Ok, I’m going to admit it before you read on. This post is 100% sour grapes. And, as all who have visited will be aware, wine in the land of smiles is pretty awful
However it could also save a future long termer some money and hassle, and if you are looking for accommodation in the Ban Tai area of Ko Pha ngan at a reasonable price, then advice and help online are scarce, so I am hoping this review will help people on their quest for a reasonably priced house to rent.
In short, avoid P Villa. The five houses currently in the compound boast AC, and “hot showers”. That is about all they have going for them. Set in a picturesque building site, they have been built as closely together as possible to maximise revenue. The rent (anywhere from 10k – 15k baht a month depending on what you can negotiate) is excessive for the area. There are cheaper and nicer options around.
All of these things I accepted when I took a house there as the location was perfect for me. Roughly half-way up the Ban Tai road, on the way to Wat Khao Tam, the houses are situated in a great spot for access to Kobra Muay Thai and the ubiquitous centre of Koh Phangan life, the Ban Tai 7-11. As Natasha was to be on a pedal bike, this spot was great as both Thong Sala and Ban Tai were accessible along a straight, hill-free road.
“OK, so it’s a little pricey, and the building site aspect does’t sound appealing, but why is this worthy of a blog post?” I hear you ask…
One of the more beautiful aspects of Thai life is the Buddhist culture. The honesty and integrity of the people. There are Thais that are an exception to the rule (generally as a result of over-exposure to western values), but on the whole, they are lovely.
So when scams are executed, when sleazy, greedy tactics are used to extort money, I am aggrieved and feel the need to make sure it doesn’t happen again.
Here’s the problem.
Pretty much all long term room / house rentals on Koh Pangan include bills. It is the norm. Unless you are renting land or have a different agreement in advance. For 12,000 baht a month (which is what I reluctantly paid for the first month, I really should have held out for 10k), bills will ALWAYS be included.
I asked about this when the property was rented. I signed a contract for the month which made no mention whatsoever of bills. I also, stupidly, paid a 3000 baht deposit against “damages” to the property (as worded in the contract).
Upon checking out yesterday (while in a rush to get to the ferry, or I would have fought this harder), the person who was looking after the houses (Mr Bao), inspected the room. He was happy that it was clean and damage free. I asked for the return of my deposit, whereupon he presented me with a break-down of electricity used – which conveniently came to exactly the amount of money that was due to be returned to me. Money I had been intending to use for onward transport.
I argued. He phoned his “big boss” in Bangkok. We argued some more. He spoke to local Thai friends of mine, who were similarly angry at the scam. Ultimately I had to give up as I was running out of time for the ferry, and accept the loss of nearly 60 quid.
I did promise that it would end up costing him a lot more than that in the long run, and that such greed and conniving is rarely rewarded. And here I keep that promise. You may have noticed that I have spelled Ko Phagnan several different ways in the post. There is a good reason for that.
You, the reader, have found your way here either because you know me, or have been searching for good, cheap accommodation in the Ban Tai area of Koh Pha Ngan on a search engine.
The aim of this post is to make sure people do not make the same mistake as me. I will remove it if the money I am owed is returned to me, and the owner promises not to cheat in such a fashion in the future.
Thanks for reading, much love,