Phi Phi Island: Conflicting visions for the future

Phi Phi Island: Conflicting visions for the future of island’s twin bays - The Nation, February 25, 2005

...On the surface the new look planned for Phi Phi is an environmentalist’s delight. It calls for the elimination of all permanent concrete structures from the space between the famous twin-bay beach fronts. Thailand’s tropical paradise icon would be restored to the utmost of its natural beauty.
...The plans, drawn up by the Bangkok-based Special Areas Development Organisation, could affect more than 90 per cent of Phi Phi’s principal businesses, forcing all development to move to surrounding hillsides.
...Nothing better illustrates the weakening of Islamic values on Phi Phi than the long-time conflict between the mosque and a Muslim landowner who rented his property to Hippies Bar on the beachfront of Tonsai Bay. The deal allows the bar to operate right next to the island’s historic Muslim graveyard.
“I’m very angry,” said Konee Kongkhaoreab, a cousin of the landowner and member of the mosque. “Our grandparents and great-grandparents are buried there. How can they rest peacefully with loud rock music blasting until 4am every day?”...

Above right: 2003 - Some areas of the peninsula between Ton Sai Bay and Loh Dalam Bay were developed with almost wall to wall guesthouses and bars. Most of these structures were destroyed or gutted by the tsunami.
Phi Phi Island in 2003
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