Changes on Thong Nai Pan

Changes in 2010

There have been numerous changes in Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai. It is a matter of opinion whether these changes represent progress.

The most noticeable change is in Thong Nai Pan Yai which now has a new road. Unlike on previous occasions where just the worst parts of the road have been patched up, this time an entirely new road has been laid with street lighting every few meters. The road is smooth and safe unlike the old road which was rutted and a danger to people on motor bikes. The downside is that the profusion of street lighting seems like over-kill. And also the law of unintended consequences could come into play. The young Thais of the area who love shooting around on motorbikes will be encouraged to prove their machismo by speeding along the new road. This is an accident waiting to happen.

The businesses in Thong Nai Pan Noi have changed considerably. The popular Baan Pong’s and Flip Flop Pharmacy have both been torn down. There is now an empty gap next to Rasananda on the center of the beach. Even the Flip Flop shop at the back has gone. People are now wondering whether the owner of the land will sell out to Rasananda.

New Road in Thong Nai Pan Yai

New road in Thong Nai Pan Yai
New road in Thong Nai Pan Yai

Dive shops, bars and nightclubs

It is not the end, however, of Baan Pong’s and the Flip Flop Pharmacy. Flip Flop is being moved to a beachfront location on the neighboring beach of Thong Nai Pan Yai, and is sure to be a rival to the Nu Bar for people looking for a cool bar. And similarly, Pong has had to move to the edge of Thong Nai Pan Noi village, opposite the Luna Lounge. Since both establishments do more expensive (and hopefully better quality) food they might end up sharing the few customers who venture that far away from the beach. Luna has expanded its front to make more seating and has aspirations to become the boutique spot in the Thong Nai Pan area.

Another long time favorite (or not, depending if you slept nearby), the Hideaway Bar has been pulled down. The place was a rival nightspot to the Jungle Bar. The compromise was that the Jungle Bar had a party on Monday night and the Hideaway on Friday night. For a while the arrangement seemed to work fine, but over the last 10 months or so attendance at both parties has dropped sharply. This is probably the result of a change in the demographics of visitors to Thong Nai Pan. Backpackers are on the wane, as are cheap, basic bungalows; and on the increase are package tourists paying big bucks to stay at the Panviman, Santhiya and the Rasananda. I suspect it is for this reason that many habitual returnees to the beach are getting nostalgic about the end of the Hideaway. It is certainly not nostalgia for the same parade of cheesy hits played every week.

The Jungle doesn’t have a monopoly on late night drinking, however. By the bridge on the road leading out of Thong Nai Pan Noi the Easy Corner Bar has set up shop in what used to be Que Pasa the Mexican restaurant. They have a party on Wednesday night but like making loud noise whenever they get a quorum of paying customers.

Finally, the dive shops in Thong Nai Pan Noi have had a shake up. For whatever reason, Star Huts have taken over the spot once used by H20 Scuba and re-named the shop “All Star Diving”. This dive shop incorporates a café and an internet place. H20 has moved location to beside the famous Handsome Sandwich. And Tropical Dive Club has moved into a corner of the Phuwadee. For those of you scratching your head about Phuwadee, it’s the awful pink bungalow place that has had more name changes than a fugitive from the law.

End of the Hideaway

The end of the Hideaway Bar
The end of the Hideaway Bar

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Comments 1 comment

tomas 5 years ago

good to hear that, a lot of possitive changes at Phangan Island.

also new rainforest adventures with www.safariboat.info, we just took yesterday and pretty funny time. recommended to everyone.

T.

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