya-

A former Pattaya taxi group president turned himself into a successful melon farmer after the Covid -19 pandemic in our most recent story about business owners in Pattaya not giving up despite the lack of tourism in Pattaya.

Mr. Wichean Leangaram, a former Pattaya taxi group president of ‘Taxi Pattana Borthong’ told The Pattaya News, “I had worked with the taxi group for more than nine years.”

“I used to have four taxis which were about 950,000 baht each which I rented out to other taxi drivers. I was a taxi driver too. I earned 4,000 baht per day usually and 120,000 baht per month. Life was good….until Covid-19 dried up all tourists in the Pattaya area last March. I attempted to survive on domestic tourists for some time but that also dried up and now that Pattaya and Chonburi have had a second round of infections there is zero tourism overall to the area, domestic or foreign. Most local residents don’t use car taxi services and either have their own transportation or use motorbike taxis.”

“I began growing grapes and melons in a small garden on Soi Janpen in Nongplalai, Banglamung. I started this as a hobby to pass the time and to help feed myself as income dried up and tourists remain unable to visit. I enjoy farming and it takes my mind off the problems Pattaya is facing due to Covid-19.” Wichean continued.

“Last year, I know all of the taxi drivers in Pattaya (and for that matter, in Thailand serving the tourist industry) have suffered from the Covid -19 pandemic. I sold three of my four taxis to pay my expenses and have kept only one for myself for the future.”

“Now I have grown ‘golden egg melons’ on my farm. They are Thai melons that are organically grown. I started growing these as a hobby as well but quickly found that there was a strong demand for them from both other vendors and residents and decided to start selling them online. I was surprised at the success I have had but thankful.” Wichean told our reporters.

“I am currently selling the melons online on my Facebook page ‘สวนงุ่นเหมือนฝัน By พี่ใหญ่’.

“Interested customers can contact me at my telephone at 092-563-9193 (or add LINE ID). Or can come to my farm to purchase the melons directly.” Wichean said, noting that he speaks decent English from his time working as a taxi driver in the tourism industry as well.

Mr. Wichean noted that “We all have to realize that we are getting older and we can’t cling to the past. My previous job depended on tourists but I am a realist and I don’t see them coming back in large numbers anytime soon, no matter what the government says. I have to find other jobs too to feed myself and my family and I have found one I truly enjoy, in farming.” Wichean concluded.

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