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Thong Nai Pan Noi
Thong Nai Pan Noi Village has grown massively. It now stretches all the way back to Luna Lounge full of shops, rerstaurants, bars and massage places. While the shopping options and dining options have increased the type of tourists visiting Noi has got older. The parties have all gone. The German techno festival doesn't happen anymore.
Restaurants of note that have appreared since 2010 include:
New bars include:
Here is a video of Thong Nai Pan Noi Village:
Tapan Noi has closed. It is owned by Thong Tapan and the old bungalows have been pulled down and replaced with better bungalows.
Thong Nai Pan Yai
Dolhpin Bungalows has parted with its managers. They have set up Siam House. Don't confuse the two establisments. Siam house does great food but doesn't have bungalows for rent.
The Great Escape Chalets is behind Pen's Bungalows. It has 10 large bungalows each with air-con, hot water, TV and bath. They start at 1,000 THB a night.
At the other end of the price spectrum Paradise Bungalows on the main road near the entrance to Yai have long rental bungalows for 10,000 to 12,000 THB a month. The owner also has a small bar.
Candlehuts has built a new restaurant and bar on the beach. It is a cool spot with a bit of colour co-ordination.
Panviman has straddled the mainland between Noi and Yai. It now has a small cafe on the edge of the beach.
The biggest news recently is the new road going through Thong Nai Pan Yai village to the end of the beach. Before the concrete was crumbling and falling apart. Instead of patching the worst section they have built a new concrete road complete with markings and road side lighting. It is slight 'overkill' but still a great improvement.
Rumour proved correct, the Flip Flop is building on Thong Nai Pan Yai beach a new bar. Baan Pong's is destined for a re-opening opposite the Luna Lounge.
And big shock! The Hideway Bar in Thong Nai Pan Noi, for a long time a very popular party venue for Friday night is, now closed and pulled down.
The vacuum of the Hideaway Bar cannot be easily filled, but the Easy Corner (on the road out of Thong Nai Pan Noi on the corner next to the first bridge) now has a party on Wednesday nights and is turning into a late night drinking spot.
On Thong Nai Pan Yai there's new restaurant opened called Chillies, and the White Winds Resort is now shut (and owned by Panviman). Well that's the word.
The popular Baan Pongs and The Flip Flop Pharmacy on Thong Nai Pan Noi beach have both sadly closed. The owner of the land has refused to renew the leases primarily I suspect because he thinks there is more money to be made running a restaurant and bar. The location couldn't be better but it is yet to be seen whether the food and service will match Baan Pongs. Plenty of other restaurants have closed on this spot in the past.
Rumour has it that the Flip Flop Pharmacy will reappear down the south end of Thong Nai Pan Yai beach.
Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai have their first very own map. The map is available at many places on the two beaches. It is free and of course also an advertising tool. To see the map click this link.
Sadly, the Doors Bar in Thong Nai Pan Noi has closed for business. It is a shame because the bar was a delightfully constructed building made of wood. Also they served good curries and had lots of chilling areas. No doubt years of losing customers to the loud and brash clubs closer to the beach has produced the closure of the Doors Bar.
The KP Office is rumoured to have closed. They have been as good as closed for months now anyway. It looks like the building will be turned into a cafe.
The Starlight Resort is now open for business on Thong Nai Pan Yai. It has a swimming pool and restaurant. Prices range from 800 thb to 2,500 thb a night.
The muay thai boxing place in Thong Nai Pan Noi has finally managed to put together a website. Highlights of the website include an audio clip of the famous 'tonight, tonight..' promo to heard around the village before fight night.
Green Island Leisure has updated their website. The company has reduced the price for Achala House and added some new images and text. It's a high quality website.
Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai continue to improve amenities and facilities. The most striking example of this is the new concrete road that starts at the shop near the Panviman entrance, runs through the village of Thong Nai Pan Noi and then goes behind the Rasa Nan Da Resort. Also the road between Thong Nai Pan and Baan Tai now has a new concrete section just before Bird and Monkey Trekking. It is expected that within the next couple of years the entire road will be concreted.
The Rasa Nan Da is finally finished. It is the most expensive place to stay in the area. At the moment they are offering discounts to attract customers. Under the special offer villas range from 240 pounds sterling to 400 pounds sterling. The villas are beach front with small private pools. Although they are closely packed together, bamboo walls provide privacy. At night they put out big red cushions and lighted tables. In the reception area there is a striking wine cooler and designer red chairs. The Rasa Nan Da is already busy and is sure to be a very popular place to stay in the future.
On Thong Nai Pan Yai there is a new beach front resort being built called the Star Light Resort. They have finished the swimming pool and the main accommodation block has a great Thai roof on it.
Star Light Resort, Thong Nai Pan Yai
Also on Thong Nai Pan Yai, the Dreamland Resort has now built a fairly big swimming pool (bigger than Central Cottage pool).
There is a new gym on Thong Nai Pan Yai located on the second turning on the left as you go into Thong Nai Pan Yai by the main road. Reports are that there is a good selection of equipment.
Living Well Gym in Thong Nai Pan Yai
The beaches of Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai remain the best in Koh Phangan. Now the green netting has been taken down, Thong Nai Pan Noi has been returned to its former splendour. I was most pleased to see that the Rasa Nan Da has kept most of the palm trees next to the beach.
As per usual, the price for accommodation has risen since 2008. And the taxi fare has gone up dramatically from 100 THB to 250 THB in only 2 years. However, now the price of petrol has stabilised this should remain the same for a while. Food prices in the various restaurants have only risen slightly.
There has been a sharp drop in attendence at the Friday night party at the Hideaway Bar and the Monday night party at the Jungle Bar. DJ Ton is still mixing: he's playing more consistent sets with less of his 'standard hits'. There is another DJ now plying his trade (perhaps just covering for Ton). He plays electro and is very average at mixing. Luna Lounge is putting on a monthly party. The modern glass and steel Pong's Republic has now been officially closed and the building is now occupied by a carpenter. The glass has been replaced in many places with palm thatching. Funky Buddha in Thong Nai Pan Yai now has parties on Sundays. DJ Lai no longer spins vinyl but plays consistent and interesting techno. The issue of parties shutting down at 2am in line with the new drinking laws in Thailand continues to be an on-going saga. Most of the time the licensing laws are ignored but occasionally the police arrive at the parties to enforce the 2am curfew.
Funky Buddha in Thong Nai Pan Yai
Open and Closed
The Rock Bar in Thong Nai Pan Noi has been pulled down and the Mios is now closed. For soccer fans this means the only place to catch a game is at Gecko Lounge infront of the Hideaway. Gecko is a new place that offers BBQs on Saturdays and has overpriced drinks. Be sure to wear mosquito repellent when you go there at night.
The office of KP Properties and Sitara Village has changed its entrance and is mostly empty. Building of their new villas appears to have come to a halt.
Whereas Achala House is near completion. The main house is now finished and work has begun on the garden.