Tuesday, 16 November 2010

New Roads Announced For Koh Phangan

The Bangkok Post printed on 11th November that the Thai Government planned to build 72 kms of new road in Koh Phangan. The new road will link 7 key points on the island.

Well all the key points are already connected. It is an improvement on infrastructure. Roads in Koh Phangan are amazing varied: sometimes concrete, sometimes huge holes and cracks and sometimes just hard dirt or mud.

The work on the road from Ban Tai to Thong Nai Pan is not until the second phase of road building. Quoting the Bangkok post, the work is due to be completed "over the next two years". That is slightly vague.

Perhaps the winds of change are blowing through the island but the storm of over-commercialism and Samuification hasn't arrived yet.

Friday, 24 September 2010

Hideaway Bar Pulled Down

Things are really changing quickly on Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai. The latest victim of progress is the Hideaway Bar in Thong Nai Pan Noi. Not the original nightclub in Thong Nai Pan but still a very popular place while it lasted. They had epic Friday night parties. Fun for those attending and a pain in the butt for those trying to sleep in Sandee Bungalow. The times are a-changing.

Monday, 20 September 2010

New Road in Thong Nai Pan Yai

Not just repairs to the old road, but a full-on new spanking over the top concrete road with street lights every few meters. The old road was really bad, crumbling away. Who would have thought the solution would be a motorway?

Friday, 16 July 2010

New Map of Thong Nai Pan Yai and Thong Nai Pan Noi

At last a couple of enterprising people have produced a map of the two beaches of Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai. This is a great idea to help people who visit the tropical paradise beaches find what they are looking for; and of course, it gives someone a bit of advertising revenue.

Friday, 14 May 2010

New Koh Phangan Review Site

I've just come across a blog started up which is devoted to reviews of Koh Phangan. It only has a few postings so far but looks to be a mine of useful information about Koh Phangan, that little spot of paradise rising out of the Gulf of Thailand.

The site has stuff about where to eat, reviews by people who've stayed in various resorts, hotels and bungalow outfits around the island, and other interesting comments. The good and the bad. It's all represented, or I hope it will be, on Koh Phangan Review.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

The End of Flip Flop Pharmacy and Baan Pongs

Flip Flop Pharmacy and Baan Pongs were two businesses next to each other that looked like one business. This continually led to people getting confused about having to go to the bar to get a draft beer with their food because Baan Pong only sold bottled beer.

Despite this confusion they were great places to hang out on Thong Nai Pan Noi, both beach front in the middle of the beach.

Flip Flop served cold Tiger and Singha and had a free pool table and was perfect for a mid-day boozy beverage. Baan Pong had an excellent menu of Thai, Burmese and Western Cuisine. The presentation was just a little better than other restaurants on the beach. The water feature, mood lighting and bean bags made the restaurant stylish.

Now both Flip Flop and Baan Pongs are shut. They had their last night of business April 7th. It seems the owner of the land has decided not to renew the lease. He obviously fancies tapping into the tourist bucks these places produce. Fair enough. I hope he does it as well as his predecessors did.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Wedding on Thong Nai Pan

A touching blog I read recently - My impromptu Wedding on Thong Nai Pan Noi. It is good to see the art of catering for strangers' needs is not dead. This Dutch couple got married on Thong Nai Pan Noi beach. Baan Panburi have been known to do a wedding or two in their time. Big up to Baan Panburi for sending newly weds off into the journey of matrimony on the right note!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Beginnings and Ends

The Doors Bar and Restaurant in Thong Nai Pan Noi has closed down. It is a shame - the beautiful wooden building was a positive asset to the beach. I guess the location was the biggest problem for the commercial viability of the business - it was simply too far from the beach front. The same can be said for the Otto Bungalows next door and the Pankaew Restaurant. These two businesses seem to survive on near zero customers.

Another change is the KP Property Office. Recently it was re-designed so the front entrance was facing the main thorough-fare in Thong Nai Pan Noi. Now rumour has it that it is closing down and the premises are to be taken over and turned into a cafe.

The final piece of news is that Thong Nai Pan Magazine now has links to hotel booking engines so you can read independent reviews about accommodation in Thong Nai Pan and then book on-line. Obviously, old school places such as Tapan Noi and Pen's Bungalows continue to opt out of internet booking schemes. If you want to book the very popular Dolphin Bungalows then you have to contact the owners by email.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

The Gloves are Off with Ra Sa Nan Da pricing

The Ra Sa Nan Da is a swanky place with a daft name. Well it wouldn't be so daft if they hadn't parcelled off the syllables - ananda is sanskrit for "joy" (as many people know) and ras is sanskrit for "abolish, roar or scream". Perhaps Ras isn't sanskrit. Anyway I'm sure it means something to Thai people but to us farang it's incomprehensible and made more so by splitting up the name.

Ra Sa Nan Da goes one better than Santhiya. Santhiya is a massive hotel with a huge pool and it's own beach. But there's the caveat. Santhiya beach, as they like to falsely call it, is not so great. That's why Santhiya guests congregate around the pool instead.

In comparison Ra Sa Nan Da has the lion's share of the best beach in Koh Phangan and arguably one of the best beaches in Thailand, Thong Nai Pan Noi. They are right on the beach. They have got cool modern tropical mini villas with small plunge pools and salas. The colouring is an opulent red. The theme of the resort is boutique and exclusive. And now the promotional phase has finished they have got outrageous prices to match.

Gone are the moderately reasonable rates between 12,500 thb and 25,500 thb per night. Now they are asking between 22,000 thb and 50,000 thb for a night. Incredible when next door in Baan Panburi you can get a bungalow for as little as 550 thb a night. There's a contrast. It's the same beautiful white sand beach, the same tropical scenery, the same bars and restaurants but the hoi polloi are kept at arms length while you lounge in your personal sala and stare at the stars.

Ra Sa Nan Da does, however, have this quite amazing wine rack in the reception area, and an odd art piece red chair to match.