Thailand Property Paradise

29.08.16

A sun-soaked competitor to the Caribbean, increasing numbers of UK buyers are heading to the Zen paradise of Thailand. So what kind of lifestyle can second homers expect? Lauren Kiddle reports.

Thailand is known as the ‘Land of Smiles’ for good reason. The country encapsulates happiness and beauty in its culture, magnificent beaches and food. As you bask in the sun with a cocktail in one hand and a book in the other the view in front of you never disappoints.

Thailand strives as a vibrant Asian country that is famous for its celebration of religious festivals, its mouthwatering food, its sacred temples, the wildlife and the sea. The coral reef in some areas is a spectacular site and it can be more impressive than the Great Barrier Reef.

The increase in tourism in the westernised parts of Thailand has meant that English has had to become a second language for many locals. Although the locals are not fluent, the enthusiasm to learn English is apparent. Thai locals rely on speaking a minimal amount of English to get business. It has become a way of life.

A love for the King is engrained in the culture. The country is very patriotic and it is illegal to step on money, as the action would be implying stepping on the King’s head.

Away from the ever-growing populated and overdeveloped capital, Thailand boasts some of the world’s most incredible islands. Among the islands are popular tourist destinations Phuket and Koh Samui.

Once home to a Thai fishing community, Koh Samui is a small island in the Gulf of Thailand. The island is an image of what Phuket was like 20 years ago – quiet but in the midst of a tourism boom. The crystal clear waters of the Gulf of Thailand are yet to be destroyed by man-made pollution.

The infrastructure lacks the innovation that puts Phuket on the map as a place to live but the religious architecture makes for an impressive site. After braving the cobbled roads, the beaches of Koh Samui are long white strips of paradise.

Off the coast of Koh Samui is Ang Thong National Marine Park. The park is a conglomeration of 42 islands that are open to explore. The towering mountains, bushy jungles, clear waters and glistening beaches are an eye catcher for anyone.

The country’s largest island Phuket, is a top holiday destination. The island has the world on its doorstep. Surrounded by hundreds of getaway islands, Phuket is the base for many.

The spectacular scenes from the movie The Beach are what put Phuket on the map. Set in Maya Bay, Phi Phi, an island off of Phuket, the film exposed a picture perfect paradise. The white sand and green waters attracted tourists to explore Phuket’s idyllic tropical islands.

On the main island, Phuket is home to two distinct lifestyles – the quieter beach lifestyle and the party lifestyle. The famous Bangla Road, Patong, is Phuket’s Vegas.

Away from the hustle and bustle of Patong, the island of Phuket has a prominent western community. The great mix of Thai locals and westerners make the island a popular place for westerners to live. It is an affordable beach lifestyle. Although the cost of living in Phuket is slightly higher than other parts of Thailand, the prices will not come close to European prices.

Tourists thrive on the idea that every day is different. One day you could be perched on top of an elephant exploring the jungle, and the next could be spent on a tropical island.

Did You Know?
Thailand celebrates some of the most renowned cultural festivals annually. In April locals and tourists crowd streets to participate in a nationwide water fight called Songkran. The festival of water spans over two days in April and marks the end of the dry season.Closer to the end of the year, another national festival is celebrated. This one however, is unique and can be gruesome to watch. The Vegetarian Festival is held over nine days in October. The self-mutilation ceremonies involve the person piercing objects, such as spears and even plants, through the skin. Locals believe that this will cleanse the soul of any wrongdoing. Although the ceremonies can be intimidating, the parades are a colourful reminder of the Thai culture.

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