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Buying Private Islands in Exotic Thailand

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The word “Thailand” has become almost synonymous with “escape”. Known across the world as the place you journey to when you truly want to get away from it all, the country is home to friendly people, stunning tropical beaches and offers an inexpensive, enjoyable lifestyle. With this surging popularity, Thailand has also become a sought-after area for individuals and resort firms searching for the perfect private island. Nick Thatcher is the broker to turn to. Based on the south-eastern holiday island of Koh Samui, Nick represents a number of the country’s rare private islands, and gives us a look into what it’s like to be an island broker in paradise.

Q: You’ve come a long way from the UK- what do you love most about living in Thailand?

Thailand is just such an easy place to live! Daily living is extremely cheap and the service is second to none. I just don’t feel like I’m part of the rat race here.

Q: There is a great diversity of landscapes in Thailand, and a large number of the world’s most gorgeous beaches. Having lived there for some time, are there any areas that you find the most beautiful or interesting?

Thailand is home to some of the most beautiful islands in the world. My two favourite areas are the Angthong National Marine park on the east coast, and the Koh Lanta/ Koh Phi Phi area just off the west coast near Krabi. Koh Phi Phi is famous for its Maya Bay, shown in the movie The Beach, starring Leonardo DiCaprio.

Q: I’m sure island brokers get this question all the time, but do you own an island, or is it something you would ever purchase for yourself?

I don’t own an island at present, although I have been part of a group buying before, which was mostly for investment. I would consider buying into one again, although I would prefer to be part of a small community rather than own a private island.

Q: Buying property overseas can often be a little intimidating. What are a couple of points that potential island buyers should keep in mind?

Nick: As long as you work with reputable agents and lawyers who understand your needs, Thailand is a very safe place for property transactions. I would say though that I think there is a cultural difference that buyers should keep in mind. Thailand is called the land of smiles for a reason: the local people here tend to say “yes” to everything with a smile on their face, whether they know what you mean or not.

This usually works fine in restaurants, but when doing business here you need to make sure you deal with experienced brokers and lawyers who fully understand your requirements.

Q: The country is certainly very beautiful, and seems to have a lot to offer investors, too. Why would you personally recommend Thailand as a place for island purchase?

Definitely rarity is a factor. Thailand is running very low of actual “private” islands at the moment but demand is high, so your investment would become more and more valuable as they become scarcer.

The potential for resort development is also another strong reason to look towards Thailand. There are a lot of very large and prominent hotel groups showing interest in the private island market right now. The resorts being developed are extremely luxurious and high-end, and I think Thailand will become very well-known for it’s private island holidays.