Thailand has its own system for measuring land size. The most common measurement you will encounter is the 'Rai'. One Rai is the equivalent of 1600 square metres – so 6.25 Rai is one hectare (10,000 square metres). There are also smaller units of measure: the 'Wah' - one square Wah = four square metres. 100 Wah makes a 'Ngan' (400 square metres or one quarter of a Rai). So 1 Rai = 4 Ngan. Easy....?
A bit confusing at first, yes, but you will quickly get used to it. As a guide a compact mid size house with small garden would fit on a plot of 1 Ngan or one quarter Rai. So 1 full Rai gives you plenty of room for your sprawling tropical dream mansion or a multi home development.
Beach or Mountainside?
Koh Samui has three categories of land: beach-side, mountain-side, and the narrow ribbon of flat land between. There is still vacant beach-side land available on Samui but very little is left in the main built up tourist areas. Water front properties are no longer cheap but to be able to step down from your balcony and walk just a few metres to the soft coral sands of Samui is rather tempting and for some worth the price. Mountain-side properties are also very popular – as they mostly provide outstanding vistas and views over the waters around Samui and the tropical bush clad hills. Some plots can have quite steep access and topography and are a challenge to build on – but the results and views can be spectacular. Flat land, easy to build on and more likely to already be connected to Koh Samui's roads and utilities, offers different opportunities and less pressure on the budget.
Stand Alone or Gated Community
Land plots in gated communities and subdivisions are increasingly popular as a managed and cheaper alternative to individual or stand alone plots. Securing a plot in a complex where an experienced property developer manages the cost and difficulties of acquiring the land and can navigate the bureaucratic intricacies of connecting to the island's infrastructure and roads makes this an easier option than going it alone. As well, ongoing management of the property and security is usually handled by a professional property company such as SunWay Samui. Some of these developments have rules on building design and style but others are quite unencumbered. Our team of professionals can point you to a plot of land in a gated community or stand alone which will fit your needs to perfection.
Freehold or Long Term Lease
Only Thai nationals can buy land freehold. So other options need to be considered. Owning a Thai registered company which purchases the land is one option. Long term renewable leases work for many foreigners. Owning a Condominium approved by the government for freehold purchase by foreign nationals is another way to own your slice of tropical paradise. Talk to us at SunWay Samui to get more detail on how each of these and other options work and which will be right for you.