The simple things make a difference in Thailand, reports Sian Davies

In the fuel retail news business we tend to focus on the latest products available to the industry. The innovative cutting-edge technology that catapults us toward an increasingly digitalised and convenient refuelling experience.

We tend to overlook the more simplistic innovations that support the less hi-tech forecourts. It was not until I was breezing through the roads of Ko Lanta - a small island off the West Coast of Thailand - on a hired scooter that I truly appreciated how these less flashy innovations can help a small island to go about their day to day business.

The flash was there of course. As I jumped straight from the ferry into a waiting taxi one of the first sights that greeted me was brand new PT station - totem pole gleaming in the sunlight.

As we travelled further however the brand new suite of pumps were replaced by stand alone pumps like the one pictured and in many cases glass bottles filled with gasoline which could be purchased for 40 bhat (£1).

There were no fully stocked c-stores with digital advertising, instead family run businesses provided local fare - fruit shakes, pad Thai and Thai pancakes to keep hungry drivers on the move.

I did laugh to myself at the thought of London commuters filling their tanks with a vodka bottle - gasoline spilling down their expensive suits. But whilst the idea seems ludicrous, here on this sleepy island it is the ultimate convenience.

Of course pumps with personalised advertising displays have a very important place and will be used and appreciated by millions of drivers and station owners around the globe but sometimes it’s good to remember that in some cases the simpler the better.

Sian is on tour in Thailand for ENTV and couldn't resist sending us a few stories. She will be reporting back in a couple of weeks.