A handful of environmentally conscious developers recently landed on the little known island of Koh Yao Noi, in the Phang Nga Bay in the south of Thailand. The island is often overlooked by tourists and remains blissfully untouched by some of the commercialism infecting other sun-swept locations in the area. If the new developers have things there way, that shouldn’t change in the future.
One of the reasons for the pristine nature of the island is that a large part of it has been, until recently, under the private ownership of social anthropologist and former French Consul, Jean Boulbe. A chance meeting between Boulbe at the French Consulate in Bangkok and Markus A. Frey, a Swiss banker changed things for the island’s future in a rather dramatic fashion.
Boulbe’s friend, Georges Cortez, an architect with extensive knowledge of culture and vegetation in South East Asia, joined the team and the three men began building a dream together. That dream is almost ready to come true.
A large area of the island has now become a resort known as Kayao Island Resort. The resort has capitalized on local labor and local knowledge to bring environmentally friendly buildings onto the island where the well off European visitors can enjoy some of the most pristinely beautiful views out over the ocean.
The next step: now that residents have begun living in Kayao Island Resorts the three men are moving on to new projects, including a spa complex right next door.