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Yesteryear – Bophut in 2005

Is it amazing how many businesses come and go over the years and of course there are those that have been here so long it is hard to imagine a Samui without them, in fact they make up the very fabric of the island.

There has been amazing progress in Samui over the last fifteen years but the last eight has seen dramatic changes. One way we can see just who has come, gone and never left is by picking up old editions of the Lonely Planet guide, something that before the age of the internet, and more specifically mobile devices to operate it on, no traveler would be seen without.

bophut times gone byIn the eleventh edition of the Lonely Planet back in 2005 Bophut was a very different place than it is now, but not unrecognizable. The description for Bophut accommodation read “Bo Phut has cornered the island’s ‘Boutique’ hotel market. Accommodation is off the main road and west of the central village area, and on the inland side of the village, just a few steps from the beach.”

Recommended places to stay then were Zazen, that still flourishes today, amid much improvement over the years, but surely not still only charging 1000 baht a night for a room. Peace Bungalows were mentioned for their lacquered wooden bungalows that were going at 1,800 baht a night. The French Run Eden garden bungalows were a snip at 800 baht a night and for 1000 baht you could stay in the Ziggy Stardust, who’s “good deal but bad layout and thatched restaurant on the beach” is a thing of the past! The Hello Diving Guest House “crash pad” that provided backpacker style accommodation for only 100 baht a night is probably barely remembered. The lodge was charging 1,600 a night, Sunny resort 275 a night and the Sandy Resort 500 baht a night. The Summer Nights that went at 300 baht and were one of the few cheap long term places on the strip for dive instructors is also a dim and distant memory. World Resort with ‘its pool and appealing grounds’ cost a little more at 1050 baht per night.

When it comes to eating you certainly won’t be satisfying your appetite at Angela’s Harbourside Café, this once popular food stop was sold to Nick and Nicky when Angela moved to Maenam and even they left years ago! Good to see however that the only other three mentioned businesses The Billabong Surf Club, The Frog and Gecko Pub and The Shack Bar and Grill are still going strong.

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