Pattaya unemployed tour guide offers free food, coffee to needy

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Ex tour guide Kumjan Promaruk makes a living selling exotic somtum dishes and a variety of drinks.
Ex tour guide Kumjan Promaruk makes a living selling exotic somtum dishes and a variety of drinks.

A Pattaya tour guide with no tourists to guide has turned to selling somtam and coffee to survive and offering free food to those in even more need.



Kumjan Promaruk, 41, opened his Delicious Somtum Lao for 20 Baht at the Mitkamol intersection on Soi Siam Country Club after he was put out of work by the coronavirus pandemic. He uses his own pickled-fish recipe to offer somtam, other spicy Thai salads and Vietnamese coffee.

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Everything on the menu is 20 baht. But, despite prices being low, he gives away food and drinks free to pregnant women, the disabled and those who are unemployed and poor.

Kumjan’s mobile ‘Delicious Somtum Lao’ shop is attractive, clean, and sells the popular Isan dish for only 20 baht.
Kumjan’s mobile ‘Delicious Somtum Lao’ shop is attractive, clean, and sells the popular Isan dish for only 20 baht.

Kumjan said a lot of people in Pattaya are worse off than him, so he wanted to help.

He added that the shop intentionally is located away from markets and downtown, as there is too much competition there. Now he’s finding East Pattaya residents are becoming regular customers.

Masseuse Nantana Wamaket, 46, said she likes the somtum because it is clean and cheap. She also likes that Kumjan isn’t only focused on profits, but wanting to help people affected by the Covid-19 outbreak, so she is proud to be his customer.

RodsukonAree, 47,she enjoys good food at a low price, but likes to believe she’s helping others. Today was her first visit to the restaurant, but she plans to return.