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Friday, 4 September 2009

Koh Samui Monthly Blog - Air Crash and Other News

The big topic on the island of course this month was the crash of the Bangkok Airways Krabi flight on 4th August at Samui Airport. We started getting phone calls to the office within a few minutes of this happening and as usual the information was confused and inaccurate. Being next door to Bangkok Samui Hospital we are used to the regular wail of ambulances sirens so that was not unusual in itself, just the frequency. As the facts became clearer – mainly through internet web boards – it was a tragedy that the pilot died but a miracle really that no one else did and that serious injuries were confined to so few people. One could be a little cynical and say that if you are going to crash, doing so next to the emergency services building is probably the best place to do it, but that takes nothing away from the excellent response of the ground services who quickly eliminated any risk of fire. Eye witness accounts state that the aircraft was on the ground some 300 metres down the runway when it suddenly veered to the left. A sudden gust of wind or brake failure – we must wait for the accident report to find out. A 5 minute video of the rescue operation can be seen here.

Many airlines suffer accidents and it is how they respond to that which is important. Bangkok Airways has an excellent safety record and despite regular criticism of their high prices to Koh Samui, the general opinion is that they offer an excellent service. Certainly in the aftermath of this accident they seem to have done all the right things in offering assistance to the passengers both injured and uninjured.

What also came out of this incident was the matter of copyright as demonstrated by the person who witnessed the accident from his house above the airport and within minutes posted a picture of the crashed aircraft on Thai See the article below re-printed below from Bangkok Bugle – with their permission I might add!

Rumours have surfaced again that Index are to open on Samui. My understanding is that if this is correct then it will be on the vacant land between Makro and Big C.

There are many tempting souvenirs in the tourist shops throughout Thailand but be warned many of the items offered are in fact illegal. Visit the TAT Web site to get detailed information on what NOT to buy. Click here! WHAT NOT TO BUY OR TAKE HOME WITH YOU

In the article reproduced below the Treasury Department are accused of setting land values on Koh Samui at too high a level. This relates to the table of values used by the Land Office and Tax Office to assess values for tax and transfer purposes. There have often been issues when registering the sale of land at the value stated at the Land Office which are always lower than the actual sale value. This is because the tables used were out of date and well below actual values. Technically you were supposed to register at the Table Value or the actual value whichever was the highest but that rarely happened. Registering at the table values meant lower tax and transfer costs. The re-valuation is an attempt to bring the set values into line with the market and whilst many people seem to be against this the values quoted are a great deal more realistic than those on the old tables of values. A comparison would be the old system of Rateable Values of houses in the UK where the RV was a stated number for a specific house and only re-assessed every ten years and taxes were charged at a standard multiplier.

And property prices continue to fall! If you check our web site and look at the Hot Press Offers you will see a great number of properties with prices that have been reduced from between 15% and 50% with an average reduction of 39% during this last month. These reductions are now beginning to produce sales and, although still not many, there are a few more buyers around than there were a few weeks ago. NEW REDUCTIONS EVERY MONTH!

See in particular the following properties – CTRL + click to follow the link:
4 bedroom house in Bangrak with walled garden and pool. Originally in excess of Baht 10m. Offers now considered.
4/5 bedroom house in Pang Ka with pool – originally in excess of Baht 20. Now available at Baht 13m.
And two more special properties featured at the end of this Newsletter.

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