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Phuket as paradise  . . . how much property ownership is involved?

Phuket as Paradise: How Real is Today's Dream?

Thursday, August 27, 2009
Phuketwan UPDATING Special Report/Analysis

PHUKET is what many would call paradise. The most beautiful areas of the island are just remote enough to discourage development by large hotel chains - at least for the present. On these beaches the only man-made structures are thatched-roof straw huts.

These straw ''bungalows'' rent for $2 a day. They are clean and equipped with veranda, double bed, shower, toilet, and plenty of room for two. Electricity is provided by a generator that is turned on at sunset and off at 11 pm.

Toledo Blade, October 18, 1981 (Our thanks to for this quote.)

WE STILL think Phuket is paradise. Unfortunately, so does the rest of the world. The question posed in recent research on the ownership of land on Phuket (and elsewhere in Thailand) resonates through the island's history . . .

More importantly, what about next year, and the future?

The unsettling trend on Phuket remains a subtle, disturbing war between Us and Them.

What's Your View? Send Us Your Comment Now

The ''foreigners/aliens'' come intent on ''development.'' Some Thais see the benefit in this, especially the quick profit.

Others, both Thai and foreign, long for continuity, not crowds. They do not see an island covered in concrete as any kind of ''paradise.''

That's called a ''city,'' which is what some people now consider the island to be.

Some people, both Thai and foreign, don't want the quick buck. They want the 21st century version of the thatched roof straw huts, the generator that switches off at 11pm, and plenty of room for two.

Is that an impossible dream?

Does an island need to be ''owned'' to be a paradise? Who will decide to call a halt on the important day that Phuket suddenly goes from being in need of development to being overdeveloped?

Look for our UPDATES from readers and the researchers who compiled the Thailand Research Fund report later today

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Comments have been disabled for this article.


If the thai government stop foreigners who retire in Thailand from purchasing a property (house and land). Foreigners will look elsewhere for their retirement...places like Malaysia and the Philippines are much more liberal on land and home ownership......they also offer a similar retirement someone who is planning to eventually retire in Phuket with my wife we may have to rethink my plans if the ownership issue changes or is not clear cut.

Posted by Anonymous on August 27, 2009 15:16


Anonymous, bye bye, Thailand does not need whiners like you ok?
If you want to come here, fine. If not go elsewhere.
Accept this country for who and what she is, but we will not turn it into a British colony, Aussie state or German homeland. Got it, good. Now let you start again with your question or comment.

Posted by Mouse on August 27, 2009 17:32


It's all good. Retirees will just choose another more amiable destination to relocate, while Phuket will always be a big draw for the drunks, backpackers and sex-tourists.

Posted by Cat on August 27, 2009 23:16

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