No 88 January 2012 by orientalhospitality

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									                      NEWSLETTER No 88 – JANUARY 2012
If you are receiving this Newsletter for the first time, but do not wish to receive it in the future please simply reply to the email it came
with and let me know. If you know someone who would like to be added to the Mailing List, please let me know at the same email
address.

Well as we enter 2012 may I wish you all a very Happy and Prosperous New Year. Another milestone for Ko Samui
Properties – at the end of January, the ten year lease on our office comes to an end. Hard to believe we have been here
that long and it would be easy to dwell on all the ups and downs we have experienced over that time, but better to move on
and not relive the past. The present market conditions do not justify us staying where we are as we no longer need this
amount of space. At the moment I am finalising the negotiations on a lease of a property in Bangrak from 1st February and
will send out further details of the new location when these are complete. Whilst we have enjoyed our main road position it
has become clear that such a prominent location is not necessary as the vast majority of people we do business with are in
contact with us before they come to Samui. We rarely do business with people who walk through the door having found us
by chance.

What do I see for 2012? Much of the same I suppose, but if you are considering buying this would be the time to move
forward. Whilst this may not be the happiest time for sellers it certainly is for buyers and there are some excellent deals
around and remember most prices are still negotiable. Last month saw average price reductions of 22% which indicates
more and more sellers are adjusting to the realities of the market and presenting great opportunities for new buyers. Real
Estate remains a solid asset and should rarely be looked on as a short term investment. We are of course subject to the
world economy and certainly this has played a part in the availability of spare funds for second homes. However, there are
people who have profited in one way or another during the present crisis and these people are here and looking for deals.
Correctly priced properties will sell and we have seen more evidence of that over recent months in all price ranges.

A word of warning – and I really should have known better myself – do not give interviews to local Newspapers. I was
asked to do that a few weeks ago and the first point I made was that I would wish to see the draft copy before publication to
check for factual errors. This was agreed. The draft was subsequently sent to me and contained numerous errors requiring
correction, which I made and returned the amended document. They then printed the original without amendment. I
plagiarise their articles all the time, but you have to wonder just how accurate their reports really are. Whilst they are back
on line, be aware that many of the reports they are publishing are 3-4 years out of date!




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We are fortunate in being allowed a pre-launch look at what is probably the best sea-view land with full infrastructure in
Samui. Situated on a ridge on the south-west of the island, these individual plots of land have magnificent sea views
across to the mainland and also to the Five Islands. Some plots have the benefit of views to both the east and west. All
services are installed including a concrete road, underground three phase electricity, filtered water supply from the estates
own reservoir and high speed Broadband fibre optic cabling for internet, telephone and television services. Whilst you are
free to design your own villa within certain reasonable parameters, there is a range of designs available for inspiration.

 Ko Samui Properties have been fortunate in being involved with this land for some time as Project Managers of two of the
  recently completed villas and can therefore guide you through the acquisition and planning of your dream home on this
                magnificent land. Please see further details on our web page here – or contact us direct at
                                            hbonning@koSamuiproperties.com


See also in particular the following New Listings and Price Reductions – CTRL + click to follow the link:


                      NEW LISTING
                      3 Bed villa in Chaweng
                      Available at Baht 6,000,000



                      NEW LISTING
                      2 Bed bungalow with Pool in Choengmon
                      Available at Baht 3,950,000



                      PRICE REDUCTION
                      4/5 Bed Hillside, sea view villa with pool in Taling Ngam
                      Previously Baht 16.75 million – now available at Baht 14.5 million



                      PRICE REDUCTION
                      5 Bed sea view villa with pool in Bang Po
                      Previously Baht 31 million – now available at Baht 23.8 million


                      PRICE REDUCTION
                      6 Bed Villa/Guest House with pool in Bang Makham
                      Previously Baht 55 million – now available at Baht 35 million



                      PRICE REDUCTION
                      3 Bed Sea View Villa in Taling Ngam
                      Previously Baht 11.25 million – now available at Baht 9.75 million.


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                        PRICE REDUCTION
                        4/5 Bed Luxury Bungalow with pool in Maenam
                        Previously Baht 16.95 million - now available at Baht 16.3 million



           For Festivals around Thailand visit the Tourist Authority of Thailand website.




Samui Express is back on line and you can find them here http://www.samuiexpress.net/
And you can find The Samui Gazette here - http://theSamuigazette.com/ - Check out their new design!

Market Rebounds as W Samui Sells Four Luxury Villas                                        Phuket Insider      December 2011
On the heels of an early November Hong Kong road show the W Residences in Koh Samui have seen four beachfront units sell or
be reserved within the past six weeks. A key strategy by the developer came in the reconfiguration of larger villas into two and three
bedroom units priced from THB65 million (over USD2 million).
With a product debut at the trendy W hotel in Hong Kong, an exhibition was held in conjunction with the Engel and Volkers agency.
From our talk with the project's Director of Sales and Marketing Richard Skene the catalyst driving the surging interest has been on
the lifestyle investment potential of the units versus end usage. Coupled into the equation has been the market penetration of the
resort into the island's accommodation market and strong new high profile entries from the likes of Conrad, Le Meridien and shortly
InterContinental. Plans at the residences Phase 3 are currently being reviewed with the emphasis on more 2/3 bedroom properties
are similar pricing points.

Please also follow this link for further details of The Residences at W

Word has it that The Estates Samui - Four Seasons - have also been successful in sale recently so the top end of the market is
moving as well.
See here for details of the The Estates Samui.

Fire destroys Koh Tao beach resort                                                            Samui Express 6 December 2011
Fire destroyed 10 villas and two restaurants of a beachfront resort in Koh Tao mid-afternoon of Nov. 26. Damage was said to be
worth Bt10 million.
Koh Phangan district officer Prayuth Thongnual, who also has jurisdiction over Koh Tao, received a radio call at about 3:30 p.m. on
that day that fire had broken out in a guestroom of Jamjuree Resort on the island.
Told by Mr. Prayuth about the incident, Pol. Lt. Kasem Thanwanichnam, acting chief of the Koh Pangan police, immediately sent a
fire fighting team to Koh Tao aboard a longtail boat.
When the firefighters reached the island, several villas of the 70-villa resort were burning simultaneously. Police said the fi re quickly
spread to several villas, which lined up the cliff of the bay, because of the strong wind. Besides, they added, the villas are made of
wood and bamboo, which are highly combustible materials.
At least ten foreign tourists were staying in the resort when the fire broke out. They all ran out of the resort in panic, police said.
One of the foreign guests told police he was at the pool with friends when he saw thick smoke coming out of one of the villas.
He ran to check where the smoke was coming from and saw one of the villas on fire. He said he immediately told the staff of the
resort about the fire.
All the staff tried to help put out the blaze with buckets of water. But the fire had become so big the buckets of water were no match,
the witness said.
Lt. Kasem said no one was reported injured in the fire incident which initial investigation showed was caused by a short circuit in one
of the electrical equipment being used by one of the guests.

33 rescued from sinking fishing boat                                                     Samui Express 6 December 2011
Thirty-three fishermen whose boat was struck by giant waves were rescued in the Gulf of Thailand on Nov. 24.
Werach Saengsot, Samuibased director of the Provincial Fisheries Association in Surathani, said she received a radio distress
signal Porn Taigongrua, captain of the Weerachai 9 fishing boat. The trawler was sinking. Its hull broke up after it was hit by waves
four to five meters high, Werach was told. The boat had a crew of 33 people. Werach immediately contacted Rear Admiral Somsak
Wanichareon, Region 2 chief of the Royal Navy. The Navy official immediately sent an urgent message to all naval assets within the



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vicinity to come to boat's rescue. Two navy boats, Royal Saiburi and Royal Pattani, which were in the area to prepare for joint
exercises with their Vietnamese counterparts, responded to the SOS call and steamed towards the sinking boat.

Luxury Conrad Hotel opens in Koh Samui                                                       Samui Express 6 December 2011
THAILAND'S former deputy Prime Minister Suwat Liptaphanlop presided over the recent opening of the six-star luxury Conrad Hotel.
Located on the secluded Aow Thai Beach, the luxury villa resort joins its sister hotel, Conrad Bangkok, which recently celebrated its
eighth anniversary in Thailand.
"Conrad Hotels & Resorts offers today's affluent travellers a world of style, service, and connection with the luxury of being
themselves," said John Vanderslice, global head of luxury and lifestyle brands for Hilton Worldwide, in a press statement.
"Conrad Koh Samui personifies the Conrad spirit of individuality and commitment to service, and strengthens the brand's presence
in global gateway cities and most sought after resort destinations."
"We continue to expand our strong presence in Thailand and are now proud to introduce Conrad's world of style, service and
connection in Koh Samui. This magnificent resort is the second of our Conrad properties to open in Thailand and caters to the
needs of the ever increasing number of global, affluent travellers to this popular resort destination," said Martin Rinck, president, Asia
Pacific, Hilton Worldwide.
Mr.Lyon Lau, chairman of the board of Hill Cress Resort (Samui) Co. Ltd., and Hill Cress Resident (Samui) Co., Ltd., welcomed Mr.
Suthep at the brief opening ceremony.
Located 28 kilometers from the airport, Conrad Koh Samui is the only west-facing luxury resort in Koh Samui that offers guests
breathtaking sunset views from every villa.
The luxurious resort features 80 freestanding villas with private plunge pools and sundecks, comprised of 65 one bedroom villas, 14
two-bedroom villas and a Royal Villa, integrated within 25 acres of tropical features and dramatic cliff-side landscapes.
Each contemporary Thai styled villa is exquisitely furnished with unique artwork, tropical hardwood floors and Thai silk, creating
elegant accommodations.
State-of-the-art, in-room technology includes a LCD fl at-screen satellite television, CD/DVD player, iPod docking station, plus wired
and wireless high-speed Internet connections. The villas are fitted with full-height glass panes allowing for mesmerizing ocean views
and majestic marble bathrooms fitted with spa-quality amenities, including an over-sized bathtub and glass walled rain shower.
One-bedroom villas feature 65 square meters of indoor living space and 28 square meters of outdoor living space with private 10-
metre infinity plunge pools, while two-bedroom villas offer 186 square meters of indoor living space and 42 square meters of outdoor
living space with private 12-metre infinity plunge pools. The largest of the villas, The Royal Villa, features 201 square meters of
indoor living space and 164 square meters of outdoor living space with a secluded and expansive 22.5-meter infinity pool. All villas
overlook the azure waters of the Gulf of Thailand and the resort's idyllic white sand beach.
For a unique dining experience, Conrad Koh Samui offers innovative restaurant concepts: private in-cellar dining at The Cellar, fine
Thai-influenced dining at the cliff-side specialty restaurant, Jahn, or Mediterranean- inspired cuisine cooked from live action stations
in the all-day dining restaurant, Zest.
Guests can also enjoy the beautiful sunset views while sipping on cocktails at Glow Lounge.
The luxury resort also boasts a cutting-edge beautifully designed spa that focuses on innovative therapies and holistic treatment
options that benefit the mind, body and soul.
The spa design and programs were meticulously developed in collaboration with Dr. Buathon, Thailand's leading authority on holistic
healing.
Other resort features include an on-site diving and sailing center, a 180-metre floating pier, a 24-hour state-of-the-art Fitness Center
and an outdoor yoga pavilion.

90-year maximum lease term proposed`                                              Bangkok Post                   15 December 2011
An extension of the current maximum lease term to 90 years from 30 years would help to address problems of Thai nominees
holding property ownership for foreigners while more than doubling property values and generating more tax revenue.
The inability to own land in Thailand and an unattractive maximum lease term of 30 years for a property prompt some foreigners to
appoint Thai nominees to hold the property for them.
They may also set up a firm to hold the property, which often results in a dispute between the foreigners and their Thai nominees.
Sorachon Boonsong, a partner in the international law firm Baker & McKenzie Ltd, yesterday said this does not benefit the country,
as there are too many nominees for the government to catch.
On the contrary, if the maximum lease term could be extended to an attractive length of time, then all foreigners would prefer to keep
it legal.
"For anyone afraid that foreigners may do something illegal with their Thai property, there's another law, the Foreign Business Act,
that will still oversee them," said Mr Sorachon.
He said if the maximum were extended to 90 years, Thailand's competitiveness would increase, as neighbouring countries' have only
about 50-year terms.
The country would also collect more in taxes including a 0.1% stamp, property tax of 12.5% each year, value-added tax of 7% and
signboard tax.
"Thirty-year leases are unattractive and possibly insecure for tenants, while the real value of property is underpriced," Mr Sorachon
said.
Patima Jeerapaet, chairman of the property committee of the Joint Foreign Chambers of Commerce in Thailand, said the real value
of a property leased for 30 years is usually only 30% of freehold value in general locations and 50% in prime areas.

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If the lease term were 90 years, then real value would increase to 80-90% of freehold value.
After spending 30 months drafting a proposal, the property committee yesterday officially submitted a white paper on Thailand's
need for a 90-year lease to Thailand Trade Representative Nalinee Taveesin, who will forward it to the cabinet.
Dr Nalinee agreed the proposal would help to stimulate the Thai economy, as the current maximum term of 30 years is a weakness
that does not attract foreign investment. This is becoming increasingly a concern with the advent of the Asean Economic Community
coming into effect in 2015, she said.
Mr Sorachon, who is also a legal adviser to a working committee for the white paper, said a law that does allow 50-year leases in
certain circumstances is too limited. The property must be located in a commercial or industrial zone and serve only commercial or
industrial purposes.
"Since this law took effect more than a decade ago, there have been only six cases. We find it does not work," he said.

See the original article here

Fire razes Lipa Noi house                                                                    Samui Express 2 January 2012
A fire destroyed a house in Lipa Noi in broad daylight recently. Pol. Col. Thanongsak Aksorksom of the Koh Samui Police Station
said they got a191 call about fire having broken out in a house near a fruit plantation in Thabol, Lipa Noi. A fire truck was rushed to
the area.
As the firemen got there, the fire had gotten so big it had almost razed the whole house. All the firemen could do was to prevent the
fire from reaching other houses in the area.
It took about thirty minutes to stop the fire, but the house was completely damaged. While the firemen were putting out the blaze, the
owner of the house, Mrs. Kanjana Wollet,37, arrived.
She collapsed upon seeing her house burned down. Volunteers rushed her to the hospital. Mr. Jumlong Tannchote,62, father of
Kanjana, said his daughter and her husband Alex Wollet built the house over 20years ago. Mr. Wollet works in Bangkok so he
comes home once in a while.
Kanjana was not in the house when the fire broke. She runs her own tour company so she isn’t in the house during the day.
Mr. Jumlong said he was out tending the fruit plantation near his daughter’s house when he heard the sound of a ravaging fire. He
said he was only able to move a few things out of the house before it was razed to the ground.
Police estimated the damage to be around a Bt1 million. Cause of the fire remained undetermined, although they were not ruling out
the possibility that an electrical appliance left unattended and unhooked from a power plug could have overheated and sparked the
fire

Aircraft slams into Samui airport wall                                              Samui Express                31 December 2011
A Bangkok Airways aircraft with 38 passengers and four crew members aboard slammed into a wall at the Samui International
Airport as it prepared to take off for Bangkok at about 7 p.m. on Dec. 17.
No one was reported injured in the accident, but the nose of the plane was damaged.
Airport sources said the plane, an ATR 72-500 model Rotor type, was at the aircraft parking area when the incident happened. It was
preparing to leave for the taxi lane when the aircraft surged forward into the wall, instead of backward as the pilot was supposed to
do. Witnesses said the aircraft’s front wheel also hit a drain cover in the area.
While some passengers were badly shaken, not one needed any medical attention, the sources said. Bangkok Airways suspended
the flight for a while and took all passengers of the ill-fated plane back to the departure lounge. They were later boarded into another
aircraft which flew them to the Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok.
Bangkok Airways refused to tell newsmen other details of the incident, except to say the wheels of the aircraft fell into a drain cover,
causing the plane to hit the wall.
A few weeks back a passenger who took a Samui-Bangkok flight called the Express to report a near air-collision involving the plane
he was riding.
He said that about ten minutes after takeoff, another aircraft came from out of nowhere and came close to the plane he was in. His
flight left Samui at about 10 a.m. that day, he said. Most passengers were shaken by the incident, he said.
Samui airport authorities could not be reached for comment about the alleged near collision.

Two cruise ships bring in 4,000 tourists                                          Samui Express 2 January 2012
Two luxury cruise ships recently dropped anchor in Nathon, bringing in about 4,000 foreign tourists for a brief tour of the island.
Mr. Panu Woramitr , director of the Suratthani office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand, said the short visit of MV Costa Classica
and MV Ika Diva, which were packed with tourists of various nationalities, was a shot in the arm for the island’s tourism industry
which had been badly by the recent flooding in Bangkok and other parts of Central Thailand.
The tourists, who included elderly and children, rented local taxis and visited natural and commercial attractions, such as elephant
camps and animal shows. They also eat at restaurants, rode rented bikes, played golf and bought souvenirs.
Mr. Panu said the short visit generated no less than Bt1 million in tourism revenue for the island.
The cruise ships, which sailed from Italy, included other popular Asian tourist destinations in their itinerary, such as Bangkok,
Singapore, Phuket, Langkawi, Penang, Malaca, among other places.




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Charity dinner raises Bt158k for flood aid                                                  Samui Express 2 January 2012
A charity dinner hosted by the Thai Hotels Association, Southern Chapter- East Coast at the Red Snapper Restaurant raised more
than Bt158,000 for victims of the recent severe flooding in Thailand.
Called the Jingle Bell Ball 2011, the event was attended by the region’s leading hoteliers, hotel suppliers and other important
personalities led by Samui mayor Ramnate Jaikwang.
Michael Howard, chief operating officer of Chaweng Regent Hotel group, which includes Melati Beach Resort and Red Snapper
Restaurant, thanked donors and guests for making the charity dinner a success.
During the dinner, guests enjoyed succulent canapés by French chef Sébastien Meunier - sponsored by All Star, Schmidt and Core
Seafood – paired with some great wines from World Class Wines, Siam Wine Dee and BB&B, as well as some amazing cocktails
sponsored by Diageo Moet Hennessy.
The evening kept a lighthearted tone, predominantly with impromptu, but outstanding Elvis impersonations.
A raffle draw with remarkable prizes completed the evening’s festivities. Raffle prizes included spa treatments and dinners at some
of Samui’s most sought-after spots.

The InterContinental Samui Baan Taling Ngam Resort in Koh Samui, Thailand is set to reopen on 1 February 2012 after a
10-month facelift.
The facility, located on a 22-acre site, houses 79 residences for guests. The residences range between 67 to 320 square metres. All
the revamped units will be equipped with a large bathroom featuring a soaking tub and waterfall shower, as well as a private balcony.
The residences will also sport contemporary shades contrasting the conventional Thai style of the resort following the
makeover. Further, the remodelled facility will consist of 12 Beachfront Pool Villas. These villas will comprise luxurious living and
lounging spaces, a private sundeck, and swimming pool.
Among the various other features of the redesigned resort are seven swimming pools, a private beach comprising a 150m licensed
jetty, a spacious spa situated 120 meters above sea level, Flames beachside restaurant, Amber restaurant, as well as an Air Bar
which provides 360-degree views of the Gulf of Thailand.



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