Archive | December, 2014

The Colosseum Pattaya

Posted on 31 December 2014 by ABPC

The recently opened Colosseum Cabaret Show located on Threprassit Road in Jomtien is the largest ladyboy (transvestite) show in the whole of Asia with a seated capacity of over 1000, 350 of which are classed as VIP seats. All of the seats are located in a semi circle to ensure that all visitors have an unobstructed view. The Colosseum is well located in Jomtien so there is easy access to theatre especially for visitors coming from out of town.  The Colosseum, needless to say is designed to look like the Colosseum in Rome and came in at a cost of around THB400 million.

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The show itself describes itself as ‘glitzy and glamorous’ with spectacular costumes are well choreographed dance routines.  The Colosseum Show’s vision is clear and that is to be an innovative, world class and a unique cabaret show with the aim of complimenting the huge, world class arena.  The venue prides itself on having well trained, quality staff who see customer service as a priority as well as having and professional performers that support their slogan ‘Leader of Modern Cabaret Show.’

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Tickets are available around the town from travel agents, hotels as well as freelance guides who are in a position to offer you significant discounts on the already very reasonably priced tickets.  There are 3 shows daily.  These start at 18:00, 19:30 with a final show commencing at 21:00.

A lot of thought has gone into the facilities to ensure that the Colosseum really is an industry leader.  The venue provides wheel chair support for the disabled, as well as lifts, ramps and escalators. The location offers a cafeteria, bar lounges as well as tour guide and VIP rooms.  VIP seats start at just THB1000.

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If you are concerned about how you will get to the Colosseum transport is available for anyone staying inside Pattaya which they deem to be “Sukhumvit Road – Between Banglamung police station and Ambassador Hotel”.  The charge for this is a mere THB100 per person.  For anyone living further a field, transport is still available but with a small additional cost

If you are travelling by car, ample parking is available both in and around the Colosseum with room for 450 vehicles on the 17 acres of land surrounding the project, so this really shouldn’t be an issue and gives the Colosseum a large advantage over some of the other shows around the town.

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Chiang Rai Province in Northern Thailand

Posted on 27 December 2014 by admin

A lesser known destination and home of a healthy expat community is Chiang Rai in the far north of Thailand.  Chiang Rai, Thailand’s mostly northerly province is around 800 kms from Bangkok and 580 meters above sea level.  The area, mostly covered with mountains and is 11,678 sqm. The most important river is Mae Kok which is about 130 kilometres long.

Chiang Rai is divided into 13 Amphoes and 3 King Amphoes : Muang, Chiang Kong, Chiang Saen, Mae Chan, Mae. Sai, Mae Suai, Pa Daet, Phan, Thoeng, Wiang Pa Pao, Wiang Chai, Phaya Mengrai, Wiang Kaen and King Amphoe Mae Fa Luang, Khun Tan and Mae Lao.

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Chiang Rai was founded in 1262 A.D. by King Mengrai, whose statue can be easily seen on the way to Mae Chan.  It is the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom and later was conquered by Burma. It was not until 1786 that Chiang Rai became a Thai territory. It was proclaimed a province during the reign of King Rama VI in 1910 A.D. Nowadays Chiang Rai is famous for its fruit and tobacco as well as the Golden Triangle where Thailand, Laos and Burma meet.

Things to do in Chiang Rai

Rafting in Mae Kok River

The Mae Kok River is 130 kms long and runs through the heart of Chiang Rai.  It is said one of the most beautiful and unspoilt rivers of the world. It flows gently along jungle banks and towering mountain cliffs. Along its route live several hill tribes and jungle tribes of Chiang Rai. The people are friendly and the life aboard the raft is relaxing. There are regular well, organised rafting trips to and from Chiang Rai with many interesting destinations. Two popular tours are from Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai and vice versa.

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The Golden Triangle is where the borders of the three countries (Laos, Thailand and Myanmar) meet. It is about 9 kilometres north of Chiang Saen.  From this place, Laotian and Myanmar borders can be seen across the Mae Khong and Ruak Rivers, respectively. Accommodations are available for tourists who want to stay over night. Boats can be rented for trips along the Mae Khong River.

Phrathat Doi Tung is a holy relic that draws devout Buddhists from as far as Laos and Myanmar for annual worship. It is on top of Chiang Rai’s highest mountain at Doi Tung, 2,000 metres above sea level. The shrine is reached by a torturous mountain road, winding its way up and down mountain sides for 17kms. off Highway No. 110. It is 48 kms. from Chiang Rai city. The unmatched panoramic view reaches to Myanmar and Laos on the horizon.

Phra Tamnak Doi Tung is a beautiful royal residence built for the Princess Mother on the way to Phrathat Doi Tung. The main attraction is Suan Mae Fa Luang, a very beautiful garden, decorated with different kinds of plants and flowers. The garden is open to visitors daily from 06:00-18:00 hrs.

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Chiang Saen Lake To get to the lake, travel five kilometres from Chiang Saen along Highway No.1016, turning left at Km. 27, go a further two kilometres.

 

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Where are the up and coming locations in Pattaya?

Posted on 22 December 2014 by admin

There is little doubt that Pattaya as a city is constantly growing in size so everyone is looking for the next place to ‘bag a bargain’.  It seems that wherever you go there is construction work going on in some form with very few bits of land remaining and those that are tend to be incredibly expensive resulting in developers shying away as getting return on these new projects would be difficult to achieve.  It is fair to say that north, central and south Pattaya are nearly impossible to find land as too is Pratamnak so where are the places where you can still get a bargain, or at least buy some land?

Huay Yai

Huay Yai is located to the south of Jomtien as is still an up and coming area.  There are a number of housing projects in this area although there is talk of the potential development of condominiums as well.  Previously people had been put off by the location saying that travel to Pattaya and elsewhere took too long.  However, since the bypass running along the side of the railway track was opened this is no longer an issue.  There is also easy access to both the Sukhumvit Road and 36 Highway.  There are 7 Elevens, shops and restaurants available in the area.

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Bang Saray

Bang Saray is further south of Huay Yai on the way to Sattahip and is a quiet, picturesque location with ocean and mountain views.  Prices tend to be on the high side but if you want serenity and quality then you have to pay for it.  Bang Saray has one of the best beaches in the area and the small town has plenty of shops, restaurants and bars.  Both housing projects and condominiums are available as well as pieces of land for those looking to build their own dream home.  Again there is easy access to most locations via the Sukhumvit Road.

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East Pattaya

Although East Pattaya is rapidly expanding there are still undeveloped areas around the lakes of Mabprachan and Chaknork.  These pieces of land are only really suitable for individual houses or housing projects but quite popular nevertheless.  It is always worth speaking to a reputable estate agent and asking them to try and source land on your behalf.

East Pattaya

Some areas of Naklua and Jomtien

Although most of Naklua and Jomtien are already developed there are still some plots of land available. Again these tend to be on the pricey so getting help from an agent is always advisable.

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Mimosa, Pattaya

Posted on 18 December 2014 by admin

The Mimosa complex is located just to the south of Pattaya, opposite the Ambassador Hotel and opened in February 2013. The complex has a range of shops, restaurants and shows to cater for everyone and cost a staggering THB1000 million to build and is situated on 50 acres of the land. The ‘City of Love’ can host up to 10,000 people a day and is open from 10am until 10pm.

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The design of Mimosa is based on the small French town of Colmar that is located close to the border with Germany. The buildings are designed in a medieval way, much the same as the town in France. The buildings are colourfully decorated with the intention of giving a romantic, European feel with ducks and swans even swimming on the canals giving Mimosa the nickname of ‘Little Venice’.

The shopping zone inside Mimosa has more than 300 units including shops and restaurants offering international foods, snacks, imported beverages and traditional ice cream parlours. There are even boutiques and spas in this area. All of the products that are available come under the Mimosa Local Brand with the intention of helping and supporting local businesses and people. All of the products that are available are different from those that you would find in department stores in downtown Pattaya.

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The complex offers a range of shows and competitions throughout the year which prove to be extremely popular with Thai Nationals but foreign visitors are more than welcome to come and enjoy the experience. Shows include beauty contests, Garden of Love parties as well as parties celebrating lunar events to name but a few. This really is a place to visit with your loved ones if you are looking to spend a romantic Sunday together as there really is nothing else quite like it in the Pattaya area.

Mimosa Plaza Na Jomtien - Pattaya | Thailand

Although Mimosa is still relatively new it is extremely well maintained and looked after. Needless to say, it has already proved to be very popular and with ample parking it should be a relaxing way to spend the day. Due to the location of Mimosa it is a great place to visit on a day of sightseeing with a number of other attractions close by including Nong Nooch Tropical Gardens and the Floating Market. This really offers a small part of Europe just a few minutes drive out of the centre of Pattaya. Why not try and explore this facility in the near future?

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The Thai Baht and Property Prices

Posted on 14 December 2014 by ABPC

The value of every currency often determines how attractive any investment is in another country.  Over the last 6 or 7 years we have seen an increase in the strength of the Thai Baht against most other major currencies and this has without doubt seen a slowing down of new money coming into Thailand although the significance of the overall World economy should not be dismissed.

In the early part of 2014 we saw the baht fall significantly in value against most other currencies for the first time in several years.  The current values seem to be far more in line with those predicted by financial analysts who believe that current levels are ‘fair’.  If this is the case as it appears to be, this should give confidence to investors looking to buy property, safe in the knowledge that they are unlikely to experiences losses connected to exchange rate risk.

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The stabilising of the Thai Baht could potential lead to inflation within the property market here in Thailand.  Previously prices had remained relatively constant with sellers tending to make gains on exchange rate differences rather than through returns received from the sale of the property.  Obviously, this only applies to those who are bringing funds from overseas, which of course you need to do if you are buying a property in Foreign Ownership.

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What can we expect in the short, medium and long term?  In the short term I think that everyone is expecting the baht to be pretty stable against major currencies such as the US Dollar, Euro and Sterling although with many investors now coming from Russia what happens with the Rouble against the Baht probably depends more on the political and economic situation in Russia far more than any events in Thailand with the rouble recently suffering it’s largest drop in over 15 years.

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In the medium term again it is likely that we will see stability although some analyst believe that the baht should be devalued in order to encourage overseas investment however with the culture of Thailand preferring to ‘save face’ this would seem unlikely.  In the long term, assuming that Thailand adapts well to the ASEAN community and continues it’s strides to becoming a first world rather than a developing country, you would have to say that over time you would expect the baht to strengthen although in reality this is some way off and should not really influence your decisions about buying property in Thailand.

All in all with the stable baht, Thailand really is a great place to invest.

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City Centre Residence, Pattaya

Posted on 10 December 2014 by ABPC

City Centre Residence is a project that is due to be completed in February 2015 from one of the best respected developers in the city, Matrix.  The project is located just off 3rd road in Central Pattaya and is a low rise, 8 storey complex.  Although the project is nearly sold out there are still several units still available and with completion being only just around the corner this is likely to appeal to many investors.

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The project includes all the things that you would expect from a modern condominium including 24 hour security, CCTV and key card access.  The project also has a large communal swimming pool, gym and fitness facilities, bar, shop, restaurant and children’s play area.  There is also WiFi available throughout the building and ample parking for residents and their guests.

The location of this project makes it hugely desirable being right in the centre of the city although just far enough away from the bar scene to ensure that is still a quiet location.  As it is so close to the city it is ideal for those who do not have their own transport.  Taxi’s readily available and Soi Buakow is within walking distance.  The fact that it is so close to the centre of the city makes it attractive for investors who are looking for rental properties.  The units are likely to prove popular with both long term and short term tenants, particularly the golfing fraternity.

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Studios, one and two bedroom units are available in both Thai and Foreign Ownership.  All condos are fitted to a high standard and include European kitchens and luxury bathroom suites.  Built in wardrobes come as standard as does air conditioning and hot water.

The standard payment terms are available. These are a non-refundable THB50,000 booking deposit, 25% on signing the contract with and in reality the balance being payable on transfer although the developer may be open to some negotiation on the payment terms.

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As mentioned, this project really is a one off opportunity and is something that should prove attractive to investors.  Although perhaps the real bargains may have gone the fact that the project is so close to completion means that you will soon be seeing returns on your investment.  There are only a few units left in the project so you really will need to move quickly to ensure that you don’t miss out.

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Silverlake Vineyard, Pattaya

Posted on 06 December 2014 by ABPC

The Silverlake Vineyard, home of The Siam Winery is located between Pattaya and Bang Chang close to the Buddha Mountain at Bang Saray.  It is a very popular destination for both tourists and expats alike.  At many times of the years visitors are able to see the grapes on the vines and understand the whole process of the wine production.  The grapes are obviously not available throughout the year due to their seasonal nature but there is still plenty to see and do whatever the season although it should also be taken into account that there is little cover and it can be very hot in the afternoons.

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The actual vineyard itself is owned by a Thai actress, Supansa Nuangphirom who visited a number of vineyards in the United States and decided to open one of her own here in Thailand.  Silverlake was seen as the perfect location because of its close proximity to Pattaya and its already established reservoir making cultivation easier.  The vineyard is particular popular with Thai Nationals, especially those from Bangkok visiting Pattaya at weekends.  The location is seen as a place of natural beauty and a romantic place for lovers to go and appreciate the stunning views and sunsets.

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Silverlake is developing as more of a destination with more and more activities and grape related products becoming available.  The relatively recent additions to activities include, elephants, horse drawn carriages and ATV’s making it more attractive to families.  In addition to the wine you can also purchase raisins, grape juice, grape jam etc all produced from the grapes grown at the vineyard.

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A food court offering more simple Thai food is available as well as an excellent Italian Restaurant offering both western and Thai food which would be perfectly complimented by a glass of wine from the vineyard.  Visitors are also welcome to bring their own picnics and sit around the reservoir.  As already mentioned about the afternoon heat, make sure you cover up, early evenings are maybe a better time for a picnic and the evening times are also highly recommended to appreciate the full, natural beauty of the location.

Getting to Silverlake is relatively simple. If you are travelling by car from Pattaya, head south down the Sukhumvit Road towards Bang Saray.  The turn is well signposted and easy to find.  Taxi meters, Songtaews (Baht Bus) and organised coach trips also go to the vineyard on a daily basis but it is probably too far to go by smaller motorbikes.  This really is an excellent day out and should not be missed.

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Thai Language Schools

Posted on 02 December 2014 by ABPC

Without doubt, there are more and more people coming to Thailand to live and this is increasing demand for Thai language schools.  In the past, the high demand has often been due to people wanting an Educational Visa to enable them to stay in the country for a longer period.  Although with some people this is still the case, a large proportion of those now attending the classes genuinely want to learn the language.  There are a large number of language schools in Pattaya and below are a few details on where can find 4 of the better known ones.

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The AUA language school is located within Central Festival shopping mall on Pattaya Beach Road.  The school is affiliated with Burapha University and is perhaps best known as a school for teaching Thai nationals English.  The school has branches throughout Thailand and is very well respected.  The lessons are 2 hours a day, Monday to Saturday for 5 weeks.  The school is well respected and offers good quality teaching in a friendly environment.

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Walen Thai School is one of the largest companies in Thailand offering Thai language courses.  The school in Pattaya is located on Soi Yume again close to the Big C Extra.  Walen have schools around Thailand as well as being able to offer distance learning programme.  The teaching again is said to be of a high standard although the methods of teaching are said to be different to other schools, concentrating on a question and answer format that is believed to help the learning process.  Educational Visas can be obtained under the same criteria as above.

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Pro Language School is located on Pattaya Klang (Central Pattaya Road) opposite Big C Extra.  Pro Language School has a number of branches around the country and is again well respected.  Courses are pretty standard although the level of teaching is said to be excellent with all classes held in small groups.  Not surprisingly, Educational Visas can be obtained from this school although naturally regular attendance is required.

Pattaya School of Languages and Computers or PLC have 3 branches in Pattaya, one in the north, one in the centre and one in the south.  The school specialises in one to one training or small groups centring on a 20 hour course.  Again the school is well respected with good quality teaching.  The lessons tend to be more flexible and cater more for those in full time employment.

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