Thailand Weekly Vol. 34
Thailand news and stories delivered free every Sunday 🇹🇭
Another Sunday, another edition of Thailand Weekly baby. Can’t believe we’re 34-weeks into this now. It’s such a pleasure writing these every week. Other than that though, winter is here, Bangkok is busy, and all is good in the Land of Smiles. Hope you have a great week ahead and are another day closer to your return to Thailand! 🇹🇭
LTR Visa & 40M Baht Investment Required For Foreigners To Buy Land
This past Tuesday, Thailand’s Cabinet approved the proposal to let foreigners purchase up to 1 Rai (0.4 Acres, 1600 SQM) of land the Kingdom. Below is a list of requirements to qualify:
Foreigner must qualify for one of the four categories listed as part of the new LTR Visa
Foreigner must invest a minimum of 40 million baht (USD $1.05M) in Thai property, securities or funds to participate
Foreigner can only purchase the 1 Rai of land once, even if they sell parts, or all of their land as part of an initial purchase
Foreigner must hold/maintain their investment for three years
Foreigners can purchase houses and/or land in Bangkok, Pattaya, and several other municipal areas and provincial zones that are marked as residential areas
Before being implemented by law, the approved proposal will now have to be published in the Royal Gazette which could take up to three months.
Well, you definitely need to have money to participate in this program but at the end of the day, I don’t mind the tighter requirements. I definitely don’t qualify, but as I’ve mentioned before, if Thai officials decided to fully open up the floodgates in the same way that places like Canada or the US have, the entire country would be bought up in the blink of an eye. Obviously I say this is a satirical sense, but seriously, I suspect that there would be a massive influx of foreign buyers that would ultimately drive up prices to a point where most Thais could never even consider purchasing property.
The rules that are currently in place (Land leases, Thai Partners, etc.) definitely have more complexity to them, but seem to be a good balancing act to protect locals, while also giving foreigners a certain level of access to property over here. It’s far from impossible to set things up where you can own a home/condo and not have to spend 40 million baht to do so. There’s actually a few different routes available that tens of thousands of Expats have gone through. Yes, I get it. You can’t own land. Having said that, I have a bunch of friends and colleagues that have set things up above board and feel comfortable in the protection of their home here. If you have any Q’s about that, feel free to shoot me a note and ask away.
Chiang Rai Opens Panoramic Skywalk With Views Of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos
A brand new, panoramic skywalk in Chiang Rai has just opened and offers sweeping views of mountains, forests, and rivers located in the infamous ‘Golden Triangle’ which is the meeting point of Thailand, Myanmar, and Laos. The project features glass floors looking 25 metres (82 feet) below and a cherry blossom tree at the end of the walkway facing the Mekong River. With total costs coming in at 35 million baht (USD $845K), it was entirely funded by donations raised by a local temple and can accommodate up to 100 people at a time.
This is something that I’ll absolutely be visiting later on this year when I spend a couple months up in Northern Thailand. Another thing worth mentioning is the fact that this was all community-funded through temple donations. One thing that I respect and love about Thailand is the fact that temples are so much more than places of worship. They’re community centres. They’re places to rest. They’re vehicles to make communities better. It’s super cool.
Thailand Travel Tip
Ahhh, Thailand. The land of flavours that’ll have your head popping. Although each different part of the country has a totally unique feel to it, the one thing that unites it ALL is the food. That’s what one of our members (shout out Enrico) suggested to us as inspiration for a piece of art that he won as part of a giveaway we did last year. We took that thought and passed it along to Khun It, who just so happens to be one of the best artists on Koh Samui. The end result was a spectacular representation of all the sensations that Thai food delivers on. Just yesterday we released a boutique collection of Merch on our website that highlights his amazing work. If you’re interested in exploring the collection and seeing if there’s anything you like, just click here and check out the different pieces. If you have any questions about sizing, designs, shipping, etc., feel free to email me and ask away. I love this art.
4.4 Million Thais Earning Less Than 3000 Baht Per Month
This past week, officials released key economic stats and reported that 4.4 million Thais are living below the poverty line, which is defined as earning less than 2763 baht (USD $73) per month. This is down from the 4.7 million people that were living below this income threshold at the height of COVID throughout 2020 and 2021. Officials also reported that Southern, and Northeast Thailand had the highest percentage of people living below the poverty line at 11.6% and 11.5% respectively. Nationwide, average income for those living in rural areas was 8130 baht (USD $214) and then 12,018 baht (USD $317) for those in urban centres.
You know, there’s a lot of people that complain when taxi drivers want to charge them an extra 100 baht (USD $2.60) or moan about dual pricing in National Parks, but I always try to make a point to not sweat that stuff. Especially when sifting through data like this. As easygoing and relaxed as Thais tend to be, many of them are struggling to make ends meet. I couldn’t imagine living on a few hundred bucks a month, so if you find yourself in a situation where you feel like you’re getting ‘ripped off’ over two or three bucks, just remember that it’s insanely hard for locals to get ahead over here.
Only In Thailand 🇹🇭
I thought Spiderman was a New York kind of guy? Well, 48-year old tour-guide and hotel manager Kasidet Juthamas had other thoughts this past week when he scaled some of Krabi’s epic cliffs in a spidey suit as part of an ongoing effort to promote tourism in the region. Kasidet is well-known among locals as Spiderman Krabi because he’s always wearing costumes of different cartoon and movie characters while working as a guide. Check out the full video here, I love it!