Koh Phangan is evolving like every other Island around Asia. The Island of Phangan is growing with more and more foreigners and Thais settling on the Island to either do business or spend their holiday times. More restaurants, shops and other businesses are coming to the Island. This only means that the big companies will move onto the Island eventually. Tesco Lotus the big shopping chain for Thailand already has a large supermarket on the Island which is the largest supermarket and probably the most used. Expected at the end of May Big C is to open its doors to Koh Phangan.
The shopping center is currently being built between Ban Tai Thong Sala, the BIG C supermarket will also have a McDonalds and a KFC (Kentucky Fried Chicken). The supermarket will become the largest on the Island and the demand to this supermarket is expected to be huge.
Many locals on the Island will welcome the Big C with open arms and it’s good to have competition to the Tesco Lotus. Although many people believe that it will become another Phuket or Koh Samui which means over developed and spoil the natural looks of the Island. This also means to this Island that the development and infrastructure will continue to attract large companies to take a piece of the pie. This puts pressure on all small businesses on the Island and will either force closure of small supermarkets, food stalls etc. On the bright side a supermarket like Big C will be very welcome, with Tesco Lotus being the only large supermarket on the Island they often run out of stocks of certain products.
Will we ever see the car ferry direct to Samui again? Although the Raja ferry service stopped the car ferry service direct to Samui, many believe that it should be back in service. Many hotels, resorts and restaurants used the local car ferry service to Koh Samui and back to stock up on supplies with a larger selection of supermarkets already on Koh Samui, this worked out a lot cheaper option in getting supplies. Maybe Big C will bring more products and better prices than Tesco so that we won’t need to do the day trip to Koh Samui for shopping.
More plans for Thong Sala are on the horizon with a lot more development for shops and restaurants along with the airport construction and a Makro shopping Centre.
Is this progress?