Tag Archives: Ko Samui Properties monthly Newsletter


First of all of course may we all here at Ko Samui Properties wish you a very Happy New Year.

There are basically three sets of regulations which apply to development on Koh Samui. They are the City Planning Ministerial Regulation BE 2549 (2006) which relates to zoning, the Beach Land Regulations according to the Building Control Act and the more recent Environmental Regulations 2014 which put further restrictions on what can be built at certain heights above sea level.



The Zoning of Samui is shown in the above image. The large green area which covers most of the island is designated as rural and agricultural areas but does allow use for residences and tourism. Other uses are permitted subject to restrictions on height and density. A building in this area will have a Construction Permit showing the land designation as 6.3. The pale areas are in Zone 1 which is primarily low density residential and tourism and restrictions apply as to height and density. Zone 1 includes the Beach Land Regulations which state that land 10m from the coast must not be used (specific exceptions exist).and on land that is within 50m from the coast, no building should exceed 6m in height. And its total area must not exceed 75sqm, and the surrounding space must be at least 75 % of the whole (specific exceptions exist). Red areas are for high density residential use and there are specific areas designated for industrial use, government office, etc.

Send me an email if you would like a bigger version of this image.

The other Regulations that more recently added to the restriction on development was the Environmental Regulations 2014. These applied to Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao as well of all the surrounding islands. Seven Zones in all. 

Zone 1 relates to offshore activities such as drilling; Zone 2 refers to all land in Koh  Samui, Koh Tan and Koh  Phangan that is less than 80 metres from sea level; Zone 3 is divided into 3 sub-zones

 Zone 3.1: Land that is 80-140 metres above sea level in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan

Zone 3.2: Land that is greater than 140 metres above sea level in Koh Samui and Koh Phangan

Zone 3.3: Land that is 80 metres above sea level in Koh Tan

Zones 4-7 refer to the other offshore islands.

In Zone 2 the future construction of airports and golf courses is prohibited as is future construction of water-dams. Construction of hotels is  permitted, provided that 50%  of the  land is  left vacant and  “green and the construction  of  a   residential   project  consisting  of  ten   (10)   or   more residential  units  must  include  approved water  and   waste  treatment facilities.

In Zone 3.1 and 3.3, construction of residential units is limited to a single house, which cannot exceed 6 metres in height;

Must leave 50% of the land vacant and “green”; must include an approved water-drainage system to prevent flooding;

Must have an architectural design based on traditional Thai, tropical or local aesthetics; Must have a roof consisting of 80% of the  total building area, and  the  roof colour  must match the  natural surroundings; Furthermore, the  area of the  land must be 100 square wah  or greater, otherwise construction is prohibited.

 In Zone 3.2, constructions of residential units are limited to a single house, which cannot exceed 6 metres in height;    Cannot exceed 90 m2 in area; Must leave 50% of the land vacant and “green”;  Must include an approved water-drainage system to prevent flooding; Must have an architectural design based on traditional Thai, tropical or local aesthetics; Must have a roof consisting of 80% of the  total building area, and  the  roof colour  must match the  natural surroundings; Furthermore, the  area of the  land must be 100 square wah  or greater, otherwise construction is prohibited.

There are further restrictions on hotels and land having a slope between 35 and 50 degrees and nothing can be built on land with a slope exceeding 50 degrees.

The only way to be sure of the height of land above sea level is to check with the Land Office or Tessaban as they have maps showing all areas. Despite this no-one (even in the Land Office) has been able to tell me the point from which sea level is measured. You can get a rough idea using the Elevation Profile feature of Google Earth. Not definitive but gives a good indication of being below 80m or between 80 and 140 m or above 140m.

If you would like a full copy of any or all of these regulations, please send me an email  to hbonning@kosamuiproperties.com .

KSP Newsletter 158 – November 2017

Five years ago I wrote about the risk of a Tsunami hitting Samui and recently for some reason that topic has come up for discussion again, so I have been doing some research to see if anything has changed or there is new evidence or studies to suggest anything different.

There has still been nothing specific to Koh Samui and no new studies relating to the possibility of a tsunami in the Gulf of Thailand. An article in The Nation in December last year stated that “THAILAND is unlikely to be affected by another deadly tsunami any time soon according to an earthquake expert and that included the west coast Andaman Sea area. TRF geology researcher Passakorn Pananont said “Even though scientists still cannot preciously predict an earthquake [happening], which can cause a tsunami, it is very unlikely that the next tsunami will hit our shores soon.”

Paiboon Nuannin, a lecturer at the Department of Physics at Prince of Songkla University and a prominent earthquake expert, said that based on the earthquake record in the Andaman Sea between 2007 to this year, there were 10 earthquakes big enough to create a tsunami. He said a tsunami could only be triggered by a specific type of tectonic plate movement and not all big earthquakes can generate a seismic sea wave. “A big tsunami can only be generated by an earthquake larger than eight magnitude, and in the Andaman Sea, the recurrence interval for such a gigantic earthquake was once every 15 years. And the most recent earthquake on this scale already happened in 2012, so it will take around 10 years to gather the energy for the next big earthquake”

There are three principal causes cited for the promulgation of a tsunami, sub-sea earthquakes, landslides and volcanic eruptions – the former being the most common. Earthquakes are the consequence of the movement of the tectonic plates moving against each other and similar movements in the fault lines which cross them. Major earthquakes commonly occur along the plate boundaries and in SE Asia the ones we are concerned with are the Sunda Trench to the west of Thailand and the Manila/Luzon Trench immediately to the west of the Philippines. Any tsunami generated by an earthquake in the Sunda Trench will not affect Koh Samui due to the land mass in between. All studies I have found re the Gulf of Thailand concern themselves with the effects of earthquakes in the Manila/Luzon Trench.

Follow the link for the full report but to summarize a seismic induced tsunami in
the southern part of the Manila Trench in excess of 8.5Mw would likely lead to a
tsunami entering the Gulf of Thailand once in 650 years to a height of 2-3 metres. The
worst affected areas would be the southern provinces.

This is demonstrated in the “2010 Tsunami Simulations for Regional Sources in the South China and Adjoining Seas” study which proposed a catastrophic earthquake at the Luzon Trench, off the western shore of Luzon producing a tsunami affecting the Narathiwat and Pattani provinces in Thailand. It also addresses the effects of a sub-sea landslide off Borneo but  generally the shallow nature (average 100m) would mitigate the magnitude of any tsunami entering the Gulf of Thailand and hence the affect on Koh Samui.
The study “Effect of Tsunamis generated in the Manila Trench on the Gulf of Thailand 2008” states “The Gulf of Thailand is affected by the diffraction of tsunamis around the southern part of Vietnam and Cambodia. The tsunami amplitude at the southernmost coastline is about 0.65 m for the Mw 9.0 earthquake. The current velocity in the Gulf of Thailand due to the Mw 9.0 earthquake is generally less than 0.2 m/s. “

Tsunami Risk Reduction Measures Phase 2 – November 2009” stated “The simulations reveal further that tsunami threat due to seismic origin to the Gulf of Thailand is almost nonexistent.” The conclusion is that , yes, Koh Samui could be affected by a tsunami, but that it would be small and not very powerful, probably less than one metre.

KSP Newsletter No: 155 August 2017


077 951 620 and 077 951 621 and FAX 077 951 622

 We keep hearing a great deal about the Chinese buying in Samui but I am not seeing much direct evidence of this in the re-sale market although there are indications that Chinese developers are buying land with a view to developing for the Chinese market.

 Juwai.com is one of the largest Chinese agents offering real estate to Chinese buyers and they have just issued their latest report on trends in that market.  Outbound Chinese investment in real estate has increased dramatically from USD 5billion in 2010 to USD 101billion in 2016. This includes real estate purchases made by corporate investors and individual, or retail-level, investors. The main target for Chinese investment is the USA, followed by Australia, Hong Kong, Canada and the UK.

 Of the SE Asian countries, Thailand has shown the least increase in demand as compared to Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Philippines and Cambodia where the increase in inquiries was a massive 311%.

Moving away from the Juwai report and looking at other reports on Chinese buyers and why they prefer other countries it is clear that Thailand’s land ownership laws, visa requirements and lack of available finance are disincentives compared to the ease of investing elsewhere in the world. The Chinese investor is a new phenomena and they do not have the experience of investing outside of China so they will take the path of least resistance. Note that four of the five top countries in the Juwai report have English as their primary language and all have legal systems that are clear and transparent.

There is no doubt that the Chinese market has great potential but whether that potential will be seen here in Thailand and in particular in Koh Samui we must wait and see.

This is an interesting article from Travel Daily News – Asia.

“Packages Drive Increased Revenue
Overall, Average Daily Rates (ADRs) – a common performance metric for hotels – for package stays were higher versus standalone stays by an average of more than 5%. This shows a substantial rate boost for hotels – and an incentive to include their hotels in package offerings. As an example, there is substantially more package demand for 4-5 star properties in Phuket and Koh Samui as compared to standalone hotel demand in these beach destinations.”

I wonder how this would relate to the Villa rental market? The full article can be found here.

The full Newsletter contains the following  :

Comments on the Chinese market.
8 New Villa Sale Listings
3 New Rental Listings
5 New Apartment Listings
4 New Land Listings
4 New Price Reductions

Public Holidays in August – One
Cruise Ships visiting Samui in August  – None

From the Press
– More hotels to join effort to tackle Koh Samui’s waste
– Anayara Resorts plans Thai debut in Phuket

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