Airport to maximize profits by proximity to Thong Nai Pan Noi
It is interesting when you consider the geography of Koh Phangan and the location of Koh Phangan airport. There is plenty of flat land near the southern coast in the Ban Tai area. There are also plenty of potential sites to the west of the island and to the west of Khao Ra Mountain.
Moreover the chosen spot for the new airport is on the mountainous east coast, a part of the island that is famous for its inaccessible beaches such as Haad Yuan East, Haad Thian East and Than Sadet. The road from Ban Tai that goes up the east coast all the way to Thong Nai Pan in the corner was once the worst on the island.
When the news first came out that Koh Phangan was going to get an airport near Thong Nai Pan many doubted the story. It is an area with thick jungle wedged next to the highest mountain on the island covered in huge granite boulders. It led to the belief that the airport was actually going to be in Chaloklum in the north. It also led to talk of using very small planes that would only be able to make the hop from Koh Phangan to Suratthani.
The rationale behind placing the airport was obviously commercial. Firstly, 10 minutes down the road is Ban Tai. It is an area expanding all the time as it adds more rooms with every new party added to the monthly roster. The parties and after-parties come almost unbroken in Ban Tai. In the jungle are Jungle Experience, the Half Moon Party, Ban Sabai, Shiva Moon Party, and Blue and Green Sramanora Waterfall Party. On the beach there is the Black Moon Party and Rhythm and Sands Kiwi Party. And of course, the Full Moon Party is in Haad Rin, just over the hill on the south-east peninsula.
Secondly, and more importantly, Thong Nai Pan is just a few kilometers from the airport site at Than Prapas.
The 3 best hotels on the island are easily Rasananda, Santhiya and Panviman. They are all located on the small beach of Thong Nai Pan Noi. Buri Rasa is just being finished and is expected to offer a 4 star on-the-beach experience. Thong Nai Pan Noi is one of the best beaches in the Gulf of Thailand and was once a Mecca for backpackers and long-stay visitors. Developers started realizing the potential of Thong Nai Pan Noi in the early 2000s. Thong Nai Pan Noi now rivals the up-market resort areas of Koh Samui. Many high-end tourists prefer the more rustic and less sleazy atmosphere of Thong Nai Pan Noi to other more traditional destinations such as Phuket and Koh Samui.
It is clearly believed that the flights between Bangkok and Than Prapas in Koh Phangan will be fully booked most of the year by those looking for a few days in a hotel or private villa in Thong Nai Pan.