The changing Face of Koh Phangan

“With a laid-back lifestyle, increasing infrastructure with banks and a Western Union office in the main town of Thong Sala, as well as a local accident and emergency facility, it is becoming a popular choice for those who aren’t attracted to the rampant commercialism of some of the larger islands in the region.

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Koh Phangan.

The infamous Full Moon Party takes place every month and draws crowds of up to 30,000 (…) Currently approximately 10,000 people live permanently on Koh Phangan, the majority based in Thong Sala. Most of the local population lives in small farming and fishing villages dotted around the island. As a designated eco-tourist destination, over 60% of Koh Phangan is a protected national park making it ideal for hiking and trekking. The array of white sandy beaches, many protected by beautiful coral reefs, provide excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities.

Favourite Hideaways

There are many property hot spots on the island. Nik Parker from Koh Phangan Holiday Homes: “The west coast beaches are tranquil and have great views of the Ang Tong Marine Park, along with Koh Phangan’s legendary sunset.” Commercial businesses tend to base themselves in Haad Rin, the home of the Full Moon Party. The main buyers at the moment are European. They are investing not only in commercial businesses, but in a number of different types of developments. Nik says that two to four-bedroom villas are the most popular (…)

Investment Opportunities

Prices are very competitive in Koh Phangan compared to similar locations in the region. Liam Bailey, chief market analyst from Property Abroad believes there are some great bargains to be been affected by the global situation, so Koh Phangan growth potential has been stunted, but this just makes it an even hotter investment destination. “[Land] will easily sell for three, four or even five times [than the price right now] during Asia’s economic recovery.”  Making sure that underground drainage and water and electricity supplies are in place is an integral part of the buying process. Many property buyers purchase land assuming it is ready to be built on, only to find they have a lengthy and expensive process ahead in order to put in the necessary infrastructure.

The Simple Life

So although the property market has hit a slump overall, those with cash and patience are snapping up villas and homes in Koh Phangan where the price of property is, in most cases, less than 30% of the price elsewhere in the region. With the island boasting less traffic, fewer commercial buildings and a smaller population than many surrounding islands, it is a magnetic draw for those searching for a new start or a simpler life, with developments and properties available to suit every lifestyle and most pockets.”

source: Market watch – emerging islands of Thailand p 47-49.

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