The spirit stays: Anek "Bio" Charoensri

Anek "Bio" Charoensri, 46


BioI'm from near Songkhla in Southern Thailand, but I live on Koh Phangan, I own a bar there.

The first time I came to Pai was on a motorbike, twenty years ago. It took us three days from Chiang Mai - because the road was under construction. We had to cross the old World War Two bridge. I was a student then.

I keep coming back to Pai because I find a balance here after living on the beach. Our plan [with partner Emma] is to have a house in Pai, in Koh Phangan, in Australia...I've never had a business in Pai. I have no work in Pai, I have friends. It's fun - "do nothing in Pai," just enjoy it.

Pai is special. I call it energy, spiritual, that's my feeling. Lots of friends, connection. Maybe my holiday - just come to balance myself. For me it's like my second home after Koh Phangan.

I see a lot of change in Pai as well - in the last four years Pai has changed a lot...Twenty years ago it was changing slowly, far slower than Koh Phangan was changing.

BioPeople come to Pai...they don't know why they're coming...there was a movie two years ago set in Pai, that's helped make it famous. Thai people come for cool weather...and they hear that there are lots of farang [foreigners] here, they come to look at the farang. Others come to make money from the farang, to do business. Some want to live here, they like it and ask their parents to buy them a house. It's a very interesting town, people bring ideas, they build good homes. People feel the energy - but they have to make their living.

Many [business] people have come from the South [of Thailand], many of them are from tourist places and bring knowledge with them. Others, like Toto [see previous interview] want to live Pai style.

In ten to twenty years, I think there will be lots of businesses, houses, like a big town in the valley. So long as they don't disturb much nature, it's OK. Look at this guesthouse...it's old style, so it was OK in the floods, he only lost one hut, the one by the water...others had punishment of the river - people lost two-thousand-baht a night huts, expensive huts.

I think it will stay a special place. The energy is still here. Most people come for differing reasons, but the spirit stays, it's stronger than them.

BioBio talked to me on Thursday, October 8, 2007.


Digg this

Enjoyed reading? Consider supporting future entries with a donation.


Copyright © 2007 Nick McIntosh. All rights reserved.

All web design, web construction, interviews and photography by Nick McIntosh