Saturday, 30 August 2008

A Hot Bed Of Fun And Investment Potential, Thailand’s Koh Samui Is Truly Paradise On Earth.

Twenty years ago, Koh Samui was a sleepy backwater. An island of calm, clear blue waters, crystal white beaches populated only by fishermen and a few marijuana-smoking backpackers: what Alex Garland maybe had in mind when he wrote “The Beach”. The reason for Koh Samui’s allure was obvious. Situated in the middle of the Gulf of Siam, Koh Samui is blessed with year-round sunshine and pristine beaches. Like all good secrets, news spread quickly of this ‘jewel in the sea’ and it led to Koh Samui becoming one of the world’s best-know tropical destinations for foreigners in their endless quest for a mythical paradise.

By far the most popular area on Koh Samui is Chaweng on the East coast, with its large white-sand beach, luxury hotels, restaurants and nightlife. Due to the lack of available land now around Chaweng, other areas such as Lamai, Ban Taling Ngam and Bang Por are undergoing major development and are set to boom in the very near future. The North and Southwest of Koh Samui is likely to become a major ‘hotspot”, with some of the biggest plots of land on the island being available and where some of the largest private houses are being built.

The real estate situation is in a lull at the moment following some recent illegal development scandals and as a result of the current political instability, but with new elections being held later this year and reputable agencies like Savills and Exotiq entering the market, the situation can only get stronger.

Currently part of the province of Suratthani, Koh Samui is soon about to become a province in its own right, meaning much more money from the central government and consequently much better investment in the island’s infrastructure, making it an even better option for foreign investors. The airport is set for major renovations, which will result in easier access to South-East Asian destinations and increased tourist numbers, the Hyatt is developing a new hotel and Big C and Club Med also have plans to build new resorts on the island. Combine this with the fact that glitterati such as David and Victoria Beckham, Dustin Hoffman and Kristen Justin-Henin have recently bought land in Koh Samui; it lends loads of confidence to the island’s real estate market. With both property and cultural developments such as these, surely it can only add to Koh Samui’s reputation as one of the World’s top island destinations.

By: Michael Travers

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