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The key tourist areas of Phuket and Koh Samui have seen significant
growth in so far as foreign buyers are concerned, as has Bangkok, albeit more
typically with expatriates living and working in the Kingdom. However, it is
the Pattaya market that has really taken off, particularly over the last five or
six years, with purchasers from overseas having accounted for the vast majority
of units sold in numerous housing developments and large condominiums.
Part of the attraction of Pattaya, over and above markets
in places like Phuket and Samui, is the relative cost of properties. Typically,
similar units in Pattaya will be significantly cheaper. Moreover, Pattaya is
extremely convenient; being located only about an hourís drive from the new
Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, along recently upgraded and widened highways.
In addition, the infrastructure in Pattaya is not only
good, but improving rapidly. There are quality international hospitals, highly
regarded international schools, excellent dining options from cheap and cheerful
to haute cuisine and a vast number of wide ranging entertainment
options. On the shopping front, there are huge Western style hypermarkets in
which foreign products are widely available. A huge new Central Mall is close
to completion and due to open in the near future, while MBK have announced plans
for another big shopping mall, with construction due to begin in a couple of
In simple terms, living in Pattaya for most foreigners is
extremely straightforward, very pleasant and wonderfully affordable. Even for
the most parochial of foreign visitors, there are few challenges given the
existence of well established expatriate communities from all over the World.
Therefore, friends, golf partners or drinking buddies who speak your own
language are easy to come by.