Ko Samui Properties Newsletter 79 by orientalhospitality

VIEWS: 64 PAGES: 8

									                            NEWSLETTER No 79 – APRIL2011
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address.

The main topic of conversation recently has been the unseasonable spell of extremely wet weather to hit Samui and
Southern Thailand. It has been more like the Autumnal rainy season with roads flooded and impassable in places. Bangkok
has also suffered and there have been complaints of extremely cold (for Thailand) weather there as well.

                                                                       The Samui Gazette (hard copy) had an interesting article
                                                                       written by a source at NASA Meteorological Dept explaining
                                                                       why this has happened. Apparently it is due to a High forming
                                                                       over central China at the same time as a Low formed over
                                                                       India. This created a steep pressure ridge over northern
                                                                       Thailand. Then another Low formed over Bangladesh followed
                                                                       by a further Low off the coast of Malaysia. Put together this
                                                                       combination of weather systems created strong easterly
                                                                       winds and lots of rain. The weather map show here is from
                                                                       Monday 28th March and you can see not a lot has changed.

                                                                       There are some extremely good sources for weather
                                                                       information available on the web. The main one is the Thai Met
                                                                       Office and they can be found here . There are links to weather
                                                                       maps, weather radar and forecasts here. Another useful link is
                                                                       to WindGuru which gives a while range of predictions for a
few days ahead in 3 hourly segments.

                                          Infrastructure has taken a severe pounding and
                                          the ring road has been damaged in many places –
                                          not the least of which was the rock fall on the
                                          section between Chaweng and Lamai just short of
                                          the Cliff Restaurant as these photographs show.

                                     The airport has been closed for two days and the
                                     ferries have not been running so there are many
                                     stranded tourists here and in Koh Tai and Koh
                                     Phangan. The British Embassy sent down a small
                                     team to assist UK nationals where they could and the Thai Navy sent their Aircraft
Carrier into the area to evacuate people by helicopter although I hear there were times when that operation had to be
suspended due to high wind speeds.

Hard wired internet connections have been down since Tuesday with only the Air Cards having a connection if you live in
an area with a good signal. Mobile phone networks have been badly affected but are gradually getting back to normal.
As I write this Newsletter reports are coming in of collapsed Villas in North Chaweng.

As of Thursday morning the rain had almost stopped and the flood waters are receding very quickly. Central Government
have promised Baht 50 million to help with immediate repairs As of today, Friday things are gradually getting back to
normal – albeit slowly


Of course Songkran starts on the 13th April – maybe this year we will not need water pistols!




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A very busy month before the rain set in and you can see the results below with many new properties coming onto the
market and a number of price reductions. There is still no clear direction to the market at the moment but I do not think
prices will go any lower in the immediate future – except those where the asking price is still at historic levels.

See also in particular the following New Listing – CTRL + click to follow the link:
                       NEW LISTING
                       4 Bed Villa in Choengmon
                       Available at - Baht 6.95 million




                      NEW LISTING
                      Two Bedroom Villa with large garden in secluded area of Taling Ngam
                      Available at Baht 12,995,000



                         NEW LISTING
                         1.5 Rai Beach land in Plai Laem – 60 m frontage
                         Available at Baht 28 million




                         NEW LISTING
                         1.75 Rai Close Ocean View Hillside Land in Chaweng Noi
                         Available at Baht 28 million


                         NEW LISTING
                         Almost 3 Rai of flat land in Lipa Noi
                         Available at Baht 3.65 million


NEW LISTING
                        Almost 10 Rai Ocean View Hillside Land above Chaweng
                        Available at Baht 40 million




                      NEW LISTING
                      12 Room Resort in Lamai
                      Available at Baht 21.8 million




                      PRICE REDUCTION
                      5 Bedroom house with pool in Taling Ngam – Baht 19 million
                      Now available at Baht 15 million


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                       PRICE REDUCTION
                       Luxury 7 Bedroom Beach Front Villa with guest villas and apartments
                       Price: Baht 220 million – now available at Baht 160 million




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




Samui Express is on line and you can find them here
And you can find The Samui Gazette here - http://theSamuigazette.com/




Lovely coconut bunches return                                                   Bangkok Post       5 March 2011
Plantations in Samui have rebounded from bug infestations. Now, even the monkeys are doing well,
In the past five years, the popular image of Koh Samui as a palm-fringed island paradise has taken a knock.
Malaeng damnarm, or hispine beetles, descended on the island and razed many coconut plantations to the ground.
As supplies dwindled, the prices of coconuts and processed coconut products increased. The plantations that survived the bug
onslaught have reaped the windfall.
For many years, coconuts were low in value but an indispensable ingredient of Thai cooking, from the simple kaeng khiew wan
(green curry) to thap thim krob (crunchy "rubies" made of water chestnuts) dessert.
Many owners of coconut plantations damaged by the beetles were forced to sell their farms to developers.
As plantations were attacked by the beetles, some residents said they were concerned Koh Samui was losing its beauty.
Coconut plantations have since become high-value commodities and many people in the business are making a fortune.

                                  Banthao Kerdsap sendsKhai Nui up a coconut tree on a picking mission.
                                  Five years ago, coconut farms in Ban Nai Bang in tambon Bang Bai Mai of Surat Thani's Muang
                                  district were quiet due to pest outbreaks but they are now bustling again.
                                  Plantation owners pay monkeys to pick coconuts from the tree tops while traders take their
                                  pickup trucks to buy coconuts from plantations. Workers remove husks and break the coconut
                                  shells before sending coconuts to factories producing coconut milk.
                                  Meechai Samutkao, 44, a coconut trader in Surat Thani, said many traders quit the business
                                  when the price of coconuts fell.
Now, things have improved and he is doing a brisk business. He buys coconuts from plantations and takes them on trucks to
Bangkok seven to eight times a month.

                           Each truck carries about 12,000 coconuts, which sell for 20 baht each in Bangkok. He can make about 2
                           million baht selling coconuts each month.

                           MrBanthao helps Khai Nui during a coconut picking demonstration.
                           Even though coconut milk is expensive, demand remains strong as it is a key ingredient in Thai desserts
                           and dishes, especially curries.
                           "Early last year, coconuts sold for 6-7 baht apiece," Mr Meechai said.
                           "But in the middle of last year, falling coconut output pushed up the price to 15-18 baht each," he added.
                           Plantation owners and the internal trade office agreed that the price should not be higher than 18 baht a
coconut.
He said coconuts could fetch only 5-7 baht each when prices were down.
Tian Inthachosak, 68, the owner of a coconut plantation in Ban Plai Khlong in Surat Thani's Muang district, said coconut prices are at
a 50-year peak.
Two years ago, coconuts sold for only 3.50 baht each.
Many cleared their coconut plantations and opted to plant palm trees which fetched better prices.
"It's a pity. Coconuts now sell for more than 10 baht each. The trees take many years before they bear fruit," Ms Tian said.
Coconuts falling from the trees sell for 17 baht each. Coconuts that are picked from tree tops sell for 18 baht each, inclusive of a
service fee of 1.50-2 baht a coconut paid to owners of monkeys hired to pick them.


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                           Husking coconuts is now a job that pays well as the price of coconuts has surged in recent months. P
                           Banthao Kerdsap, 47, owner of Khai Nui, a monkey which picks coconuts, said he and his monkey are in
                           constant demand, picking 300 coconuts a day.
                           "We have a long waiting list of people seeking our services," he said.
                           They make 1.50 baht for each coconut picked, or about 300-400 baht a day.
                           Compare that with last year when they made only 80 satang per coconut picked.
                           Chalin Prapuettrong, acting chief of the Surat Thani agriculture office, said coconut plantation areas cover
                           about 190,000 rai in the province. Koh Samui, which is known as "coconut island", is Surat Thani's biggest
                           producer with 89,000 rai of plantations, making up 70% of the province's output.
Mr Chalin said coconuts were in short supply because pests had damaged plantations there and in Prachuap Khiri Khan, another
major production area.
"About five years ago Koh Samui was attacked by pests, but now it has made a recovery," he said.
Malee Thamtheepkul, owner of a Koh Samui coconut plantation, said hispine beetles caused the most damage to coconut trees in
2004. In 2008, the black-headed caterpillar struck and production fell by half.
But the health of coconut plantations on the island has now recovered, and the future looks good. A project is under way to plant one
million coconut trees to ensure it lives up to its reputation as coconut island again.

Get those trees up _ they're good for tourism                                           Bangkok Post        5 March 2011
                                    Slowly, more coconut trees are being planted on Koh Samui in a long-term tourism project to
                                    restore the southern island's image.
                                    The project, launched by the Surat Thani office of the Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) in
                                    the middle of 2009, encourages hoteliers and tourists to plant trees on unused land around
                                    the island.
                                    As large expanses of private plantations have been wiped out by pest attacks, the efforts will
                                    help conserve coconut trees. The campaign has been put into action on land next to public
                                    waterways and on other areas of public land.

A coconut sapling on Chaweng beach on Koh Samui. Many have been planted on public land. TAWATCHAI KEMGUMNERD
The TAT office said the project, which will carry on until the middle of next year, needs help from all stakeholders in the tourism
industry as well as the general public.
The project has been incorporated into package tours and visitors are asked to join tree-planting operations.
Local administration organisations obtained saplings using money from TAT and distributed them to parties interested in planting
trees.
Saplings are handed out free to hotel staff, Thai and foreign tourists and even residents.
For some time, Samui's hotel and resort operators have grown coconut trees at their establishments as ornamental plants.Tree
planting is also included in the itinerary of tour packages for honeymooners.
"In the past, coconut trees popped up in people's minds when they thought about Koh Samui. But now a lot of coconut trees have
disappeared from the island," said Banasart Ruangchan, president of the Samui Tourism Promotion Association.
He said the campaign was a green initiative that would help to expand the island's hallmark resource.
Despite the campaign, Mr Banasart said it would be an uphill task to fully restore the number of coconut trees as so many had been
lost. _ Chaiwat Satyaem

Napasai on Samui Island to Close for One Month                                      E Travel Tips                  24 March 2011
Napasai, Orient-Express’ stylish beach resort and residences on Samui island in southern Thailand, already has one of the longest
private sandy beaches on the island, and is set to become a swimmer’s paradise with a project to create a 28,000m² crystal clear
lagoon and underwater nature reserve.
Napasai will close for one month on 15 May with plans to reopen on 16 June 2011.
During the closure, underwater rocks and dead coral will be removed to create a fine sand lagoon in front of the hotel. The project is
being carried out under the supervision of the local marine authority with the aim of encouraging marine life back to the coral reef
approximately 180m offshore, parts of which have died over an extended period of time due to fluctuating water temperatures. The
coral reef itself will not be touched.
Experts predict that as a result of this clearance, natural pools will be created in the middle of the lagoon by the ocean current,
encouraging new marine life. Guests will be able to swim, or even walk at low tide, out to the reef and snorkel in these pools. Those
that are inspired to explore further can take a PADI dive course during their stay.
This project is the latest phase in Orient-Express’ investment in Napasai, a secluded hideaway set in tropical gardens overlooking
the Gulf of Thailand on Koh Samui’s fashionable north coast.
In January 2010, the private beach was expanded by 1,800m², complemented by a new barbecue restaurant, serving fresh local
seafood and grilled dishes in two alfresco wooden salas from talented Chef, Gilles Galli, who was previously at Napasai’s sister
property, La Résidence Phou Vao in Luang Prabang, Laos.
Napasai’s 14 private pool residences, some of which are ocean front, and 39 cottages were renovated in the same project, making
them some of the most stylish and comfortable properties on the island.



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Plan to build second Samui airport pushed                                                       Samui Express 27 February 2011
Is it time for the municipality to consider another airport on the island? The Samui airport, owned and operated by Bangkok Airways,
has been the subject of criticisms lately for its alleged excessive landing and other fees charged on other airlines using the airport.
A Samui businessman, who frequents Bangkok, says Bangkok Airways’ one-way fare for the Bangkok-Samui route is too expensive.
Speaking on condition of anonymity, the businessman said the excessive airfare was turning away potential Samui visitors. He said
a second airport could boost the island’s tourism. It would encourage more airlines to fly to the island, resulting in cheaper airfares.
A retired British pilot living on the island, who once considered investing in a second airport on Koh Samui, said it was time for the
airline to give up its tight grip on the island’s air travel.
“Bangkok Airways admittedly built the airport and has encouraged tourism and have been and still are responsible for sponsorships
of many worthy causes on Samui,” the pilot said.
“But enough is enough! And when the exorbitant airfares to the island due to this monopoly threaten to impinge on property prices
and the overall future prosperity of Samui, it must be time to take stock,” the retired pilot in his 80s said.
He said even a private airstrip on the far opposite corner of the island was strongly resisted in the final stages of negotiations. He
also asked if there was any truth to the rumor that under Thai law, no two airports can be within 18 km of each other.
“If so, is this a new law? Or just an excuse to prolong the monopoly?” he asked.
“When, for instance, a toll is charged to cover the costs of building a bridge, tunnel or new section of road, and that investment is
paid back in full in, say 20 years, is it morally justified to continue charging ever increasing dues for decades to follow?” he asked,
adding, “We all want to achieve the same end but burying one’s head in the sand is not the solution.”
Bangkok Airways built and started operating the airport in 1989. Thai Airways also began using it in 2008. An off-and-on plan to build
another airport has faced stiff opposition from the airline and local environmentalists.

Samui to hold Triathlon in April                                       from Bangkok Airways            11 March 2011
Koh Samui Tourism Association in collaboration with Tourism Authority of Thailand, Municipality of Koh Samui, Bangkok Airways
and Triathlon Association of Thailand will organize the “Samui Triathlon 2011” during April 23 – 24 with an aim to draw over 5,000
athletes and companions from around the world.
This international sports event will be held at the Na Thon Pier and around the Bo Pud Beach area with the purpose to promote
sports activities of Koh Samui to be known far and wide as well as to develop the triathlon and the duathlon in Thailand toward
international recognition.
The two-day event consists of three different types of competitions. On the first day, there will be a mountain bike competition
followed by the triathlon and the duathlon on the second day. The triathlon competition includes 4 kilometers of swimming, 127
kilometers of cycling, and 30 kilometers of running; while the duathlon includes 10 kilometers of running, 44.5 kilometers of cycling
and another leg of 5 kilometers of running.
The expected 5,000 participants include all athletes from Europe, America, Asia and Pacific and Thai athletes as well as Thai and
foreign media. For more information, please visit http://www.triathlonsamui.com or call Koh Samui Tourism Municipality Tel 077 421
421 - 2 ext. 164.

PRESENTATION OF THE INTERNATIONAL SAMUI ISLAND TRIATHLON

The first one will take place in April 24th 2011.

The Bicycle zone which is the central point of the event shall be located on Nathon. Finish zone of the race, the merchandising zone,
the VIP zone, the Organisation and Animation zone shall be fitted out next to the Bicycle zone.

The Swimming course shall consist in 2 laps of 2 km with Australian exit at the end of first lap in Bophut The Cycling course in total
laps of 122 KM 650 ( one laps and half around Island). The Running course in one lap of 30 km between Nathon and Nathon by
south of Island.

The Swimming course shall necessitate the setting up of buoys located at the corners and water lines with assistance, race control
and journalists boats. Divers have to be present too. A medical assistance post shall be provided at the end of the swimming race as
well as a supplies post intended for the racers.

The Cycling Course and Running Course shall be marked out with vertical and horizontal arrowing. The race shall be protected by
Policemen or volunteers at each crossroad. It is to be hoped that the road would be closed totally or opposite way of the race.

The assistance, control and supplies posts have to be arranged all along the course.

The merchandising zone shall include tents intended to welcome the Sponsors and Companies who will be able to propose and sell
their products.

The VIP zone shall be located at the Arrival line and shall be fitted out in order to welcome Sponsors, VIP and Media.

The Organisation Zone shall be divided in 4 parts :


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•   The Triathletes, Officials, Sponsors and Media welcome zone.
•   The medical zone.
•   The organisation management, radio communication and refereeing zone.
•   The Media zone.

Copy, Fax, Phone, Computer, Timing equipment and Electrical and water feeding are absolutely necessary. Bathrooms and showers
equipment as well.

The animation zone comprises a platform animator, speaking English at least, a sound system covering the animation zone, tribunes
for spectators, and if possible entertainment shows.

The Arrival, Bicycle, VIP and Organisation Zones must be protected by fences.

Arrival porch or inflated arches shall be disposed on Departure and Arrival Zones.

Fences to sustain bicycles and chairs shall be placed in the Bicycle Zone.

Motorcycles, cars and assistance helicopters are necessary for Referees, Media and Organisation Team.

Ambulances, reanimation equipment and first aid emergency kits, as well as doctors, physiotherapists and nurses are absolutely
necessary.

Organisation, Bicycle, VIP, Departure and Arrival Zones must be controlled and secured.

A car park have to be provided nearby for VIP, Media, Organisation Team, and Triathletes.

Supplies consist in mineral water, fresh fruits, energetic beverages, Coca Cola, dry fruits etc…. Lodging and transportation shall be
proposed to competitors, Media, Organisation Team at competitive price. The provision of a swim cap, an identification plate for the
bicycle, two race numbers and one T-shirt is obligatory. A Finisher T-shirt shall be given to all finishers.

No outside assistance of any kind will be permitted, unless otherwise authorised by the Organisation Team.

All above mentioned obligations and those non-written but required for an international event organisation whom Organisation Team
is ITU are supported by the Operator. He is in charge of finding necessary local helps according to ITU Rules. Additional details shall
be given when event organisation is setting.


                                                           PR2011 / 015


                Bangkok Airways debuts new uniforms at BIFW2011
        Bangkok / 25 March 2011 - Bangkok Airways launches new and stylish uniforms at Bangkok International
Fashion Week 2011(BIFW2011), Siam Paragon.

         M.L.Nandhika Varavarn, Vice President, Corporate Communications of Bangkok Airways said "We are
delighted to support Thai designers and also Bangkok International Fashion Week this year. After having seen many
successes of Thai designers, we decided to engage Mr. Polpat Asavaprapha, owner of ASAVA and ASV brand, to
                                          create a new look since the current uniform has been in use for almost 20
                                          years. The new collection will be officially launched at BIFW2011."

                                                           "This is very exciting and interesting. The concept of new uniform
                                                 will emphasize our position as "Boutique Airline" and "Shades of Blue"
                                                 shows our color identity. The new uniforms, especially designed for 1,200
                                                 front line staff in reservation, ground services and in-flight services are not
                                                 only modern in style but also comfortable to wear” added M.L. Nandhika.

        Mr. Polpat Asavaprapha explained that "Before designing the uniforms, I needed to find what are the identities
of Bangkok Airways. Blue stripes painted on the aircraft is one of the carrier’s identities. I then created stripe pattern with
shades of blue and turquoise. Silk-Poly fabric has been chosen to give a feeling of lightness and comfort to the person

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wearing it. Uniform for men, in grey and blue with painted cobalt stripes on the shirt emphasizes luxury, smart and
informal look. This is to express the identity as a leisure airline."

         "To design clothes, apart from consideration of era and time, we also think about staffs who wear the uniform
and their work. For flight-attendants who have to be quick and smart, we decided to use culottes, which will look modern
and flexible" Mr. Polpat added.


                                                          ###
                                                                    Corporate Communications Department, Bangkok Airways
                                                           Tel. 0-2265-5670-2, 0-2265-5686, 0-2265-8709 Fax 0-2265-5665
                                                                                            E-mail: media@bangkokair.com




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