Archive for April, 2010

I’m Travelling To Thailand Despite The FO Travel Ban And The Unrest

As I mentioned in my last post “How A Foreigner Can Get The Legal Right To Use Land In Thailand” it’s time now (Thursday 29 April 2010) to visit Thailand to sign the Chanote, pay the balance of the land cost and finally take ownership of the land upon which we (my wife and myself) will build our retirement house.

In fact I have my air ticket and fly out from London Heathrow to Bangkok on Thai Airways flight TG917 on Friday evening. (Friday 30 April 2010)

Is It Safe To Travel To Thailand – What Travel Advice Is Being Given Out?

On the British Foreign Office website is a warning for people to avoid all but essential travel to the whole of Thailand due to the increasingly volatile and tense political situation.”

So, I have been keeping a close watch on the situation in view of my own trip to Thailand. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) and the Royal Thai Embassy have asked for a meeting with the Foreign Office to try to get this travel warning lifted – or at least downgraded, and insist that a travel warning should only apply to bangkok, where most of the disturbances are taking place.

Before now the Foreign Office’s advice was only to avoid traveling to Bangkok, where 26 people have been killed in the anti-government protests and many hundreds have been injured. but now the advice is to avoid travelling to any part of Thailand.

The Tourism Authority of Thailand’s Travel Advice

There is a very informative article on “Political Developments In Thailand: Advice For Visitors ” on the Tourism Authority of Thailand’s website.

They report as follows:-

“For tourists visiting the Kingdom, it should be stressed that foreigners have not been targeted in the on-going political conflict. However, visitors and tourists are advised to be vigilant, follow news developments, exercise extra caution and avoid areas near the UDD rally site and areas where demonstrators gather.” (Thursday 29th April 2010)

Thailand’s Ministry Of Foreign Affairs Website

The website of the Thai Ministry Of Foreign Affairs is great place to get updates on the political unrest situation in Thailand.

They report that the ‘Red Shirts’ are now protesting without wearing red shirts making the situation more uncontrollable and more dangerous for ordinary people.

When the Police tried to stop the Red Shirts demonstrators attempting to stage rallies and pass through the authorities’ checkpoint on Viphavadee Rangsit Road in the northern suburbs of Bangkok, heavy weapons were discovered – apparently left behind by a fleeing demonstrator. These weapons included 62 M79 grenades and some parts of a M203 grenade launcher.

Clearly the checkpoint on Viphavadee Rangsit Road is one place to avoid.

On a practical note, my main concern about my trip to visit Thailand to buy my retirement land is that there is a chance- albeit a slim one – that the Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport could be closed down by protesters.

Is Now Really A Good Time To Thinking About Retiring In Thailand?

Given the civil unrest in Bankok, and dangers to Thais and tourists alike, not to mention the inconvenience of not being able to travel around Bangkok freely, is now really the best time to be considering retiring in Thailand?

I don’t know your take on that, but here’s mine:-

In the first place I’m not retiring to Thailand right now. I’m planning my retirement in Thailand now, but it will be at least another year before I’m ready to finally retire. But right now I definitely am planning and getting ready to retire in Thailand.

Here’s why I say that.

Sure, I am buying a plot of land to build our retirement home on in Thailand as you can read on the web page “Buying Our Land In Thailand

But having bought the land, and bought a a brand new car (Toyota Hilux pickup) in Thailand plus buying anew car here in the U.K. my pension pot has been eroded somewhat. Plus the retirement house we intend to build in Thailand that I have designed has been priced by a Thai Architect and at the moment it’s outside by current budget. So I need to stay here in the U.K. for a year or so to save up the cash to build the house.

Building the house I expect to be done in stages over a one year period.

So after a year (or thereabouts) I should have a place in Thailand to live. I already have a small (large for Thailand) monthly pension so I will have enough income.

Secondly, if you’re still with me, these troubles are temporary. Thailand has a history of unrest and Coups and I don’t suppose it’s going to change anytime soon. So I think that even if you postpone your retirement to Thailand for a year or even more, the situation will be more or less tha same.

In the longer term, there is some risk of things changing for the worst when King Bhumibol Adulyadej of Thailand passes on. He is 82 now and has just made an appeal for stability in his first public speech since protests began in the capital seven weeks ago.

The people of Thailand love their King and has some stabalising influence on the country. “Our political system has been unstable all the time. So whenever there is a political crisis people expect the King to solve the problem” says Prof Suchit Bunbongkarn.

Former Prime Minister Anand Panyarachun describes King Bhumibol’s authority as “reserve power” that, because it has been used judiciously and sparingly, has been decisive in maintaining the country’s stability.

That’s why there is such disconcerting concerns about a post-King Bhumibol era.

According to what my wife tells me there is no readily apparent suitable heir to the throne.

So post King Bhumibol I can expect Thailand to change. I’m not particularly referring to civil unrest – my concern is more related to any laws that may change and make life for a retiree in Thailand more difficult.

So perhaps now is a good time to retire in Thailand – before any laws change!

At Last – Ready To Own the Land!

An update on buying land and building a house to retire in thailand.

Today, Sunday May 25th 2010 is a big day for me and even bigger days coming…

Now I’m really excited…

… after weeks of waiting for the posts to be reinstated and the land re-surveyed I just received this email from Daeng in Thailand:-

To Alan Brown
Date Thu, Apr 22, 2010 at 7:11 AM
Subject about the land and ticket

Hello Alan,

About the land;
The land is clear now, it ready for u to come. Please let me know when you suitable to coming.


Ps.. Today we already change the car plate.

What does this mean?

Well, the story so far is that my wife and her daughter, Daeng, found some land so buy in Thailand upon which to build our retirement house.

She (my wife) paid a deposit but the was one snag. Some of the concrete posts place there to mark out the land boundaries had been knocked out by the tractor when the land was cleared. Apparently these have to be put back and the land survey re-confirmed before we can take ownship of the land and get the land ownership transferred legally to my wife’s name.

Since that would take 5 months if we waited for the Land office to do it, it was written into the Contract to purchase the land that the current land owner would pay for a private company to put the marker posts back and re-survey the land. (Since I’m in UK at the moment I’m not completely clear what all this means and how it would be done) The contract was to have this done within 60 days which expires on Tuesday 18 may 2010.

All that is explained in detail here:-

So I was delighted to receive the above email telling me that the posts had been reinstated and everything was ready for me to go to Thailand to sign the Chanot. All I have to do now is to send the balance of the money to my wife, buy an Air ticket and sort out the Usufruct… see next item…

How A Foreigner Can Get The Legal Right To Use Land In Thailand

I explained here how a foreigner can obtain the legal right to use land in Thailand even though it may not belong to him/her.

This can be done because the Thai law differentiates between the rights of ownership and the rights of use of land.

It’s done through a legal contract called a “Usufruct” or in Thai, “sit thi gap gin ta lord shee vit”.  Now that the land is ready to change ownership I have asked a couple of Thai law firms to write the Usufruct in the Thai language for me. I’ll be posing their reply when i receive it. These are the two Thai law firms I have sent my enquiry to:-

Temporary Number (Registration)  Plates On New Cars In Thailand

The PS in Daeng’s email above “Ps.. Today we already change the car plate.” refers to changing the temporary car number (registration) plates for the permanent ones.

You can see photos of the temporary car registration plates (red colour) on the car we bought in thailand here:-

When you buy a new car in Thailand it comes with temporary number (registration) plates as ours did. We bought our car on February 12th 2010 and took delivery on 16th March.

Now Daeng’s email saying that the number plates had been changed is dated 22nd April 2010. That means we have waited 10 weeks form placing the order or nearly 5 weeks form taking delivery of the vehicle to getting the correct number plates!

Watch Out For More Updates And Photos

As soon as I get to Thailand ready to sign the Chanoht I’ll start taking photos of the land, the signing ceremony and will be posing all the information on the website. To get notification when that is under way why not join the Announcement List and receive an email when something interesting is added to the blog or website?

How To Build A House In Thailand

I have just started a new section of the website all abut building a house in Thailand.

You can visit the page on this website at Build A House In Thailand.

This section of the website will be regularly updated with all the information that I come across as I start to plan and build my own retirement house in Thailand.

As such, you will have access to all the latest and up-to-date information. I’ll be covering such topics as methods of building, materials, components, how and where to buy materials etc.

There is a whole section devoted to useful web links pointing to other websites relating to building a house in Thailand.

Follow me on Twitter

Land Purchase Update

I mentioned in a previous post “Problems Buying Land In Thailand” that we had hit a snag about buying the land upon which to build our retirement home because the land owner had knocked out the marker posts with the bulldozer when clearing the land.

These posts now have to be put back in the correctly surveyed position and verified by the Land office. The land owner has employed a private company to do this work and we are waiting for it to be completed before we can sign the Chanoht and take ownership of the land.

The situation is still the same. I am waiting for a call from Thailand to say it’s been completed and then I’ll jump on a plane and flight out there. All the above is written into a contract that my wife signed when she paid the deposit for the land.

The latest time in the contract for signing the Chanoht is 18th may 2010. i.e. 60 days after paying the deposit. So it’s a bit tense at the moment as we await the news.

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