NEWSLETTER No 102 – MARCH 2013
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Our 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
This month’s Newsletter is a little late (and a little shorter than usual) as I had to return to England rather unexpectedly at
the end of last month and it is taking a few days to catch up. I cannot believe how cold it was and being acclimatised for
many years to temperatures in the upper 20’s, it was a shock to the system to meet an average of zero! It did however give
me the opportunity to try out the “Meet and Greet” service I have referred to in previous Newsletters. For Baht 850 you are
met as you leave the aircraft and escorted to an Immigration officer and fast tracked through Immigration. If you have
baggage they escort you to collect it – I only had carry on – and then take you to your next flight or a taxi. It worked exactly
as advertised and I was off the aircraft and through Immigration within minutes and was therefore able to check in to an
earlier flight back to Samui. Hearing so many stories of lengthy queues at Immigration, this was really well worth while and
I can recommend it. Here is the link again -
In this months Newsletter you will find an article with regard to Thai Wills. This is something many people do not, and
sometimes do not want, to think about – including me! The law in Thailand differs from the law in other countries and a Will
in the UK for example would not apply to assets held in Thailand. I will not go into any detail here as the article is quite
sufficient, but it did remind me of another situation that sometimes occurs and I have seen a couple of time recently.
Company Accounts. You are required to file Company Accounts every year. If you file late, you will be fined. If you
continually fail to submit accounts, eventually the Commercial Department will close the company and the property will
revert to State ownership. I have seen this with owners who have returned to their home country and, whilst they may not
have forgotten about the property, have forgotten about the requirement to file returns on a regular basis. The other
circumstance, which ties in with the first paragraph, is where the foreign owner returns to their homeland and passes away.
Unless there is a mechanism in place to inform the Thai shareholders and a Will to state what should happen, then the
property remains in limbo and often deteriorates badly being uncared for. I am aware of a couple of properties where this
appears to be the case and they are gradually falling to pieces. Nothing can be done because there is no one with any
authority to do anything with them.
If you are sending an SMS, please remember to add your name at the end! The receiving phone will display the sending
number but more often than not with the country prefix – including within Thailand with Thai SIM Cards. So although I may
have your number on my phone it will probably not have the Thai prefix stored and therefore will be unrecognized. I would
have to search the whole directory on my phone to find out who sent the SMS so it is easier to reply and ask who you are
which of course just fills the phone company’s pockets.
There are certainly buyers around and sales are happening which is a good sign but buyers are very price conscious and
deals are taking a long time to conclude. There are still more properties entering the market than being sold so do not
expect prices to start increasing any time soon.
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We are fortunate in being allowed to offer 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
See also in particular the following New Listings and Price Reductions – CTRL + click to follow the link:
3 Bedroom bungalow near Fisherman’s Village.
Available at Baht 15,900,000 and for long term rental at Baht 82,500 per month.
Tropicana T4, 3 Bed Villa close to beach in Bang Po
Available at Baht 9,000,000
2 x 3 Bedroom villas and pool in Bophut
Available at Baht 28,000,000
2 Bedroom bungalow on double plot in Bangrak
Owner keen to sell and looking for offers on Baht 3,250,000
3 Bedroom Pool Villa in Bophut Hills
Available at Baht 7,900,000
6 Bedroom property in Ban Tai
Available at Baht 24,000,000
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4 Bedroom luxury pool villa in tropical gardens
Previously offered at Baht 49,500,000
Now Available at Baht 35,000,000
2 Bedroom Townhouse in Soi Kalara
Previously offered at Baht 4,000,000
Now available at Baht 3,500,000
3 Bedroom Pool Villa on managed estate in Bophut
Previously offered at Baht 9,900,000
Now available at Baht 8,900,000
3 Bedroom Villa on 3 Rai close to beach in Taling Ngam
Previously offered at Baht 26,000,000
Now available at Baht 18,000,000
Almost 2 Rai flat land in Lipa Noi
Previously offered at Baht 1,900,000
Now available at Baht 1,100,000
2 Bedroom bungalow with pool in Lipa Noi
Previously offered at Baht 8,500,000
Now available at Baht 6,800,000 or reasonable offer
Large 6 bedroom Villa in Ban Makham
Previously offered at Baht 55,000,000
Now available at Baht 44,000,000
4 Bedroom Ocean front villa in Ban Tai
Previously offered at Baht 90,000,000
Now available at Baht 59,000,000
Chaweng Residence, Chaweng Hills, Koh Samui
Previously offered at Baht 99,000,000
Now available at Baht 55,000,000
Sea View Villa in Phu Chaweng
Previously offered at Baht 14,900,000
Now available at Baht 9,900,000
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5 Hillside Sea View Plots in Phu Chaweng.
Previously offered at Baht 1,550,000
Now available at Baht 1,300,000
2 Bedroom pool villa in Bangrak
Previously offered at Baht 5,150,000
Now available at Baht 4,850,000
3 Bedroom Sea View pool villa in Taling Ngam
Previously offered at Baht 9,750,000
Now available at Baht 8,500,000
For Festivals around Thailand visit the Tourist Authority of Thailand website.
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Power cables to Samui, Pha-ngan The Nation 7 February 2013
Padung Banjongsilp, deputy governor of the Provincial Electricity Authority, and other executives led members of the press, top
officials from Samui and Pha-ngan islands and the president of the Tourism and Hospitality Association to observe the laying of 115-
kilovolt cables from Nakhon Si Thammarat to Samui in Surat Thani.
The demand for electricity in Samui has risen to 100MW, and in order to fulfil this, a third circuit has been set up along with a new
substation. So far, 37.5 kilometres of the 54km cable has already been laid, and it is expected that after the substation goes into
operation in March, it will be able to produce 200MW of electricity - meeting demand in both islands for at least 10 years.
PEA is spending Bt4 billion on this project, which comes under the government's policy to improve the quality of life in the islands,
boost tourism and prepare the country for the launch of the Asean Economic Community.
PEA started providing power from a diesel generator to Samui since 1961. In 1987, in order to meet rising demand, the PEA laid
23km of cable to supply another 33KV of electricity to the island.
Then in 1995, the PEA set up its first circuit producing 115KV, before setting up a second circuit and building two substations, which
have provided a reliable supply to Samui.
Extract from The Nation - 22 February 2013 – full article here
In a related matter, according to the Provincial Electricity Authority, the installation of the fourth power-transmission line from Kanom
power plant to Samui was 90 per cent complete. The 54-kilometre line can transmit 115 kilowatts to the island. The project cost is
Bt4 billion, and it is set to start providing electricity next month.
Samui and nearby Koh Pha-ngan suffered blackouts for a few days in December caused by electrical short circuits in the main
The importance of preparing a will in Thailand
For many people, estate planning and the preparation of a last will and testament is a dreaded thought and something that is
rather avoided. However, it is certainly advisable to settle such affairs and this holds true in particular if you have property in
If you do not prepare a will, the law decides how the estate is distributed. Succession in Thailand is governed by Sections 1599
ff. of the Thai Civil and Commercial Code (“CCC”). Rules related to international issues are governed by Sections 37 ff. of the
Thai Act on Conflict of Laws.
Statutory heirs are entitled to inherit according to the following order (Section 1629 CCC):
Brothers and sisters of full blood
Brothers and sisters of half blood
Grandfathers and grandmothers
Uncles and aunts
The surviving spouse is also a statutory heir. His/her share of the inheritance depends on how many and which type of statutory
heirs there are altogether.
Thai inheritance law does not recognise the idea of a statutory share. Any heir can be fully disinherited.
If there are no living relatives and no will, the estate devolves to the state.
Why a will is recommended
It is highly recommended to have a last will and testament naming all your assets, such as property, bank accounts, vehicle, and
personal items as well as naming your heirs.
If there is no will, the statutory heirs have the burden of proof that they are next of kin.
They will in practice have to hire a Thai lawyer to represent them during the court probate proceedings in Thailand and perhaps
even have to travel to Thailand. This is avoidable by preparing a will.
In a will, an administrator of the estate may also be appointed, such as a lawyer in Thailand.
Thailand now has enacted laws that govern issues related to the so-called “living will”, which means your instructions as to what
to do if you are seriously injured and left in a vegetative state.
Such instructions may be included in your last will and testament.
Also, funeral arrangements may be set forth in your will.
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If the deceased had a Thai spouse or partner who owns common assets in his/her own name, in particular if they have been
paid for by the deceased, the spouse or partner also should have a will.
Formalities of a Thai will
In Thailand, the most common type of will is required to be in writing, dated at the time of making the will, and signed by the
testator before at least two witnesses of the testator’s signature (Sections 1656 CCC). It does not have to be drafted in Thai
The body text of the will may be printed or handwritten. In addition to this common type of will, there are certain other types with
different formalities, such as a public will, which are less relevant in practice.
We strongly recommend preparing a separate Thai will for assets in Thailand in addition to the will in your home country.
This is necessary because different jurisdictions usually require different formalities for wills.
Furthermore, having a will drafted in the home country to cover assets in Thailand may be problematic and burdensome to the
family as documentation may need to be translated, notarised and approved by a government body.
Conflict of law
If assets include a house and/or a leasehold right in Thailand, Thai courts will be competent for the probate and Thai law will
always govern the succession.
If assets include movable property in Thailand, including shares in a Thai company, Thai courts will be competent as well,
however according to Thai conflict law the law of the domicile of the deceased at the time of his death will be applied.
A Thai will should be prepared and signed on Thai territory, as in this case it is ensured that the aforementioned Thai rules
regarding the form of the will apply.
Probate in Thailand
In order to obtain a probate in Thailand, probate proceedings at the Thai courts will need to be initiated by the heirs. A probate
will in most cases be required to administer the estate orderly, even if the deceased has provided for a last will.
If the deceased himself named an administrator in his will, the probate court will appoint this person.
One of the heirs, but also a third party, such as a lawyer, may act as administrator. Otherwise the court will seek to appoint one
of the heirs as administrator of the estate.
The administrator will be appointed by the court if none of the heirs object.
The administrator is obligated to appear personally at the court hearing in Thailand.
If heirs consent to the appointment of the administrator in writing, they will usually not be required to appear during the hearing
of the probate court in Thailand.
This means that in a normal probate procedure without complications, the heirs can avoid traveling to Thailand by using a
professional administrator such as a lawyer.
Inheritance of Thai property
Please note that a leasehold right regarding property in principle ends upon the demise of the lessee.
However, standard land lease agreements usually state that the leasehold right should be passed on to the heirs by way of
This issue needs to be dealt with at the time of preparing and entering into the land lease agreement, and it is advisable to have
your legal adviser check any such agreements again as part of the inheritance arrangements.
A building owned by a foreigner may be passed on to the heirs according to general rules.
If shares in a Thai company are passed on by way of inheritance, e.g. in the case of shareholding in a Thai company that holds
land, it should be noted that rather complicated legal issues with regards to corporate law may arise.
A will provides for clarity here and avoids legal disputes between heirs and/or shareholders.
It might be interesting to note that inheritance tax is not levied in Thailand.
-- Fabian Doppler 2013-02-13
Fabian Doppler is a Senior Legal Advisor based in the Phuket Office of DFDL Mekong Legal & Tax Advisers. This article is
intended for general guidance only. It should not be relied upon as legal
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Legal casinos, one-stop visa and 'demand generators' key to Thailand's long-term
success as record year for tourism looms: travel summit
E Travel Blackboard 7 February 2013
The nation's pre-eminent gathering of tourism and travel industry experts has concluded that while Thailand looks headed for its best
year for tourist numbers and revenues ever, action to legalise gaming, improve infrastructure and attract 'quality' travellers was
urgently needed ahead of moves to introduce the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC).
More than 350 tourism industry movers and shakers attended the Thailand Tourism Forum at the InterContinental Bangkok recently,
voting on key issues facing the industry and setting alarm bells ringing about Thailand's long-term competitiveness in the region.
Bill Barnett, co-organizer of the forum and Managing Director of C9 Hotelworks, said over 60 percent of respondents at the event
who participated in the Thailand Tourism Index survey believed legal casinos would be an important factor in Thailand remaining
competitive with other economic and tourist powers in the region.
"Thailand tourism needs to study very carefully the issue of gaming and other demand generators to attain sustained volume
growth," he said. "There is a very real risk of us slipping behind places like Singapore and Macau in terms of visibility, branding and
revenues. Thailand is also facing a glut of hotel rooms, so we need big draw cards like casinos as key drivers of demand."
More than 80 percent of those voting agreed that Thailand was now staring down the barrel of an oversupply of rooms and that
urgent action was required. Among them were keynote speakers at the forum and notables including Dillip Rajakarier (Minor Hotel
Group), Chanin Donavanik (Dusit Hotels and Resorts), Peter Henley (Onyx Hospitality and Hotels), Robert Hecker (Horwath HTL),
Paul Logan (InterContinental Hotels Group), Jonas Ogren (STR Global), David Keen (Quo Global), John Koldowski (PATA) and Bill
Barnett (C9 Hotelworks).
Mr Barnett said: "Thailand Tourism Forum - 2013 (TTF) is the country's first report card on the state of the industry and an
opportunity to look beyond the numbers at how tourism performance can affect a country's entire economy."
The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) has announced aims to achieve 24.5 million international visitors in 2013, following a 15
percent increase from 2011 to 2012, which earned the country over THB 965 billion.
International tourist arrivals, according to TAT, have increased 15 percent from last year and earned the country more than 965
billion baht (US$31.5 billion), a 24-per-cent rise from last year. Among the top-10 source countries for international visitors, China
stays at the top, followed by Malaysia, Japan, Russia, South Korea, India, Laos, Australia, the United Kingdom and Singapore.
Mr Barnett said mass tourism was the 'elephant in the room': "As Wall Street learned, nothing grows forever. Thailand needs to learn
the lessons of a volatile trading environment and focus on developing stronger infrastructure and perhaps temper growth targets and
create more healthy segmentation than simply more, more, more."
Voting at the forum on key issues affecting the industry also revealed:
? An overwhelmingly positive outlook for 2013, with international arrivals tipped to easily eclipse the record 22 million recorded for
? Only a handful of industry figures were concerned about the high value of the baht
? Phuket was overwhelmingly the favoured location for hotel investment in 2012, more than twice as desirable than Bangkok or
Pattaya, with Samui, Hua Hin and Chiang Mai stirring minimal interest with hotel developers and financiers
? Global trends were echoed in Thailand, with MICE, health and wellness, and culture and heritage the strongest drivers of tourism
demand with prospects for growth, rated far ahead of shopping, adventure travel, and theme parks
? A split vote on the issue of legalizing gaming came down in favour of allowing casinos by a factor of about 10 percent
? Industry leaders were unanimous that AEC 2015 would have a significant impact on tourism and travel in Thailand
Mr Barnett said the AEC was undoubtedly a 'game-changer', and would accelerate the impetus that had been building for a less
divided ASEAN ever since the global financial crisis thrust Thailand and the region onto the world stage in 1997. "Regional travel has
been a key tourism storyline over the past four years with sustained growth," he said.
"The AEC will only create a stronger fundamental for this going forward. Boosted by rising low-cost airline carriers and a growing
middle class, we expect this trend to dominate the market during this decade."
The AEC comprises the economic integration of all 10 ASEAN member states by 2015, with the goals of creating a single market
and production base.
Calls for legal casinos began in earnest last year, when CP Group boss and multi-billionaire Dhanin Chearavanont called for casino
licences to be issues for Chiang Mai, Phuket and Pattaya and warned Thailand was slipping behind regional rivals and allowing
'underground businesses and dark powers' to flourish by not taking control of the lucrative gaming sector.
Mr Barnett said more freedom of travel and likely single-issue visas for the entire AEC region also raised security issues for travellers
and nations but was not reason to be too pessimistic. "The Euro-zone has effectively handled this for an extended time and I believe
with appropriate technology and increased cooperation between intelligence services and police in ASEAN that risk can be
mitigated. Ultimately the benefits far outweigh the downside."
Mike Batchelor, Managing Director, Investment Sales, Jones Lang LaSalle Hotels & Hospitality Group and a keynote speaker at the
conference, said Bangkok was expected to replace Phuket as Thailand's hospitality investment hot spot, with the new Real Estate
Investment Trust (REIT) law likely to lead to an increase in property transactions, bolstered by increasing levels of international
investment as global economies recover.
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