Tropical Murphy’s Blazes a Trail in Thailand

Paul Watson with Enda O'Coineen at Tropical Murphy's, Koh Samui

 “If Starbucks is to coffee then it’s Irish Pubs to good beer in setting the standard” says Paul Watson, owner and manager of Tropical Murphy’s in Koh Samui.

Paul has agreed to co-ordinate the Irish Pub Owners & Managers Association in Thailand and be an Honorary Advisory Board Member.

Paul spoke as we stood in the cellar with his high level Glyco Beer system. It has 13 drafts on tap and an impressive range, including Guinness, which he had lots of problems with but these issues are now solved and it is imported directly from Ireland.  Since power can be a little unreliable, he has his own generation system and the pub is self-contained.

Paul Watson, showing the Glyco beer system

Everything about Tropical Murphy’s and Paul Watson is impressive.  I toured the pub during a short visit of IPG.  It is extremely well done, creative and full of personality – combining the old with the new.  The pub flows in off a busy street on Chaweng Beach, on Koh Samui.  This is a beautiful Thai island of 500,000 souls, surrounded by beaches, and some 50 minutes flying time south of Bangkok.

Paul also boasts some amazing collections and memorabalia from all over the world.  Missing though is one of his greatest regrets; The Match Program in which his father, Derek, got his 4th Cap for Northern Ireland.  In the same game George Best got his first cap and the program has George’s signature.  It would have completed a wonderful George Best display in the pub and a fitting tribute to the soccer legend.  When Derek Watson gave it to Paul he confessed to not having realized the full significance of it at the time.  Happily, Paul has not lost his father who now also lives in Thailand and is in good shape running another pub closeby.

From Bangor in County Down, Paul worked in the US for 10 years and then came to Bangkok in Thailand where he was operations director for several pubs and restaurants.  Eventually not happy with being ”micro-managed” he determined to set up on his own in Koh Samui where he has been very active and believes in “putting something back in”.  A past President of the Rotary Club of Koh Samui he has also successfuly built and maintained a community around his pub.

Irish Pubs Global are delighted to have him for Thailand, where he has kindly agreed to connect with other owners there, in our Global Network.  Paul was very complimentary about our IPG Mission.

Speaking about the Irish Pubs Global inaugaral convention, Paul said, “I was kicking myself for not being able to get to the event, it would have been brilliant”.

Paul concluded with a vow that he won’t miss the next one as a valuable forum for the industry. He is contactable on and +66 08 18369515.

– Enda O’Coineen, President, Irish Pub Owners and Managers Association


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