Author Archives: John

pattaya condo

Pattaya: One Red Hot Condo Market

Condo development in Pattaya is exploding and with a good reason. The region is attracting a growing number of foreign visitors every year, many of whom are very interested in buying property in this tropical paradise. It’s proximity to Bangkok also make it a popular choice with affluent Thais who have been increasingly buying vacation and investment properties here. When added, these two factors make the for a red hot condo market it Pattaya. So what is driving all this? What makes Pattaya’s real estate market such an attractive place to invest?

people eating thai-food

Shopping, Dinning and Pampering

Pattaya shopping with its air-conditioned malls and high-end boutiques has everything to keep the ladies busy (as well the gents, for those who like myself, enjoy the occasional shopping session). And what is the good life without good food? You are never far from top restaurants serving both Thai food and international gourmet cuisine. Finally, for those times when you need to really relax and recharge, the luxury spas of Pattaya are there ready to cater to your every need. As far as I’m concerned, there’s nothing like a good foot massage after a long day of shopping.

 

Party Capital of the South

Pattaya is unquestionably party central in the Gulf of Thailand. Famous for its wild go-go bar scene, the resort also boasts hundreds of nightclubs and bars sure to suit every taste. Then there are the spectacular ladyboy cabaret shows:  mix between Las Vegas variety shows and burlesque, they are a must do, trust me on this one.

 

thai island

Pattaya Beaches and Islands

Pattaya’s reputation as a party destination, sometimes overshadows the fact that it also has miles of clean, sandy beaches perfect for swimming and relaxation. For those, like myself, who prefer more a little more action, the beautiful islands just around Pattya: Koh Larn, Koh Pai, Koh Si and Koh Samet, offer plenty of snorkeling, diving and other fun activities.

 

Pattaya panoramic

Jomtien: A Great Opportunity for Budget Conscious Buyers

Only 2km South of Pattaya, the tranquil community of Jomtien Beach has long attracted visitors looking a for a more laid back atmosphere, however since the unveiling of the recently built Jomtien Road 2, the area has really opened up for large scale development.

Geared mostly towards more budget conscious retirees, a number of condo developments have gone up in the area over the last few years with many more on the way. In fact, the majority of the estimated 6000 new units that went up in the second half of 2012 were located in Jomtien. Following this building frenzy, new shopping, dinning and relaxation options are popping up all the time, offering more variety and abundance. Even the nightlife is scene is developing healthily too, although it will not be catching up to that of its wild neighbour, or the party scene of bustling Bangkok, any time soon.

 

waterfront condo nigh

The condo market in Pattaya is proving increasingly popular with both domestic and international buyers and there are no signs of things slowing down anytime soon. Naturally, the upward pressure on prices is tremendous, which makes this the ideal time to buy.

I’m definitely considering several top condominiums in the area, as my next investment and I highly recommend investing in Pattaya’s real estate market to anyone moving to Thailand, especially for those looking to retire here in style.

bangkok-skyline

5 Must-dos in Bangkok

So you have finally touched down in Suvarnabhumi (aka Bangkok International Airport). Your flight was long, possibly over 30hrs if you are coming from the US East Coast and you are exhausted. Fight the temptation to hit the pillow, get out of your hotel and enjoy the city! Whether you are headed South to the islands, or North for some peaceful nature and temple hoping, you must do these five things in Bangkok first.

Khao San Road

Even if you are not a backpacker, you have to check Khao San Road. The sheer madness of it all is worth it. It is loud, dirty, and packed with crazy, drunk people from all corners of the planet. Work your way through the street shops selling tourist nick knacks, and head for one of the sidewalk bars for a well deserved, ice-cold Chang beer. When you get hungry from fighting off pushy vendors, get a pad thai from one of the stalls. Don’t be fooled by the paper plate – this is one of the best places in Bangkok to have this staple dish.

Visit Wat Pho

For a little culture, grab a tuk-tuk and head for Wat Pho – Bangkok’s largest and oldest Buddhist temple, famous for the massive, gold-plated Reclining Buddha statue (at 151ft long and over 15ft high it’s indeed impressive) it houses. This is also a great place to get a traditional Thai massage at the adjoining massage school. Note: when visiting this or any temple in Thailand, make sure to follow the dress code: no shorts for the guys and no short skirts or bare shoulders for the ladies.

See a Live Thai Boxing Fight

Speaking of culture, few things are as deeply ingrained in Thai culture as Muay Thai. Apart for the fact that the fighters wear gloves and boxing shorts, this ultra violent martial art has little to do with boxing in the West. Vicious kicks, knees and elbow strikes are used along with traditional boxing punches to decimate one’s opponent. Locals follow the sport religiously and once you see a live fight you’ll know why. It’s a thrilling experience. The best place to see a fight in Bangkok is Ratchadamnoen Stadium (close to the Royal Palace and Chao Phraya river). Fights start at 6pm on weekdays and 4pm on weekends and cost between 200 and 1000 baht depending where you want to sit. For $30 (1000 baht), I will take ringside please!

Party with the Locals

The nightlife options in Bangkok are endless. However, if you are only in town for a couple of nights, you got to see how the locals get down. There is no better place to do just that than Slim & Flix Club on Royal City Avenue (RCA). This massive venue is actually 3 clubs in one, each offering a different sound experience: Slim is all about the latest hip-hop and R&B, Flix blasts house and trance but for the real Thai experience, head to the live lounge where Thai bands cover everything from modern pop to and classic rock. The crowd is young and trendy and believe me, Thai people know how to party!

bangkok river sunset

Chill out in Lumphini Park

If you had one of those Bangkok nights that ends at dawn the following day, consider stopping by Lumphini park on your way back to your hotel. Watching some tai chi as the sun rises is the perfect way wind down before crashing in the soft bed of your luxury hotel. Of course, the park makes an equally pleasant destination to relax during the day in between bouts of heavy duty shopping and sightseeing.

 

beautiful beach with boat thailand

Welcome to TheBetterProject.org

Hello and welcome TheBetterProject.org! Stay a bit and share my experiences of living in Thailand, my thoughts on the real estate and business environment here, and of course my idea of the good life and how to live it.

My Project

My name is John. Back in the US, I was a real estate agent with one of the large franchise companies. I was doing alright but not as good as I wanted to. It’s no secret that the US real estate market has been a total mess since the sub-prime mortgage bust. One day, it just dawned on me: I’ve had enough of waiting for the market to bottom out, of dealing with bargain-hunters and foreclosure deals. Mostly, I was fed up with my boring, monotonous life. I needed a change, I needed a new project. So I sold my condo (which was nice enough but nothing like the place have now) and my investment properties and decided to hit the road. I travelled around Asia for a while, starting with Hong Kong and China, and then making my way down to Vietnam and Cambodia. However, once I got to Thailand, I knew right away that this is the place for me. ‘So what makes Thailand so great?’, you say. Well, many things.

Climate and Nature

For one, there is the climate. With average annual temperature of 82°F (27.7°C) and nearly constant sunshine, it is pretty hard to beat. Even during the so called “wet season”, it barely ever rains in many areas and when it does it’s for an hour or two per day, and it’s back to the sunshine! Then there’s the gorgeous nature which as varied as the many ethnic groups inhabiting the land. From the post-card-perfect beaches of the South, to the lush green mountains of the North, Thailand has it all.

Business Opportunities

As one of the fastest growing economies in the region (and the world), Thailand offers many opportunities for doing business and investment. A booming real estate market and rapid infrastructure development make it ideal for anyone with a bit of capital to invest.

Quality of Life

Thailand combines all the comforts of the West (nice roads, modern transport that is constantly improving, excellent internet connectivity and every possible shopping outlet) with plenty of exotic fun to keep your life from getting stale. Best of all, you can enjoy a fantastic quality of life for a fraction of the cost back home. I’m now living in a luxury condo with a huge pool, every amenity you can imagine, and it still costs me only a third of what I was paying for my modern but tiny place back home.

luxury condo

It just gets better from there. I’m surrounded by affordable, high-quality restaurants offering every cuisine imaginable (I am yet to cook at home, even though I have a large, fully-equipped kitchen), excellent shopping, massage places and spas (it costs just a few bucks to get pampered like royalty) and of course crazy, exciting (not to mention cheap!) nightlife. Add to all that an abundance of hot, exotic women, that for some reason happen to love foreign white guys (even those of us with a bit of beer belly) and it all adds up up to a lifestyle that is pretty hard to beat, don’t you think?