Area Surrounding Thong Nai Pan
Mountains, Coves, Islands and Beaches
Khao Ban Fai Mai (4.4km)
Koh Kong Than Sadet (3km)
Haad Than Sadet (1.7km)
Coves and Bays:
Laem Pak Chong (700m)
Airport at Than Prapas (1.5km)
I thought I knew Thong Nai Pan pretty well until the other day when someone mentioned to me that they had got some old wood from Khao Ban Fai Mai. Not letting ignorance stand in my way, I asked where that particular mountain was located. To my surprise I found out that it is the name of the peak looming up behind Santhiya Resort and Spa. It is the mountain that stands between Thong Nai Pan Noi and Bottle Beach.
I enjoy finding out the names of geographical features. Tourist maps only mention the names of beaches and towns where tourist facilities are available. These maps actually miss out a lot of fascinating details. The locals have a name for every mountain, cove, island and beach on Koh Phangan. If you are a fisherman or a farmer, or you live in a place that we would consider to be ‘off the beaten track’ these place markers are important.
In the future, development could quite possibly stretch beyond the confines of Thong Nai Pan Bay; in which case some of these place names could become familiar to visitors to the island. It seems likely that all the coastal spots between Thong Nai Pan Yai and Than Prapas, where Koh Phangan Airport is being built, will be considered possible sites for hotels, shops, restaurants etc.
Apologies for the factual mistake on the map - Koh Phangan Airport is behind schedule. Maybe it will be finished in 2016.
It is not just for new businesses that the names of lesser known geographical features are relevant. If you enjoy outdoor sports it is often handy to know the names of the nearby land marks. It is even better to have a good map!
For example, Thong Tapan recommends taking a kayak to Laem Pak Chong. It is only 700 meters away from Thong Tapan Resort but it is around a rocky outcrop that takes you past Santhiya. There are lots of rocks just jutting out of the water that you could hit; the waves can get choppy; and there are tidal currents to watch out for. Thus, only the experienced should attempt this kayak route.
A man called Greg Spurgin who has an interesting website about his kayak adventures in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan stayed the night on a tiny island just off the coast near Than Sadet called Koh Kong Than Sadet. See Greg’s picture opposite. I guess I must have seen the island while taking the Thong Nai Pan Express to Maenam in Samui but it never stuck in my memory until I started researching the surrounding area of Thong Nai Pan.
It seems very true that most people actually see very little of Thong Nai Pan when they visit – the beach, the village and the road in and out. Only those who hike, mountain bike or kayak get to see the beautiful and utterly deserted parts of the area.
Above is my collated Google map of the surrounding places. I have borrowed heavily from http://www.mbendi.com/.