No 91 April 2012

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					                           NEWSLETTER No 91 – APRIL 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.

                                         Don’t forget our new office address and location
                                            at the Fisherman’s Village end of Bangrak
                                   58/11 Moo 4, Bangrak, Bophut, Koh Samui, Surat Thani 84320
                                              Telephone: 077 770-1 Fax 077 447 777


De ja vu! In the January 2010 Newsletter I reported on the ring road by our old office being surfaced with tarmac. No sooner
have we moved into our new office than they are doing the same to the road through Bangrak, Choengmon and beyond!




PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN APRIL
6th April – Chakri Day – we will be open until midday
13th to 16th April – Songkran – we will be closed on 13th 14th and 15th only.

I had an interesting question this month. “Is my house affected by radiation?” Well there are no nuclear power stations on
Samui so any radiation would have to be natural. The only one I can come up with is Radon Gas which emanates from
granite of which Samui has a great deal. However, not all granitic regions are prone to high emissions of radon. I have
searched all over for any documents which might give a clue to its presence here but can find nothing apart from an
unsubstantiated article re Koh Phangan.

However, what my research did bring up was that Radon gas is certainly a concern in many parts of the world and where it
is found in any concentration there are strict building codes in place. Radon is present in all surface soil but in minute
quantities but what becomes clear though is that it is not simply the presence of Radon gas per se that is the potential
problem but the accumulation of Radon within a building. The one common theme to dealing with Radon gas is ventilation
to prevent accumulation. Most people here tend to keep doors and windows open during the day if not the night also as the
climate allows this. Many houses are built on stilts so under floor ventilation is permanent.

I have seen nothing to suggest that Radon is a problem here in Samui so there should be no cause for alarm and it is a
good idea to keep your home well ventilated in any case!

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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 Bedroom Sea and Mountain View Villa with two Pools in Ban Tai
                      Available at Baht 12,500,000



                      NEW LISTING
                      2-3 Bed House with 3 Rai land – Ban Saket, Taling Ngam
                      Available at Euro 550,000



                      NEW VACATION RENTAL LISTING
                      1 Bedroom Apartment in modern hotel in Bang Po
                      Available at Baht 3,507/night incl.



                      NEW LISTING
                      3 Bed House near the beach – Namuang
                      Available at Baht 8 million




                      NEW LISTING
                      3 Bed sea view Bungalow with pool in Bang Po
                      Available at Baht 6.95 million




                      NEW LISTING
                      2 Bed Apartment in Bang Po
                      Available at offers over Baht 7.5 million

                                                                                                                    Page 2 of 6
                       NEW VACATION RENTAL LISTING
                       2 Bed Pool Villa in Choengmon
                       Available at USD 200 – 400/night according to season


                       NEW VACATION RENTAL LISTING
                       3 Bed Pool Villa in Choengmon
                       Available at USD 325 – 500/night according to season



                       PRICE REDUCTION
                       3 bed luxury house in Santi Thani
                       Original Price – Baht 18 million
                       Now available at Baht 15 million


                       PRICE REDUCTION
                       3 Bed house with pool in Bang Rak
                       Original Price – Baht 15 million
                       Now available at Baht 10 million


                       PRICE REDUCTION
                       3 Bed Sea View Villa in Chaweng
                       Original Price – Baht 16.5 million
                       Now available at Baht 13 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!

Upscale hotels drive Samui tourism back on track                              C9 Hotelworks Market Research             March 2012
A very interesting research document about hotels in Samui. Rather than try and reproduce it here, follow this link.

Lake Side Koh Samui                                                     Oriental Hospitality Consultants       February 2012
Samui Island is getting some major changes from Mayor Ramnet and his team at the Tessaban, not a lot of people know about their
endeavors, Travel agents and tour operators should be aware that these changes are only for the better of the island and for the
future develop of the hospitality industry the island is famous for.
It’s about time; additional changes have been done for the past 3 years without much PR or publicity to the world. The lake side, one
year ago in 2011 around March the biggest flooding internally came to Samui and the lake side over flooded, due inadequate
draining support systems, and the depth of this lake itself, since then the Mayor and his team have put additional funds and budgets
into dredging the lake deeper and adding more walkways around the lake side for future development.
The draining river form the lake out to the sea next to Poppies and First Bungalow has been dredged a year or so back, with “Rak
Samui” and the government team, along with volunteers from various communities on the Island teams from the THA came with
their staff from various hotels and resorts.
Attached are some pictures of the development and what is still being carried on to improve the water ways to remove future
flooding, and clean up the river beds who have been clocked for many year without any suggestion or effort to clean them – John
Morris Williams

Bangkok Airways                                                                                            10th March 2012
Bangkok Airways has announced it will push through with its plans for expansion by increasing the number of flights on its existing
routes, while taking advantage of code-share opportunities to expand its network.

                                                                                                                            Page 3 of 6
The country's regional airline expressed its intention to attend ITB to further promote its network with additional services that are
scheduled to start by late March.
In 2011, Bangkok Airways added three destinations to its regularly scheduled flights in South Asia: Bangalore, Dhaka, and Mumbai.
This year, it will be launching a new Samui to Kuala Lumpur, and non-stop Bangkok to Lampang flights.
It also plans to increase the number of flights on its trunk routes and collaborate with new partners on code-shares to round off its
expansion program to serve air traffic along its domestic network this 2012.
Bangkok Airways released in a statement that they intend to be "very active this year," putting emphasis on adding to the frequency
of their domestic and international flights, particularly those that serve an increasing number of air passengers.
The airline is currently working together with other carriers to code-share and strengthen its network, while adapting its strategies
with an eye on the present global economy and rising fuel prices.
Bangkok Airways posted a profit of BHT 1.22 billion in 2011, translating to a 56.7 percent increase from its BHT 778 million in 2010.
A 16.5 percent increase in their number of passengers was also noted from 2.65 million in 2010 to 3.08 million in 2011.
With a promising forecast for tourism in the country after political upheavals and heavy flooding in the 2009 and 2011, respectively,
Bangkok Airways is confident about continuing to grow their business this year.
By March 25, Bangkok Airways will be adding another flight schedule for its Bangkok to Chiang Mai and Bangkok to Phuket routes,
increasing them to six and seven flights a day. It will also launch its five weekly flight schedule for Bangkok to Lampang, as well as
daily flights to Sukhothai.
From March 31, the airline will commence its daily flights for its new Samui to Kulala Lumpur route, and increase its Samui to Hong
Kong route to 10 flights a week from its previous daily flight schedule.

Samui impresses popular UK actor                                                     Samui Express               March 2012
There was a very special visitor to the island during the first week of February -- Christopher Biggins, a lively and colorful English
actor and media personality.
Christopher was born in Oldham, Lancashire and was brought up in Salisbury, Wiltshire where he took elocution lessons and
participated in local drama groups.
His first stage role came at the age of sixteen as the doctor in the Stage 65 production of Moliere’s Le Medecin Malgre Lui, a role
that led to a job at the local repertory theater.
                               Best known as a comedy actor, Christopher appeared regularly in the sitcom Porridge as Lukewarm
                               alongside Ronnie Barker. He also appeared in “Whatever Happened to the Likely Lads,” ”Some Mothers
                               Do’ Ave ‘Em’, ‘Rentaghost,” “Bredon Chase” and “Poldark.”
                               He also co-hosted ‘’Surprise Surprise,” a children’s game show, and “On Safari”where he became known
                               for his bubbly personality.
                               His theater roles include The Baker in “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat,” Herod in “Jesus
                               Christ Superstar” and eighteen months at the London Palladium in the stage adaptation of “Chitty Chitty
                               Bang Bang.”
Christopher is also well known for his performances in pantomime, the most famous of which is Widow Twanky in the British
pantomime “Aladdin.” He also played Buttons in “Cinderella.”
After 38 years of performing in Pantomime, Christopher took a year off in 2007 to take part in “I’m a Celebrity… Get me out of here,”
a show that he went on to win.
He returned to pantomime and the roll of Buttons in “Cinderella” the following year at the Mayflower Theatre, Southampton and in
2009 won Channel Four’s “Celebrity Come Dine with Me.”
Christopher continues to entertain on UK’s TV screens and stages and is involved with charity events.
The Express caught up with Christopher on a sunset cruise on ChokChai, a boat partly owned by UK TV celebrity Jake Robinson:
Is this your first visit to Koh Samui ?
Yes, my partner Neil and i are here for the first time.
Why did you choose to come to Koh Samui?
Over the Christmas period i do six weeks of pantomime per- forming twelve shows a week. it is a very grueling schedule so i like to
take a holiday both before and after the pantomime season. i got to chat with a guy at a charity event who knows Tim from Beach
Republic who suggested it might be a great place to enjoy some rest and relaxation, so i looked it up online and liked what i saw. i
emailed the resort and got superb service online so went ahead and booked our ten-day holiday.
How do you find Koh Samui and the Beach Republic?
Neil and I love both Samui and Beach Republic, which has a great atmosphere, a superb location, great food and hospitable staff.
We love the restaurants on the island and are both very impressed with the quality of cuisine here.
Our favorite meal was at The Dining Room at Rocky’s Resort. We were also very impressed by the Japanese food at W where i
enjoyed some incredible soft shell crab that i am rather partial to.
I am a big lover of sea- food and have been incredibly impressed with the standard of seafood on the island.
We had a fantastic meal at the fish restaurant Eat Sense, we loved that. We also had a meal at Dr. Frogs which we enjoyed
enormously.
Is Samui how you expected it to be and what do you like best about it?
Yes, i think it is how we expected. We have been over- whelmed by the friendliness of the people here who are incredibly caring and
accommodating.
We are both very taken with the Bophut Fisherman’s village and enjoyed the Friday walking street enormously. Koh Samui is such a
friendly island and we have been very well taken care of during our visit.

                                                                                                                              Page 4 of 6
How did you end up on Jake Robinson’s boat this afternoon?
We bumped into Jake at the BBC in Bangrak. i know Jake from the uK and we have a lot of mutual friends.
Jake is great fun and a very kind man who invited us to join him on his boat this afternoon. it is a pleasure to enjoy a sunset cruise
with him.

Five top chefs compete in dish design contest                                        Samui Express                  March 2012
Five chef-artists competed for the top prize in the “Mouthwatering Arts: You Design My Dish 2012” contest held at The Library, Koh
Samui, recently. From a pool of 50 candidates, five finalists of diverse background and style were chosen to participate in the much-
anticipated food styling event presided by five celebrity food connoisseurs, including renowned chef David Thompson, food and
lifestyle TV show host Mos Patiparn, fashion stylist Chalisa Viravan, hotel concept designer Tirawan Songsawat, and The Library
managing director and owner Kasemtham Sornsong. This was the third year that The Library had brought the spotlight on the
culinary arts, following the success of 2009’s “3 BKK Celebrity Chefs” and its encore campaign, “My Library: Where Arts Meet
Gastronomy” in 2010. Tasked to create a most stylish dish that best describes their individual character and artistry in the craft, this
year’s finalists have all presented the best of their culinary repertoire in a one-of- a-kind dinner of unparalleled superlatives.
The event began with a delightful appetizer from event judge, Chef David Thompson called “Yam-Nam-Son-Khao-Tod,” (spicy
minced pork with crunchy rice cakes) - a fitting opening act to a night of gastronomic indulgence.
Chef Poramate Prasansak then followed with his creative ensemble of contemporary Japanese and Asian cuisine with the dish
named “A New Asian Lifestyle,” which was an impressive study of the amalgamation of world cuisine with a distinct Asian vibe. The
entry of Chef Shaun Venter was equally arresting. Aptly named “Three Ways,” Chef Shaun masterfully infused his seafood trio with
the unique favors of the best of Thai curries.
Chef Rattama Pongponrat’s “Reminiscence” tugged at the heartstrings as it heralded the old days of river life. Exquisitely detailed
with Thai symbolic decorations, her dish of pasta with fresh river prawns transcended the appreciation of culinary art to a spiritual
level.
The main course of the evening was provided by The Library. With the melt-in-the-mouth tenderness of Wagyu beef’s highest grade
(MBS 9++) complimented by the freshest local produce of Koh Samui (stir-fried “Pak Lieng”, roasted coconut and deep-fried “Pak
Kood”), it was considered by many as a signature dish of the highest sophistication.
For the evening’s penultimate dish, Chef Sebastien Meunier tickled the sweet tooth of every guest with a most inspiring masterpiece.
A visual play on The Library’s architecture & design such as The Red Pool, The Page and the beach itself, “The Deck” was a fun and
infinitely delectable interpretation of the property’s famous venues.
Not to be outdone, the final entry of the event was revealed by Chef Nontawat Rojanasak- chai as the dish called “Kao- Tung-Whan”
(socher biscuits with berry gelee, white chocolate and passion fruit white mousse). It was a satisfying ending, with its impeccable
interplay of complementary favors, contrasting texture and amusing “stacked up” eating method, to an evening of great food and
outstanding artistry.
The Winners: “Kao-Tung- Whan” by Chef Nontawat Rojanasakchai (Grand Prize), “Three Ways” by Chef Shaun Venter (First Runner
Up and Popular Vote), “The Deck” by Chef Sabastien Meunier (Sec- ond Runner Up), “The Remi- niscence” by Chef Rattama
Pongponrat (Third Runner Up), and “A New Asian Lifestyle” by Chef Poramate Prasansak (Fourth Runner Up).
The winning dish of Mouthwatering Arts, “Kao-Tung- Whan” will be featured at The Library’s restaurant, The Page for the whole year
of 2012. Furthermore, Chef Nontawat Rojanasakchai will host a spe- cial charity dinner on March 3 with all proceeds to be donated
to the humanitarian efforts of Unicef Thailand.

Entertainers’ help sought in drug drive                                           Samui Express                 March 2012
The deputy commissioner-general of the Royal Thai police, Pol. Gen. Vacharaporn Praesanratchakij, has sought the help of
businessmen and entertainers in Samui and Koh Phangan to help in the battle against drug proliferation. Gen. Vacharaporn was in
Samui recently to address the island’s worsening drug problem. At a meeting with around 300 businessmen and entertainers from
Koh Samui and Koh Pangan held at the Fair House Hotel, the general said the country’s drug problem had gone from bad to worse.
From October 2010 to September last year, over 66,000 people were arrested in the government’s drive against illegal drugs. Assets
of more than 8,000 people suspected of involvement in the drug trade were investigated during the same period, he said.
Because of their limited resources, the police alone won’t be able to stamp out the problem once and for all, Gen. Vacharaporn said.
In Samui, for example, the police have only two stations manned by 200 officers. But the number of people in Samui at a given time
is around 200,000, he said. The island has a registered population of only about 50,000. But including tourists and migrant workers,
total people living on the island easily more than 200,000, he said. Short of personnel, the police therefore needs the cooperation of
everybody, especially businessmen and entertainers. He appealed to them to report to the police any drug- related activity that they
might observe in their establishments or workplaces.

A third of Thailand's coastal reefs destroyed by sediment                                             Asia One News March 2012
More than a third of all coral reefs near coastal areas around the country have been destroyed by sediment from land developments
to build hotels, resorts and private homes.
The area of destroyed reef totals more than 35,520 rai - in excess of 14,200 acres - of 96,000 rai of reef along coastal areas,
according to the 2009 national strategic/action plan to protect coastal reefs.
On the Andaman coast, about half (50 per cent) the coral reefs covering 49,000 rai were degraded, while about a quarter (24 per
cent) of 47,000 rai of reefs in the Gulf of Thailand were destroyed.



                                                                                                                               Page 5 of 6
Land projects on coastal areas were the main destroyer of coral reefs, according to Pinsak Surasawadee, a director of the Marine
and Coastal Resources Department's Office of Marine and Coastal Resources Conservation.
"The removal of land surfaces in coastal areas has sped up the amount of sediment flowing into the sea, affecting reefs, and aquatic
animals and plants," he explained.
The large amount of sediment in the sea had also blocked sunlight and affected the growth of coral.
"The problem is many builders do not follow guidelines for the environmental impact assessment, which require them to construct
sediment retention to prevent soil flowing into the sea," he said.
The sea watch agency found that coral reefs around three islands in Surat Thani province - Koh Samui, Koh Pha Ngan, and Koh
Tao - were severely damaged by a huge amount of sediment, as was Phuket Island and Koh Yao.
"We have been discussed this problem with the department to try to find effective ways to reduce the impact from coastal
development, especially in Phuket, which has areas designated for environmental protection, but law enforcement has never been
implemented," he said.
Department officials had no authority to arrest wrongdoers who caused damage to coral reefs and marine resources.
The Marine and Coastal Resources Department wants the Office of Natural Resources and Environmental Policy and Planning to
revise the regulation, to give its staff more authority under the 1992 Environmental Act, so they can arrest wrongdoers.

 Koh Samui chosen for low-carbon experiment                                         Phuket News 23 March 2012
The Asia Pacific Energy Research Centre (APERC) has selected Koh Samui as its first island to pioneer modelling a low-carbon
lifestyle with the aim of reducing the use of fossil fuels and boosting efficient energy use.
APERC researchers and experts arrive on the island this week to spend the next six months conducting a study on energy use.
The idea of Koh Samui being suitable for development into a low-carbon society was welcomed by Ministry of Tourism and Sports.
For the people and businesses of Koh Samui, tax breaks may be considered for electric cars, energy saving equipment,
construction of energy-saving buildings and energy-conscious waste management, among others.

Hotel price war erupts on Samui                                                     Bangkok Post         27 March 2012
An imbalance between the supply of hotel rooms and the number of tourists visiting Koh Samui has triggered a price war on the
island, particularly in the small and medium-sized hotel market.
Hotel competition is getting fierce in Koh Samui, with some operators offering free nights to attract guests, said the Tourism
Association of Koh Samui.
Vorasit Pongkumpunt, vice-president of Nora Group, the operator of three hotels on the island, said the average hotel room rate on
Koh Samui has dropped by 15% since last year, and several hotels are now offering buy-one-night-get-one-free or buy-two-nights-
get-one-free deals.
Small and medium-sized hotels currently account for 80% of total hotels operating on Koh Samui, and many of them are struggling
to stay afloat and repay loans. Commercial banks are reluctant to extend loans for new developments outside the Chaweng area.
There were 448 hotels on Koh Samui last year with 17,204 rooms.
It is estimated that about 513 new rooms are in the pipeline, 313 of which are due for completion this year.
Bannasat Ruangjan, president of the Tourism Association of Koh Samui, said that too few air connections and relatively expensive
airfares are the key obstacles.
"The problem is not tourist demand, but the limited number of flights and the costly fares," he said. "This results in an imbalance
between hotel supply and the number of tourists."
Mr Bannasat said the association expects tourist arrivals will grow by 10% this year to 935,000.
Following talks with local hoteliers, he said the ideal number of tourists is 5,000 per day, or 1.8 million per year. This level of traffic
would ensure balance in the Koh Samui market.
"The problem is the number of arrivals is fewer than 3,000 a day during the low season and 5,000 visitors a day during high season,"
he said. "Estimated seats available to Koh Samui are 3,600 per day. If we can increase seats during the peak season, it will help to
raise the average occupancy rate to 50% from about 40% now," he said.
High-end Koh Samui property occupancies and rates are rising, reported the 2011 Hotel Market Update. The report, written by
Phuket-based hospitality consultancy C9 Hotelworks, said that upscale hotel room rates rose 16% last year.
It added that a number of high-profile internationally-branded hotels have opened on the island and are having an impact on trading
patterns.
The report said visitors from China, Korea and Japan account for 63% of total Asian hotel guests. Germany remained the top overall
source of guests, at 14% of the total. The UK accounted for 8% of visitors to Koh Samui.

15 Taiwanese couples wed in Samui                                                          Samui Express March 2012
FIFTEEN Taiwanese couples exchanged marriage vows on Koh Samui recently in a colorful mass Thai wedding ceremony with no
less than the island’s district chief, Mr. Prasert Jitmoong, playing as main wedding sponsor. The mass wedding was organized by
the Samui Cultural Center in coordination with the Taiwan office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand. During the ceremony, which
had a theme “Love beyond 100 years,” both brides and grooms wore Thai silk wedding clothes. Fifteen monks presided over the
Buddhist ceremony. As sponsor, Mr. Prasert personally placed flower garlands around the neck of every bride and groom, anointing
them with holy water at the same time.

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