Over the last 5 years car rental in Koh Phangan has become increasingly popular, and the road to Thong Nai Pan has improved massively – it is concrete all the way when before it was dirt. The result of this is that both Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai see a lot of day trippers, and who can blame them? Thong Nai Pan Noi and Thong Nai Pan Yai are two of the best beaches in Koh Phangan, and amongst the best in Thailand. The beaches have fine golden sand and the sea is crystal clear and calm for around 10 months of the year. As a backdrop to these beaches there is a small village and behind this uninterrupted jungle all the way up to Khao Ra, which is the mountain rising majestically in the centre of the island. Hotels and villas in Thong Nai Pan are also slightly more expensive than the rest of the island, because of the location, which for many of the younger visitors to the island particularly around the time of the Full and Half Moon Parties makes it too expensive to stay in Thong Nai Pan. It is also a 40 minute drive from the night life of Haad Rin.
The rising popularity of the day trip to Thong Nai Pan either on rented scooter or hired jeep has led to a predictable problem: space to park. In years past this was never an issue. There were plenty of unused spaces in both Thong Nai Pan villages near the beach, less visitors and fewer vehicles. However, this is no longer the case. Retail space in Thong Nai Pan is now fully occupied and all space near the beach is used for hotel accommodation. Parking near the beach is now really difficult unless you know where to go. In Thong Nai Pan, Buri Rasa Resort & Spa have provided a parking lot for use by non-guests as featured in the picture. From here it is a 1 minute walk to the beach front. In Thong Nai Pan Yai there is parking space near Pen’s Bungalows. This is privately owned land but at the moment the owners are tolerant of non-guests using the parking area so long as they create no problems.
If you are planning a day trip to Thong Nai Pan, or indeed anywhere else on Koh Phangan, do please bear in mind that you probably need to park on privately owned land. Often this is a not a problem but please be respectful and ask permission or advice from a local before you leave your bike or car. Try if you can to tuck your vehicle out of the way best as you can to allow parking for others. Unfortunately in Thong Nai Pan it may only take a handful of impolite visitors to convince private land owners to take away the available parking spots, or restrict them to their customers, and then it will become even more difficult for people to find somewhere to park when they visit Thong Nai Pan.