Chok Dee (Good Luck), Mister Mai

Mai shows a guest and a friend the sights of Ban Talae Nok village.

It was with deep sadness that we said farewell to Piyawich “Mai” Budhagesorn, who left Andaman Discoveries at the end of December to continue his formal education in Bangkok. Mai joined Andaman Discoveries in April 2008 and quickly became an integral member of the team, working as a translator (he speaks fluent Thai, English, and German) and community coordinator. Mai was happiest in Ban Talae Nok, where he taught English, worked tirelessly to train local guides, and spearheaded a youth drama program. “Mai was part of the family. To the children in Ban Talae Nok, he was a big brother. We miss him very much,” said Ladda “Pink” Ardhahn.

Mai has an encyclopedic knowledge of Thai culture, history, religion, and politics, and his insights sparked lively discussions both with guests and staff alike; for more than a few visitors, he was the highlight of their homestay. Mai also plays a mean guitar and can make a blank batik canvas come alive in minutes with a stunning illustration. There’s a palpable void in Kuraburi without Mai’s presence; we miss him dearly, and wish him much success on his new endeavors. Come back soon, Mai!