Blessed with some of the country’s best beaches—as well as great golfing—this Thai holiday hotspot has been popular for almost 100 years. More recently, foreigners have also discovered everything this town of 80,000 people has to offer.
New condo complexes and housing developments are springing up within a 16-kilometre radius, hand-in-hand with a burgeoning infrastructure of new malls, international restaurants and tourist attractions, which were much more difficult to find just a few years ago. Because it is a bustling seaside town, seafood is affordable and plentiful, and public transport is cheap.
Whether you’re looking to buy or rent, you’ll find a wide choice of accommodation in the area to suit every budget. Certainly for beachside living, the price is right. You can easily live well on a budget of $2,800 to $3,500 per month. Many expats live here on much less.
With its beautiful beaches, warm, tropical climate and reasonable cost of living, this could be a great choice for those looking for their dream home in the sun. Luckily, there are plenty of condos and houses available for long-term rent at reasonable rates.
The town sits in the middle of 40 kilometres of spectacular beachfront. Those looking for a slice of tropical paradise near or on the Gulf of Thailand will want to check out this area as a possibility.
You can still find good-quality, furnished houses for rent in town for under $560 a month. These are often available directly from the owner, and they can be great deals for those on a very limited budget. It takes a little shopping and driving around, preferably with the help of a Thai-speaking friend, to find them. But often you can turn up a bargain, near-beach property this way.
Houses in the surrounding countryside are an even better deal. Head north or south, eight to 16 kilometres from the centre of town, and you can find two- or three-bedroom beautiful country villas renting for as little as $850 a month. I even looked at one that came with its own pool, gardener, weekly maid cleaning service and pool maintenance included in the $900-a-month rent. The bonus: it is less than two kilometres to a secluded beach and a well-known golf club. It would be hard to beat that in Australia.
In terms of buying, although actual seaside properties can be pricey, there are deals to be found, especially in developments within a few minutes’ walk or drive of the beach.
Condos tend to be on the beach and have a fairly consistent price per square metre. Prices for a beach condo, within reasonable distance of town, start from about $2,582 per square metre.
Just over three kilometres from the centre of town, you can pick up a 37-square-metre studio condo on the beach for $122,780. The building offers great facilities, including airport transfer, a private carpark, a coffee shop, lifts, a fitness room, WiFi, laundry service, two restaurants and a bar area on the beach.
In the same area, $196,166 will buy you a two-bedroom condo with almost twice the space: 69 square metres. Although the condo is unfurnished, it has a balcony and great views, while the complex’s amenities include a large pool, a gym and 24/7 security.
The stretch of beach to the north is also developing rapidly, with many new condos expected to come on the market soon. Most of the new developments are located a short distance north or south of the town, so they’re away from noise and crowds. When I visited during the week, the beaches were totally empty, save for a handful of locals strolling along the white sand.
Just under two kilometres south of town, you can purchase a 59-square-metre, furnished condo for $121,000. Amenities include pools, a fitness room, a sauna, table tennis, a laundry/cleaning service, and private parking with security. It is also within walking distance of several good-quality restaurants and bars.
Many expats I chatted with during a recent visit live in the countryside, within a 10- or 15-minute drive from the town centre and nearby beaches. The peace and quiet, lower costs and panoramic views—of the mountains in the distance—more than make up for not being right on the water.
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