Ko Phangan upbeat after being ranked No 1 destination for 'workation'
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Ko Phangan upbeat after being ranked No 1 destination for 'workation'

Tourists relax on a beach on Phangan island. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan)
Tourists relax on a beach on Phangan island. (Photo: Supapong Chaolan)

SURAT THANI: Ko Phangan, an island district of this southern province, has been ranked the No 1 destination for people seeking a workation (work + vacation) in a recent survey by William Russell, a website which offers health insurance, life insurance, and income protection plans for people living and working abroad.

The website's users include expats, individuals, professionals, families, remote workers, digital nomads, frequent travellers, startups, small and medium-sized businesses, large corporates, charities and governmental organisations.

The survey concludes Ko Phangan is the No 1 distination for workation, followed by No 2 - Gran Canaria, Spain; No 3 - Lisbon, Portugal; No 4 - Austin, Taxas, USA; No 5 - Sao Paolo, Brazil; No 6 - Budapest, Hungary; No 7 - Canggu, Bali, Indonesia; No 8 - Belgrade, Serbia; No 9 - Berlin, Germany; and No 10 - Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The ranking is based on various factors including the monthly cost (which should not be too high), internet speed (which should be fast and workable), fun, and safety (low crime rate).

Wichawut Jinto, the Surat Thani governor, said the necessity to work remotely during the Covid-19 pandemic led to the emergence of a new trend - workation - from where expats can work full-time from anywhere in the world with only the internet and a computer notebook at hand.

Ko Phangan has it all. It is also well-connected to Ko Samui and Ko Tao islands nearby, the governor said.

"In December 2021, the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) educated business operators at Ko Phangan about accepting digital nomads because of the strong trend of working remotely. Many foreigners want to find a place to get away from the Covid-19 pandemic and at the same time work from where they stay.

"When asked by the TAT, foreigners said Ko Phangan has all they need. The cost of living there is acceptable," Mr Wichawut said.

Wannee Thaipanich, an executive at Wannee Golden Sand Hotel, said this is good news for Ko Phangan while tourism is recovering from the Covid-19 situation.

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