Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Football on the Beach

It’s the battle of the resorts. A football competition to decide the resort with the most skillful football players. Yes, the annual Thong Nai Pan Football competition was held a few weeks ago.

The level of play is never particularly high. You can watch for a long time before you witness a goal. It makes a pleasant enough spectacle when you have a cold beverage to enjoy. Part of the problem is the soft white sand – it’s great for lying on, but not an ideal football playing surface. Your feet tend to drag in the sand when you try to kick the ball.

Perhaps the Brazilian sport of playing keepy uppy volleyball with a football is a better activity for the beach.

Anyway the workers of Panviman, Santhiya, Rasananda etc. take the competition with an exemplary amount of seriousness. Both beaches take part.

In case the suspense is killing you, Buri Rasa won this year. Well done Buri Rasa. We know very little about the Buri Rasa Resort since it is not finished, but we do know the resort staff are champions.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Su's Cafe and Bakery

One of the most noticeable characteristics about most of the small businesses on both Thong Nai Pan Noi and Yai is that they make no effort on promotions. The big hotels have websites and are on most of the major booking engines. They run promotions and they publish press releases. In contrast the little bungalow operations, the small restaurants and bars and the other service providers are virtually invisible to all but passing trade.

One example of this is Su's Cafe. I have passed the sign for the place countless times as I ride my bike into Yai. It’s on the left, on the main road. I always imagined it was some old lady with an oven knocking out a few loaves of bread and a few cakes for the tourists.

It turns out I was wrong. Su is the Thai half of a fully fledged restaurant and bungalow business. The other half is Eric. They are an older couple who seemed to have carved out a nice little niche for themselves on Thong Nai Pan Yai without most people noticing.

Su's Café and Bakery is comprised of a small restaurant, 3 ‘houses’ for rent and 1 bungalow to rent. It is an accommodation option that isn’t on Agoda etc. You can go to their website directly (http://su-cafe-andhouseforrent.com/) or drop in if you want to rent a house. After several years of being open for business Su Café and Bakery has only 1 Trip Advisor review. That kind of warms my heart. I’m sure they provide good service and warm hospitality. It is that they aren’t interested in helping corporate entities like T.A.

The restaurant has German bread, schnitzels, pizza, pasta, salads, steaks and burgers. It is one of only 2 places in Thong Nai Pan to put their menu and prices online. This I like. Whenever I eat in Thong Nai Pan I always feel they are too keen to get the menu away from me, like it contains secret information. Pricing is far from transparent in Thong Nai Pan. Thank goodness Thai Break has stopped as that event drove prices up by 20% for 10 days.

House 1 is 1 bed with air-con, kitchen, fridge, washing machine and UBC TV. House 2 has 2 bedrooms (fan), kitchen, fridge, TV and washing machine. House 3 is for rent or sale. It has 2 air-con bedrooms, a bathtub, kitchen, fridge and TV. The bungalow is a basic fan affair.

The accommodation is set in a tropical garden. It doesn’t enjoy sea views but is peaceful and a good spot to avoid the crowds.

I have never stayed at Su's Café and Bakery. Trip Advisor won’t help you. Why not go and see for yourself?