Monday, November 2, 2009

Special Offers for Villa Asoke

Villa Asoke by TCC Capital Land offers special promotion called ´One day, one price on high floors´ which will only be valid on October 31 at the Queen Sirikit National Convention Centre (QSNCC). The Offers includes one price per sqm for units on the 33rd to 42nd Floors.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

The Address Sathorn

The Address Sathorn is one of the latest project in The Address series launched by Asian Property (PLC). The project is located 400 meters approximately from BTS Chong Nonsi and within a walking distance to BTS Surasak. The project boasts a lush front garden and infinite edge pool. Units are fully furnished.

Schwinn Thrasher Adult Micro Bicycle Helmet (Adult)

Schwinn Thrasher Adult Micro Bicycle Helmet (Adult)

Looking for a biccycle helmet? Try Schwinn Thrasher Adult Micro Bicycle Helmet.It has a dial at the back of the helmet to make it fit your head comfortably and exactly.The straps are soft and gender. They don't scratch your face. Moisture-wicking pads also keep you dry along riding. It has 21 flow vents to keep you cool. List price:$24.99 but special price available at

Thursday, October 29, 2009

A Guide To Buying Property in Thailand

So you have fallen in love with Thailand? Like so many others before you, and the thousands that will follow? For whatever reason, you have chosen to own a property in Thailand? This could be for the long term prospect of making this wonderful country your permanent home, or as a potential investment, and/or for the pleasure of having a luxury holiday home in the sun. Whatever the reason, there are certain things you need to consider before jumping head-first into a purchase.

Naturally, what seems like a great idea at the time can often change after a full investigation of the pro’s and cons? There is certainly no reason not to consider such a purchase, but like any property deal back in Europe or the USA, it is advisable to carry out due diligence beforehand. Find out the facts before you sign anything, and be sure you have covered everything before you proceed.

Thailand is a wonderful country with some beautiful beaches, an amazing climate and a very laid back approach to life. All very appealing to the foreigner just off the plane from their stressful lifestyles back in Europe or the USA? But before you sign on the dotted line of a contract, please ensure all the necessary due diligence has been carried out, as it would have been back home.

Always seek professional legal advice and get a qualified registered lawyer

The first and probably most important decision you will make is to talk to a Thai registered, qualified lawyer who is respected and/or has been highly recommended. This is incredibly important as until you have some in depth knowledge of Thailand and the Thai real estate market, you will need professional and honest advice. A good, trustworthy Thai lawyer can assist you in so many ways, save you money and provide many answers to the numerous questions you undoubtedly will have? They can also help you avoid any unnecessary pitfalls created by your lack of understanding of the market, and will guide you through any language barriers.

Always remember when appointing a Thai lawyer, you are basically hiring his/her professional services in order to help protect you from any unforeseen pitfalls, guide you on Thai real estate law, help with any lack of understanding and/or protect you from any unscrupulous individuals that may be looking to take advantage of you. Lawyers are worth every baht they charge if they are honest, qualified and licensed. Hire a good one and they are an invaluable source of information and expertise.

A Good Law Firm will:

* Check the current owners have the correct title to the property
* Check for any charges and liabilities still owed on the property
* Check your contract and advise you on the obligations/responsibilities of all parties
* Guide you through the payment/funds transfer
* Ensure that the property is registered appropriately and in the correct name
* Provide valuable and essential legal information
* Advise on visa regulations and your options
* Safe guard you against unscrupulous persons wishing to take advantage

Ownership Laws for Foreign Buyers – Ask a Registered Thai Lawyer to Help

Currently the laws in Thailand only allow certain types of property to be purchased and owned on a freehold, and you need to know what they are. A Condominium is the first type that comes to mind and a very good option. But even with a condominium one needs to check the unit to be bought falls into the correct legal category. Check the laws governing this, and make sure you carry out all the right actions that create a smooth and hassle free purchase. As already mentioned, a licensed Thai lawyer will do all this for you, and they are worth very baht they charge! It is only the foolish who buys a 15 million baht property and then objects to pay a lawyer 50,000- 100,000 to deal with the transaction. A Thai lawyer is there to protect you and your hard earned money. Don’t be foolish, and always make sure you seek good legal advice. It can also be foolish, to go the cheap route and use any of the numerous unqualified legal advisers who offer ridiculously cheap legal assistance. Many, you often see in the back of tourist magazines, newspapers and occupying numerous street shops. Once again, be careful, take your time and be sensible. There are some excellent lawyers out there and you just need to find them.

As a foreign investor, there are also ways to lease property in Thailand for up to 30 years! Many are happy to choose this option as a freehold property can be owned by a foreign investor on leased land. And even then, there are ways to extend a 30 year lease, but not necessarily with a complete guarantee. Once again, check with a qualified, registered lawyer.

Buying on one of Thailand’s fabulous developments

There are numerous fabulous developments throughout Thailand and one should take their time looking. Decide on the location such as beach area, city, country side, and take the time to look at the various projects in that location. There are many locations to consider depending on where you wish to live. The main areas and popular choices are: Bangkok, Pattaya, Koh Chang, Rayong, Hua Hin, Cha Am, Chiang Mai, Ko Samui, Phuket, and Krabi. Each area has its advantages and disadvantages, and there are a wide variety of developments to choose from.

Make sure you deal with a reputable developer, one that can help you as much as possible. Ask your Thai lawyer to check any contracts and title deeds they may provide, and always seek legal advice before signing or paying for any property. If the developer is reputable and serious, they will fully understand the need for your lawyer to be involved and in fact should welcome it, as it shows they are open and honest with nothing to hide. A reputable developer should also be happy to provide all information as regards the building of the property you are purchasing, and any information regarding title deeds, ownership, communal areas, guarantees and whatever pertains to the successful purchase.

Building your own Home in Thailand – Exceptional Value for Money!

Building your own home is a fantastic option and probably the one that allows you to take full advantage of Thailand’s very reasonable prices. It allows you to get the most for your money. But once again, this can be problematic if you do not consult a professional, registered construction company. There are many unqualified builders out there, as in the West, and many are carrying out construction with no previous experience whatsoever. Some do it as a hobby, others foolishly do it as they think it’s an easy way to make money; and some even do it because they think it’s an easy thing to do. But as we know from Europe or USA the reason we have qualifications, the reasons we have regulations on construction, is because it is, a very complex task. If you wish your house to be built to a standard acceptable to international standards, then make sure you get a registered company to do it for you that can provide examples of their work as well as testimonials and references.

Make sure you use a Company with Construction Experience

Remember standards in Thailand vary widely and don’t be one of the many victims who end up with a home whose electrics are not earthed; windows have gaps around them, doors that do not fit, and structures that have no guarantees. Be sensible and careful. Ask the right questions and make sure the company you choose has a good reputation and is registered as a construction company, not as an individual or via their wife’s name. There is little come back if it is built under a person rather than a company, and any serious builder will have a registered company set up. But even then, make sure you ask the right questions, and make sure they have many years experience in construction.

1. If something sounds too go to be true; then it probably is?

A Registered Construction Company will:

* Assist and advise you on the prices, styles, types of property
* Provide recommendations, references or testimonials from satisfied clients
* Provide a synopsis of their experience within the construction industry
* Assist you with architectural plans and consult with you on them
* Make sure your plans are signed by both a qualified architect and structural engineer. Very important if you insure your property later on, as many insurance companies will contest any payouts for damage or problems, if the property construction was not carried out by professional people and/or was not designed by a qualified architect and checked/signed off by a structural engineer. So make sure it is.

·Make sure the architect provides you with a complete set of detailed plans and will provide copies for all government offices that require them

* Provide a professionally written legal contract, outlining both parties’ responsibilities and safeguarding both parties’ against disagreement or conflict. It should list all the particulars of the agreement and any additions, changes or alterations to the detailed plans. If specific materials or finish have been agreed, this should also be listed clearly with in it.
* Obtain official permission for your property to be built and provide the government with an documentation they require
* Provide a clear and concise construction payment schedule
* Offer stage payment options
* Provide full invoices for each construction stage
* Be available to answer questions and give advise throughout the construction process
* Provide guarantees

Find the Right Company and Build that Dream Home for a lot Less than you think!

Find the right construction company and you can build a quality luxury 4 bedroom house with pool for 7-10 million baht, a 3 bedroom bungalow for 3 million baht and an exclusive millionaire’s home for 25 million baht. The choice is yours to make on how much you wish to spend. However once again you need to check with a registered lawyer as regards the law and make sure you are able to do what you want to. Many foreigners who are married to Thai nationals choose this option to build and have a contract drawn out by their lawyer, between them and their wife. It satisfies their desire to live in their own home, safeguards them as much as possible and maximizes the money they have to spend. Once again seek good legal advice and there is no reason why you should have problems. The major plus point of building your own home and using a professional construction to do so, is you get so much more for your money than if you bought on a development and can customize the property to your own needs, preferences and budget.

Check all Your Options and Consider Everything Carefully

If you are married to a Thai national then there are other ways to purchase and complete your property ownership. As is the case if you are investing large sums of money into Thailand. There are so many aspects to consider and it is actually not so different to any country in the world. England and America have rules governing such activity albeit they have learnt fairly quickly that is far, far more beneficial to free up such laws, as foreign investment greatly benefits the economy. However this is still early days for Thailand and it will take time for the change to take place. But ultimately, you can buy property here and thousands do. As long as you know the laws, understand your position and are happy to buy on that basis, then you could be the proud owner of a luxury property that cost five times less than a similar property back home!

Check the Visa Regulations and any Taxes or Transfer Fees

Another aspect you need to consider, is how long you wish to stay in Thailand and what the visa regulations are in relation to your country of origin? There are various types of visas available and once again you should seek the advice of a registered Thai lawyer. It wouldn’t be a good idea to buy a beautiful property only to find out that you can only stay in Thailand for one month at a time right? So this needs careful consideration, and preparation.

Make sure you fully understand the taxes and transfer fees you may have to pay on final transfer of ownership. This is important and once again a good lawyer can help you with all of this.

Quick Purchase Guide

The Initial Purchase Agreement

The initial purchase agreement will detail price, terms and conditions, settlement date etc. and in most cases a 5-10% deposit will be required to secure the property. This deposit is refundable should the sale not go through, as long as it is not your fault.

Reservation Fee

When buying a new condominium, an initial reservation deposit of is required and this amount is deducted at a later stage from the total price. Once an agreement is signed, usually 10 to 15 days after the reservation, the buyer is required to pay 5% - 10% of the total price. Depending on the terms of the contract, the balance then could be due in installments or as a lump sum at the time the title is transferred


As a general rule, for residential sales you can expect the total fees and taxes to work out to be approximately 2% to 3% of the property market value.

There is a stamp fee of 0.5%, a transfer fee of 2%, a business tax of 3.3 % (levied against a vendor who has been in registered possession of the property less than 5 years), and income tax (similar to capital gains tax) at a variable rate.

Property Taxes

There are 2 different types of tax levied on property in Thailand:

1. Land Tax

This is an annual tax levied on land ownership. The amount is often so small that in practice the body charged to collect it rarely bothers to do so. When they do collect it, it is usually after several years when the amount has accumulated.

2. Structures Usage Tax

This only applies to commercially used properties. The rate is 12.5% on the actual or assessed gross rental value of the property. However, this notional value is well below the commercial market rental value.

If the property is purchased through a company, you need to consider that corporate tax is higher than personal tax, and the cost of setting up the company must be considered as part of the initial investment.

Capital Gains Tax

There is no capital gains tax in Thailand and income tax (usually between 1.0 - 3.0%) on property is the comparable replacement.


Mortgages in Thailand are still difficult to arrange. However, recently a new branch of the Bangkok Bank has opened in Singapore, which has opened up borrowing possibilities for property investment in Thailand, financing as much as 70% over 10 years for property purchase. You should expect to get no more than 50% in finance, with the exception to some well-known developments where finance of nearer 70% is available.

HSBC and UOB has a presence in Thailand and can offer loans of between 1,500,000 and 35,000,000 Thai Baht. Typically they will lend up to 80% of the purchase price and interest rates can be fixed for up to three years.

To buy a condo or another property with a loan, many purchasers get a mortgage in their home country and then transfer the money to a Thai bank account, while using a lawyer to oversee the logistics of the process.

But please check the current situation and speak with banks direct.

Please note: Laws and regulations do change and can vary, so please make sure you check with a qualified lawyer. The above information is only to offer an insight into the property world and not as an accurate guide. We are not legal experts and nor profess to be so. Always clarify everything with a lawyer and get an up to date perspective on your situation and any laws regulating what you wish to do in Thailand. The above article was written at a specific time and maybe regulations, taxes and laws have changed since this was created. We waiver any liability, legally or otherwise in its detailed accuracy and can not be held accountable in any way.

Thailand is an amazing place to live and a there are some wonderful real estate and investment opportunities. If you take care and be sensible, then you too can be the proud owner of an amazing new property at half the price it would cost in the west.

By Peter Evans

Forbes Le Brock is a professional and extremely helpful real estate agency specializing in general real estate and investment property throughout Thailand; and although they are not qualified legal advisors, they aim to provide as much accurate and up to date information in relation to property purchase, as possible. Any information they provide is by no means meant as a definitive guide, it’s just their way of providing a value added service. Please, always ensure you seek advice from a professionally qualified and registered Thai lawyer, and attain current information at the time of your purchase, or in interest of a purchase. If you are looking for unbiased investment advice or wish you to purchase a property in Thailand please contact: or Skype: peterflb

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The Address Asoke

The Address Asoke is the latest project by Asian Property (PLC). The project is located just opposite to Makkasan Terminal of Airport Rail Link and 150 metres away from MRT Phetchaburi station. The Address Asoke boasts an infinity-edged outsized swimming pool, the rooftop hot spa and mini theater. Start at 7.2 MB from 2 fully furnished bedroomed units.

Topeak Modula Cage Waterbottle Cage

Topeak Modula Cage Waterbottle Cage

Looking for water bottle cage that fits for all type of water bottle sizes? Topeak Modula Cage Waterbottle Cageis the perfect choice of yours. This bottle cage gives you a little screw on the bottom allowing you to fit a wide range of drink sizes. Installation can be done in just 30 seconds with the turn of a center screw. Order Topeak Modula Cage Waterbottle Cage NOW. List Price: $9.95 but click here for special price at

Thailand Mountain Bike Routes - Bangkok to Three pagodas Pass

Monday, October 26, 2009

Lanta Place , Package 5 Days / 4 Nights , Rawi Warin Resort and Spa

Lanta Place

Package 5 Days / 4 Nights

(15 Feb 09 – 31 Oct 09) (1 Nov 09 – 19 Dec 09,11 Jan 10 - 31 Mar 10)

Deluxe Room 14, 200 27,100

Pond Room 16,200 30,800

Sea View Villa 21,900 36,600

Sunset Pool Villa 54,900 75,900

Lanta Inclusions

Daily breakfast at the Golden Pond Restaurant
Round trip transfers from Krabi International Airport
One Thai Set Lunch at resort’s restaurant
One Western Set Dinner at resort's restaurant
Rawi Warin signature welcome drink upon arrival
Complimentary seasonal fresh fruits in room upon arrival
Complimentary usage of library
Complimentary usage of the resort's movie theatre
Complimentary usage of the resort's audio music room
Complimentary usage of the resort's kids room
Complimentary usage of tennis court, gym and mountain bikes
Complimentary usage of non motorized water sports equipment & sport complex

Telephone : +66 (0) 7560 7400
Facsimile.. : +66 (0) 7560-7488
Email :
Bankok Sales & Marketing Office
Telephone : +66 (0) 2664 3490
Facsimile.. : +66 (0) 2664 3495
Email :

Ban Nub Kluen by Sansiri

Property of the month: Ban Nub Kluen by Sansiri

Sansiri PLC has just launched a brand-new condo situated just 15 minutes away from the city of Huahin. The project comprises of 180 units allowing you to spoil yourself in the area of Huahin beach. You can choose from 1 bedroom (58.00 - 63.00 sq.m ) unit to 3 bedrooms unit (161.00 - 280.00 sq.m). The projects boast 2 swimming pools and kid's pool, garden, 24-hour security by guard Service, CCTV. Price starts from 3.3 million baht. More infor , please visit

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ownership of a house in Thailand

Ownership of a house in Thailand

Thailand Law Online: A building in Thailand as distinct from its land can be owned and transferred separate from its land. Buildings in Thailand, apart from condominiums, do not have any form of title deed document. As an individual immovable property it can be transferred separate from its land. This must be in writing and registered by the competent authority (i.e. the Thai Land Department).
Beware that the 'house book' or blue or yellow book (a Ta.Bian.Baan or Tabien Bahn) is an administrative document issued by by the local Administraive Office, not the Land Department, therefore this book is certainly not a proof of ownership.
When a foreigner buys a property in Thailand the land part can be sold under a leasehold agreement (as foreigners can't own the land) and the house can be sold separate from the land. This means that a land lease agreement is offered and a sale and purchase agreement for the house is drawn up, both specifying the terms of the lease and the terms of teh sale.
Both the land lease and house transfer must be registered at the Land Department.
When buying in a development 'off the plan' instead of a sale agreement for the house or construction agreement can be offered, however the building permit must be in the foreigner's name.
Often a lease for 'land and house' is offered, but this the least beneficial structure for foreigners and not the recommended long term structure for possession of the property (i.e. this is legally the weakest structure). To improve someone's interest in the immovable property a 'right of superficies' (the registered right to own a building upon someone else's land) improves the leaseholder's position on expiration or termination of the lease. Rights of ownership of a building upon someone else's land relates directly to the rights to use or possess someone else's land. You could lose your rights under a land lease agreement, but your rights under the right of superficies could remain enforceable.
The transfer procedure for an existing house in Thailand is as follows:
1. The parties must present themselves at the local land office to announce the sale. This is part of the official process and separate from the private sale and purchase agreement between the parties
If a party can't attend the land office (e.g. the foreigner is abroad) a proxy can be appointed. In this case the official land office power of attorney form (document Tor-Dor 21) is required
3. Documents required: Tor-Dor 21 (if applicable), building permit or previous land office sale agreement, Ta bian Baan, ID's of the parties (passport or ID-card)
4. The land office will issue 4 copies of the notification of the sale of a structure ( public notice), to be put up at the Or Bor Tor, the District Office, the Kamnan Office and at the building itself for a 30-day announcement (to see if anyone wishes to contest ownership)
5. After the 30 days public notice period the parties must present themselves again to sign the official land office sale agreement which effectively transfers ownership.
Proof of ownership of the house can be either the official land office sale agreement, as signed at the land office, or the construction permit in the owner's name.

By tiwi

Robert M. Spelde Partner and author for

Article Source:

Monday, October 19, 2009

Top 5 Interesting Destinations For Scuba Diving in Thailand

Top 5 Interesting Destinations For Scuba Diving in Thailand

Thailand is a place where not only the beautiful landscapes are found, but also a ideal place for water sports activities. The country having beautiful seascapes is visited mostly by surfers and scuba divers. There are five places in Thailand where visitors consider the great places to do scuba diving. Listed are the top five destinations for scuba diving in Thailand:

1. Andaman Sea - the perfect scuba diving place in Thailand. Andaman Sea is located at the southeast part of the Bay of Bengal. This place is the first choice for scuba divers here in Thailand. The sea is rich with beautiful underwater gardens and a vast collection of coral reefs. Divers may dive to the sea after a trip to the wonderful Andaman beach. There are also scuba diving lessons offered for beginners and scuba diving centers where one can get anything they need for scuba diving.

2. Hin Mouang - also called the "Purple Rock". Here, divers can take a look of Hin Mouang's very own "pelagic fish". The place also features large underwater areas great for scuba divers. There are even unusual sea creatures that can be seen here. Here, divers can enjoy seeing the colorful variety of strange fish breeds, coral reef gardens, and plant-like animals under the sea.

3. Surin Islands - located at 14 km east of the Mu Koh Surin marine park. Surin Islands is a place for sighting whale sharks. Divers can also find large schools of pelagic fish. The underwater view if the sea makes it perfect for photographer divers. The place also offers experienced guides to help divers with the strong currents of the Surin Island waters. The total depth of the area is about 30m below, where one can view the beautiful seawater gardens below its surface.

4. Similan Islands - is a one day trip from Kaoh Lak. Here, one can find fine turquoise waters with a large population of colorful fish. The perfect time to dive here is in the morning, or what divers called "Breakfast bend", because this is the time when lots of underwater species can be seen. During the morning, one can find the sea leopard sharks, scorpion fish, trigger fish, barracudas, and many other fish types. The corals are also in excellent condition. The best time of the year to Scuba dive in Similan islands is from March to April months of the year.

5. Koh Tao - this place is not very common for foreign scuba divers, but it is a perfect place for this activity. The underwater beauty of Koh Tao is still untouched so divers can see its natural beauty. there are huge varieties of fishes and unusual underwater species seen here. the corals are also in their best.

Pinky Mcbanon

Ms. Pinky is a mom of 3 school children. She is a Systems Engineer, a Technology Researcher and an Independent Medical Billing and Coding Consultant. She and her family is well-traveled all over the world! Her blogs and websites focuses on stay-at-home moms, dads and students who wants to work at home, build homebased business Visit her Interesting Site on Asian Travels and Destinations. Discover Asia's Culture and Great Food! at

Thailand Mountain Bike Routes - Bangkok to Three pagodas Pass

Bangkok to Kanchanaburi and onto Three Pagodas Pass

This is a five day route through Kanchanaburi, the most beautiful province in Central Thailand, famous for the Bridge over the River Kwai and the cliff clinging Death Railway among other beautiful natural attractions.

There are two ways of getting to Kanchanaburi province from Bangkok, the first being the easiest and that is by train from Thonburi train station just across the river from Khaosan Road. The second being a 130km hell ride following the major highway out of Bangkok towards Kanchanaburi. A 130km or 80 miles ride in most countries is a piece of cake but in Thailand with the heat and careless drivers who often use the hard shoulder to undertake it can be a bit much for one day.

Directions to Thonburi Train Station

Coming from Khaosan Road cross over the Chao Phraya River on the Pinklao Bridge then turn left at the first major intersection on to Arun Amarin Road then cross over the river again on the Arun Amarin Bridge. Take your first turn off left (still actually on the bridge) then follow the road left u-turning under the bridge and the train station is on the right.

Putting your Bikes on the Train

The train fare from Bangkok to Kanchanaburi is 100 Baht and another 100 Baht for your bike. Your bike can be put in the guard carriage but if there is no guard carriage your bike gets a seat of its own! On one occasion we had to put our bikes through an open window with the help of the guards because there was no guard carriage and the bikes were too long to get through the doors.

Kanchanaburi Town

There are plenty of Hotels and Guest Houses not to mention Short -Time motels in Kanchanaburi so you will always find somewhere to stay even on a bank holiday but the best accommodation is down by the river. There are a number of tourist attractions in the town such as the Prisoner of War Cemetery, the Jeath Museum, the Tiger Temple and of course the Bridge over the River Kwai so if you do travel there by train there are plenty of places to visit to fill up your day. Kanchanaburi also has its fair share of good restaurants and bars, one of our favorites is the No Name Bar on River Kwai Road that has great western food and is a good place to catch the sport on T.V.

Kanchanaburi to Sai Yok

Day two starts with a beautiful sweeping road out of Kanchanaburi heading towards Sai Yok. The road itself is very enjoyable and there are a number of places to stop and eat along the way. As you get out into the country scenic rocky hills (or mountains as the locals like to call them) rise up on either side of the road but as the 60km road to Sai Yok remains relatively flat compared to the scenery around, it is a very fun and enjoyable ride. The accommodation at Sai Yok is cheap and Sai Yok Noi waterfall is a great place to have fun and cool off, but if you’re not having fun by now this is where the railway stops so you can always head back on the train.

Sai Yok to Thong Pha Phum District

The third leg of the journey starts to get a bit more challenging and is a nice acclimatizer for what’s to come there are a few steep ascents to climb out nothing too punishing. And the breathtaking scenery takes your mind off the effort you’re putting in and makes the ride all the more enjoyable. It is a 100km journey to Thong Pha Phum from Sai Yok but there is plenty to see and do along the way and visiting Hellfire Pass, Sai Yok Yai Waterfall and the natural hot springs at Hin Dat break up this long day very nicely. Once you reach Thong Pha Phum you can find cheap accommodation very easily.

Thong Pha Phum is a very pleasant town but being the busy city slickers that we are we’ve never stayed too long before moving onto the fourth leg of the journey. But there are plenty of mountains around for the more adventurous mountain biker to get his teeth into some serious mountain biking with plenty of walked in jungle trails to find a good line on.

Thong Pha Phum to Sangkhla Buri

The fourth day is a killer and definitely separates the mice from the men. Make sure you start off with plenty of water and fill up everywhere as the hills hit you immediately leaving Thong Pha Phum town and continue ruthlessly until you arrive at Sangkhlaburi. Zig zagging won’t help you on these ascents but the breathtaking scenery takes your mind off the tough climbs endured along the way and as you arrive at Sangkhlaburi pride kicks in as you are filled with the amazing feeling of overcoming what was the toughest part of this route.

Sangkhla Buri to Three Pagodas Pass

After what you’ve just endured it is an easy and enjoyable ride to the finish line at 3 Pagodas pass. Just 20km away from Sangkhla Buri 3 Pagodas pass is named after three miniature Pagodas, it marks the rugged Thai-Burmese border and has a thriving border market. Visitors are allowed to enter the neighboring Burmese Settlement but this crossing will not renew your Thai visa. After spending as much time as needed it’s best to head back to Sangkhla Buri to freshen up and get yourself some nice Thai food.


In the hottest part of the year this route can be torture especially in April and May. It is a tough ride for intermediate riders but can be easily tolerated by most in the cooler months of November to January.

Mountain Bike Tours Thailand is a free information website, with all the information you need about Mountain Biking in Thailand.

By Mark Alexander

Mark Smith is the Senior SEO and area manager of IT and Web Design Thailand. Bangkok SEO services, search engine optimization and web design training consultants.

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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior (2003)

Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior (2003)

List Price: $14.98 Click Here to get Special Offer for Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior

No computer graphic can ever surpass what a real human body can do--and what the body can do is on spectacular display in Ong-Bak, a Thai action movie starring the lithe and flexible Tony Jaa. When the head is stolen from a holy statue in Jaa's rural village, he goes to Bangkok to get it back. Of course, it just so happens that the thief is connected to a bar where criminal big shots gamble over bare-knuckle brawls, and Jaa is--despite his virtuous efforts--drawn into the game. But that's only the beginning; a chase through the city streets rivals the ingenious acrobatics of Jackie Chan, with Jaa leaping between panes of glass, over a bicycle in motion, and through a wreath of barbed wire. Jaa's fighting prowess has been compared to Bruce Lee, Jet Li, and just about every other martial arts master, but he has an equal degree of charisma as well. He won't win acting awards, but his engaging presence carries the movie. One word of warning: The numerous fights will make you wince as much as gape in astonishment. Ong-Bak follows the action-flick tradition that the hero needs to be as battered as possible before he ultimately triumphs, and the battering is intense. --Bret Fetzer

When the head of his village's sacred Buddha statue is stolen, simple country boy Ting (Tony Jaa) is sent to Bangkok to retrieve it. Raised by a monk who has trained him in Muay Thai, Ting has vowed to never use his lethal martial arts skills. But once he arrives in the big city, Ting is forced to fight. It's non-stop action as Ting infiltrates Bangkok's seedy underworld and takes on a series of lowlifes and criminals in his quest to obtain the sacred head.

List Price: $14.98 Click Here to get Special Offer for Ong-Bak - The Thai Warrior

Thai-English English-Thai Dictionary for Non-Thai Speakers, Revised Edition (Dictionary) (Paperback)

Thai-English English-Thai Dictionary for Non-Thai Speakers, Revised Edition (Dictionary) (Paperback)

List Price: $15.00 Click Here for Special Price of Thai-English English-Thai Dictionary for Non-Thai Speakers, Revised Edition (Dictionary)

This practical dictionary is designed to help English speakers communicate in Thai. It is equally useful for those who can read the Thai alphabet and those who can't. Most Thai-English dictionaries either use Thai script exclusively for the Thai entries (making them difficult for westerners to use) or use only phonetic transliteration (making it impossible to look up a word in Thai script). This dictionary solves these problems by dividing the entries into three sections: Section One [English-Phonetic-Thai], Section Two [Phonetic-Thai-English] and Section Three [Thai-Phonetic-English]. The transliteration system is the same as that used in Paiboon Publishing's other books. You will find most of the vocabulary you are likely to need in everyday life, including basic medical, cultural, political and scientific terms.

Here are some of the features:

 Consistent and accurate phonetic transcription of Thai sounds for those unable to read the Thai alphabet
 A comprehensive guide to pronunciation
 Thai script for those who read Thai
 All entries organized in three easy to use sections
 Thai alphabet guide showing different styles of Thai script to help you read shop signs and newspaper headlines

It's the ONE Dictionary You Can Really Use!

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NIKE Golf Unitized Mako Putter

NIKE Golf Unitized Mako Putter

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Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Q2, 2009 - starting of the bubble burst.

CBRE Thailand has released the latest Bangkok Residential Sales Market View for Q2 2009. In the analysis, I can summarize that the significant change in Q2 of 2009 is that majority of property buying comes from Thais (80%) not foreigners as the last year. Thai people buy property as an alternative option for investment and they strongly believe that prices are not going to fall.

CBRE also sees that the real buyers are not speculators but end users and buy-to-rent investors. The company also says that the prices of the high end sector are not rising in the near future.

From my view, we can see, in the near future, the rental price will be decreased significantly due to oversupply of property in prime locations of Bangkok and decreasing of foreigners. There are thousand of units to be completed in a few years but foreigners are moving away from Thailand due to worldwide economic slump. So we can see the price war in the rental market soon. The bubble is nearly burst.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Stone (Granite) Mortar and Pestle

Stone (Granite) Mortar and Pestle

Made in Thailand of carved granite, this durable high quality product is an important tool for Thai cooking as well as around the world. Won't chip or crack. Each mortar is cut from a solid granite rock and carefully carved by hand. Hefty 12 lb weight, this product has remarkable visual appeal and is the finest mortar and pestle on the market. We use the finest raw material available. Mentioned as the best mortar and pestle in America by The Wall Street Journal (Feb 16, 2007).

* Made in Thailand of the finest raw material
* Handmade from a single block of granite, 3 sizes available
* Indestructible, will not chip or crack no matter how hard you pound
* Received top endorsement from celebrity chef David Rosengarten
* Beautiful appearance, a work of art to show off in your kitchen

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Stone (Granite) Mortar and Pestle

Vatch's Thai Street Food (Paperback)

Vatch's Thai Street Food (Paperback)

Product Description
Food stalls are an essential part of Thai life and can be found on nearly every city street, bustling market or railway platform across the country. Most Thai's eat at open air specialist food stalls at least once a day, simply because they provide the freshest, most authentic and tasty Thai cooking there is. This book introduces key street dishes from across Thailand that are simple and easy to prepare at home. Recipes originate from every area of this beautiful country, providing a balanced mix of meat, seafood, vegetarian and sweet dishes. In addition the `before you begin' section, introducing ingredients and cooking techniques, provides all you need to take up your wok with confidence.

Over 100 easily mastered and autentic one-dish meals from the market stalls, food-carts and noodle-boats of Thailand from the premier Thai restaurateur, chef and author. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Vatch's Thai Street Food

Thai for Beginners (Paperback) by Benjawan Poomsan Becker

Thai for Beginners (Paperback)
by Benjawan Poomsan Becker

Product Description
An easy to use Thai language textbook designed for either self-study or classroom use. Teaches all four language skills speaking, listening (when used in conjunction with the cassette tapes), reading and writing . Offers clear, easy, step-by-step instruction, building on what has beenpreviously learned. Used by many Thai temples in America. Recommended books to be studied along with Thai for Beginners are Thai for Travelers (a practical Thai phrase book) and Speak like a Thai series by the same author.

About the Author
Benjawan Poomsan Becker was born in Bangkok and spent her childhood in Yasothon, a small province in Northeast Thailand. Her family is ethnic Laotian, so she grew up speaking both Thai and Lao. She graduated from Khon Kaen University in Thailand in 1990, with a B.A. in English. Benjawan gained extensive experience teaching Thai to foreigners while studying for her M.A. in Japan with the Japan-Thailand Trade Association and Berlitz Language School, and in the US with Thai temples, Stanford University and private students. She now resides in Berkeley, California where she continues to write and publish books on the Thai and Lao languages. Her books include "Thai for Beginners", "Thai for Intermediate Learners", "Thai for Advanced Readers", "Thai-English/English-Thai Dictionary for Non-Thai Speakers", "Improving Your Thai Pronunciation", "Practical Thai Conversation DVD Series", the popular "Speak Like a Thai Series" and many other titles on the Thai language.

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Thai for Beginners

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Address Chidlom Studio for RENT

Compact unit in Bangkok CBD location where short walking distance to BTS Chidlom station and Central Chidlom. Brand new. Size 38.5 Sq. m. 27000 baht/month. Click Here for contact details.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Schwinn Pillow Top Cruiser Bicycle Seat

Schwinn Pillow Top Cruiser Bicycle Seat

Schwinn Pillow Top Cruiser Bicycle Seat is super comfortable, firm and cushy. Perfect for long riding.

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iBert Safe-T Front Mounted Child Bicycle Seat

iBert Safe-T Front Mounted Child Bicycle Seat

The iBert safe-T-seat was designed with quality and safety first. The safe-T-seat places the child up front, safely between the parent's protective arms. This evenly distributes weight over the bike giving a stable, safe ride. Kids enjoy the close interaction and the unobstructed view of the fun ahead. Mounted conveniently on the handlebar stem; the high, forward position allows you to pedal in comfort without banging your knees on the seat.

* Front-mounted child bicycle seat for added safety and comfort
* Puts your child directly in front of you for easy and safe interaction
* Fully adjustable 3-point safety harness; pivoting lap bar that locks into place
* Patented tool-free Stinger mount attaches to handlebar stem in minutes
* Solid leg wells provide 180 degrees of protection; 38-pound weight capacity

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iBert Safe-T Front Mounted Child Bicycle Seat

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Thailand's Islands & Beaches (Regional Guide) (Paperback)

Thailand's Islands & Beaches (Regional Guide) (Paperback)

Discover Thailand's Islands and Beaches

Surrender to the serenity of a hammock on Ko Pha-Ngan
Discover Ko Phi-Phi's underwater world of shipwrecks, psychedelic cora and bus-sized whale sharks
Meditate in a cave temple filled with Buddha images and bats
Take time out from paradise in buzzing Bangkok, where world-class dining and shopping await

In This Guide

Four authors, 200 days on the road, one karaoke bar too many
New color Activities chapter: climb, snorkel or kayak through Thailand's coastal playground
Bamboo hut or opulent villa? Independent, authoritative reviews of every sleeping option
Visit for up-to-the-minute reviews, updates and traveler insights

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Thailand's Islands & Beaches (Regional Guide)

Complete Thai Cooking (Paperback) by Hamlyn

Complete Thai Cooking (Paperback)
by Hamlyn

Authentic Thai cuisine has a rich, centuries-old tradition, and this authoritative handbook celebrates its many variations, with deft ideas for using many spices, sauces, flavorings, and styles. More than 100 recipes, most taking 15 minutes or less to prepare and cook, provide even gourmet cooks with a new range of delicious choices. The recipes start with snacks and starters, then introduce a host of multicourse meals featuring soups and salads, seafood, meat, and poultry main courses, as well as a range of vegetable side dishes and desserts. Even the names of the recipes are intriguing: Green Mango Salad, Son-in-Law Eggs, Jungle Curry Beef, Thai Fried Pie. Large full-color photos suggest mouth-watering presentations for all occasions.

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Complete Thai Cooking

Thai Food (Hardcover) by David Thompson

Thai Food (Hardcover)
by David Thompson

"Thai cooking is a paradox," writes Australian restaurateur David Thompson in his comprehensive and thus aptly named Thai Food. "It uses robustly flavored ingredients--garlic, shrimp paste, chilies, lemongrass--and yet when they are melded during cooking they arrive at a sophisticated and often subtle elegance." Pursuing this transformation in depth, his book presents hundreds of recipes that celebrate the Thai meal while exploring its historical and cultural context. Readers will delight in the wide selection of authentic dishes like Duck and Spring Onion Soup, Grilled Beef Salad, and Green Chicken Curry with Baby Corn, and relish Thompson's vast appreciation of his subject. Though the recipes are straightforward and workable once ingredients are assembled and techniques understood, those new to Thai cooking may want a less rigorous introduction to the subject. However, anyone with an appetite to explore it on Thompson's terms will benefit immensely.

Beginning with an exploration of Thailand's history and culture, the book then presents an extended section on rice, the centerpiece of the Thai meal. The "cookbook" follows, with a systematic introduction to the Thai kitchen, ingredients, and equipment. The chapter "Food Outside the Meal" is devoted to Thai snacks and vendor food, such as Stir-Fried Crisp Fish with Holy Basil. Noodle dishes include an exemplary pad thai, and sweet dishes like Grilled Bananas with Coconut Cream and Turmeric are also offered.

Readers should know that the recipes, published primarily for an Australian audience, give ingredients in a mix of metric and American measurements and/or with nonmetric equivalents, and that nomenclature is also sometimes foreign ("minced" for "ground" meat, for example). With photos throughout, the book sets a standard for Thai cookbooks to come while helping many cooks achieve the true, richly exotic cuisine. --Arthur Boehm

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Thai Food

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Quick & Easy Thai: 70 Everyday Recipes (Paperback)

Quick & Easy Thai: 70 Everyday Recipes (Paperback)

Now busy home cooks can bring the fantastic flavors of Thai cuisine into the kitchen with a simple trip to the grocery store. Nancie McDermott, experienced cook, teacher, and author of the best-selling cookbook Real Thai, presents this collection of 70 delicious recipes that focus on easy-to-find ingredients and quick cooking methods to whip up traditional Thai. With recipes like Crying Tiger Grilled Beef, Grilled Shrimp and Scallops with Lemongrass, Sticky Rice with Mangoes, and Thai Iced Tea, along with McDermott's highly practical array of shortcuts, substitutions, and timesaving techniques, anyone can prepare home-cooked authentic Thai meals -- as often as they like.

Click below to order.

Quick & Easy Thai: 70 Everyday Recipes

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Rawi Warin Resort & Spa - Lanta Dream, Krabi Package 4 Days / 3 Nights

Tucked into the foothills of the Koh Lanta Yai and overlooking the crystal waters of Klong Tob Bay. The resort is sheer five-star luxury in an idyllic setting

As a central visual feature, Rawi warin has the main swimming pool right on the beachfront, with an infinity design that blends the edge of the pool with the blue ocean. Over half the resort is perched on the hillside, where stand-alone villas slope up a hill and the view gets more and more breathtaking every foot you ascend.

With over 10,000 trees and flowers planted in the landscaped gardens, our guests are likely to spend much time foraging through the resort grounds itself.

Lanta Dream

Package 4 Days / 3 Nights (15 Feb 09 – 31 Oct 09)

Deluxe Room 9,900 Baht

Pond Room 11,400 Baht

Sea View Villa 21,900 Baht

Sunset Pool Villa 54,900 Baht

Extra Person 1,700 Baht

Lanta Inclusions
Daily breakfast at the Golden Pond Restaurant
Round trip transfers from Krabi International Airport
Rawi Warin signature welcome drink upon arrival
Complimentary seasonal fresh fruits in room upon arrival
Complimentary usage of library
Complimentary usage of the resort's movie theatre
Complimentary usage of the resort's audio music room
Complimentary usage of the resort's kids room
Complimentary usage of tennis court, gym and mountain bikes
Complimentary usage of non motorized water sports equipment & sport complex

Lanta Terms
Package is subject to a minimum stay of three consecutive nights
Rates are net inclusive of all applicable government taxes and service charge
Rates are quoted in Thai Baht per room per package
Extra person rate is net per person per day, subject to minimum stay
Reservations can be made within seven days prior to arrival
Unused services are non refundable and cannot be redeemed for cash
This offer is not valid in conjunction with any other special offer

Resort address :
Rawi Warin Resort & Spa
139 Moo.8,Koh Lanta Island, Krabi 81150, Thailand,
Tel: +66 (0) 7560 7400-498 (98 lines), Fax:+66 (0) 7560-7499

Bangkok Sales Office address :
Rawi Warin Resort - Sales Office.
Q House Asoke, Unit 1412, 14 FL. 66 Sukumvit 21, North Klongtoey,Wattana t, Bangkok 10700, Thailand,
Tel: +66 (0) 2 664-3490-4 (5 lines), Fax: +66 (0) 2664-3495
International call please omit "0" after "66"

Mon-Fri : 9:00 - 17:00 (Local Time) , Sat : 9:00 - 12:00 (Local Time) for any booking requests ( Bangkok Office ) you will meet our reservation officer ( Resort Office ) for travel agents information ( BKK Office )

Monday, April 27, 2009

Property of the month - The Address Chidlom

Property of the month - The Address Chidlom

The Address Chidlom is Bangkok’s finest landmark building and will fill the final prestigious piece on the heart of Chidlom. Surrounded by five-star neighborhood like Central Chidlom and Park Nai Lert Hotel you will enjoy the ultimate luxury living. Located at Soi Somkid, The Address Chidlom’s location is extremely convenient with direct access to Chidlom BTS station

The Address Chidlom offers a choice of studio to three-bedroom luxury condominiums provides a full range of magnificent facilities including luxury outdoor swimming pool, fitness center and sauna that ensure the superb lifestyle. Priced from 115,000 baht per sq.m.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Property Rental in Phuket by Allan Mossop

Phuket is experiencing a very positive response to the private home / apartment rental market. This accommodation segment has only really come to the fore since 2000 when a few intrepid developers realised the potential of Phuket in the international housing market. Phuket has long been a popular tourist attraction and with the recent improvements in the islands' infrastructure, many regular visitors have decided to purchase homes here.

Similarly, many regular visitors who are familiar with the island find that the facilities offered by the traditional hotels or resorts to be somewhat "cloistered" which can often lead to a feeling that as a visitor, you are not able to experience the local culture to the full. With the current upswing in development in many areas of the island, Phuket is becoming known as a destination where you can take advantage of renting a privately owned home.

There are a number of considerations that need to be taken into account before considering your rental returns.

Owner requirements

When considering the options available to you for rental returns, it is most important that you consider what the motivations for your purchase are. If you would like to occupy the home over the Christmas / New Year holiday period, the rental prospects of the home will decrease significantly. This time of year is by far the most lucrative period for holiday rentals, which yield the best returns.

If you are purchasing the home as an investment property with the view to owning the property for a few years whilst trying to minimise the expenses and eventually sell the home for a profit, the returns under these circumstances can be extremely attractive.

Owners who are willing to maintain a level of flexibility in their occupation will do well when trying to minimise the expenses associated with a holiday home. Should you wish to use your home, you may do so as long as the necessary notice periods are respected. Should the home be available and you would like to visit at short notice, this is, also possible.

Setting up your home for rentals

There are a number of important considerations when setting up your home for rental purposes. Keep in mind that you will be opening the home to total strangers and careful thought should be given before costly purchases are made. Please refer to the sample inventory and handy PIPS tips.

For a complete version of the property rental in Phuket, please stay tuned.

About the Author

Allan Mossop, with a background in International hotels, has been Managing Director of Phuket Island Property Services since 2001. Being at the forefront of the property management, rental and furnishings markets, he has advised many of the Islands Owners to maximise their investment properties potential.

Thai Property and Real Estate: Issues Under Thailand Law by Benjamin Hart

Buying Thai Property can be an expensive and difficult proposition. Due to legal restrictions placed upon foreigners, Thai Property purchase could be illegal and cause a loss of investment if the transaction does not properly comport with Thai law. This piece is designed as a summary of steps that should be taken before making a property purchase in the Kingdom of Thailand.

Due Diligence in Thailand

Due Diligence should be conducted before purchasing any type of Thai property. As an example, in Thailand a Bangkok attorney would be hired to assure that the Thai real estate is titled to the party asserting that they will sell. Also, a proper due diligence search should be done in order to ascertain whether or not a Thai mortgage is on the property and what needs to be done in order to ensure that the Thai property passes to the new buyer unencumbered by this mortgage. A due diligence search would also look to see what type of Chanote (or Thai property Title) the owner of the Thai property has. Generally, where a lower form of Thai Title is being held it might be in the interests of the prospective buyer to ascertain whether this Thai Title can be upgraded.

A Special Note about Due Diligence on Thai Condos

For Thai condominiums, it should be noted that a due diligence search will also seek to ascertain if the Thai Condo in question comports to the standards of the Thai condominium act and if so, is the buyer purchasing a Thai freehold title. Those purchasing a condominium in Thailand are only allowed to take title freehold if non-Thai ownership is less than 49% of the total number of units in the condominium complex. A due diligence search can ascertain if a Thai condo building is in compliance with the rules and regulations.

Lawyer Accompaniment to the Thai Land office at the Time of the Property Transaction

It is also recommended to have a Thai lawyer accompany a prospective property purchaser to the local land office to make sure that the transaction is properly executed and the property is transferred in accordance with the parties' agreement. In Thailand, this phase can be especially important for the foreigner due to the fact that Thai is often not the native language of the prospective purchaser and therefore a lawyer can assure that all of the proper formalities are met.

No part of this writing should be used in lieu of advice from a duly licensed legal professional in your jurisdiction.

About the Author

For more information about Property and Real Estate matters in Thailand please see:

Monday, March 16, 2009

It's an arbitrage opportunity for Bangkok Property

Political crisis and economic turmoil in Thailand leads to a fall in the property prices. This makes real estate investment in Bangkok an attractive proposition. Our advice is to buy property counters at the moment and enjoy great returns over the next few years.

You may opt to buy property to draw a monthly paycheck. Rents are increasing up by as much as 15% year on year basis. Because relatively inexpensive housing, many multinational corporations have selected Bangkok as their overseas homes.

You may invest in Bangkok condos for vacation rental purpose. Each year, there are 15 million tourists around visit Bangkok. Vacation rental are popular among frequent travelers, families travelling to Bangkok and for those searching for a base before relocating to Bangkok for good.

It's a selling opportunity for Bangkok Property

Thailand's property market has faced a slowdown in the past few months. However, the result is not as negative as it might seem. Because the property market in Bangkok is much more affordable than other Asian cities such as Hong Kong, Singapore and Tokyo. This brings a lot of international businessmen and expatriates to the city looking for high quality property.

The property that is attractive to the middle and upper-middle income buyers are typically one and two bedrooms units ranging in size between 45 square meters to 80 square meters. For the high-end market, the ultrahigh net worth individuals are looking for two and three bedrooms from 90 square meters to 190 square meters in the Sathorn, Silom and Sukhumvit areas.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Buy an Apartment in Bangkok with no Regrets by Johan Hedin

Buy an Apartment in Bangkok with no Regrets

When picking out the right apartment there are a few things that you should keep in mind. The location is a prime decider. You can buy a Condo in any part of the city and get a great view, but with an apartment you need to be more discerning. The view may not be as panoramic, but choose one that is at least pleasant enough for you to look at everyday that you will live there. Even if you are just going to use it as an investment you will need to make sure that the location is right. How else do you expect to rent it out and make some money for you? If you are going to live there, even if it is only for a short part of the year, you need to ensure that the location is conducive to your needs as well.

Is there a shopping complex that will cater to daily needs close by? You don't want to waste extra petrol every time you want to pick up a loaf of bread. Are there schools nearby? This one is particularly important if you have small children whom you will have to drop off to school each day. Is there adequate parking for the building residents? Are you going to be located close to the railway station or the airport? Do you need to be situated close to the airport or railway station? How do you intend to move about in the city? Driving is an option but will you be using your own car that will need to be parked in the building complex or will you be using a taxi that will go away after you have finished with it for the day? There are a lot of factors that you need to consider and we have not even begun to examine the building's features as yet.

The foundation of the structure must be sound and as you are no architect there is no way that you can verify the claims made by a building sales agent. What you can do is check up on the builders. Each apartment building is constructed by a different building and construction company. Some companies enjoy a better reputation in the local markets than others. Perhaps they are known to use better quality building material or have better designers? Maybe the locals trust the brand umbrella under which the construction company falls? The owners are known to be morally upright and full of integrity in their business dealings. There are many factors that you can consider. Just don't ignore the crack in the wall if you happen to notice one!

These are matters that you should be able to trust your real estate agent with and know that he or she will not rest till they get you the best possible deal for your money. If you can hand over the requirements and leave it to them to come up with relevant choices based on that list, it will simplify your investment process to a great extent.

About the Author

Johan Hedin is author of this article on Thailand real estate for sale . Find more information about Bangkok Real Estate Agent here.


Bangkok Rental Market Thrives by Nicci Barnes

Thailand Property Report by Dawn Ferguson - With housing allowances in the range of Bt70,000 to Bt100,000 a month, Bangkok's high-paid expatriates have money to burn - and they want homes with all the Western-amenities they're accustomed too.

For condominium and apartment owners, this segment of the market is a potential gold mine, particularly given most of these expects are here on a short-term basis. The statistics certainly are promising, but as competition grows, it's not an easy market to enter.

CB Richard Ellis Thailand executive director James Pitchon told Property Report Thailand that demand for high-end rentals increased in 2006 and the number of expatriates in Bangkok with work permits grew to 67,412 in 2006, a 12.5% increase year on year according to statistics by the Alien Occupational Control division of the Department of Employment. The largest segment of this market is Japanese - 22% - as the so-called "land of the rising sun" is the largest foreign direct investor in Thailand.

Pitchon noted that the rental market is in actuality even higher, as those numbers exclude diplomats and agencies such as the United Nations. They also exclude foreigners without work permits, but Pitchon says they consider most of these to be part of the retiree market, who traditionally buy their units.

"The good news is that demand increased. Last year there was only a limited amount of new supply in apartments, and there were only about 330 units completed last year. But the number of condominium units grew by over 4,000 units. That will continue to be the case in the next two to three years," he said, but added this figure excluded serviced apartments, which are considered a very different product - somewhere in between a hotel and an apartment. Many now have a hotel license, so they're operating on a more short-term basis.

"From a supply point of view, the big question is, how many of these apartments are expat quality, and how many owners of these new condominiums will want to lease them out?" asks Pitchon. "Recently a new supply has appeared in the downtown area, and there's been a greater focus on small sized units, many of them aimed at the Thai market, so not all the new condo supply will be of a standard that appeals to expats, but there are a lot of condo units."

Pitchon says the proportion of owner occupation and units purchased by people on a buy-to-lease basis varies from building to building: "Of the developments that are just coming up to completion, the number that will be available for rent ranges between 30-50% at the moment. So, although demand has risen, there will be quite a lot of condominium supply coming on."

This means that competition is going to be tight in the coming year. Generally, expats given the choice would prefer a single ownership apartment, says Pitchon, because the owner is able to service all their requirements whereas in a condo the owner might not even be in Thailand. And in many cases the owner has not put in place a local manager to look after his apartment. So the challenge for condominium owners who have bought to lease out is how to manage their units because tenants will have questions.

"So if the air conditioner breaks down, who's going to fix it? It will not be the staff looking after the common areas of the condominium, because their responsibility is not private property. So owners must think about how they will manage and maintain the units."

This includes implementing pest control contracts, regular A/C maintenance contracts, and, most importantly, there has to be a clear understanding between the owner and the tenant of who's responsible for doing what.

The most popular area for expats is still Sukhumvit, followed by Central Lumpini and the Sathorn area. There are two satellites, one being around the International School of Bangkok and there is also a smaller cluster around Bangkok Pattana School. As for the up-and-coming riverside, currently there is limited demand from expatriate tenants, generally because of access issues. A small segment of expats are heading to other areas, such as Thonglor. "Again you've got access to the skytrain but in a slightly lower density environment," said Pitchon.

The expat rental market is driven generally by housing allowances granted to employees and employees generally spend all of their allowances, but not put their own money in. "The biggest change in the market has been that Japanese with families now receive higher allowances than they did previously," says Pitchon. "Some will give Bt70,000 or Bt75,000 for a three-bedroom apartment. The Japanese tend to be at the lower end of the market but they are a significant level of demand.

"What's happened is that much of the existing stock is over 10 years old. We've seen very few apartments built since the financial crisis over the last 10 years, more condominiums, and what has been happening is that new supply, with smaller units, is actually getting higher rents because it looks better. Modern design."

As for housing rentals, Pitchon says the market is small because there a limited supply of homes in central areas, including in the Sukhumvit area. "Sansiri on 67 had rented well, but there is a limited market for people with over Bt100,000 a month to spend," he said. "There are few companies that pay that kind of housing allowance."

As for two-tiered pricing for Thais and Foreigners, there really isn't a Thai rental market. Given that Thais have the freedom to buy and sell what they choose, unlike foreigners, those with high salaries and incomes just won't go out and rent 75,000 a month apartments. So there is no Thai market above Bt15,000 a month.

"The rental market is efficient in terms of transparent pricing, information on products and a regular turnover," said Pitchon. "So if a building doesn't maintain its standards, then new expats will not move in."

About the Author

If you enjoyed this article, please go to for more wealth creation strategies and techniques. Learn from those who have been there and done it at


Friday, January 30, 2009

Relocating To Thailand? Tips On Choosing A Real Estate Agent. by Maddy Barber

Relocating to Bangkok, and about to begin your home search? The process can be a fun and exciting one if you first understand how the property rentals market works and what to consider when appointing your real estate agent. Let's start with the positive, that is - Bangkok is a renter's market. How so?

1) The agency commission is paid by the landlord. Aren't we off to a good start already?

2) There are hundreds of real estate agencies to choose from in Bangkok alone and the number is growing by the day.

3) Real estate agents offer their services for free, so you can engage as many agents as you want!

4) As an expat, you pay the same rental rates as a Thai national. In fact, majority of landlords prefer an expat tenant and go the extra mile (sometimes) to get you to sign on the dotted line.

Now that you know all that, here's what you wouldn't normally know unless you are an agent here in Bangkok!

In Thailand, anyone can be an agent! There isn't an association, with any authority at least, that overlooks the activities of agents in Thailand. Walk into a bar and tell someone, anyone that you are looking for an apartment, and chances are there'll be a "freelance agent" somewhere in the midst to help you out. I think that is fine as long as you are not asked to pay anything since landlords pay the commission here. However, you may be subjected to inferior choices since these are not professional who have established relations with apartment buildings and home owners. That said, I do occasionally hear of some lucky fellow who found a great deal through a friend's friend who happened to be a "part time agent.If you do not know already, anything is possible in the Land of Smiles!

Here's how I see it. A property agent's job is similar to that of a match maker's. He/She needs to match you to the "right" property, and preferably within 8 selected options. I don't know about you, but I do not believe in seeing every property available in order to make a decision. 6 - 8 well selected choices seen within a day or two, is much more gratifying than spending days stuck in the infamous Bangkok jams trying to hit the 25th property-viewed mark. Fact is, people don't usually have an array of favorites to choose from (since not all the best ones will be available at one time) and I don't think there is a "perfect" apartment or house when it comes to renting. You'd be lucky to have 2 top choices to choose from, but most of us usually settle for the place that feels most like home in a foreign country.

The other thing you should know before you line up a dozen agents for your showing is that all agencies have access to the same apartment buildings. Condo and house listings may vary from agency to agency but landlords often contact more than one agency to promote their property so nothing is exclusive to an agency here. Or should I say, rarely. Just surf around and you'll find similar properties listed on multiple agency websites. Thus, arrange your viewing with one agency at a time. That way, if you feel that your appointed agent does not understand your needs, switch agency but tell them what you have already seen with your previous agent. It is only fair that only one agent represents you for each property. Bangkok is a small town, and many agencies practice co-broking to provide as many choices for their clients as possible, so your name will get around, especially if you've been agency shopping.

Another thing I've encountered is that some companies have what they call a "preferred agent" which they strongly encourage their expatriate executives to use. More often than not, these are agencies with relations in the HR department who may understand what HR wants but not necessarily what you want! What you and I call "Western standard" can be a totally different concept to some of them, so be sure to explain your requirements and needs to your appointed agent as thoroughly as possible to avoid wasting your time. You have the right to choose whichever agency that best understands your needs. You'd usually find that agents not appointed by your company tend to try a lot harder than these "preferred agents" because they don't think you are obliged to use them. They work very hard to make sure you choose them over your company's preferred agent!

There are many real estate agencies that are run by foreigners catering to foreigners, whom most expats prefer to go to. It makes ALL the difference when your agent has a very good idea of your taste and preferences; and know exactly what you mean when you say "bright and spacious" versus an agent who just does not get it no matter how much time you spend explaining. Remember that you do have to bridge cultural gaps here which means different standards and expectations!"

All apartments and agencies have pretty standard contracts. Should you decide on an apartment, they will provide their own contract, whilst the agency will prepare the contract for private owners i.e. condos and houses. International companies often ask for the addition of a Diplomatic clause, and sometimes another to say that the deposit belongs to them, should they be the ones paying your security deposit. All of which may be added to the lease, and it's your agent that needs to sort this out between your company and the apartment/landlord. Be discerning of "advise" that pushes you towards using a particular agent because they supposedly comply with company policies. It's just a matter of working out what each party requires in the lease agreement, which I believe is the same all around the world and any experienced agent should be able to do that.

Thailand is a great place to live and Bangkok, in particular has many superb housing choices for expats that are reasonably priced compared to neighboring countries i.e. Singapore and Hong Kong. Choose an agent who takes the time to understand your needs and house hunting becomes a fun and exciting experience! You can always contact me via should you have any questions and I'll do my best to answer them within a day.

About the Author

Maddy Barber assists hundreds of expats relocating to Bangkok every year, and her Bangkok finder website features hundreds of property listings that are updated daily.

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Thailand is seeing serious growth in property sales. by George Sell

Thailand's recent tourism push is reaping dividends and it is on schedule for ten per cent annual growth in international visitors. According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, there were 13.82 million visitors in 2006; 14.8 million visited in 2007 and 15.5 million are targeted this year.

According to Liam Bailey of David Stanley Redfern: “The Thai economy got off to a scintillating start in 2008, with first quarter growth up six per cent on the same period last year, and up 5.7% on the last quarter of 2007. After two years of political turmoil culminating in a coup last year, it seems the new government is finally settling in, and has made economic growth its top priority. The main thrust of its efforts is centred on generating internal and regional investment, with global investment currently slowing.”

This economic growth is reflected in the rude health of the property market. The stratospheric capital growth of the early years of this century" in the region of 25 per cent per year" is a thing of the past, but a regular five to ten per cent a year is expected for the next few years.

Much of the interest from overseas property buyers is centred on two distinct and very different areas: Chiang Mai in the north" the highlands" and the islands of the south, where buyer activity is at its highest in Phuket, followed by the emerging markets of Koh Chang and Koh Samui.

Chiang Mai is Thailand’s second city" in atmosphere and character it is very much the slower-paced, laid-back cousin to the frenetic capital Bangkok. But this is no sleepy backwater. Famous for its superb food, varied nightlife, temperate climate and incredible mountain scenery, Chiang Mai is a fascinating mix of history and modernity. It was founded in 1296 and is home to more than 300 temples, including some of the most beautiful in the Buddhist world. It has an excellent infrastructure, a spate of newly opened five-star hotels, golf clubs, international schools and investment from numerous multinational companies. Outside the city and into the countryside, visitors find themselves in a world of adventure, with jungle safaris, whitewater rafting, elephant rides and visits to hill tribes all on offer.

The property market in Chiang Mai offers similar variety, and, according to Todd Jones of Elephant Real Estate, it is currently a buyer’s market, with domestic market activity falling: “The local real estate market has experienced an overall slowdown in response to numerous political and economic pressures. The number of transactions registered at the Chiang Mai Land Office declined from 15,000 in 2005 to 10,000 in 2006 and 9,800 last year, but in the middle and upper tiers, where around 20 projects are under way, sales remained strong. Major developers are moving forward with numerous residential projects in and around Chiang Mai.”

Around 80 per cent of the region’s property sells for under £32,000, while overseas property buyers are most active in what Jones describes as the mid-tier market, with prices from £90,000 to £180,000. The market goes all the way up to custom homes on huge plots that can cost as much as £1 million.

A significant recent development is the provision of freehold residences attached to the region’s five-star hotels. Most of the top resorts offer this option, with the best known being those at the Four Seasons Chiang Mai which are strictly for those with very deep pockets.

A more typical property would be a newly built, three-bedroom, three-bathroom house with swimming pool, carport and guest apartment for around £130,000 or a two-bedroom two-bathroom apartment with an area of 110 square metres for £50,000.

Heading to the islands, you find yourself in a true tropical paradise. Phuket is one of Asia’s most popular beach destinations thanks to its combination of stunning beaches, great diving, high-octane nightlife and great food.

It is also increasingly popular with overseas property buyers. Agent CBRE estimates that there are now more than 2,000 foreign owners on the island: “Virtually all of these property buyers have seen their investment increase in value. Capital appreciation over the past four years has varied from 15 to 20 per cent per annum, although some properties have seen the value of their asset rise by as much as 50 or 100 per cent between the launch of a project and the transfer of title.”

As well as capital growth, Phuket is popular with property buyers looking for rental income. The island is a popular holiday destination and has its own international airport, which hosted more than eight million passengers in 2004 and 2005. CBRE says that a well-managed property should produce between six and 12 per cent gross returns annually based on 100 nights’ occupancy.

Development on the island is spreading fairly quickly. From the west coast, where the property boom started between Nai Thon and Kata Noi and where new plots are scarce or very expensive, developers have moved to the formerly overlooked south and east coasts. Inland properties overlooking golf courses are also becoming popular.

Prices on Phuket are among the highest in the country. As a rough guide, CBRE says you can expect to pay up to £240,000 for a ‘low-end’ villa and £160,000 for a ‘low-end apartment; up to £500,000 for a middle market villa and £300,000 for a middle market apartment; and if it’s the very top of the market you’re after, expect to pay upwards of £750,000 for a villa and £500,000 for a luxury apartment.

Recent research from Knight Frank reveals an average price per square metre on Phuket of £1,800, while prices went up 11 per cent in 2007. Rental properties achieved an average return of 6.8 per cent.

As prices of property for sale in Phuket continue to rise, property buyers are looking to other, less developed islands, where they can get more for their money.

David Stanley Redfern (DSR) describes Koh Samui as a semi-mature market. The island has more five- and six-star resorts than any other in the world, according to the company and prices of property for sale in Koh Samui went up by as much as 50 per cent during in 2006 and 2007. DSR is selling two-bedroom villas for £100,000 in the island’s Maenam Hills area. Other islands that are attracting attention include Koh Chang" the second largest Thai island after Phuket" and Koh Phangan.

About the Author

George Sell for Homes Overseas - Property for sale in Thailand, guide to buying property in Thailand, property investment advice and international property news. International property experts since 1965.