Features and Archives

Koh Chang Road Plans Are Approved

by Dave in Koh Chang News Leave a comment

New Koh Chang Initiatives Approved

Koh Chang had a visit from Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha yesterday. The result was the approval (in principle) of seven eco-tourism initiatives as follows.

1 – Road around the island
2 – Reservoir in Klong Prao
3 – Garbage separation and treatment plant
4 – Feasibility study for a waste water treatment plant.
5 – Public Pier Project (not sure what that means)
6 – Improve Healthcare on the island
7 – Provide training on the island for tourism staff.

The prospect of building a bridge to the mainland was (fortunately) not raised.
There is also no news on the prospect of extending the new high speed rail link from Bangkok to Rayong as far as Trat – that would be nice though.

The Koh Chang Guide view on all this? – very happy really, there are some much-needed initiatives on there and the result looks very positive indeed for the island.

Here’s the source article at Thai PBS

By the way we’re Thailand’s third biggest island after Koh Phuket and Koh Samui – just saying 😉

But what do you think? It’s a big deal and there will inevitably be environmental and all kinds of other impacts. Please share your thoughts with us below.

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A Road Around Koh Chang?

by Dave in Koh Chang News 9 Comments

Will There Finally be a Road Around Koh Chang?

photo: www.77kaoded.com

Could it really be happening this time? Could we finally be getting a road around the island?

Apparently so according to a report on Thai news website www.77kaoded.com. It’s all in Thai of course but here’s our effort to translate and share with you the main points of the article. Here’s the original.

They report that in a recent meeting of Koh Chang government heads the leaders of the 9 local “moo-barn” or areas of Koh Chang have agreed to the plan for building the required 10km of road between Bang Bao and Salak Phet to complete a circuit around Koh Chang.

In the meeting island official, Kamnan Wan Lung Kanornkun described that a partial circuit road that was part-built 10 years ago was abandoned when funds were instead poured into a road-building project to give road access to the Naval Battle Memorial down past Long Beach in the far Southeast of Koh Chang.

Whilst there now seems to be a strong desire from local government to complete the project there are apparently still some issues with regard to obtaining the necessary permissions to actually access the land.
Local landowner Khun Teera Salakphet owns land on the proposed route and has donated it to allow road construction. However, the proposed route also crosses land owned by the Koh Chang National Park and they have yet to approve the development.

But prominent local business owner Lieutenant General Preecha Wanarat has petitioned Thailand National Park Head Office in a letter dated December 19th, 2017 to argue the benefits of the project.

…and that’s where we are at the moment. So nothing is certain and the decision now seems to lie in the hands of the National Park but it seems like some kind of critical mass of support for the project has developed.

The benefits to business and tourism on the island are obvious. The drawbacks also. Native forest will have to be cleared for the road and the sleepy South-Eastern side of the island will likely face rapid development.

So what do you think? Should Koh Chang have a circuit road? Why not let us know below?

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Koh Chang Beach Cricket Tournament 2017

by Dave in Koh Chang News Leave a comment

koh chang cricket club logoThe 3rd Koh Chang Beach Cricket Tournament

After the great success of last year’s second Koh Chang Beach Cricket Tournament we are delighted to announce that this year’s event will be held on Saturday 26th and Sunday the 27th of August 2017 on the beach at Shambhala Beach Bar at Siam Royal View in Klong Son.

Visiting teams from Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket and Chiang Mai will be taking part, as well of course as Koh Chang’s local heroes.

The format will be six players a side with six overs per innings so there will be lots of short and entertaining cricket matches. If you’re already a fan of this marvellous sport then you will already know what to expect but if you’re new to the game then consider this the perfect opportunity to come and find out what on earth is going on.
It is going to be a fun event for both participants and spectators in this beautiful beachfront setting and visitors are welcome to explore the other facilities available at Siam Royal View which include a pitch and putt golf course, swimming pools, restaurants and bars and a yacht marina. So why not visit for a great day out?

There will be food and beer tents on site and the event will, of course, be free to watch. And the beachfront setting with a swimming pool and swim-up bar is certainly a great place from which to spectate.

The competition will take place from 9am until 5pm on the Saturday and from 9am until the men’s and ladies finals in the middle of Sunday afternoon.

If you’d like to take part in the tournament then there may still be places for teams.
You can find out more at the website www.kohchangbeachcricket.com or get in touch with us at;
info@koh-chang-guide.com

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A Hard Shoulder to Cry On

by Dave in Koh Chang News, Uncategorized 3 Comments

They’re building again

There’s a project underway to widen the road, or rather one side of the road, all the way down the West Coast of Koh Chang. At the moment frenzied construction is underway, at least when it isn’t raining, or a weekend, or a Sang Som break, on the stretch of road between White Sand Beach and Chai Chet. Check out the carnage.

But what exactly are they doing? If previous work in Klong Prao is anything to go by the idea is to keep the existing road exactly as wide as it is already – one lane each way – and have a huge, enormous, six-or-seven metre wide, hard shoulder at the side.

Lots of local businesses have had to cut off the front of their buildings and now when you step out of their doors you’ll face a drop of a metre or so to the road. It’s inconvenient, to say the least.

It begs the question why?

I mean what’s the point? Apart from the fact that it’s a lucrative public-works project of course. Perhaps there’s a deal with Bangkok Airways to land flights directly on the road?

Sometimes you get the feeling that Koh Chang is trying to invent urban planning from the ground up like no place ever in the history of the world has had similar problems and needs. Just try and think of one place you have ever been to in your life that has a six-metre wide road with a seven-metre hard shoulder at the side. If that was such a good idea surely somebody, somewhere would have thought of it already?

What.

Is.

The.

Point?

Or, here’s a thought, why don’t they mend the existing road first?

I hope I’m wrong. Perhaps it will turn out to be a pavement for pedestrians, or, praise be, a cycle lane. These would be brilliant, lifesaving, developments.

Or perhaps it will be just what it looks like; a huge wide new space with no lane markings or regulation at all that will allow the countless bad drivers on Koh Chang to put the pedal to the metal with gleeful abandon and increase an already sickening road death toll? Because that is what happens in the end as a result of poor planning – people die.

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Where Can You Find Koh Chang Guides and Maps?

by Dave in Information Pages, Koh Chang News Comments Off on Where Can You Find Koh Chang Guides and Maps?

The Koh Chang Guide Distribution Network

koh chang guide july 2017 koh chang treasure map cover july 2017People often ask us where they can pick up a copy of our guides and maps. As you’re probably aware we distribute through an extensive network of transport hubs, travel agencies, hotels, restaurants and bars, information points, businesses and government offices both on and off Koh Chang. But that’s a bit vague isn’t it? It’s much more helpful to have an actual list. So that’s what we’ve made for you. Below is our latest listing of the places where we give out our publications. We’ll be adding to it steadily as we continue to distribute.

So here’s a list of the places on and off Koh Chang where we give our guides and maps. You should find them in all these locations but in the high season when demand is high we give priority to our customers and main distribution points first. These priority distribution locations are listed in bold text. If you’d like your business to become a priority distribution point then just get in touch with us here.

And remember that you can read all of our publications online anywhere, anytime.

 Koh Chang Guide & Koh Chang Treasure Map Distribution Network

 

Koh Chang Distribution

Klong Son & The East Coast
At Ta Ra Resort
Aiyapura Resort
Amber Sands
Ban Kwan Chang Elephant Camp
Ban Look Chang Shooting
Cafe Amazon At PTT
Casa Mia
Centerpoint Ferry
Chill Chill
Feel@Chill
Myuree Pink Resort
National Park Office Than Mayom
Parama Resort
Peninsula Beach Resort
Privacy Resort
Riverside Resort
Salak Khok Sea Food
Serenity Resort
Shambhala Beach Bar
Siam Royal View
Taxi Stop at Ao Sapparot Ferry
Than Mayom Waterfall
The Spa Resort
Total Distribution Points K.S. & East Coast = 23

White Sand Beach
15 Palms Restaurant and Bar
Ae Car Rent and Tour
Alina Resort
Anna Store
Arunee Resort
Ban Pu Resort
Ban Sai Kao
Bangkok Airways Office
Bank Bank Tour
BB Divers Office: 15 Palms
BB Divers Office: Lagoon Resort
Blue Lagoon Bar
Buffalo Bill
Chang Buri Resort
Chang Grand Marine Tour
Chang Tour
Chang Tour 2
Check in Tour
Cookies Hotel
Du-Talay
Erewan Hotel
Fashion Koh Chang
Giant Bungalows
Gold Beach
Grand View Resort
Homebar
I.Q.Travel
Island Lodge
Island Net
I-Ying
Jack Tattoo
Jakkrapat Travel
Jinda Resort
Joom Joom Tour
Koh Chang Transfer & Tour
K.C.Grande Resort and Spa
Keereeele Resort
Koh Chang International Clinic
Koh Chang Kacha Resort
Koh Chang Lagoon Resort
Koh Chang Princess resort
Koh Chang Travel Information
Mac Hotel
Master Tour 2
Master Travel
Monkey’s
Mr. Ake Travel
One More Tour
Paddy’s Palms Irish Pub
Paddy’s Palms Resort
Peace Moon
Piatto Ricco Restaurant
Plaloma Cliff Resort
Pramsub Tour
Rock Sand Resort
Royal India Restaurant
S.P. Place
Sabai Beach GH
Sabai Sabai Travel
Sang Arun Resort
Sangtawan Resort
Sanook Travel
Sea Sun
Service Tour & Travel
Siam H20
Sittipong Tour
SSP Bungalows
Sun and Soul
Suvit Tour
Tamnak Chang
Tantawan Resort
Taste of India
Thai/Danish Restaurant
The Beach Travel
The Rockbar
Thor’s Palace
Time Travel
Time Travel 2
Tour & Travel Services
Tour and Info
Travel Light
Tuk Tuk
Tukta Travel
White Sand Beach Resort
Total Distribution Points White Sand Beach = 84

Pearl Beach (Hat Kai Mook)
Baan Ton Rak
Elephant and Castle
Kai Mook Resort
Keereeta Resort
Koh Chang Dive Supply
Koh Chang Guide Office/Book Shop
(come and ask – if we have enough you can have some)
Koh Chang Post Office
(Stand Outside – if you can’t find anywhere try here)
Paradise Palms
Penny’s Resort
Privilege Resort
Saffron on The Sea
Sanae’s
T.P.Hut
Total Distribution Points Pearl Beach = 13

Chai Chet and Klong Prao
Aana Resort
Baan Ta
Barali Resort
Blue Lagoon
Blue Resort
Book Shop
Boonya Resort
Centara Tropicana Resort
Chai Chet Resort
Chang Chutiman
Chok Dee Resort
Coco De Bo Tour
Coconut Beach Resort
Crust Bakery
Emerald Cove Resort
Explora Tour
Flora I Talay
Go Vacation
Grand Cabana
Iyara Seafood
Iyara Resort
Joke Travel
K.Bee Gems
Kachapon Resort
Ka-Ti Culinary
Kerdmanee Resort
Klong Prao Resort
Koh Chang Holiday
Koh Chang Dental
Koh Chang Resort
KP Hut
La Cabra
Luxury Boutique Hotel
Magic Resort
Marin Coffee
Matthee Travel
Max’s
Mochaccino
Moley’s Resort
Moonlight
Marco Italian Restaurant
Nok 101 Travel
Noren Resort
National Park: Klong Plu Waterfall
Paradise Resort
Phu-Tarm Resort
Ramayana Resort
Royal India Restaurant
Sabaidee Bungalow
Santhiya Tree Resort
Sao’s Place
Sanook Travel 2
Sapparot Bar
Scandinavian Chang Diving Center
Sing Tong Supermarket
Smile Travel
Sofia Resort
Street Life
Thai Garden Hill Resort
The Dewa Resort
The Gallery Resort
Thai Dutch Restaurant
Tiger Hut
Tourist Police Office
Vone’s Cafe
Wari
Total Distribution Points Chai Chet & Klong Prao = 65

Kai Bae
Ann Tour
Awa Resort
Bann Chomdaew
Barrio Bonito
Blues Guesthouse
Chanatip Travel
Chang Park Resort
Ciao Italian Kai Bae
Cliff Beach Resort
Coco Massage
Coral Resort
Green Resort
Happy Tour
I-Tour
J&P Travel
J&P Travel 2
Joke 2 Travel
Kai Bae Beach Grand Villa
Kai Bae Beach Resort
Kai Bae Garden Resort
Kai Bae Hut
Kai Bae KB
Koh Chang Wine Gallery
La Luna Tour
M&M Guesthouse
Mango Tree Resort
Mak Mak
Mam Kai Bae Resort
Max Travel
Mordi I Fuggi
Montra GH
Morgan’s
Mr. Moon Travel
Nangnual Bungalow
Nor Nou Speedboat
Nor Nou Tour
Papa Bakery
Papa’s Greek Restaurant
PK208
Porn’s Bungalows
Salt Beach Bistro
Sanook Sanang
Sawadee Koh Chang Travel
Scandinavian Chang Diving Center
Sea Breeze Hotel
Sea View Resort
Sharky’s Restaurant
Siam Bay Resort
Sin Travel
The Chill
The Stage Resort
The White Knot
Travel Light
Viewpoint National Park Office
Ziva Italian
Total Distribution Points Kai Bae = 55

Lonely Beach
Aire
Baan Mai
Ban Mai
Banana Resort
BB Divers
BB Lonely Beach
BB Gym
Bhumiyama Beach Resort
Blue Sky Resort
Cheetah Tour
Compass Tour Tour and Travel
Himmel Bar
Janrassamee Homestay
Joy Cottage
Jungle Fresh Travel
Kachapura
KLKL Hostel
Koh Chang Wine Gallery
Little Eden
Lonely Beach Resort
Lonely Beach Resort Travel
Magic Garden
Mama Motorbike Rental
Nature Beach Resort
Nest Sense Resort
Oasis Bungalows
Paradise Cottage
PloyTalay
Por Par Rimhad
Royal Tailor and Travel
Scubadawgs
Sea Flower Resort
Siam Beach Resort
Siam Hut
Sun City View
Sunflower
Sunset Hut
Sunshine Guesthouse
Warapura Resort
Total Distribution Points Lonely Beach = 39

Bailan Beach
Bailan Bay Resort
Bailan Beach Resort
Bailan Herbal Sauna
Bailan Hut
Bailan View
Elephant Bay Resort
Green Cottage
Hammock Hut
Harley Moon Hideaway
Lazy Republique
Mercure Hideaway
Orchid Resort
Saint Tropez
Sea Terrace
Thai Boxing Club
The Happy Turtle
The White House
Treetop Adventure Park
Total Distribution Points Bailan Beach = 18

Bang Bao and Klong Koi Beach
4 Travel Agenices on Bang Bao Pier
Alysia Spring Resort
Asia Backpackers
Aunchaleena Beach Resort
Bang Bao Beach Resort
Bang Bao Boat
Bang Bao Cliff View
BB Divers Office: End of Pier
BB Divers Office: Start of Pier
BB Divers Office: Klong Koi Beach
Bhuvarin Resort
Buddha View
Chaipura
Chivapuri
Cliff Cottage Resort
El Greco
Ido Ido
Motorbike Hire Shop
Natcha Tour
Nirvana Resort
Peace Moon (3 shops)
Rasta Cafe
Resolution Resort
Ruan Thai Seafood
Santisook
Scubadawgs
Sea Hunter Tour
Sunny Inn
SUP Adventure Asia
T Garden
The Beach Club
Tranquility Bay Residence
YuYu Golden Beach
Total Bang Bao Distribution Points = 38

Total Koh Chang Locations = 330

Other Locations Distribution

Other Trat Province
Trat Airport
Krungthep Limousine (Airport Minibus)
Ao Thammachat Ferry: 4 Travel Agencies
Centrepoint Ferry Ticket Office
99 Express Bus office
Centerpoint Ferry: 3 Travel Agencies
Trat Regional T.A.T. Office Laem Ngop
Orange Taxi Office Saen Tung
Kittipol Tour Laem Ngop
Thida Tour Laem Ngop
Travel Agency by Laem Ngop centre Pier
Laem Ngop Immigration Office
4 Koh Mak Ferry Offices – Laem Ngob Pier
Total Other Trat Province Distribution Points = 16

Trat Town
Trat Bus Station
Trat City Hotel
Hotel Hii
Iyara Hotel
Trat Center Hotel
S.A. Hotel
Hotel Toscana
Artist’s Place
Pop Guesthouse
Trat Hotel
Chivapuri Resort
Yotin Guesthouse
Garden Guesthouse
365 Days Hotel
Ban Jaidee
Cosy Corner
D-Wan Hotel
Total Trat Town Distribution Points = 17

Chanthaburi Province
Mae Wanna Service Station

Bangkok
Sukhumvit Road Area
TAT Head Office: Petchburi Road
S.K.Travel Service
Stang Travel
Patpong Air Travel
July Travel
Yello Star 88 Travel
Woraburi Sukhumvit
OM Station Tour & Travel
Excursion Travel
T.L.C. Travel
Krish Travel
Yello Star 88 Travel 2

Khao San Road Area
Chaiwat Tours
D&D Inn Plaza – 4 Travel Agencies
Pilot Purely Tour
Budget GH
Mom GH
Best Travel
Dior Tour
Mama Tour
Orm Travel Agency
Bon Voyage Travel
Buddy House
Fabulous Diving Tour & Travel
Canary Travel
Fabulous Diving Tour & Travel 2
Bangkok Homestay
Tanee Place
Boonsiri Tour

Rambuttri Road Area
Fabulous Diving Tour and Travel
Network Travel and Tour
Sakul House Travel Agency
Mama Tour
Rambuttri House
Canary Travel
S.T. International
Sukara House
Chabad House
Green House
Pilot Purely Travel 1
Sawadee House
Mr. Thai Travel
Rambuttri Village Hotel
Pilot Purely Tour 2
New Siam III
My House
Merry V Tour
Lampoo Travel & Tour
Four Sons Village
Mango Tour and Travel
Sawasdee Smile Inn

Pra Arthit Road Area
New Siam II
New Siam Riverside
Tara House
Navalai River Resort
Block House
Pra Sumen Travel
Official Information Center of Bangkok

Samsen Road Area
Tourist Information Samsen Road
Charlie Connection Travel & Tour
Peter Pan’s Adventure Travel
Nouvo City Hotel
Chillax Resort
A.R. Travel
Amazing House Tourist Information
Universe@Home
My Friend Travel
Namhasin Tour
Welcome Travel
Badaka 99
Samsen Bookshop
Lavi Tour
Connection

Total Bangkok Distribution Locations = 73

Pattaya
Kendo Travel
TM Beach
Amazing Travel Service
New Thai Sunrise
PIO Travel
Nova Tour
Lek Travel Exchange
C.T. Travel
Pattayaland Trave
Two Smile Travel
321easyfly.com
Samart Tour
Narin Interface Tour
AA Residence
Pattaya Holiday Intl.
Pop Travel
Mr. Jack Tour
Make Travel
All Tour
B.L. Travel,
The Sportsman
AA Hotel
Somphong Tour
Travel Agency (Soi 13)
AA Pattaya Residence
Total Pattaya Distribution Locations = 25

Koh Mak
Ao Kao Resort
Ao Pong Resort
B.B. Divers: Koh Mak Resort Office
B.B. Divers: Riverside Resort Office
Banana Sunset Bar
Bene Resort
Big Easy
Cafe Del Mak
Cinnamon
Food Art Cafe
Good Time Resort
Holiday Beach Resort
Island Hut
Islanda Resort
Kai Bae Speedboat
Koh Mak Sportsbar
Koh Kradad Resort
Koh Maak Guesthouse
Koh Mak Buri Hut
Koh Mak Cococape
Koh Mak Cottage
Koh Mak Divers
Koh Mak Frisbee Golf
Koh Mak Resort
KohMak Rooftop
Koh Mak Steakhouse
Leelawadee Speedboat
Little Moon Villa
Makhatanee Resort
Monkey Island Resort
Panan Speedboat
Riverside Resort
Sea Breeze
Seavana Resort
Sweet Cake
Thaidaho Vista Resort
The Koh Mak Retreat
Totti Boat
Total Koh Mak Locations = 40

Koh Kood
Away Resort
B.B. Divers – Bang Bao Office
B.B. Divers – Klong Chao Office
Bann Makok
Cham’s House
Fisherman’s Hut
Jungle Koh Kood
Klong Chao Grand View
Klong Chao Homestay
Koh Kood Beach Resort
Koh Kood Divers – Bang Bao Office
Koh Kood Divers – Klong Chao Office
Koh Kood Resort
Mark’s House
Paradise Beach Resort
Peter Pan Resort
Shantaa
Siam Beach
Siam Hut
Suan Ya Resort
The Beach Natural Resort
Tinkerbell Resort
To The Sea Resort
Total Koh Kood Locations = 23

Total Other Distribution Locations = 195

Overall Total Distribution Locations = 525

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What is Thailand’s Best Beer?

by Dave in Articles, Food and Drink, Koh Chang News Leave a comment

So what is the Best Beer in Thailand?

A good question, and there’s only one way to find an answer. That’s right, try them all. So that’s what we did. We assembled a crack team of testers, bought eleven commonly available beers and did a blind tasting of them all to find out which was best. Here’s how it went.

The Beers

We tasted Chang, Singha, Heineken, Tiger, San Miguel Light, Cheers, Archa, Asahi, Leo, Beer Laos Dark and Federbrau. We could probably have found other beers but these were the most easily available and frankly, eleven was quite enough.

The Tasters

The expert tasting team comprised Andrew Sullivan, John Dawes, Roger Brennan, Martin Buswell, Ken Bird, Glenn Marshall and Dave Hinchliffe. There is a great depth of beer knowledge there. Special credit is due to artist/publican Roger Brennan who was the most successful in guessing the identity of the mystery beers.

The System

We did a blind tasting of all the beers, made tasting notes (a few of which are actually publishable) and scored each beer out of ten.

The Results

There were some real surprises, some tasty beers and some really awful ones. But who were the winners and who were the losers.

Thailand’s Worst Beer?

According to our panel the worst beer was…Tiger Beer. This comes as a bit of a surprise since Singapore’s Tiger is brewed under license in Thailand and sold as one of the countries more expensive brands of beer. But this clearly didn’t impress the panel who all found it unpleasant and gave it a dreadful rating of just 14 out of 70.
Tasting notes: “Gassy indescribable pish” – “Really bad, made my face feel tight” – “Nasty aftertaste” – ” tastes like sweat in a glass” “Unpleasant – not refreshing.”

Thailand’s Third Best Beer – Cheers

Congratulations are due to lowly Cheers beer which performed well above its budget friendly price and scored a very respectable 46 out of 70.
Tasting Notes: “One of the better ones” – “Not too bad, slight aftertaste” – ”Drinkable” – ”Drinkable, Inoffensive”

Thailand’s Second Best Beer – Leo

Despite a recent rebranding and change of recipe which also saw an oh-so-sneaky reduction in the volume of each bottle Boon Rawd Brewery’s Leo again performs very well in our beer tasting (it won the last one). It scored 51 out of 70 and was popular with almost the whole panel (one score of five compared the aroma to urine).
Tasting Notes: “Nice taste, has to be Leo” – “Good enough” – “pretty nice, smooth drinking, could drink a few”

The Best Beer in Thailand

OK nationalists brace yourselves, you ain’t going to like this. The best widely available beer in Thailand, as voted for by our expert panel, scored a huge 58 out of 70 and was a clear winner.
So congratulations to Beer Laos Dark!
Tasting Notes: “A treat for the taste buds” – “Very, very nice” – “Hoppy and full flavoured” – “ Malty, sweet and full flavoured” – “Nice proper beer”

Results in Full

1st – Beer Laos Dark – 58
2nd – Leo – 51
3rd – Cheers – 48
4th – Singha – 40
5th – Archa – 38
6th – Federbrau – 34
7th – Heineken 27
8th – Asahi – 26
9th – Chang – 22
10th – San Miguel Light – 18
11th – Tiger – 14

Since we tested there is already a new beer available. “U” Beer, made by the makers of Leo and Singha is… OK. How does it compare to all the above beers? Dunno. Guess we’ll have to have another tasting. Life is tough!

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How Big is Koh Chang?

by Dave in Features and Archives, Koh Chang and Thailand, Koh Chang News Leave a comment

Just How Big is Koh Chang?

Modern life can be very easy can’t it? If you want a fact these days, any little nugget of information from the collected wisdom of humanity, all you have to do is to type a question into a little box on your web browser and bang – instant knowledge!

You get so used to this that it comes as a bit of surprise when no simple answer appears. This happened some time ago when I was asked by a friend how big Koh Chang was and whether it was bigger or smaller than Koh Samui and Phuket. I answered right away that it was Thailand’s second biggest island – larger than Samui and smaller only than Phuket. But then I realized that this was just a fact that I’d been told and decided I’d better check it up. The results of a little research revealed some quite large differences of opinion on the subject.

A Google search of “Koh Chang Area” came up with an Agoda ad on the top of the screen that informed me that Koh Chang has an area of 154.8 sq. km. But when I looked a bit deeper it turned out that that is just the area of Koh Chang’s Northern half. Who on earth wants to know the area of half an island?

And what about the battle of the islands? Nobody seems to dispute that Phuket is Thailand’s biggest island – it just is. But things are a little less clear on the big match-up between Koh Chang and Koh Samui for second place.
Wikipedia gives Koh Chang an area of 217 sq. km.  and Koh Samui comes in at 228.7 sq. km.

To be democratic I did a Google search of “Thailand’s second biggest island” and reckoned up what the top ten hits told me.
Guess what – a tie. Five sites went with Koh Chang and five said Samui was larger. The plot thickens.

By this stage I was more than a little confused, then my friend David of www.sawadeekohchang.com came up with a magic solution by recommending a really clever tool at www.freemaptools.com
Here you can browse a map of the world, pick a place and map its area by dropping pins around it. I did this for Koh Chang and Koh Samui (yes, it takes time) and here are the results;

2nd Biggest Island in Thailand
Koh Samui – 233.3 sq. km.

3rd Biggest Island in Thailand
Koh Chang – 211.7 sq. km.

So there you have it. Samui is bigger. Koh Chang is Thailand’s third biggest island (unless anyone wants to suggest any more challengers).
But remember this, size isn’t everything. just come and take a look at Koh Chang and you’ll see what I mean.

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Why Visit Koh Chang?

by Dave in Articles, Koh Chang News, Transport Pages 2 Comments

Koh Chang FerrySo Why Should You Come to Koh Chang?

Let’s start at the beginning. If you’re interested in visiting Koh Chang but have never been there then let me help you decide if it’s the place for you.

After all there are a lot of Thai Islands to choose from – why should you pick Koh Chang?

I’ll try to help you decide that without getting into all the tourist brochure “beautiful island paradise” stuff (although there might be a little bit of that since it is an island and it is beautiful!)

And I’ll admit that I’m biased because I’ve lived here for 16 years.

But let me give you some info about Koh Chang that will help you to decide for yourselves.

Koh Chang is Big

It really is.

Koh Chang is Thailand’s third biggest island, just a little smaller than Koh Samui. What that means of course is that there’s lots to explore and see.

Also it means that some parts are more developed and busy than others. So if you want busy you can have that at places like White Sand Beach or Klong Prao, but if you want peace and isolation then you can go to the sleepy East Coast, where there is very little tourist development.

And there’s plenty in between. There’s waterfalls, little villages – some on piers over the sea, temples, beaches of course – lots of them, and mangrove walkways and sheltered bays and hidden away spots and some really nice viewpoints… There’s a lot!

Koh Chang is Developed, but not too Developed

Everyone has different take on what is too developed and what is not developed enough so where Koh Chang sits on this scale depends on you really.

But since real tourist growth has only happened in the last 15 years Koh Chang has far less development (or overdevelopment) than places like Koh Samui, Pattaya, Krabi and Phuket.

But equally there are now plenty of banks, supermarkets, etc. etc. which make things a little easier for visitors.

Also because of its National Park status there is hope that Koh Chang can keep this balance and so far it seems to be managing reasonably well.

It‘s a Jungle Out There!

All of the interior of Koh Chang is a mountainous jungle. You know, proper tropical rainforest stuff. You wouldn’t be surprised to see Sir David Attenborough emerge from the leafy depths.

And there are loads of mountains rising to over 700 metres. It really is stunning to look at and it certainly doesn’t resemble any other Thai island.

Budget and Luxury Side By Side

If you want real luxury and classy hotels then Koh Chang has them.

But also if you’re a budget traveler then there are still plenty of options to stay and eat and drink cheaply on the island.

Some islands go upmarket across the board as they develop but Koh Chang has kept a pretty good mixture of options.

My next mail will help you to choose a good place to stay at the right price in the right place (If you just can’t wait then look here.) But for now bear in mind that there is a wide range of accommodation at all price levels.

It’s (Fairly) Close to Bangkok

It can be a real mission to get to some of the Thai islands, but not Koh Chang.

Getting to and from Koh Chang is easy, whether you want super-budget (around 300B from Bangkok) or super-luxury (more!) there’s an option. And at just 300km from Bangkok you can get down in just a few hours.

And the island is only 8km offshore so the ferries will get you over in about half an hour.

Or you Can Fly

Okay, Okay, Koh Chang does not have an airport. But Trat airport is just 17km away on the mainland. It’s a one hour flight from Bangkok and then a simple minibus connection to the island. Basically you fly in, buy a transfer that will take you across to Koh Chang and drop you off at your hotel.

Easy!

(And no you won’t miss the last boat if your flight is late – Bangkok Airways and the ferry companies work together to ensure you always get there).

I’ll send you some good ideas on how best to get down to Koh Chang soon (but if you can’t wait then go here.)

There’s Loads to Do on Koh Chang: What do you fancy?

If you want to relax: Why not be a beach bum or lounge by the pool. Have a massage or do a massage course. Or have a tattoo.

Be a bit active: Elephant trek, do a boat trip, try archery, or shooting, learn Thai cooking, explore the island on foot/bicycle/motorbike, try the offroad ATV, play beach cricket

Be a lot active: Dive, snorkel, swim, jungle trek, Go to the gym, try the Treetop Adventure Park or have a go at kite-surfing, learn to sail

Eat, Drink & Party: There’s all kinds of restaurants with food from every country you can think of, cool hotel bars, old-school beach bars, beer bars, live music, discos and parties – especially in Lonely Beach.

Is that OK for you?

So, What do You Think?

If you want endless parties and the convenience of McDonalds then more developed resorts like Pattaya, Koh Samui and Pattaya might be a better choice for you.

But if you want a good mixture of resorts, activities and facilities in a beautiful place that hasn’t yet been completely concreted and commercialized then Koh Chang is here, a jungle-clad gem sitting in azure ocean (sorry couldn’t help myself!)

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Book Transfers to Koh Chang

by Koh Chang Transfers in Information Pages, Koh Chang News, Koh Chang News 2016 Comments Off on Book Transfers to Koh Chang

Book Transfers to Koh Chang

Now you can book your transfers to Koh Chang through the Koh Chang Guide. We’re working in partnership with one of the most reputable local transport services to offer transfers to and from Koh Chang and a variety of different locations in good quaility cars and minibuses at very reasonable rates. Read on for the details and then just complete the form at the bottom of the page to book.

Service Details

There is no online payment – You can book now and pay directly to your driver – (But you can use Credit card for advance payment if you prefer.)

All of the drivers are professionally trained, courteous and well behaved.

Best price guarantee – we will refund the difference if you can find the same service at a lower price!

Bangkok to – Koh Chang, Koh Samed, Koh Kood, Koh Mak, Pattaya, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville.

Koh Chang to – Bangkok, Koh Samed, Pattaya, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville.

Pattaya to – Koh Chang, Koh Samed, Koh Kood, Koh Mak, Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville.

Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville to – Bangkok, Koh Chang, Koh Samed, Koh Kood, Koh Mak, Pattaya

Customer Comments

It’s all very well us telling you what  agreat service you will receive. But it’s much better to just read the following examples of passenger reviews and comments

Vehicles

There are a wide range of different vehicles to choose from – from Altis to Innova, sedan to minibus and all with full Air-Conditioning. So you can book a cab for any choice that suits you.

Private Transfers by Cars and Minibus – Destinations and Rates

Note that there are no hidden extras.
For Cambodia Destinations (change car on border, for minibus max 8 passengers). Only  prepaid. Cambodia visa not include. Our Cambodia visa service 40$ per passport.

Rates: Taxi-sedan 1-2 people/ taxi-sedan max 3 people / Taxi-minibus 1-4 people/ Taxi-minibus 5-8 people/ Taxi-minibus max 10 people

Round Trip discount 200 thb for return trip (only Koh Chang Destinations)
Child car seat – 1 free (for ages 1-4), add 1 extra 150thb

To or from Koh Chang

Price Includes highway and ferry tickets for all passengers.

 

 

 

Shared Transfers

In addition to the private transfers listed above we also offer a shared transfer service as detailed below.
Note that for shared transfers advance payment is required.

book transfers to koh chang

Transfer Booking Form

Just complete and submit this form and we will come back to you ASAP for price and booking confirmation. Then all you need to do is to print off the bookings details and pay your driver.
We will also send detailed instructions as to how and where to meet your transfer, arrange Thai  currency etc. etc.

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Koh Chang Bridge Plans (Really!)

by Dave in Koh Chang News 2016 20 Comments

Koh Chang Bridge – Be Careful What You Wish For

Laem-Sing-BridgeDo you remember the story of the boy who cried wolf? Well I do so I’ll forgive you for not believing what I’m about to write.

You see last April 1st in a practical joke we announced plans to build a bridge from the mainland to Koh Chang. But they weren’t true. I made it up totally just for a bit of fun. Or at least that’s what I thought at the time.

But now it seems that reality is catching up with fantasy.

The Koh Chang Hotel and Business Group held a meeting on the 12th of September. This group of local (Thai) businessmen and counsellors took a vote at this meeting that agreed in principle to the construction of a bridge from Koh Chang to the mainland. The Gamnan (kinda like the mayor) of Koh Chang Mr. Wanrung submitted the proposal. He said that he had expected there to be a bridge to the mainland by the time he’d reached thirty years old but now he was nearly fifty and one still didn’t exist.

Now the simple fact that local businesses vote to say that they want a bridge doesn’t mean that it’s going to happen straight away. It is a major capital project and a huge undertaking. But it is certainly a sign of intent and maybe indicates that it is now a topic of discussion and that it might really happen in the not so distant future.

It is certainly feasible. The distance to cover is around 8km but the sea is less than ten metres deep all the way across. And Thailand does seem to love a major public works project. After all local officials are given supervision of huge amounts of money and they seem to enjoy this for some strange reason.

So what would that mean for Koh Chang?

Well from a selfish point of view Island residents will be far more connected to the mainland. We will be able to come and go from the island in the evening. We’ll also be able to get to places without the sometimes hideous delays involved in catching the rust buckets ferries.

Koh Chang could expect a lot more tourism as it becomes easier to get over to the island, particularly for Bangkok and other Thai residents to drive down in their cars. In the past on holiday weekends they have sometimes had to wait for many hours to get to the island by ferry. This deterrent would be removed.

But a bridge would put major stress on Koh Chang’s infrastructure. There is still only really one road remember and even that still doesn’t go all the way around the island.

Remember also that Koh Chang is a Marine National Park. There is supposed to be a priority placed on ecology and the environment. There must be some concern that we would go the same way as places like Phuket and Samui. Whilst I’m sure the National Park would leap to charge everyone the park entry fee as they leave the bridge that doesn’t mean that this would actually help preserve the island’s beautiful ecology.

You could expect a large increase in land and property prices both on the island and also on the nearby mainland. You’d also expect an increase in crime as eager thieves become able to vacate the island with their spoils. There would be the added safety of being able to leave the island quickly in a medical emergency. In fact all of the pros and cons stretch further than the bridge would.

But a bridge would also take away that certain something that you get from living on an island. Islands are just different to ther places. A marriage to the mainland would take something special away from Koh Chang that it could never get back.

UPDATE 11/10/2016

There was a meeting yesterday between Koh Chang businesses and Trat government officials at Ban Phu Resort on the mainland.

Topics for discussion were plans to complete the road round Koh Chang and plans to build a bridge to the mainland.

The verdict seems to be that they favour the idea of doing one or the other but they aren’t sure which. The (very good) idea of actually asking people came up. So they decided to give out a questionnaire to actually ask the people of Koh Chang what they thought. And there will be, drum roll, 400 questionnaires circulated to canvas opinion.

If anyone is lucky enough to receive one then please share and we’ll get it translated.

What do you think about these plans?
Please leave a comment below and share your thoughts.

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The Koh Chang Newsletter

by Dave in Information Pages, Koh Chang News Leave a comment

Introducing The Koh Chang Newsletter

We’re here to give you information about Koh Chang right? We do this here at this site, also at our Facebook page and of course in our printed guides.

But it would be nice and easy to get all the news sent to you by email wouldn’t it?

So now to complete the set we’re launching The Koh Chang Guide Newsletter. This will be the first place we release our latest magazine and map issues and we’ll also keep you updated with what’s going on on the island.
We’ll send updates every month or so – depending on the news.

So if you’d like to be the first to know then sign up below.

 

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How to Buy Real Estate in Thailand

by Dave in Koh Chang News, Uncategorized 1 Comment

Buying Thailand Real Estate: A Guide for Foreign Investors

how to buy real estate in thailandBuying property and land in Thailand can be a confusing and daunting experience for foreign investors.

But it doesn’t have to be!

As long as you do your homework you can make sure that buying your dream home in Thailand never becomes a nightmare. We have prepared this comprehensive guide to Thailand real estate to answer all of the questions that are most commonly asked by our foreign clients.
We’re confident that below you will find the answers to your questions and that this will help to give you the confidence to go ahead and pursue your dream of owning a home, land or other property in Thailand.
When you are then please feel free to browse our property listings.

Download This FREE Guide With Special PDF Bonus Sections

This is a big article but we’ve made it all simple and clear for you and it reads through logically.
But if you want to jump right in to the bit that interests you most that’s cool with us and you can quickly navigate straight to the section you need below:

 

Should I get a Lawyer for my Thailand Real Estate Purchase?

Absolutely. Nothing is more important than this. The very best thing that you can do is get a good lawyer with experience in helping foreign investors purchase property. What may seem like an unnecessary expense in the short term is actually putting expertise on your side that can save you a fortune and a lot of trouble later on.

We recommend that you consult a legal firm that specialises in property and specifically in foreign real estate transactions. Bangkok or Pattaya are places where local lawyers can be expected to have a lot of real estate experience, as well as fluency in English and other foreign languages.

Recommendations are very good
It is fantastic if you know someone whose opinion you value who has had experience with a Thai real estate purchase and can recommend a good lawyer.  Alternatively if you are dealing with a good real estate agency then they should be able to recommend good legal representation to you. We do.

Or as another alternative you can search the web for feedback on a particular law firm or ask them directly for reviews or references. If they can’t provide these then it is reasonable to wonder why.

Should I use a Property Agent?

It helps! The disclaimer here is that we act as property agents so we’re unlikely to advise against using one. Are we? But here are three reasons why you should consider using an agent.

  1. Choice
    Good property agents know the local market conditions and can offer you a large selection of what is available as well as useful information about the local area that you might not find elsewhere.
  2. Expertise
    Property agents have lots of experience in the processes involved in transacting a sale and their help and advice can greatly simplify the process for you.
  3. Cost
    Using a property agent doesn’t normally cost you any more than not using an agent. The majority of quality properties for sale in Thailand are available at a fixed price. The agent’s fee is paid by the seller as a set percentage of this price, but the price doesn’t change if you go to the seller directly so it doesn’t cost the buyer any more to enlist the help of a property agent.

The Thai Language Barrier?

You probably can’t speak Thai, let alone read or write it. If you can then congratulations – that’s a great achievement – you can move straight on to the next section.

But if you don’t understand the Thai language then don’t worry. Your lawyer and property agent will be able to help you through any spoken Thai issues you might have when you view a property and they will be also able to help to translate any questions and answers that you have for the owner.

They can also help with the translation of any official papers and contracts realting to the purchase. And it is a very good idea indeed to obtain certified translations from your lawyer or elsewhere of any papers contracts that you are asked to sign.
After all you would’nt agree to signing your name at the bottom of a form anywhere without reading it first would you?
It is perfectly normal to request translations and if this proves to be an issue then it is quite reasonale to ask yourself why.

What types of Thai Land and Property can Foreigners Own?

  1. Foreigners can own Thai apartments and condominiums in their own name. Certain conditions apply – but they are simple to understand – see below.
  2. Foreigners cannot own land, houses or any other types of Thai property and real estate in their own name.
    But fear not – all is not lost – in Thailand there is always a way.

Foreign Ownership of Condominiums

Foreign nationals can purchase and own apartments entirely in their own name. This is the case as long as Thai nationals own 51% of the overall floor space, by area, of the whole condominium.
The units of any development that are available for full foreign ownership are often the most in demand and usually sell first in places that are popular with foreigners. If you’re thinking of buying an apartment or condo then one of your first questions should be whether they still have units available for full foreign ownership.

The Funds Must Come From Overseas
One of the key conditions related to the purchase by foreigners of Thai condominiums is that the funds for the full value of the property purchase must be brought in to Thailand from overseas in foreign currency. The bank that receives this cash transfer then converts it to Thai baht and issues a proof of the transaction that must be given to the relevant land office in order for the sale to be approved.
Only foreigners who are permanent residents of Thailand are exempt from this rule.

However if all of the 49% of foreign owned units in a development that you like have already been sold then you can still look to buy under one of the methods that are outlined for Thai land and property below.

How Can Foreigners “Own” Thai Land and Property?

There are a few common ways that are used by foreigners to purchase Thai Land and Property.

The Risky Method: Put Everything in the name of a Thai Person

We don’t usually advise this. The risks are obvious. Your “ownership” of the property is entirely at the whim of the Thai person in whose name you buy it.

Often when people acquire property by this method the named owner is their spouse. The thing is that life is long and things can change over time. And the buyer’s spouse is the legal owner of the property – no debate. Be very aware of the inherent risks if you choose to buy property using this method.

Some people add a little extra protection by using a Thai person’s name to purchase the land or house and then subsequently obtaining a long lease in their own name on the property. The drawbacks of this system are that it is slightly more complicated and a realistic rental fee must be charged and tax paid on the “rental” revenue. But it undeniably adds another layer of assurance.

Another Risky Method: Buy through a Thai Limited Company Controlled by the Foreign Investor

It is possible for foreign investors to establish a Thai company that will purchase and possess the land or house that they seek to buy.
By law they must remain a minority (maximum 49%) shareholder in this company but in reality it is possible to exercise sole control over the company. This is performed through a variety of directorship appointment clauses and different types of shares and voting rights.

The Thai government is however very clear on the fact that such foreign control of a Thai company is illegal and the law imposes strict penalties on people found to be acting as nominee shareholders on behalf of a foreign national.

So since it isn’t legal we aren’t going to advise you to take this approach although it is worth mentioning that despite the law it is still a very commonly used method of “purchase”.

A Safer Method: Buy the Property under a Long Lease

This method has the great advantage of being legal. As a foreigner you can take out a 30 year lease on a property with the right to renew the lease twice. This can give you a total of 90 years control of the property which leaves plenty of time for you to enjoy the use of it.

However you need to be aware that the lease period that is recognised and recorded with the Government Land Office is just for the first 30 years. The two lease renewals, whilst perfectly legal, are an agreement between the buyer and seller and after thirty years and sixty years these lease renewals must be re-registered at the land office.

It is also possible and a good idea to insert a clause in the lease so that it passes on to your next of kin in the event of your death.

Foreign Purchase and Ownership of a Thai Business or Company

If you are planning to buy a Thai business or a piece of land or property held by a Thai company which is also being transferred as part of the sale then you need to know a little about the rules that apply to foreigners and Thai business holdings.

Thailand defines a number of different types of business identity. Foreigners are allowed to own shares or parts of some of them. The most common type of business that is used by foreigners is the Thai Limited Company and we describe how these ownership rules apply below.

Thai Limited Company

Foreign ownership of Thai Limited Companies is allowed but is restricted to a maximum of 49% of the shares.
A Thai limited company must have a minimum of three shareholders and at least one director. The company director/s can be Thai or foreign nationals.

Many foreigners exert control over “their” Thai company through a combination of methods including holding sole directorship and controlling shareholders voting rights. As we mentioned previously most of these methods of taking full control of a company are illegal and to comply with the law shareholdings and control must be limited to 49% of the company. As their name suggests Thai Limited Companies have limited liability that is restricted to the value of their share capital so this form of business ownership is desirable in terms of reducing financial risk to the shareholders.

Work Permits
Once certain conditions are complied with then a foreigner employed by a Thai limited Company can obtain a work permit and work legally in Thailand. These conditions are listed below.

  • The company must have an issued share capital of at least 2 Million Baht.
  • The company must be VAT registered.
  • The company must employee at least four Thai employees each earning a minimum of 9,000 baht per month.
  • The employee must have a non-immigrant visa and comply with certain restrictions regarding type of job role and display evidence of experience.

So if you plan to buy all or part of a Thai Limited Company make sure that you carefully plan your shareholdings and/or application for a work permit so that you comply with Thai law.

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What are the Different Types of Thai Land Title?

Thailand has a confusing number of different types of land title. The government are making efforts to simplify the classification system but in the meantime let’s take you through the various types. For the sake of simplicity we’ll divide them into three sub-groups; Good, reasonable and poor.

The Best Types of Thailand Land Title

Chanote (โฉนด)

The best and most secure of Thai land title deeds. The boundary markers of this land are measured by GPS and it provides a certificate of ownership of the land.

Nor Sor Sam Gor (น.ส. 3 ก)

The boundaries of land with this title deed are still fairly clear, being defined with reference to aerial surveys.

A Reasonable Type of Thai Land Title

Nor Sor Sam (น.ส. 3)

The land boundaries for Nor Sor Sam are defined relative to those of neighbouring plots and errors are common. But it is still an assured title of land possession.

Poor Thai Land Titles

Por Bor Tor/Sor Kor (ภ.บ.ท. 5 / ส.ค.)

These are effectively squatters land title that are given to people who have lived and farmed a piece of land for a number of years. Whilst a lot of land with these title deeds is commercially developed such development is all, strictly speaking, illegal. It is allowable for the land title holder build a personal home on this type of land.
It is also not uncommon for the ownership of land with Por Bor Tor or Sor Kor title to be disputed.

Note: The Thai government is gradually phasing out these confusing forms of land title so it is sometimes possible to apply to have one of these less secure forms of land title upgraded to Chanote. In practice this can take years and may never happen. If someone tells you that ‘their’ land will be upgraded then it is a good idea to wait until it has been and you have seen all the paperwork before going any further.
However, when these types of land are eventually upgraded their values can increase greatly. So, if you are aware of the inherent risk and you are looking for potentially large gains from property speculation then it may be worth considering the gamble of buying property with a poor tittle deed in the hope of large gains in the future. Remember the risks though!

Summary: It is probably best to only consider land with Chanote, Nor Sor Sam Gor or, at a pinch, Nor Sor Sam land title.

What are Thai Land Measures and their Western Equivalents?

In Thailand Land is measured in Rai, Ngan and Wah (in descending order of size).

There are 100 Wah in a Ngan and 4 Ngan in a Rai – so there’s 400 Wah in a Rai.

These correspond to the metric and imperial land areas that you’re likely more used to in the following way;

Thai-Land-Measures-Table

 

What are the Taxes on the Purchase and Sale of Thai Land and Property?

The buying and selling of properties in Thailand is subject to a number of different taxes and charges. Consult the table below for a quick summary and read our notes about each of the various taxes to get a better picture of which of these taxes may apply to your property purchase or sale. Of course it is important to have an idea of the amount of tax that you’ll need to pay and factor that into your budgeting and thinking.

It is also an important part of any property transaction to agree whether the buyer or seller will assume liability for the transfer fee tax where applicable.

Commercial Value and Government Value
The Thai Government uses two measures of property value when calculating tax. These two definitions can appear confusing but are actually quite straightforward.

The Commercial Value of a property is the price it is being sold at. The Transfer Fee and any Withholding Tax payable on the property transfer will use this value as a basis of calculation.

The Government Value of a property is the value that is assigned to it by the local land office. In practise this can often be much lower than the commercial value. The Stamp Duty and the Specific Business Tax payable on a property are calculated using this figure as a base.

Your lawyer will be able to find out the government value of the property as part of your due diligence process and then you’ll be able to figure out the total tax relating to the purchase.

summary of thai property tax rates and calculation

Transfer Fee

The Transfer Fee on a property sale is currently calculated as 2% of the Commercial value of the property.

Lease Registration Fee

A Lease Registration Fee is (obviously!) only payable on the establishment of a leasehold on land or property.
It is calculated at 1% of the value of the lease.

Specific Business Tax

The sale of property and real estate in Thailand is subject to Specific Business Tax.
It is currently charged at a rate of 3% of the Government value of the property.
However, an extra municipality tax of 0.3% is charged in addition to the Specific Business Tax so the total tax levied is 3.3%.

Stamp Duty

Stamp duty is payable on both property sales and leashold transfers.
It is charged at a rate of 0.5% of the government value of the land or at 0.1% in the case of a lease.

Withholding Tax

Company: If the property in question is being sold by a company then withholding tax is deducted at a rate of 1% of the higher of the Commercial Value and the Government Value.

Individual: If the property is being sold by an individual then withholding tax is deducted at a rate of between 5% and 35% on a rising scale depending on the amount of revenue received. The amount of the revenue that is subject to withholding tax is reduced on a scale based on the number of years that the property has been occupied.

How Can I Perform Due Diligence on a Thailand Property Purchase?

It is your responsibility as the buyer of any property, land or business to take reasonable steps to make sure that you conduct a full appraisal of the property before completing the transaction. This process is termed Due Diligence. Basically you need to make sure that everything is as it seems to be and that there isn’t anything that you don’t know that would adversely affect you wanting to buy it.

Here is where your lawyer will really earn their money. They will be able to verify the legal aspects of the property or business and report back to you.
You can also enlist the assistance of your real estate agent who you can expect to offer their local expertise to help you identify any due diligence checks that are specific to the local area. Be sure to ask them.

Below we offer a by no means exhaustive list of due diligence checks that you might want to perform to ensure that all is as it should be.

  • Check land title deed and ownership at the local land office.
  • Ensure there are no ongoing legal disputes regarding the ownership of the land.
  • Find out the “Government value” of the property from the local land office. Then all the taxes associated with the transfer of the property can be calculated.
  • Check that any structures on the property have been built with adequate planning permission. If you plan to build more on the property then ensure that permission has been or can be granted for your requirements.
  • Check any local and national laws relating to the property or business that you are purchasing. In particular check whether any recent legislation has any bearing on the purchase.
  • If you’re buying a business visit it when you’re not expected. You’ve heard the stories of bars and restaurants that are suddenly full of the owner’s friends when the buyer visits. It’s much better to take a look at the place under everyday conditions.
  • Obtain and carefully check any audited accounts and find out all you can about the current conditions in the industry of the business.
  • Ask around the local area about the property, local knowledge is a valuable tool.
  • Noisy neighbours? Check the area surrounding the property at different times for any unsociable noises, smells and the like from nearby.
  • Flood and fire risk. Parts of Thailand are very flat and prone to flooding, check that the property is not at risk.
  • Water and electricity. Ensure that the property has a good and sustainable water supply and that it has an adequate electricity connection for your usage needs.

 

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How Can I Get a Long Term Visa for Thailand?

There’s no point buying a home in Thailand if you can’t live in it is there?

Part of your planning should involve making sure that you are able to get a Thailand visa that lets you stay for as long as you need to, when you need to.

The table below summarises  the various types of Thai visa that are available and below that we give you some more detail about each type so that you can identify and then obtain the one most appropriate to your needs.

summary of thai visa categories

Tourist Visa

Thailand limits the amount of time that you can stay in the country on a tourist visa to a maximum of six months. If you plan to buy a property as a holiday home, or only to stay for a few months at a time this might be sufficient for you. You can get this long-stay tourist visa from your nearest embassy or consulate. It costs 5,000 baht and consists of a multiple entry visa allowing stays of 60 days at a time. So you will need to leave Thailand every sixty days  and then return to begin the second and then third sixty day parts of the visa.

Retirement Visa – Non Immigrant O-A

If you or your spouse is over 50 you are entitled to apply for a retirement visa that allows you to stay in Thailand on a renewable one year visa. The financial conditions that apply involve having to keep 800,000 baht in a Thai bank for at least three months prior to the visa application. An alternative to this financial obligation is to get proof from your embassy of non-Thai income of at least 65,000 Baht per month.

Business Visa – Non Immigrant B

Obtaining a business visa is what you need to do if you plan to obtain a work permit that allows you to work in Thailand. The process is involved and beyond the scope of this article. Suffice to say that it is complicated and you should really only go for this type of visa if you plan to work full time.

Marriage/Dependency Visa – Non Immigrant O

If you have a Thai spouse and/or child you can obtain this visa that allows you to stay in Thailand permanently, one year at a time. You need to prove that you have had 400,000 Baht in a Thai bank account for a period of three months proper to the visa application or to show Thai income of at least 50,000 Baht per month.

Thailand Elite Visa

The Thai Government has a “bad guys out, good guys in” policy with regard to their visa and immigration laws. As you might imagine “good guys” is broadly synonymous with “rich guys” and so you can buy a Thailand Elite visa which allows you to come and go as you please and gives you a 20 year visa. Fantastic, but what’s the catch? Well it costs 2,000,000 Baht. This obviously puts it out of range of all but the very wealthy.
However there is a second category of Thailand elite membership which allows the buyers of certain properties entry to the scheme. This is a significant benefit to ownership and it is worth checking whether the property that you are interested in allows entry to the scheme as an inducement to buy. The 20 year visa only lasts whilst you own the property to which it is linked and it can be transferred once to another foreign buyer so this adds to the potential resale appeal and value of the property.

Thailand Permanent Residency

Obtaining permanent residency to Thailand is a complicated and involved process and strict control is kept over the number of applications that are granted every year. Each foreign country is allowed a maximum of 100 permanent residencies each year so if you come from a country that has a large number of expatriates living in Thailand then your chances of applying will be greatly reduced.
In order to qualify you need to have held a non-immigrant Thai visa for a continuous period of over five years so the best bet is to obtain one of those and then after five years you can, if you like, look into applying for permanent residency in Thailand.

It is worth mentioning that even if you have permanent residency in Thailand this doesn’t change the laws about Thai land ownership.
In fact the only property related benefit that is given by holding permanent residency to Thailand is that if you buy an apartment under foreign ownership you aren’t required to bring in the funds from overseas, they can be transferred from a Thai bank account.

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References/Further Reading

Below are the sources we used in writing this guide as well as some other useful links relating to Thailand real estate. They offer some useful further reading should you require it.

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Law_of_Thailand
www.siam-legal.com/realestate/thailand-property-how-to.php
www.ajarn.com/blogs/neil-mcdonough/how-a-foreigner-can-buy-real-estate-in-thailand/
property.thaivisa.com/can-foreigners-property-thailand/
www.justlanded.com/english/Thailand/Thailand-Guide/Property/Legal-restrictions
www.thailandguru.com/thailand-property-ownership-laws-house-land-condominium.html
www.expatfocus.com/thailand-property-culture-shock
www.thailandelite.com
www.bangkokattorney.com
www.acuterealty.com/calculator.asp
www.rd.go.th
www.thaivisa.com/residence-permit-thailand
www.samuiforsale.com/knowledge/practical-legal-for-condos.html
www.koh-chang-guide.com/real-estate

Disclaimer

We’ve done our utmost to make sure all of the information presented in this article is clear and accurate. But for legal purposes we’re obliged to point out that we can’t be held responsible for any errors or omissions in this guide. Neither is any liability assumed for damages resulting from the use of the information contained herein.

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Koh Chang Bridge Plans Announced

by Dave in Koh Chang News, Koh Chang News 2016 Leave a comment

Koh Chang – Mainland Bridge Project Announced

koh-chang-bridgeUPDATE: This was, of course, an April Fool’s Day prank. There are no bridge plans. At least I hope not.

Thailand’s Transport Ministry today announced ambitious plans for a road bridge linking Koh Chang to the Thai mainland as part of wide ranging infrastructure improvements throughout Thailand that include a high-speed rail link between Bangkok and Nakorn Ratchasima and major improvements in the roads and infrastructure linking Thailand with Cambodia.

Project spokesman Mr. Phutlen Neemaijing revealed that the bridge plans have been influenced by the success of the Sarasin Bridge that links the Thai mainland with the island of Phuket.
“This new bridge will open up one of the Gems of Thailand to both domestic visitors and to the high-end Chinese tourist market who now travel with their own vehicles. Chang Island has great capacity to grow as a tourist destination and with this bridge we believe that in just a few years it will become as famous a tourist destination around the world as Koh Samui, Phuket and Pattaya.”

When asked about the logistical challenges of such an ambitious project Mr Neemaijing said; “This exciting project to make an eight kilometer bridge between Koh Chang and Ao Thammachat (on the mainland) will take place over a period of four years. It will be undertaken as a Thai-Chinese enterprise alliance and will create many jobs for the local community and harness the considerable expertise of local architects and builders who have extensive experience of major building projects on Koh Chang.”

In response to concerns about the potential environmental effects of the bridge project Mr. Neemaijing said; “We expect there to be no problems with the animals and plants of the area. The bridge will go over the sea so the fish will still be able to swim through and all of the animals in the jungle will not be affected, except for the elephants who will now no longer have to travel by the ferry.”

Representatives of Koh Chang’s ferry companies were unavailable for comment.

Construction of the bridge is due to begin in early 2017.

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Trat Independence Day

by Dave in Koh Chang News, Koh Chang News 2016 Leave a comment

March 23rd is Trat Independence Day

Flag of Trat Province in ThailandToday is Trat Independence Day everyone!

On March 23rd 1907 Trat province (including Koh Chang) was returned to Thailand by France in exchange for areas on the Mekong river that now form part of Cambodia.

There is a parade in Trat town every year and a fair to celebrate the event.

You kind find out more Trat and Koh Chang history here on Wikipedia.

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Koh Chang Strange but True

by Dave in Koh Chang News, Koh Chang News 2016 Leave a comment

The Koh Chang Kodak Shop Robbery

kodak-shop-fire-koh-chang-1 kodak-shop-fire-koh-chang-2This is one of those ridiculous and sad stories that you just shake your head at.

About three weeks ago the new Kodak shop in Kai Bae was robbed and set on fire. Fortunately the whole building didn’t burn down and nobody was hurt.

Spare a thought for the shop though – they lost a lot of high value phones and laptops and what wasn’t stolen was badly smoke damaged. They have two other stores in Koh Chang so you can support them whilst they get on their feet again by shopping there.

But what a strange crime. Robbery in itself is a bad enough thing but arson is far more dangerous to life and of course it quite rightly carries a much longer prison sentence if you’re caught.

So why would a criminal who wants to quietly rob a business and escape with the loot set fire to it? You’d think for only one of two reasons; either it happened by mistake or the thief held a huge grudge against the business owner that was so great it was worth risking a lenghty prison sentance for.

Well they caught the criminal.

He was trying to sell on the stolen goods in Klong Yai near the Cambodian border (about 50km away as the crow flies).

And of course they asked why he’d gone to the extreme measure of torching the shop.

Apparently he was upset because he’d bought a phone from there a few weeks previously and then found out that it he could have bought the same phone online for 1,000 Baht less.

That’s it – the motivation for this criminal genius was the discovery that buying things online without all the convenience and after-sale support support is cheaper.

He’ll be spending quite a lot of his time over then next twelve years or so wondering whether he might have over-reacted a bit.

 

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Ultra and Trail Unseen Koh Chang 2016

by Dave in Koh Chang News, Koh Chang News 2016 Leave a comment

Race Results Ultra and Trail Unseen 2016

ultra and trail unseen koh chang logoHere are the results of last weekend’s Ultra and Trail Unseen races on Koh Chang. Winners were as follows:

13km – Dennis Teoh – 1hr 13m 22s
(A notable competotor was HRH Princess Bajrakitiyabha Mahidol who finished in an excellent 15th place overall)

35km – Craig Sauers – 3h 56m 23s
(Koh Chang’s Florian Urfer finished a very creditable 18th, Nick Bonnedahl came in 31st and Pascal Rebuffel was 38th)

66km – Chittapol Hoomphang – 14h 14m 48s

100km – Phairat Varasin – 26h 41m 5s
(only two competitors finished this frankly insane distance – over a day of running through the jungle!)

The island was packed for the event and congratulations to all the competitors and the organisers. It looks like this will become a regular annual competition on Koh Chang and is great for the island. Now all we need is sailing tournament, a music festival (preferably not Jazz though!), and some other things to put the island on the map.

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Ultra & Trail Unseen Feb 27th

by Dave in Koh Chang News 2016 Leave a comment

Ultra and Trail Unseen Koh Chang Feb 27th 2016

February 27th sees the 2nd annual Ultra and Trail Unseen on Koh Chang. Starting from Salak Phet down in the Southeast of the island more than 1,700 brave entrants will run distances from 13km to 100km through the jungle. Madness!
Look out for huge numbers of super healthy looking people on the island over the next fortnight.
Unfortunately registrations are fully booked but the event should be interesting to watch (maybe from a shady place with a cool drink in hand ;-)).

ultra and trail unseen koh chang 2016

Here is their website
...and here’s the Facebook page

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December 2015 on Koh Chang

by Dave in Koh Chang News, Koh Chang News 2015 Comments Off on December 2015 on Koh Chang

Koh Chang in December

A somewhat belated update since we’ve been getting our high season issues together. But they’re with our printer now – and the electronic versions will be online in the next few days. So we take a breath and bring you up to date on what’s been happening on Koh Chang.

Weather
It’s hot on Koh Chang at the moment. Unseasonably so. Usually by November you cfan expect strong, relatively cool, breezes coming from land to sea over the island but apart from a couple of false start, that hasn’t happened yet. It’s been like this before, a few years ago the “winter” winds didn’t come until January. So in the meantime it’s hot (about 33 degrees max in the daytime) and there’s hardly any rain.

Tourists
As December progresses Koh Chang is getting busier although it certainly isn’t packed – certainly quiter than this time last year. During Christmas and New Year the island should be full as usual but after that it’s hard to estimate how the high season will progress.

New Stuff
There’s a new Korean restaurant just about to  open next door to Anna Store at the top of the hill out of White Sand Beach. Can’t tell yet whether this will be genuine Korean food or just yet another Korean Barbeque where you pay someone and then cook your own dinner – never understood the appeal of that.

And the supermarket battles continue. It looks like the opening on the 23rd of December of the new Macro supermarket in White Sand Beach will be narrowly beaten by the Big C across the road from our office in Pearl Beach who open their doors this Saturday the 19th. This seems to have been achieved by a frantically fast build – see below – and a design aesthetic that draws inspiration from 2nd World War bomb shelters. But in Lime Green.

Koh Chang Nature

Physignathus Cocincinus – Image Copyright สุธนัย ครุพานิช

This is our mad scheme to try and record all of Koh Chang’s wildlife. Yes, all of it. No-one else is doing it so why not do it ourselves? We’re inviting visitors to send in pictures of animals they spot on Koh Chang and we’re adding them all to our online database. There are currently 82 pages and counting (and a big backlog that I need to add!) 22 People have already contributed their sightings and some amazing photos which you can do via the Facebook Page or using a submission form on www.kohchangnature.com. Or just take a look and marvel at the amazing beasts that live here!

Roads/Traffic
Large sections of road have been re-tarmacked, notably the hill out of Klong Son and also White Sand Beach. They’ve done a good job (with the exception of the lane markings guy who seems to be trying to write his name in the middle of the road). But sadly a Westerner lost his life in a motorbike accident involving a truck a couple of days ago. That serves as a reminder of how dangerous the roads can get especially at this time of year. Be careful and at the very least wear a helmet.

Maps
We’ve just put all of our up-to-date maps on the site so if you want to find your way around Koh chang then this is the place to go.

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Je Vegetarian Festival in Thailand

by Dave in Features and Archives, Koh Chang and Thailand, Koh Chang News, Koh Chang News 2015, Thailand Holidays and Festivals Comments Off on Je Vegetarian Festival in Thailand

The Chinese/Thai Je Vegetarian Festival

je vegetarian festival food logoMonday the 1st of October 2016 sees the start of the annual Thai-Chinese religious festival commonly known as “Je”. This is Taoist religious festival of self-denial and purification in honour of the Nine Emperor Gods. According to Taoist belief the Nine Emperor Gods govern the movements of the stars and heavens and comprise seven main stars of the Ursa Major or Big Dipper constellation as well as two fainter nearby stars.

Commencing at the beginning of the ninth Chinese lunar month, The festival goes on for nine days, one day for each of the Emperor Gods and participants in the festival must refrain from a number of activities during this period.
Observers of Je are prohibited from eating meat, fish or dairy produce. In fact the dietary restrictions also prohibit any “strong smelling foods” so even vegetables like garlic and onion may not be consumed, nor can coriander. Ginger is OK but shallots aren’t.  it’s pretty hard to figure out what’s allowed or not sometimes.

Additionally participants may not drink alcohol or have sex, and strict observers wear only white clothing. Individuals are prohibited from taking part in the festival if they are in a period of mourning or are pregnant or menstruating; unclean apparently.

je-festival-foods-smallThe Thai interpretation of the Je festival that is practised in Phuket is the best known around the world. There many people volunteer themselves as “Ma Song”, effectively offering their bodies as vessels for divine possession. They enter a trance-like state during which their bodies are often pierced with skewers, knives, spears and all manner of pointy things. There is much bloodshed and the images can look as if the “Ma Song” are suffering but the trance state is apparently so intense that they report feeling no pain. Preparation is meticulous, all involvement is voluntary, and those who take part report feeling a calm and serene state of mind in the period after the festival. It sure makes for a great spectacle though. Interestingly this physical side of the festival is only practised on Phuket and it is thought to be an amalgamation of the original Chinese festival with the Indian festival of Thaipusam, which has similarly spiky observances.

Fortunately or otherwise depending where you are situated on the squeamishness/bloodlust continuum you won’t see such extreme acts by Koh Chang’s Je celebrants. What you are more likely to spot are a large number of local restaurants offering special Je menus. They use the striking yellow and red symbol pictured to advertise the fact and local shops and supermarkets will display similarly marked Je-friendly produce. The food on offer is worth a try. It focuses strongly on Chinese tastes and flavours.  There’s lots of shitake and other mushrooms, fermented soy beans add complexity of flavour, meat-textured tofu features in place of meat and of course there are vegetables galore. Why not give a Je meal a try for a change? The break from meat consumption undoubtedly has positive health effects in common with the fasts that are a part of so many worldwide religious observances.

Chilli is still allowed of course. This is Thailand remember, the home of spicy food. Nobody here could ever deny themselves Chilli could they?

More Thai Holidays and Festivals

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Miss Grand International 2015

by Dave in Koh Chang News Comments Off on Miss Grand International 2015

Koh Chang News – September 2015

Miss Grand International 2015

koh chang beauty pageantPosters have sprung up all over the place advertising “Miss Grand International 2015“. It looks like this is going to be a beauty pageant. Thailand does love a beauty pageant. They virtually keep the nation’s plastic surgeaons in business as stunningly attractive Thai girls have their perfectly attractive noses bullied into little pointy stubs in the mistaken belief that “west is best”.

Anyway Miss Grand International differs from most Thai beauty competitions in that the contestants are genuinely international – even though it is a Thai contest. The website lists contestants from 106 different countries. The event is taking place from the 8th to 14th of October, so as you travel round the island be prepared to see pretty young girls burbling about “doing things for charideee, bringing peace to the world and stroking puppies”.

But that’s nor very charitable is it? We’d like to extend a very warm welcome from Koh Chang to all of these international visitors and if any of the contestants would like to know more about our island paradise then they are welcome to get in touch with us here at the Koh Chang Guide and we’ll be happy to help. Especially the contestants from Ethiopia and Vietnam.

Expect the island to be clean as well – as soon as cameras arrive all the rubbish seems to mysteriously disappear. We just need to arrange to have film crews here all the time and the island would be spotless.

Koh Chang Weather

There was some truly heavy rain and wild seas last week as Koh Chang was subjected to the last gasp of tropical storm “Vamco”. Despite the downpours Koh Chang was just on the trailing end of the storm. Pattaya and the surrounding area suffered very heavy flooding. Anyway it’s over now and the weather over the last few days has been hazy and humid with occasional showers. We probably haven’t quite seen the last of the rain but the change of season can’t be more than a few weeks away, and as mentioned previously it really hasn’t been a very rainy rainy season this year at all.

Makro vs. Big C vs. Tesco vs. 7-Eleven vs. Mum and Dad Shop

Construction has begun at a breakneck pace on the new Big C supermarket across from our office in Pearl Beach. These big supermarkets spring up in no time so pretty soon you will be able to choose between all the main “Thai” supermarket chains on Koh Chang. Obviously this hurts local small businesses but you might as well try and stop the tide coming in. And some of the local supermarkets such as Anna Store in White Sand Beach and Sing Tong in Klong Prao shouldn’t be much affected simply because they stock a really good selection of imported international foods that even the big supermarket chains can’t match.

New Koh Chang Guides/Website Work

The new issues of our guides have arrived in paper and electronic form. You can read them below. We’ll be giving the paper copies out as usual all over Koh Chang and Thailand over the coming weeks.

We’ve been toiling over the website as well, adding content and making the whole experience simpler and more user-friendly (hopefully anyway – you tell us, you’re the users!). There’s a nice new Koh Chang Instagram Feed on the sidebar and in our photo section. Go on, explore.

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