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When it comes to trust, it’s hard to beat Samui’s leading pharmaceutical chain – Morya!

When it comes to trust, it’s hard to beat Samui’s leading pharmaceutical chain – Morya!

If you’ve only been to Thailand a time or two, you’ll still be wary. All that alarmist advice about injections for hepatitis and cholera, dengue fever being rampant, and never, ever drink the water, will still be on your mind. You’re thousands of miles from all the familiar things of home. You don’t know your way around, the language is strange and you can’t read the signs. It’s a relief to see something you know, like a Coke can or a burger bar! And when it comes to medicines, prescriptions or first aid, you’re lost. You’re not happy to trust what you get over here. One visitor we know even phoned his optician in Hamburg and had new contact lenses couriered out, at huge expense, after he’d lost his own ones. But really, and truly, there’s no need for any of this at all.


Perhaps a generation ago there was cause for concern. But not today. Thailand is now well known for the international standard of its hospitals, and there are many people who come here each year solely for surgical procedures. And as standards have risen, so the pharmacies have evolved along the same lines. Take a look at the way the Thai people themselves do things. The pharmacists here are highly trained, and many have either studied or worked in the West - usually in America or Europe. Most are similarly qualified in diagnosis, and a lengthy component of their education is physiology and anatomy, hence the inclination for a Thai person with an ache or a pain to consult their pharmacist rather than their doctor.


But, if you stay here long enough, you’ll notice something interesting. Some pharmacies attract a lot more custom than others. And there are two reasons for this. Many of the smaller places don’t have medically trained staff, just a couple of low-paid assistants. And secondly, most pharmacies don’t keep a full range of branded prescription drugs;When it comes to trust, it’s hard to beat Samui’s leading pharmaceutical chain – Morya!those names like Pfizer or Roche or Johnson & Johnson that we all know and trust. But there’s one notable exception to this. A brand name that’s exclusive to Samui. And that name is Morya.


The first Morya pharmacy appeared here back in 2001. A native of the nearby mainland town of Surat Thani, the owner and Executive Director of the chain, Khun Kwanchai Patpaen, had anticipated the potential on the tourist island of Samui for quality pharmacies that offered a wide range products and services. He himself was fully qualified, with a degree in pharmaceutical science. And he insisted that his upper-level staff (of which there are several in each of the now 20 branches across the island) had each undergone an intensive 5 or 6 year Doctor of Pharmacy degree program. They’re qualified in both biochemistry and organic chemistry. Plus they’ve had to study the law as it relates to medicine as well as pharmacy. And they all speak excellent English.


But in the last few years, the spectrum of visitors to Samui has shifted. Now it’s become necessary to communicate in Russian and several other languages, too. The result is that Morya staff training now includes a comprehensive component involving online internet translation. If you can’t speak Thai and your English is wobbly, a visit to a branch of Morya will put an end to your frustration.


So just what does this mean in practical terms? Well, the main thing is that any branch of Morya will be able to replicate any prescription that you need, so there’s no need to fill your suitcase full of pills before you come. They’re connected to national and international suppliers,When it comes to trust, it’s hard to beat Samui’s leading pharmaceutical chain – Morya! and will quickly find your medication. If you insist on international branding, fine. But if you are up for it, they can analyse your prescription and supply you with an identical alternative at a fraction of the usual cost.


The vast majority of visitors to Samui spend their time here with nothing more to worry about than a headache or a grazed knee. But unfortunately, each month there are more than a few road accidents involving tourists. Some of these casualties end up in need of equipment such as walking sticks, crutches, or even wheelchairs. Should you be so unlucky, then of course, the immediate reaction is to buy them from whatever hospital you’ve been taken to. However, the main Morya branch in Chaweng keeps a wide selection of such equipment, which is available to rent at very reasonable rates.


Happily, not everything in a pharmacy – a ‘chemist’s shop’ – is about the down side of life! Think about your familiar name chains back home. There are lotions and potions and health and beauty and skin-care products, plus a whole range of baby-and infant-based items, too. And so it is with Morya. It’s true that they now have 20 outlets on the island. But included in this are two branches of the very progressive ‘Green Health’. When it comes to trust, it’s hard to beat Samui’s leading pharmaceutical chain – Morya!In the regular Moryas you’ll find that it’s all centred on pharmacy plus health-and-well-being products, plus a few shelves of herbal remedies. In the Green Cross Moryas, it’s the other way around. Khun Kwanchai has gathered-in so many alternative and holistic products that you could fill a shop with them. So that’s exactly what he’s done. Look out for these – they are simply fascinating!


But you’re on holiday. And you’ll be looking out for something – many things – to take back as gifts and souvenirs. And that’s where Morya scores again with its extensive range of ‘Oriental Nature’ products. There’s an entire range of shampoos, bath salts, balms, creams and face and body scrubs created exclusively for Morya and made from natural holistic ingredients. The ‘Bee Venom Anti-Aging Facial Cream’ is a talking point. As is the ‘Snail Refreshing Face Cream’. And there are three gift sets in presentation packages (Mango, Aloe Vera, Coconut, Mangosteen) that include shampoo, conditioner, scrubs and balms, waiting just for you.


The Morya HQ is on the ring-road in Chaweng. But the latest branch has just opened on the fringe of Fisherman’s Village, just outside the arch, alongside 7-11. Easy to see and a must to explore. And the architecture, plus the products and the service, are bang up to date!


 Rob De Wet


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