Editor’s Corner 10

Editor’s Corner Part 1 can be viewed here.

Editor’s Corner Part 2 can be viewed here.

Editor’s Corner Part 3 can be viewed here.

Editor’s Corner Part 4 can be viewed here.

Editor’s Corner Part 5 can be viewed here.

Editor’s Corner Part 6 can be viewed here.

Editor’s Corner Part 7 can be viewed here.

Editor’s Corner Part 8 can be viewed here.

Editor’s Corner Part 9 can be viewed here.

30 March 2017

Little is said in public. The most important stuff is mostly said in private. There is no need to hide how I feel.

A certain amount of shit is to be expected, I can live with that, I don’t let it bother me. The problem is when there’s too much shit around, then I can no longer breathe. Playing the pretending game is no longer possible.

I am really tired of all the shit in the real estate sector in Pattaya. There is just too much of it. It smells really bad.

The dream of a new Pattaya has drowned in shit.

No, I’m not just having a bad day. I am far from the only one that feels this way.

Enough is enough!

30 March 2017

The developers often provide very good customer service until you’ve signed the contract. After that there is silence.

True or not?

Sadly it is true. I think I should know. Do you know why? Because many of them come to me when the developers don’t answer the emails.

There is a clear pattern. For some unknown reasons there comes a time when the developers lose interest in answering the e-mails sent to them by the customers. The customer’s lawyers can’t even contact the developer. The customers are completely ignored.

I am not just talking about two or three developers. It is actually a lot of them. I have been told the same story over and over again by hundreds of buyers.

One question: Are all these buyers lying to me? Are we talking about some kind of conspiracy against the developers?

“They don’t answer my e-mails so I have to stop by at their office next time I am in Pattaya”. This is what they tell me.

At the end I just got tired of how badly the buyers are treated. I never had an answer for these buyers.

Always the same question on my mind: What the hell is going on? Why don’t they answer?

30 March 2017

Failed projects!

What are the reasons when a development project fails? There are many. Let’s take a look at it. These things are good to know.

Comment by a reader:

I have the feeling that many projects are getting launched, without any intention to build them 🙂 They are only lying and cheating. Very good customer service until you’ve signed the contract and then silence for what ever you ask them 🙂 XXXXXXXX Group is probably one of the worst.

Comment: Generally the developers intend to build if at all possible. Simply because this is where the big money is.

There are so many reasons why a project can fail.

1) Neighbours complain – sometimes they can prevent the project from being built.

2) Developer has not done his homework well. He is not the actual owner of the land etc, he does not have the right papers.

3) City Hall can get in the way. Every developer need a construction permit from City Hall. Don’t underestimate their power and NEVER try to go above the mayor’s head and start a fight. City Hall is never wrong! Know your position, know your place in the hierarchy.

4) Many developers have problems getting that EIA permit.

5) Some developers have problems getting a loan from the banks.

6) The investors many get in the way of project completion if they lose confidence in the developer, often caused by delays or lack of communication.

7) If there are too few buyers the project will certainly fail.

MANY things can go wrong. Things you could not even imagine. A developer may have bought a plot of land and a neighbour may have a right of way on that land. The neighbour may not want to give up that right.

29 March 2017

Every story-teller need to make his audience listen
Every story-teller is on the hunt for conflict
Every story-teller is a liar
Every story-teller must master the art of exaggeration
There’s always more than meets the eye
Keep them wondering
Keep them guessing
Keep them hungry

29 March 2017

Who is a crook and who is not?
It is just not my thing.
I will leave that part to Andrew Drummond.
I care about architecture.
I am crazy about high-rises.
Investigative journalism can be fun but I am more into watching concrete dry.
Sorry for that.
If I had to boycott all the bad guys in this world there would be little for me to write about.
It is not my fault that the world is full of assholes.
The world really is full of assholes.
So I mind my own business.
And I look at buildings instead.
People can go screw themselves.
I don’t like people.
I don’t trust people.
I like buildings.

29 March 2017

I have personally met the developer of Abatalay condominium on several occasions. A very nice cozy guy, friendly, polite, he seemed to be a completely down to earth kind of person.

I have enjoyed the conversations I have had with him in the past. I don’t believe Abatalay was ever built, I am not sure what happened. I guess they had problems with getting the EIA approval.

The money, the stories from behind the scenes.

There are two sides to every story. The developers often insist on their views being taken seriously while the buyers look at things from a different perspective.

Who is right and who is wrong? It depends on the perspective.

29 March 2017

What exactly are the rules of the development game? There are very few rules in the off-plan development industry.

A bunch of guys get together and decide to launch an off-plan project. They decide to award each other a nice salary.

Ok. Exactly how big a salary are they allowed to award themselves? There are no rules. They can take just as much as they want and spend it on whatever they want. The project may fail, so what, they didn’t break any laws.

Just as long as the paperwork is done and the taxes are paid.

It’s kinda scary, eh? An industry with very few rules.

28 March 2017

Who cares about the truth?
They care about money in the bank
About early retirement
About living the good life
About living the jet-set lifestyle
Where did the money come from?
It’s a private affair
That’s nobody’s business
Is this true or not?
Who cares?

28 March 2017

The man behind the building

They say that behind every great man is a great woman. Sounds romantic, eh? It sounds great but it is too good to be true.

They also say that behind every building project is a person, and normally the persons character is represented in the building. It sounds so romantic but unfortunately it is completely out of touch with reality.

So what is the truth then? The truth is that behind every great fortune there often is a crime. Many developers are using underpaid illegal workers in the name of profit. Bribes are handed out everywhere. The media is silenced or bought. That is, until the house of cards come crashing down.

I have often raised my eyebrows after learning that the chosen contractor at what was supposed to be a prestigious development is in fact not qualified for the job. Normally a developer would choose among the best for this kind of development, but instead the developer goes in the opposite direction. It is a warning sign, a sign that something is wrong.

The developers are primarily concerned about making profit. Can we claim that a developer’s character is represented in the building? Sometimes we can. But then we need to follow every step of the construction processes. You see, they try their very best to hide all the things that have gone wrong during the time of construction. They put up a facade so you can only see the outer layer. You have no idea of what is actually behind the facade. All this is done in the name of profit.

Developers are seldom emotionally connected to their own buildings. They are emotionally attached to money.

The project’s architect may be emotionally connected to his work. But also for the architect the end goal is to maximize the profit more than maximizing his happiness. Then again, perhaps profit equals happiness?

Why do some developers have the need to build extravagant towers. Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee. I was here, I did this. In these cases the towers are considered an extension of their ego and their manhood.

But do people really care? Who is behind MahaNakhon? Who knows and who cares? Probably just another business man. The last I heard was that private equity fund Apollo and Goldman Sachs have invested heavily in the project. In the end it is all just business. It is a way to make big money fast.

The man behind the building? Who cares.

In Bangkok there is a new industry. They call themselves property bloggers. The only problem is that they are financed by the development industry. They are not bloggers. They are arse-kissers trying to grab a piece of the pie. If you believe bloggers are supposed to tell the truth, you had better think twice!

Profit and truth are increasingly incompatible.

The man behind newpattaya.com? Apparently somebody cares.

The man behind the building

27 March 2017

Something is a comin’
Watch this space
Let’s just say I’m in the mood for it today
I’m the guy that knows all the dirty secrets
Let’s just say there are lots of skeletons in the closet
Behind every great fortune there is a crime
There are those hiding behind a mask

27 March 2017

Pattaya’s future. Who will be coming and who will be leaving?

Are you ready for this? Asian mass tourism is the name of the game. We can forget all about raising the standards. It is simply not going to happen.

The European middle class has never liked Pattaya and they never will. People from the Western high society would never choose to settle in Pattaya.

If you’re looking to have an intellectually stimulating conversation then Pattaya is the wrong place.

People from the western hemisphere will be leaving in greater numbers. Pattaya is not a place for well-educated westerners, it never really was.

Western Cheap Charlie’s are primarily concerned about the rising cost of living. The fewer changes the better. They would prefer to keep the status quo. To them things are good the way they are.

Asian and Indian tourists don’t care about dirty beaches, flooding and bad infrastructure. Asian mass tourism is the name of the game.

Some people will be leaving. But more and more Thais are coming. Thais generally don’t mind the issues that some farangs are upset about. We can expect more Thai people from Bangkok to visit in the future.

Things change. Sometimes change comes quickly. But change for the better seems almost impossible. Keeping the corrupt system intact seems to be a priority.

In short: Asian mass tourism for the benefit of a few local influential people.

24 March 2017

So, the word is that the developers will be launching new projects soon. Ok, fine.

BUT, a few questions need to be asked: Have the basic economic fundamentals changed? Is the economic outlook brighter this year compared to previous years?

Do we, as a matter of fact, find ourselves in a situation where developers are pressured into launching new projects simply because the window of opportunity is about to be closed or altered by new rules and regulations, and NOT because of market demands?

24 March 2017

Devastating rumors in Pattaya: The word on the street is that City Hall is considering implementing a ban on all new buildings over 20 floors.

This is absolutely terrible news. It is extremely bad news for land owners. As a result the land prices will drop considerably.

Projects proven to be feasible in the past will no longer be feasible. There will be fewer units with a sea view. Generally, there will be fewer units in a development. Of course a 40-storey tower can contain more units than a 20-storey tower.

Developers can expect construction permit approvals to be significantly tougher in the years to come. Due to various zoning changes we can expect plenty of EIA applications before October 2017.

This is bad for the land owners, bad for people that like high-rises, bad for the city’s skyline.

The big question: Why would city hall implement a ban on all new buildings over 20 floors? It would be bad for the economy. It would serve no purpose. Why would they want to go against the mainstream?

It doesn’t make sense!


16 March 2017

Are we nothing but living machines running around doing stuff we’ve been programmed to do?

Warning! You may not like the answer to that question! I will tell you anyway. I think you need to know. I think you’re ready for the truth.

The things we like and enjoy, the situations we find ourselves in, well, the sad thing is that it is all very predictable. Basically we like and enjoy activities that are essential for our survival. Do we do these things by choice, or do we do them because we have been programmed to act in a certain way?

Let me explain:

1) We love food and we enjoy a good meal. We need to eat in order to survive.
2) We love sex. As a species, we need to reproduce in order to survive.
3) We love good company. We need a family, a network of people in order to survive.

Can’t we break free from those chains? It is difficult because we need to eat, most of us would like to have kids, and no matter how good we are at something, we can’t make it alone. Smart people hire other smart people.

Just understand that you don’t ALWAYS decide what you like. In most cases, these decisions were made for you before you were even born.

Break free and become a hermit? An evolutionary dead end.

What are we then? Us humans, we are nothing but biological robots that have evolved over time.

Where do high-rises come into the picture? Why do some people like tall buildings. The taller, the better. From a financial point of view it does not make sense to build these extremely tall structures. Basically the rent does not cover the cost of construction for these very tall skyscrapers. Yet they are being built because someone needs to make a point.

Time for a beer, eh?

Living Machines

16 March 2017

The secret of success? Entrepreneurship.
Hmm! What is that and and how do I become an entrepreneur?

In the past entrepreneurs needed a lot of money to start a business. They needed money to buy that plot of land where they could build a hotel or start a factory.

That was in the past, that was the industrial age.

You know what? We have entered the information age. With the internet at our fingertips, we have access to a completely different toolbox compared to the hard times of the past.

Becoming an entrepreneur is not easy but it has become far easier and much less capital is needed. Many software nerds started their business in a garage. Many people now sell products using social media.

10 March 2017

I’ve lost that loving feeling
I can’t bring back that loving feeling
Cause it’s gone, gone, gone
And I can’t go on

Too much has changed in my life. Thing are not the way they were in the past. It just feels different, it has for a long time. Not to mention quite a few personal problems that I have had to deal with lately.

I expect I will have a few unusual stories to tell in the near future. Stories that will explain what happened behind the scenes. The real story. I would actually like to tell that story. I am not sure exactly when this will happen, probably some time this year.

The passion is slipping away. I hate to admit it, but it’s true.

Just know that things aren’t always what they seem. I want out but I still have some unfinished business. The last word hasn’t been said yet. Many things have affected me in a bad way. I would like to keep my sanity.

A lack of insight or transparency may have led me to draw the wrong conclusions. I don’t like that feeling.

1 March 2017

Evil is in the heart of man
The heart of man is evil from his youth
Greed is part of the human nature
Greed is an instinct that the human is born with
People must gather resources in order to survive and reproduce
Of course it is nice when people approach you
Sadly they always want something
They always want something
They always have a plan
They want to use you for personal benefit
That is my lesson in life
There is no love or passion
There is only greed
These humans, they scare me
I want no part of it

23 February 2017

All this talk about the high-speed trains truly bother me. Every month they talk about yet another delay. It has been going on for decades now. There is always a new excuse. A new feasibility study, a new study of environmental impact etc.

Can this madness please come to an end? It is really annoying to read about.

– The Thai Government does not have the money, period!
– None of the projects are financially viable, period!

We all know that. Please listen before I freak totally out. The trains that operate now can be compared to some of the first trains in the US operating almost 200 years ago.

And they want to jump from the current 30 – 40 km per hour to 300 km/h? They want to change the trains of the wild west to the futuristic Shinkansen trains of Japan. Isn’t that utter madness?

What is wrong with having a train operating at a speed of 120 km/h? These high-speed train systems are freaking expensive. Nobody freaking needs them. So why do they keep talking about them?

It is like having an average person constantly talking about purchasing a lamborghini? Stop it. Not a word about these silly high-speed trains! We don’t have the money. And we don’t need trains running at this speed.

Perhaps China wants these train systems. China wants a direct line to Singapore. So let them pay for it. This is not in Thailand’s interest.

What Thailand needs is a new railway line from Suvarnabhumi to Pattaya, a distance of around 110 km. This can be done quite easily, the trains can operate at around 120 km/h and the trip would take about 1 hour. The end station will be in Rayong. No big deal, no big burden for the taxpayers, no burden for the generations to come.

That’s it. That’s all we need. What happened to common sense? All this talk about high-speed trains is stupidity beyond belief. There must be at least a single person telling us that the emperor is naked.

23 February 2017

Failed projects. Bad, right? Normally a developer will want to avoid having a failed project at all cost. A failed project is not good for a company’s reputation.

So, all the developers in town that have had failed projects, and most of them have, is it all over for them? Do they have a future in the development industry? Is the party all over for them?

No, the party is not over, and YES, they do have a future. You see, their reputation might have gone down the drain. But they can still be very active behind the scenes. You know, they are often secret partners in other projects and the buyers are not aware of what is going on. They invest but stay quietly in the background with no one aware of their existence.

Other developers are often looking for partners willing to co-invest in a project. You see, in this world that we live in cash is king.

Cash is KING! They have cash so they can still be kings behind the scenes.

23 February 2017

Yes, there is an oversupply of condominiums in Pattaya. How many new projects were launched in 2016? How many will be launched in 2017?

The developers have stopped launching new projects. The lesson has been learned!
Oversupply. You know, it is such a bad word that just a few years ago people were afraid to even talk about it. It was referred to as the o-word. People, including myself, were hoping that the oversupply was just a temporary thing.

And who in his right mind would want to hurt the industry? The development industry was what kept a large part of the active expat community going. A very important engine for many expats, an engine that now has come to a halt.

It does not make much sense to cut off the branch on which we sit, does it? So we keep quiet and hope for the best.

23 February 2017

Today will be different
Today will be a good day
I might be wrong
But I will give it a try
Let’s see what I can do
Let’s see if words matter
Let’s see if knowing stuff matters
Let’s see if just one man can make a difference

23 February 2017

21 February 2017

Comment by a reader. This is an exceptionally good one. The subject is politics, a subject that I and many of the readers find boring. Nonetheless, I find the questions asked intellectually stimulating. I have to admit that I enjoyed the article. By the way, this is more than just a comment. Thank you for enriching my life.

“Thanks for having the courage for honestly questioning the un popular question. I Personally believe in a BENEVOLENT dictator, especially in a country where not everybody is educated to the same level. BTW I think Prayuth fits the “benevolent” bill. Ponder on this ==== Millions of words have been written about democracy, its blessings and its failings but little changes because all our destinies lie in the hands of the few people who control the Financial, gold, silver and all the precious metal markets. Control the source and you control all. In the future, in our increasingly polluted world, even the water we drink and finally the air we breathe, will come under their democratic control.
Democracy as we all realise by now, is so wonderful. Therefore these straightforward questions must be asked.

“Why do governments only rarely or never use referendums (referendums are ‘democratically’ prohibited in Germany) on important matters and allow the majority to make the decisions that affect their lives?”

“Why is democracy not used in the military system anywhere in the world? We know that the military uses the utmost dictatorial form of control in order to maximise its efficiency. Hence, if democracy does not work in the most efficient form of existence, in the military, why should it work in our daily lives?”

“Why is democracy never used in the corporate business system, which is the financial engine of the world and especially the democratic system?”

“Why do businesses of all styles and sizes have bosses running them, and not their employees having a say in the management by using a democratic vote?”

Test: Ask any voter, in any democratic country, about his or her own democratic system the simple question. “How many seats does your Parliament hold?” and wait for the answer.
Answer: The vast majority of the population has no idea at all.
Democracy is a clever scam that persuades the many, that by having a right to vote for who is elected to represent them, that they hold the keys of power. In reality its real purpose is to give the power to the few for the sole benefit of the few. Thus the few have the protection of the many that voted for their elected representative.”

21 February 2017

Education should be about training the mind to think. The brain is like a hard drive that comes with a limited software package that allows only for very simple work. You have to install the software yourself or be guided by someone that operates on a higher level.

Currently education is all about memorising what others have said or written. Memorising facts just might be a waste of time but hopefully in time that will change.

Training of the mind to think, constantly trying to find the answers yourself, asking yourself the questions instead of always asking Google or finding the answers in textbooks.

There is nothing more boring that people that say and feel exactly the same as everybody else. There is nothing wrong with being inspired by others or recognize other people’s talents, but you must always question what they say. We have learned a new term recently, fake media, which suggests that the media can’t be trusted. It is not a job for the media to constantly attempt to unseat a newly elected president, nonetheless that is the case in the US. It shouldn’t be happening.

Trust yourself. In order to do that you must know yourself. And you must have a mind that has been trained to think. There’s so few of them out there. Not many, but there are some.

Jump off that bridge, you might feel lonely, but you will find some answers. Whether the answers will lead to happiness is another question. I once was a happy kid….

17 February 2017

Have you noticed it?
Something ain’t right
It’s a feeling I’ve had for a long time
I just know that something is wrong
Something is wrong with the world
Do you see strange things happening?
Weird things happening on a global scale?
Do you think it’s a crazy world full of crazy people?
Then perhaps you’ve finally seen the light
You know what people are going to say before they talk
It’s all too predictable
It’s like we’re not dealing with people
It feels more like stupid robots that have been programmed this way
It’s like we’re all part of a play
It’s like people are just playing a role they’ve been given
They have to stay true to the character
The world may not be real
The concept of infinity does not make sense
The universe may be a simulation
Even university professors say it’s not unlikely
All I can say is that something doesn’t feel right
Something doesn’t add up
Have you noticed it too?

17 February 2017

The most urgent task in Thailand?
– Is it to fight corruption?
– Is it to reform the police?
– Is it to improve the educational system?
No. The most urgent task is to catch Phra Dhammayayo. Catch him if you can 🙂
This is Thailand in a nutshell. Enjoy the show. Only in Thailand.

16 February 2017

What is the point? We are all just waiting, right? Waiting for the day when the Grim Reaper comes calling.
So what do we do while waiting? Oh yes, try to have fun. Try to enjoy life.
Some people buy a dog. Then this dog plays an important role.
Some people buy a boat. All they talk about is that boat.
Some people buy a luxury car. They probably have a reason for doing so.
Some people are into fitness.
Some people play golf. Not every day but a couple of times a week.
Every morning I brush my daughter’s teeth. Then I look at her and smile.
At the end of the day we are all just waiting. Waiting for the Grim Reaper to come calling. Shouldn’t we be spending more time on learning and improving ourselves? Perhaps we are to busy enjoying ourselves?
The point? What is the point? We need to do something, right? Something that makes sense.
What makes sense?

16 February 2017

9 February 2017

A story about Money and People.
Once upon a time there was a very poor man who had no friends at all. He did not have any money for transportation so he had to walk if he wanted to go somewhere. One fine day as he was walking down an empty road in the countryside, he stumbled upon a hollow tree. Curious as he was, he took a closer look. Inside the hollow tree he found a very big leather bag containing a treasure. There were diamonds and gold worth billions of dollars. The poor man was now suddenly a very wealthy man. All that money opened up the door for him to become a developer in Pattaya, that had always been his dream.
The man got more and more friends the more successful he became. Each time he launched a new development they all came to his launch party to wish him good luck, they even showed up at his birthday to congratulate him. Naturally when a development was completed all these friends also showed up for the celebration of the project completion.
Never had the man been more happy, he felt that all these friends were a blessing. Then one fine day, without a warning, the property bubble burst because too many developers were launching too many projects at the same time. The man went bankrupt, he lost everything, he even ended up owing money to the banks.
No problem, I have a lot of friends and connections, he thought. I am sure they will help me back on my feet again. But somehow all his good friends were too busy to answer the phone when he called, they never answered his emails anymore.
The man had learned a tough lesson, he had learned that good friends are very hard to come by. He now knew that people have a treacherous nature guided by the instinct of survival. Most people will always follow the money stream, that is how they survive in a tough world.
The man decided he would not be so easily tricked or manipulated by others anymore, he had learned a lesson the hard way. Rich or poor, our time on this earth is limited so let’s get the most out of life and try not be gullible.

8 February 2017

Comment by a reader. Probably the best comment ever. This guy is doing what the Tourism Authority of Thailand is not capable of. Or myself for that matter. He is promoting Pattaya with his heart. I just love his positive and relaxed attitude. The eye sees what it wants to see. Enjoy:

The eye sees what it wants to see…. I see change and for the better. Pattaya is a culinary masterpiece among other things, if you have a little cash.

– The Sky Gallery
– The Chocolate Factory
– The Glass House
– Mantra Restaurant & Bar
– The Jetty & I Sea Sky at Veranda Resort Pattaya
– Silverlake
– Cabbages & Condoms
– Bacco Beach Restaurant & Wine Bar
– Momento Beach
– Rim Talay
– Surf n Turf
– Cliff Seaview Restaurant & Pool Club

To name just a few….

Bangkok’s wealthy (Thai’s) are down to Pattaya on an almost daily basis not just for the restaurants, but weekends & days away to enjoy the attractions and decent things the city has to offer. So much so, that many of the resort condos are now snapped up by Thai’s rather than foreigners as extra residences.

There are of course the rags around (just like any city) and Pattaya has it’s abundance for sure, however, once you see past that part and look at what decent places there are around (just takes getting used to Bangkok prices) then there is so much more to offer, particularly if you like dining out.

It’s not all Gogo & Mafia you know 🙂

8 February 2017

Woke up this morning
Expecting just another miserable day
Struggling to get out of bed
Reaching for my phone
It is always charging at night
Checking notifications
And then something happened
Touched by words
This grumpy old heart of mine melted
It doesn’t happen often
Suddenly I was feeling alive again
Don’t underestimate the power of words
Thanks for reminding me
I needed to be reminded
It all depends on the eye that sees

7 February 2017

New readers arrive all the time. Often they have no clue as to who we are and what we do. That is totally understandable.

There are no rules. We can talk about anything interesting happening on this earth, from Trump to local politics to the latest movies.

I normally focus on construction and development in Southeast Asia, especially in Bangkok, Singapore and Kuala Lumpur. My Golden Triangle, my sphere of interest.

Of course in the heart of it all is Pattaya. Pattaya is my little baby. Most of the readers have some kind of connection to Pattaya.

There are lots of rumors about Pattaya. Just don’t walk around with a large gold necklace, it is not the right place to do that. Beach Road after midnight, I am not sure about that. There are dos and don’ts. With a bit of common sense you will be safe in Pattaya.

7 February 2017

Why ALWAYS newpattaya.com?

Each time there is an issue in town, something unusual going on, then why is it always only newpattaya.com that has the guts to talk about it?

What are the others so scared of? Perhaps they are afraid to step on somebody’s toes? Because it is not good for business to talk?

True, it is not good for business. I can vouch for that. There is no reward for talking. And if there is no reward, then what is the point?

In this world we do for money only, right? We always follow the money. Because we have to. Those are the rules!

Well, I am different. I am alone. But I am doing things my way. The only way I can. I can look myself in the mirror every morning. I tell myself: Hang in there, buddy. You’re doing ok. Just keep going.

6 February 2017

The goal? To provide information and at times be slightly provocative. It would be terrible if everybody agreed with me on everything.

Another day has gone by.
Surely one day everything must have been said and done. I have had that feeling for the last 3 years. But strangely enough every now and then something comes up. If I don’t have anything on my mind I can use comments made by others to make a story. I have often been inspired by what others have said. And then I have my story. I read, learn and write and try to enjoy myself at the same time. I am worried about going in circles without realizing it myself….

6 February 2017

The truth about Pattaya, if it exists. Not my words, these are the words of a reader. Can you handle it?

“The city is rotten like hell, and if you ask people abroad how they feel about Pattaya, most will simply answer it is one of the biggest brothels in Asia. Due to this fact the city is attracting a pretty high number of scumbags.”

Comment: Indeed there are plenty of scumbags that choose to settle in Pattaya, there is no denying that. They feel at home there because in a way they are among friends, the authorities speak the same “language” as the scumbags. Money can open a few doors and solve a lot of problems. Money is the common denominator, this is why the scumbags and influential locals get along so well. A freaking lot of money is changing hands. A love for money.

If you like it there it says something about what kind of person you are. I like it there, I am not ashamed to admit that, but I sure as hell know that it is no place for my daughter to grow up or go to school.

Understand this: The kind of friends you can buy for money are the wrong kind of friends. They will stab you in the back when you least expect it.

28 January 2017

Been a busy week. A lot of people are still interested in news about Waterfront. After all these years you might think that people were fed up with listening to news about this never ending story. It was only possible with a little help from a lot of friends. The internet and social media is amazing. I can never fully get used to it. It is almost like our minds are connected. Weird stuff…
There are those that love the project, those that hate it and want it demolished, those that don’t care and finally those that just want to stir up trouble. I talk to them all, I treat them all the same way.

27 January 2017

Back at the office again. Going to be a tough day today. Important stuff so I gotta keep my mind clear. It could be the height of my career or or the lowest point, depending on how things turn out.
I will try to do what a certain developer should have done a long time ago. Hire someone to be in charge of customer care. Talk to them as equals, and care about them. Trust is a two way street.
You can trust me 100%. I am not on anybody’s paylist. I might not always have been fully independent. Today I am fully independent. Not even I myself know exactly what I am going to write.
I have a feeling it will be worth reading though. It just might turn out to be one of those once in a lifetime experiences.
Leave me alone for a couple of hours. Time to start working….

25 January 2017

In love and war there are no rules
It didn’t make sense
Nothing made sense
Some of my whys had no answers
That is, until I talked to a genius
It is true
Some people are smarter than others
Some people are faster than others
Some people understand complicated issues
I am slow sometimes
I need time to think things through
I need time
I am not the only one that needs time
Time to think
Time to solve problems
Lack of time can sometimes result in bigger problems

24 January 2017

What does the future look like? When I was a kid in the 70s I was reading Donald Duck. There was one story in particular I remember clearly, it was when Donald Duck ended up in the future, I think he was in 2010. They had flying cars and it was a very futuristic world.

Returning to reality, what has really happened in the world since the 1970s? Surprisingly little has changed. However, now we have mobile phones and apps like Line that makes it possible to watch the person you are communicating with, even if that person is on the other side of the world.

We now have what is called an online world. The digital revolution has changed the way we live and it is an ongoing process. But looking out the window, and for a moment forgetting about digital signals and processors, then not much has changed. The cars are slightly more comfortable but basically they still bring you from point a to point b.

The point? Don’t ignore the digital revolution.

23 January 2017

I have noticed they have stopped talking about the ASEAN Economic Community (AEC). I guess we can’t really be surprised, can we?

21 January 2017

Yes I can
I can do this
Near or far makes no difference to me
I could probably do this from the moon
But I can’t make money on it
That is my achilles heel
I bet Trump could teach me a trick or two
I am not like him
That will be my downfall

17 January 2017

Comment by a reader about negativity in the national news:
I stopped updating some of my news pages in December.
After several years and in particular the last 2 of reading around 30 different news sources each day, decided there was so much negativity in the national news on all aspects that it just started to rub off. Same old Silly Billy stuff week in, week out.
Started this year feeling much more positive by just not bothering with any Thai / English media anymore.
Politics (Thaksin/Army)
Mini Van Accidents
Bus Accidents Patong Hill
Cyclist Accidents
Health n Safety In General
Jet Ski
Land Grab/ Encroachment
Mystery Deaths & Suicides
Condo Jumpers
Floods Bangkok, Phuket, Pattaya, Samui
Double Pricing & Standards
Public Debt & Lenders
Mafia (What Mafia one minute, Oh that Mafia the next)
I could go on lol

17 January 2017

I have noticed that a lot of silly billy stories account for the headlines in the national media. A total lack of investigative journalism. Just an observation. Who cares?

11 January 2017

Look at me, I’m Sandra Dee
By Olivia Newton-John
Grease was a long time ago

Sometimes I wonder how people see me
Do they think I am a funny guy?
I have to admit I enjoy my own company
At least when I am not depressed
I’ve been depressed a lot lately

I guess I will never have the answer
I will never truly know
What goes on inside people’s minds

Inside my mind
My online activities
To quit or not to quit
Is it worth keeping it alive?
I don’t have the answer to that question

Sometimes I don’t see the point
I need this to be a prosperous new year
This year I need wealth and success
Don’t we all feel like that?

9 December 2016

I have fought for Waterfront
Using my words as weapons
I have tried my very best
It’s been a terrible time
Close to psychological torture
This war has resulted in many casualties
It is time to rebuild
Time for a new beginning

9 December 2016

This is a delicate matter so everyone involved needs to tread carefully. I am convinced there is more to this than meets the eye. I am pretty sure there are some people that know a lot more than they are willing to admit. Perhaps a personal issue has led to the problems. Perhaps someone by mistake stepped on the wrong toes? This does not seem to be a coincidence, it just might have been carefully planned by someone. Whatever it was, now it has become a very complex affair.

Is there a light at the end of the tunnel? Just the flicker of a light? I still don’t know.
If I were a business man that had a product that had had some problems, would I inform my buyers or the media first if progress had been made? What has the media got to do with anything? Naturally any official announcement would need to be addressed to my buyers.

Now the story is in The Nation. It is actually a reputable newspaper. It is an english language publication with a global audience. Holy mackerel, things just got a little more complicated.

Once the news is published in The Bangkok Post or The Nation, then it is out there. Then the news will spread fast. This is what has happened. There is nothing I can do about that!

If I talk or keep quiet, well it actually doesn’t matter. I am not saying this facebook is not important, I am saying this is a small publication with some exclusive members. I just don’t reach far and wide enough to make a real difference. Maybe locally, but not on a global scale.

So the story is out there. I don’t have all the answers, all I can say is it is best to hold your horses. Wait, don’t jump to conclusions. Has the project been given the green light? I am sceptical. Too many lies has been told during the last couple of years. You can fool me once, maybe twice, but not five times! So I have reason to be sceptical.

Please don’t get carried away if you read the news. The process is not transparent. There is something that doesn’t add up.

Is this some kind of clever psychological game played out by someone, with the sole intention of making the buyers even more frustrated than they already are?

All I can say is that it ain’t over until the fat lady sings. I am still waiting for the fat lady to give the green light!

8 December 2016

With plenty of rumors in circulation both in Pattaya and in Thailand in general, I feel we need to address a few questions related to the issue. First of all, are rumors a problem or can they be used in a positive way?

With all these rumors in the air, one question springs to mind: Who started the rumors, and why? Is there anything that someone can achieve by starting a rumor? Or perhaps someone is just doing it for fun or out of boredom? I don’t know. All I know is that there are plenty of rumors almost every day in Thailand about all kinds of things.

Where do the rumors come from? Can rumors put pressure on somebody so that they start doing the right things? Only if people care. There are many people that don’t care about anything, and in these cases rumors and words make no difference at all. Let’s look at a few examples:

1) There has been rumors that all businesses on the water side of Walking Street were to be demolished. Ok fine, then show me some pictures where the buildings are being demolished. Show me some pictures. Right now! Is that so difficult?

2) There has been rumors about a crackdown on foreign owned businesses in Thailand. Give me an example then. Which company have had problems with the authorities and why? Give me an example!

3) There has been rumors in the thai media that the 800,000 baht retirement scheme were to be replaced by a 3,000,000 baht retirement scheme. True or not? Nobody seems to know.

4) A months hasn’t gone by without rumors about the Waterfront project located at Bali Hai pier. Why are there all these rumors? I am sure there are many investors or buyers that want wake up from what looks like a never ending nightmare. I am sure they are eager to hear some good news about the project.

Pattaya City Hall, led by Mayor Itthipol Khunplome, had construction stopped in September 2014. There was hope that things would change for the better when a new team were to take over at City Hall in June 2016. People had big expectations. However, without knowing the details, there seem to be little change in the way that City Hall works after the new team took over. People at that level are connected in one way or another. It is impossible to stop people from making deals behind closed doors. It wouldn’t surprise to learn that it is business as usual at City Hall. The system is extremely conservative. If that is the case, if I am right in my assumptions, then there is little reason to feel optimistic.

In the western world people involved in business operate by a code of honour. People shake hands, give their word, basically we have what can be described as a gentleman’s agreement. There is a certain level of trust, there is a concept of honour involved. In Thailand things work very differently. They don’t operate by a code of honour. Don’t trust anybody. They can lie to you right in your face and feel good about it! They don’t care the slightest. Saying “yes” when they mean “no” isn’t a problem! That’s just the way it is. You need to know these things. This is the wrong place to be naive.

Back to the rumors, there are currently rumors that things have changed, that some kind of deal has been made. Ok fine, why don’t you go ask Mayor Itthipol Khunplome, sorry, ask the new people in charge at City Hall, ask them whether they have issued the construction permit for the project. Go ask! Why would they keep it a secret?

If you are afraid to ask, then why don’t you go visit the construction site and see if there are hundreds of workers busy completing the project? While you are there, please take some photos as proof of activity. But no, visiting City Hall or taking a look at the construction site is too much of a hassle, isn’t it? It is much easier to listen to the gossip and the rumors.

If the gossip and the rumors could somehow help the project, I wouldn’t mind. I wouldn’t mind at all. I would do anything in my power to bring the project to completion.

However, I don’t believe in fairytales. It would be nice though, if a sweet princess kissed a frog that turned into a handsome prince, and they lived happily ever after.

I want a happy ending. However, I am afraid someone else might have something else in mind. What are the expected benefits to be gained by continued conflict? If there is no gain they should put down their weapons and try to find a solution. This is bordering on self-destruction. The scary thing is that nobody in charge seems to care.

2 December 2016

What do you do when you’re hooked on buildings and architectural design? Is there some kind of antidote available without a prescription? I need it badly.
Well, in the near future we will be taking a look at some tall and unusual buildings in London, at least until I get that antidote. In particular we will pay attention to projects designed by KPF. World class, simply world class.

1 December 2016

London Calling! Why not take a look at things in London? What happened with the property market in London after Brexit? Wouldn’t you like to know? We are able to tell you all about it. It is quite an interesting story.

Let’s focus on projects under construction or about to start construction. I’ll tell you this, they depend heavily on foreign investments.

– Spire London will be the tallest residential building in Western Europe. Developed by Greenland Group from China. Full speed ahead despite Brexit!

– 1 Undershaft is a 73-storey office development in London’s financial district. The project is being developed by Singapore-based developer Aroland Holdings. Full speed ahead despite Brexit!

– 22 Bishopsgate is an office development that will be 278 m tall. The project is being developed by AXA Real Estate, headquartered in France. Full speed ahead despite Brexit!

What can we conclude? Well, the ones that develop properties are still worried about Brexit. Nobody knows exactly what kind of deal they can get with the EU. Some people say that London is still London. There is no doubt the devaluation of the pound has made it cheaper for foreigners to enter the market. And there is talk that the banking sector is slowly being replaced by high tech internet companies.
Things could be better but construction has not stopped. These decisions have been made by foreign investors. What happens to Britain is actually not up to the British people. Large multinational companies are making the decisions.

London’s future depends on the rest of the world. That’s kind of scary. Closing the door on the world is not an option.

1 December 2016

This American university professor that was found dead in Hua Hin, why isn’t there even a single individual in the country that feels the need to investigate this further? That’s kinda weird, isn’t it?
This is a good old fashioned Agatha Christie mystery that deserves some attention.
– Who did he talk to on the evening of his death?
– What was the purpose of his visit to Hua Hin?
– Why didn’t anybody check the security cameras to determine where he went?
– He was probably visiting a bar. Who was he talking to?
Why doesn’t anybody care? Why isn’t anybody curious? Was there a call from an influential person ordering the case to be closed?
Why do the journalists in Thailand never want to find out what really happened? Why is this off limits?
There are too many whys. It is not good when there are so many unanswered questions. The truth is out there. But we are not allowed to find out.
There is a man that committed a terrible crime. Apparently he is off the hook because nobody cares.
That’s freaking scary! For Christs sake, the man had bruises all over his body.

30 November 2016

Waterfront Pattaya. Many people on a global scale know about this project. If City Hall indeed goes ahead and kills the project it will be global headline news.
Imagine a developer that had a legal EIA approval and construction permit, he was just 4 months away from project completion, and then he was asked to demolish the building.
Surely this would put Thailand in a very bad light. The developer could fight this in court…..
So they drag things out, finding one excuse after another. The story never ends. Because now it’s personal!

30 November 2016

Architecturally speaking, what effect would it have on the design of Waterfront Pattaya if they had to remove the top 8 floors? The tower has a number of setbacks just like the towers in New York. It looks much better as it is. Anyway 8 floors won’t make any difference for that statue on the hill. Who would have thought that a statue on a hill could cause so much trouble?
Lesson in life: Never take anything for granted. Everything can change in the blink of an eye.

28 November 2016

Off Plan Developments for Dummies

Let’s take some time to talk about off-plan developments. What is it and how does it work? I will give you an example of how it can work in Pattaya.

Some people are under the presumption that off-plan projects are fair to all the parties involved. This is not the case. Business in general is not fair. You’ll just have to accept this as a fact. Even life is not fair, but that is a philosophical question we will not get into right now.

A typical scenario is that we have a thai guy that owns a plot of land. This guy is approached by some expats that have an idea. These guys have that in common that they want to make quick money. They are each willing to invest a relatively small amount of money. It could be in the range of just 10 million baht, it could be more, it could be less, all depending on how much they are willing to spend on advertising on these huge roadside billboards. It also depends on how much they intend to spend on the projects showroom.

We have a group of three investors that are called project owners. They own the project. We call them the shareholders. Let’s say they each invest 10 million baht, then that gives us a total of 30 million baht. 1 million US$ and they are in business. As I mentioned it could be slightly more if they really want to make things look beautiful.

Think about it. They each invest just 10 million baht, not even enough to purchase a penthouse unit in their own project. How much can they expect to get in return? This is where things start to get really interesting. 10 million baht can actually return a profit of 300 million baht for each of the investors involved. That’s why they do it. The reward is out of this world. There is an incredible amount of money to be earned basically by just doing some paperwork. It is not hard work. The hard work is done by a contractor.

It is easy, yes. But not all that easy. They need to keep two things in mind. They need to find the right timing and the right location for the project. There is a lot of money involved but there is no reason to be jealous. It was their initiative that got the project launched. It is their idea so they have the right to harvest the rewards if the project is a success.

Where Were We? Oh yes, big money. They want big money. Basically there are two ways to achieve that goal. Either they build a very large project with a 1000 units or more at attractive prices, or they offer few truly luxury units at very high prices. They can choose to target the medium end of the market or the high end of the market, the super luxury market.

A 1000 units in one or two towers, how much is that going to cost to build? The contractor will need about 1 billion baht. This kind of project will have a worth of about 2.5 billion baht. If we subtract 500 million baht for various unexpected expenses, that still leaves the project owners with a profit of 1000 million baht. That gives us a total of 333 million baht to be returned to each of the three project owners involved.

Not bad, eh? Invest 10 million baht and get 330 million baht back a few years later. Well, that will happen if things go according to plan, if most of the units are sold. Who wouldn’t want that? It is better than winning the lottery.

So, there were a thousand units, meaning there were actually a thousand investors involved in the project. Shouldn’t they have the right to get a piece of the pie also? No, life isn’t fair. I told you. The other investors might get a profit of 200,000 baht if they are able to sell their unit. Maybe slightly more if they were willing to wait for a longer period of time. No matter how you look at it, it is not an amount that is gong to change change anybody’s life.

What happens if things go wrong? What happens if the project fails? Who gets to pick up the bill? Well, the three original shareholders have their arses covered. Rest assured they have found ways to protect their wealth. They are not going down with the ship. One way or another somebody’s gotta pay. Who is left to pay the price for a failed project? Guess who?

Ah, finally you guessed it. They people that bought into the project will most likely lose their deposits paid over the years. Is that fair or not? They knew all along what they were getting into. They believed in the project, they believed in the developer. They chose to take a chance.

That’ll be all for today, class dismissed.

28 November 2016

Is there anybody out there?
Is there anybody writing about property in Pattaya anymore?
I noticed that when I wrote about The Heights @ Sunplay Bangsaray that there was very little mentioning of the project in the online world.
The people that read my story didn’t even ask about the price level. I didn’t tell, I acted like that on purpose, just to see. NOTHING! Nothing at all. A bad sign!
What happened to these Russian real estate websites? Have they all thrown in the towel? There was a lot more online action just a few years ago.
Well well well, I will enjoy the cake all by myself then….

25 November 2016

Words matter
Words have power
Words create reality
Words have meaning
Words can hurt
Words tell stories
Words tell me why
Words may lie
Words can be misunderstood
Words can be dangerous
Words can be fearless
Words are often feared
Words can describe a person
Words can describe love
Words are important

Please use them wisely

25 November 2016

The story of Winners and Losers in Pattaya

There are winners and losers with regards to having been involved in business in Pattaya during the last 10 years.

Talking about the local developers, who are the winners and who are the losers? Some people say they all ended up as losers. Is that really true?

I say no. Sure, many of them did lose something. They lost their reputation as trustworthy builders. There is no doubt their reputation went down the drain. Many of them lost face. They won’t be giving interviews to the media in the years to come. They will be keeping a low profile for a very long time. Some of them will never surface again. If they do they will be working behind the scenes.

Can a group of people who have made from somewhere between 50 million baht up to a few billion baht be described as losers? Of course they can’t. They still have their properties and luxury cars. Their net worth might have been reduced slightly in size as a result of the property crisis. But it would be absolutely ridiculous to describe them as losers. They are not. Rest assured they are living the same life as before the crisis.

The developers had many really good years where they made plenty of money. Naturally that money is in a safe place. Thailand is not a safe place, I am sure OA Travel & Tours will vouch for that. The money has been transferred to a tax haven, somewhere safe.

These developers did lose something. There was a time when everything they touched turned to gold. They truly believed that the party would go on forever. They lost the opportunity to double or triple their fortune. I am sure they are disappointed that things didn’t go as planned, but that does not qualify them as losers.

So who are the losers then? The losers are the investors. Thousands of investors have lost their deposits paid to the developers. The little guy is the loser here. The little guy calling the developer wondering why the phone is not answered anymore, wondering why the project’s website has been taken offline. Who cares about the little guy? Every investment carries a risk, we all know that. They knew that all along so we can’t really blame anybody. Every time you gamble you might lose. Indeed, there was a time when off plan investments was a very good idea. Not anymore! These investors have burned their fingers badly.

What about all those people depending on the property engine running smoothly? All of a sudden the engine came to a halt. All those property magazines, what were they supposed to do now? They couldn’t possibly keep a magazine running when nobody was spending money on advertising anymore. Is it business as usual for them? I doubt it.

The property sector in Pattaya was hit quite hard. Staff working for the developers lost their jobs. Project managers, agents, website developers, you name it, they all lost their jobs. There wasn’t a bonus for a job well done when they had to leave. These guys didn’t earn enough to put money away for a rainy day. They are among the losers. Many have had to return to their country of origin. For them the party came to an abrupt stop.

Ask yourself these questions:

Who are the winners and losers in Pattaya? Who paid the highest price? Who lost everything? Who wasn’t really affected?

24 November 2016

They won’t do it. They won’t go ahead and cancel the old one-year 800k retirement visa. I have 240 billion reasons why.
I’ll tell you why. It’s quite simple actually. The visa jungle is a whole industry in itself. And it is a very profitable one. Put simply, it is good business to maintain the status quo.
They are fully aware that many expats have a monthly budget of around 40 – 50k. Imagine having a couple of hundred thousand expats parking 800,000 baht in thai banks that offer 0% interest.
Is that good for Thailand or is that good for the expats?
Do the math yourself: 300,000 expats*800,000 baht
How much is that exactly?
240,000,000,000 baht
240,000,000,000 baht
Quite a lot of money, eh? 240 billion baht.
You still think they want to rock the boat?

23 November 2016

A strange question. Is it negative that a large number of the retirees might have to leave?

I believe so for many reasons. The high number of expats in Pattaya have created a sense of community. People are part of a group. In a city like Pattaya many expats know each other.

So what do these people look forward to? They look forward to having a few drinks in the company of friends. What do you think would happen if 75% of your friends were forced to leave.

You yourself might be able to stay. Do you think the right feeling would still be there? No, you would be angry all the time. And you would want to leave the country sooner or later.

There would be too much anger, too many bad memories.

23 November 2016

Most farangs in Pattaya are not worried about the future. You know why? They live in ignorance because they don’t follow this wonderful facebook page.
I don’t know if they are talking about it on ThaiVisa yet. I am sure they will.
Ignorance is bliss. Can I have my memory erased, please?

23 November 2016

A basic need for humans is to have something to look forward to. Not having anything to look forward to will cause depression and a sense of sadness.

Humans need to feel safe from threats. Having a Damocles’ sword hanging over the head is not exactly good for anybody’s health.

Imagine living a life where all you do is wait for the next bad thing to happen.
Save your sorrows for tomorrow. Take life day by day. Don’t stress over the future. Well, it is easier said than done. Clinging to the hope that you won’t lose everything you own is not a way to live your life.

Imagine all those people asking these questions: Is it all over now? Will they force me out?

23 November 2016

You may STAY
But you’ll have to PAY
That’s just the way it IS
It is all about MONEY
Only one small PROBLEM
This time they’re asking for TOO MUCH
(stay, pay, always, money, problem, too much)

23 November 2016

Operation eliminate farangs.

Don’t see it yet? Very clear to me. It is all starting to look pre-planned.

1) First target: The border runners were targeted. They have all left. The operation was successful. They got rid of them.

2) Extremely tough measures for overstaying the visa. Banned for life is one of the consequences.

3) Next target. The ordinary over-50 retirees. They might be able to deal with 800,000 baht in cash. A 3-million baht cash requirement will not be possible. More than 90% of the retirees will have to leave because of this.

22 November 2016

Question: Will you continue writing on newpattaya.com?

Answer: I will continue this for the rest of my life, of course all depending on how much time I have on my hands. I love it. Construction is a very important part of my life, it always has been.

Some days I won’t have time, other days I will. There will be long periods of time with no activity at all. But I will always return. Basically I am enjoying myself extremely much. It is my hobby so to speak. I have been online almost every day for the last 20 years. These words explain how I feel:

A love for tall buildings
A love for architecture
A love for the internet
A love for words
A love for Thailand
A love for Asia
A love for my daughter (numero uno)

22 November 2016

Feeling the Thailand blues again? Here is copy and paste from another post this morning.

“I’m starting to have more and more of those days where I tell myself it’s time to leave. I know Many have already….”

Comment: Look out the window. The sun is shining as usual, everything looks bright and peaceful. There is lots of activity, ordinary people are going about their business as they do every day.
Who cares who the PM is? You are never going to run into him or her anyway. They sit somewhere at government house and feel mighty and important. It is just some guy in another office. No big deal. You should not worry about politics.

The thais are the same as they were last year or two years ago. Maybe they were slightly different 10 years ago. So what? Things change, people change. It is part of life.

If business is not going well then this is another story. Then you might have reason to be depressed.
Basically your favourite golf course is still there, the local massage shop is offering the same services and your favourite restaurants are most likely still there.

A few good friends might have left. Find new good ones then. Search and thou shalt find. You decide if you want to be happy.

If you decide to leave then do so for the right reasons. One right reason would be wishing to give your children a decent education. Private schools are expensive and public schools are not good.
How come so many expats are feeling the Thailand blues? Are things really that terrible? I find it hard to believe. I believe that thanks to social media we learn more about society than is good for us. Knowing too much can be harmful and hinder one’s happiness.

21 November 2016

Are tourists staying away from Thailand because of various scams? We can find plenty to complain about. Double pricing at various tourist attractions, jet ski scams etc.

As we all know the internet has become a window to the world, and when people read stories about violence and brutal attacks caught on video, does that make tourists stay away?

Is it true that Thailand is known internationally as a quick-buck-for-the-mafia destination? Has the many scams damaged the country’s reputation?

I believe you have to take the bad with the good. I believe the bad is part of the deal. If you don’t like it then try and spend a winter in your country of origin. Compare with life in other parts of the world. In some parts of the world it is rainy and foggy at least 6 months a year. Going back home is not always a pleasant option.

If business is bad it affects the mood of people. If the money is rolling in people will in general disregard other issues.

17 November 2016

I was talking about having friends earlier in another post. What is a friend? A really good friend is a light in the dark. Someone you can always count on. Not many of us are that lucky. Most friends just come and go.

Then there are the friends from the local pub. You get along with them just fine, you have a beer and enjoy some small talk.

Myself, I have to be careful. Let’s say I talk about Donald Trump in a friendly manner. This is politics, feelings are involved, and there is a great number of people that really hate this guy. One wrong word from me and they will hate me too, click unlike and slam the door on their way out. That’s life, people really do react in this way. I kid you not.

A friend is someone that respects you, even if your opinion differs from the majority. A friend will let you speak out. You can’t possibly agree with others on everything.

Trust is another big word when we talk about friends. How can you have a friend you don’t trust? Who can you trust in this world?

Just find someone you get along with. Don’t have too high expectations with regards to people. Or else you will just end up being disappointed.

16 November 2016

Low quality foreigners choose to settle in Pattaya. I have heard people say these words over and over again.

I don’t agree. Over the years I have had readers from all over the world. The best readers have undoubtedly been people that either live permanently in Pattaya or travel there frequently.

It has been very difficult to get in touch with outsiders, believe me, I have tried very hard. I most certainly can’t complain about the quality of people that live here. Surprisingly many of them are just regular guys.

14 November 2016

The Pattaya – Hua Hin ferry. Come on, let’s talk. The Thai journalists never talk, simply because critical thought is not something they were taught in school.

Come on, there is so much to talk about. No? Not in the mood? Again? Too much to drink last night? Well, let me do the talking then. I guess it’ll be a one-man show as usual.

Analysis for beginners. The Pattaya – Hua Hin ferry. We must assume it is a big thing, right?

1) Then why don’t we see some real advertising for the project. Advertising on a global scale? Why don’t we see advertising addressing the end-users, the tourists? We must assume they want this ferry project to be a success, right?

At least they could show us a few pictures of the ferry, just so we know what kind of ferry we are getting. No? Why not? Because this is Thailand? No way, not that old excuse again, I am tired of hearing that one. They can do better than that.

2) They say there will be room for 150 passengers. 150 people! Many years ago I tried to count the number of passengers boarding the small fishing boats leaving for Koh Larn. I stopped counting when I reached a 100 people. I am sure there were at least 150 on board. So it is this kind of transportation vehicle we can expect?

3) 150 people is actually not a large number. Can we expect 120 Chinese + 30 Russians booking the ferry every single day? There will only be one departure per day.

4) Is it safe? Has the staff been trained properly? Is it an old or new boat?

5) Only a single company has applied for the job! Do you wonder why? Probably because they don’t expect to make big money on this. If we assume that they don’t expect to make money, do you think the owners will open the big wallet and spend money on the right equipment?

6) Phone numbers, company website or facebook. How do we contact these guys? I mean there is only 6 weeks to the first departure.

I could keep asking questions. Honestly, I don’t see the point. This is Thailand. I guess I will just have to leave it at that.

12 November 2016

There are rumors about a crackdown on foreign owned companies in Pattaya. As we all know there must be a thai partner involved in such companies, however there might be those that have used so-called nominees instead of real partners.
The question is how the authorities can distinguish between a partner and a nominee. There might be ways to get a confession from the nominees. TALK or face the consequences.
This is just some rumors I heard, I don’t know if there is anything to it. Somehow it wouldn’t surprise me, I have kind of been expecting it.
This Yankee go home scenario, especially those that are making money.

8 November 2016

We all know a casino would be good for the property market in Pattaya. It would be a game changer for the local economy. The tourists would come from all over Asia. Thais would come from near and far.
We have the pretty girls. Pattaya is like a giant red light district. Since the city already is considered a bit naughty as it is, then why not go all the way?
Why not build a world class casino in Pattaya? They call it sin city. What is so bad about a casino anyway? Just because the thais are genetically predisposed to becoming addicted to gambling, it shouldn’t be a problem.

8 November 2016

Demolish Walking Street Pattaya Debunked.

Let’s talk about a few common misconceptions:

1) Many people think this is about cleaning up the dirt.
2) Some people believe this is about changing Pattaya into a more family friendly destination.
3) Then there are those that think it is about attracting quality tourists.

Sorry guys, Pattaya city is NOT evolving into the 21st century. Walking Street will never be demolished.

This is about removing illegal structures that have either been built without a permit or built on public land. Restaurants and other venues have been built on poles. This is about buildings constructed on the beach. Probably around 12 owners will be affected by this.

You know how things work in Thailand. Anybody might build on public land or encroach on national parks. Politicians, important officials, influential people, they all do it. Just look at Khao Yai. Then, after the buildings have been there a number of years they claim ownership.

Of course, there will always be those that are fully aware that these extensions are illegal. As a consequence of this knowledge, there are certain officials that pass by every month to collect protection money. It has always been like that. These guys want a piece of the cake.

Nobody wants to change Pattaya. There is no grand master plan. People don’t join politics because they have a vision for a better world or for ideological reasons. They become politicians because it is good for personal business.

It is all about money. It always has been and always will be.

Does that mean they are all crooks? A westerner might think this is the case. However, you have to understand that this corrupt system is all they have ever known. You can’t really blame anybody. If somebody is in a position to get a cut of somebody else’s business, then rest assured he will do it. In Thailand it is almost like a law of nature. They use the system to their own advantage.

If you are not able to develop your own business then the next logical step is to become a politician, policeman or top official. In other words we are talking about the benefits of being a high ranking public official.

The system is extremely conservative. The electorate does not have a desire to change the status quo. They will vote for the usual suspects.

It is always the Westerners that have dreams on behalf of the city. They have a very different mindset compared to the Thais. The Thais are basically happy the way things are.

Thailand is still a good country where you can enjoy life. Just don’t kid yourself into believing in fairytales.

Walking Street will stay because it is good for business. Money number one.
In Thailand your money can buy you someting you can’t get in other countries. Not so bad after all, is it?

7 November 2016

Coming back to my old dilemma all the time. I really like Thailand. My daughter is born there. I truly want the best for Thailand.

Then, when something bad happens, is it then best to keep quiet about it and pretend nothing has happened or should I talk openly about it? I feel people have a right to know what is truly going on. I have always felt that knowledge is a human right.

By talking and by telling the truth I might put the country in the wrong light. Basically I am a feel-good kinda guy and I don’t take pleasure in scandals. I don’t like bad news!

If it was just one freak incident I could ignore it. The problem is when I start seeing a pattern of behavior and preferences, when I get that oh-no, not-again feeling.

What to do? I still don’t know. I feel that if people don’t talk things will never improve. Then again, do things improve by talking?

When the shit hits the fan you can either talk or keep quiet.

4 November 2016

Business in Pattaya, a lesson for beginners.

Certain locally issued permits are often needed. It is of the utmost importance that you understand this.

Developers need a construction permit. It is extremely easy to refuse to issue such a permit. It is a piece of cake for an official to make it look as if there is a problem. There are permits for many various things. There are thousands of rules and regulations, you can’t possibly comply with them all. The system is not designed to work in your favour.

So make sure there NEVER is a problem. By a problem I don’t mean a technical problem. I mean you need to have a good business relationship with these guys. If you need something very bad, rest assured that the influential person in charge is aware of that. You get, you give.

If you have insulted someone, tried to go above his head or challenge his decisions, then you are in serious trouble.

You have to remember who is in charge. No matter how unfair you feel are treated, you have bow to them and show some respect. If you break these rules, you will get a reminder of how things work.

No matter how important you might think you are, no matter how many billions of baht you invest, no matter how many jobs you create, you have to remember that you can do absolutely nothing without the cooperation of certain influential people. Certain locally issued permits are of the utmost importance.

If you are involved in any business in Thailand you will want yo avoid a relationship gone sour at all cost. You will have to respect the phu-yai or influential figures even though you can’t stand them.
It is their way or no way. They can destroy your life.

3 November 2016

Waterfront? Do I believe it will be demolished or not. I have been asked that question so many times.
It is impossible for me to answer that question when I don’t even know what the problem is. I don’t even know if somebody is trying to negotiate a deal.

I guess it all boils down to that statue on the hill. A building is not allowed to block any part of the view for that statue.

Then, I guess, that some local influential families have decided it must be demolished.

Thirdly, I guess that so much time has passed by that it is unlikely the project will be completed.

A lot of guesswork. It does look as if someone powerful is standing in the way.

3 November 2016

Question: Why does the city of Pattaya never have any funds for improvements. With all the thousands of hotels and businesses that pay taxes, why is it that the city in reality looks as if it is more or less bankrupt?
The city of Pattaya should be extremely rich because of all the tourists that keep arriving.
Answer: Somehow all that money disappears into a black hole.

27 September 2016

A gentleman said exactly what I have been feeling:

“I think some people don’t like you start telling the truth about Pattaya… A lot of people are still dreaming and most people don’t want to hear what’s really going on.”

Comment: Telling the truth is not good for business. The ones that don’t like it are involved in some kind of business in Pattaya. The truth does not put the city in a good light. You can’t blame them. Things are tough enough as they are.

These days, clicking like on the wrong kind of post can get you in trouble. And this is the forbidden truth, the unspeakable taboo.

If you don’t even talk about the problems then they will never be solved. People have to talk. There is no other way. To tell you the truth: I have no solution to the problems.

25 September 2016

The Long Wait

The long wait isn’t over. We are definitely in a big dip here in Pattay. It’s the worst-case scenario come true. So we wait. That is all we can do. Many people are actually waiting. Some people say two years, I would describe that as being overly optimistic. I am afraid not much will have changed in two years time. At least if you say two years, you will have to come up with some kind of explanation as to why.

No, we are not waiting for these water parks or some other entertainment venue to open. They won’t change a thing.

So what exactly are we waiting for? World economic stability won’t hurt. Oil prices returning to normal would probably help. Brexit is good for nobody.

What we are really waiting for is for the high speed railway system from Bangkok to Pattaya to be approved and for construction to start. Meeting number 99 has taken place and they still can’t agree on the details. It probably has got something to do with money. Anyway the Pattaya railway is not even in the first phase of the project. That kinda sucks. YES, Pattaya is in the second phase and they can’t even agree on the first phase. It is rather embarrassing for both the Thai and the Chinese governments. They have made a laughing stock of themselves and that 3.5km section north of Bangkok just makes it even worse. I wonder why they insist on dealing with the Chinese.

We have to assume that sooner or later they will find a solution to the problems and then construction will most likely start. But it will take time and the Pattaya section does not have first priority.
That is reality and that is what we must accept. I personally don’t care about what happens during the next 3 – 4 years time. I don’t expect anything important to happen. I look at Pattaya in 2020 and beyond. I look at the next decade.

So I wait just like everybody else but in the meantime I do something else. I will do something that won’t have much to do with Pattaya. I will talk about construction in Thailand’s neighbouring countries. First Singapore and then Kuala Lumpur. After that let’s see what happens.

I am not in a rush. I expect the city of Pattaya to be in a dormant state for at least 4 – 5 years. When the city does wake up again from the long sleep I plan to cover the important activities. Since this is the age of the internet I don’t need to be there physically to do that. Only a fool would say you need to be living in the US in order to cover politics in the US. Let’s say you live in NY. Then you won’t be living in Chicago, Dallas or LA. But you can do a good job anyway. All the important information can be found online.

By the year 2020 newpattaya.com will be different. First there is the name itself which is a bit of a problem. When I tell friends that I have been living there for a long time, when I say that my daughter is born there, then they will say, “oh”, and get a certain look in their eyes.
Pattaya does not have a good reputation in the civilized world. There is nothing I can do about that. If I explain that Pattaya is not all that bad they won’t believe me. Simply because their minds are made up.

I don’t care, I will keep the name. Pattaya is where it all started. Pattaya is where my daughter was born. You could say that Pattaya is the centre of my universe. As the owner I can talk about anything I want. I can and have talked about Brad Pitt and Angelina splitting up, about Donald Trump, about WTC conspiracy theories. Anything goes. There are no shareholders to hold me responsible for anything. I am free to do as I please.

I suggest that while we wait we have some fun. We absorb stuff and grow bigger.

23 September 2016

I received a message from a reader. He told me he has sold one of his condos in Pattaya. And he told me he is not sure whether to stay in Thailand anymore. He says everything has changed.

This is where I start to feel a bit guilty. Maybe he has read to much of this facebook lately? Maybe I have somehow had an influence on his state of mind. I don’t know.

I don’t know for sure whether things have changed all that much. Perhaps I am the one that have changed? I am 100% sure that Pattaya is not the right place for my daughter. There is no doubt in my mind. None whatsoever.

Of course there is a lot of bad news every now and then. And the 90-day report that has become rather unfriendly. Local developers closing down. Many little things.

But if you have had fun in Pattaya before, then you can still have fun there. It can still be a great place.

It is just not the right place for me anymore. I am a responsible father. It was my home but I am never going back.

I realised that there will never be a new Pattaya. Things will never improve. Things are rotten to the core.

Never going back!

22 September 2016

Unique architecture will be the name of the game in the future. It is more fun. It gets kinda boring when you see the same developers launching the same 10 – 15 projects this year that they launched last year. Different locations but more or less the same products. That’s how they do it in Bangkok.
I think we can agree on that it is a very complex world we live in, but still it feels weird to see how things are connected in one way or another. Ole Scheeren has designed both The Interlace in Singapore and MahaNakhon in Bangkok. DUO’s main contractor is Obayashi Corporation, a company that is also the main contractor for both Takashimaya at ICONSIAM, ICONSIAM’s anchor department store, and the main contractor at Sindhorn Residence, both projects in Bangkok. These famous architects and construction companies operate on a global scale. Imagine someone trying to keep up with what they do…..

3 September 2016

Why don’t they want us here? Why the feeling that they hate us?

Basically it is an inferiority complex, lack of self-worth, consequences of a terrible education system. They feel they are unable to compete with us.

It is easier for an expat to open up a popular bar. The owner will be around most of the time and he will be able to create an atmosphere that is almost impossible for a thai businessman.

Agents can talk to customers in their own language. The same goes for tour guides, hosts on radio and TV etc.

Even on the internet the expats and tourists prefer a host that understands their own culture and sense of humor. It is seldom I see a thai joining a discussion in an english language forum. When it does happen it is someone that masters the english language close to perfection. Not many of those around.
That is why the Thai chamber of commerce want the foreigners out. They want the pie for themselves. It is a fight for money.

2 September 2016

I heard on the rumor mill that The Boys in Blue took a Bentley belonging to a local developer.

True or not, it you have money then keep a low profile. Don’t brag about it because then somebody will take it away from you.

As a foreigner you have no rights. If you want to continue to do business then accept the rules rules laid down by the influential people in Dodge City.

My first thought: No, they didn’t. My second thought: It wouldn’t surprise me. Has it really come this far?

2 September 2016

It is amazing. Those foreigners in Pattaya, they still cling to the hope that they shall overcome the difficulties, that things will soon return to normal.

Sorry guys, things will NEVER be the same again, not for you guys. Here is how it is: The authorities do not want a foreigner making small investments. You are welcome to invest billions of baht in a factory at one of the industrial estates. That is fine, there is no problem with that.

But a foreigner opening a restaurant, a bar, selling real estate, NO WAY, forget about it. 2 – 5 million is simply too little. They don’t want the little guy investing a few million baht. They want investments of ++500 million baht. Don’t you know? Fewer and fewer work permits are being issued, it is getting more and more difficult to obtain one.

Sorry all expats that try to work for a living in Thailand: You are not wanted anymore. You are about to become an extinct species so to speak. Yes, the fat lady is actually singing the cha-cha-cha as we speak. Can’t you hear her nationalistic voice in the drama unfolding before your eyes?
I wish you all a terrific weekend. Remember this: tomorrow does not exist.

1 September 2016

It is a shame that the real story behind the story, what really happened behind the scenes in Pattaya the last couple of years, that story will never be told.

I could do it, get those famous 15 minutes of fame, and by doing so I would step on a lot of people’s toes. Well, relax, it is not really in my interest to do so.

Just know there that are lots of untold stories out there. I am just a tiny bit surprised that NOBODY is talking, nobody is asking any questions that they should be asking. Nobody is complaining.

Of course, when things go bad the developers tend to keep a very low profile. Talking is not good for business, we all know that, so they keep quiet and pretend their own projects never existed. What else can they do?

Things are bad, much much worse than most people are aware of. How to keep your reputation from going down the drain? Keep quiet and hope for the best.

Some time in the future opportunities might arise again. Innocent or not, I had no idea it would come to this.

It is worst case scenario come true.
Those trying to survive in the business, magazines, newspapers, agents etc., they don’t want to tell the truth. They need to give the impression that the worst is behind us, that it makes makes sense to invest in the property market. They tell the customers that now is the right time to invest. They have no choice.

There is a smell of death in Pattaya. A lot of people have lost a lot of money. A lot of developers have lost a lot of money. A lot of great reputations have gone down the drain.
It is a sad story. Probably best to keep it under the carpet.

31 August 2016

MahaNakhon is illegal according to Srisuwan Janya. Foreigners are NOT allowed to design any buildings in Thailand.
As we all well know MahanaKhon is designed by the famous architect Ole Schereen.
Sorry guys, it seems we are left with no other option than to have MahaNaknon demolished 🙂
This truly is Thai nationalism at its worst. There is always somebody with a pain in his arse in this country. Yes, we must protect the thais from the bad foreigners, right?

14 August 2016

Q: Does Pattaya have a huge potential for growth?
A: I would say yes
Q: Will we see a rising number of tourist arrivals in the future?
A: This is not unlikely
Q: Will the new terminal at U-Tapao Pattaya Airport make a difference?
A: I would say yes
Q: Will the new motorway to Rayong make a difference for Pattaya?
A: Yes, of course.

Comment: It might seem as if we are in a long and dark tunnel at the moment. But I see light at the end of the tunnel. I just don’t know how long we have to wait.
I am certain that one fine day things will change for the better. There will be money to be made again.

13 August 2016

21 July 2016

21 July 2016

10 July 2016

Central Plaza Pattaya will open in December 2016. The mall is being developed under the concept of a fishing village.

Well, I’ve got news for CPN. Pattaya used to be a fishing village, there’s no denying that. However, Pattaya is rapidly changing its face and is actually turning into a retail destination.
Do I need to mention Terminal 21 Pattaya, also located in North Pattaya, ironically located a stone’s throw away from CentralPlaza Pattaya? Do I need to mention The Bay Plaza on beach road?
Anyway the mall used to be called Central Center Pattaya. Now it has been rebranded and renamed. Central Plaza is the new name.

BUT is it enough just to rename the mall? Actually it seems like CPN has thrown in the towel in the fight to dominate the retail industry, at least in North Pattaya. Terminal 21 Pattaya looks like the winner.

CPN can do much better than that. They have the money to let their staff travel all around the world, travel to get inspired, but no, they want to make it a mall for a fishing village.
Their money, their choice.

Yet another controversial comment from newpattaya.com

29 June 2016

Forget about this bloody fast railway connection to China. For once please focus on what is IMPORTANT!
So what is important?
It is important to focus on the Eastern Seaboard. First of all they have to build a world class airport at U-Tapao.
Then they need to build a rail connection between Suvarnabhumi and Pattaya airport.
It is all so extremely simple.
I simply don’t understand why they are so old fashioned.
Why don’t they just do it?
What the hell are they waiting for?

29 June 2016

My hands are tied
I made a deal with the devil
Give me a daughter and I won’t ask for anything more
I really got exactly what I wished for
Truly, I don’t need more
My daughter comes first
She is happy where we are
Money won’t bring me back
A deal is a deal
I intend to keep my word

29 June 2016

Talking about airports, I am afraid there is not much hope regarding our own Pattaya U-Tapao airport.
The numbers tell the true story that we are not told. Suvarnabhumi Airport cost an estimated 155 billion baht. The extension of Suvarnabhumi, delayed for more than 10 years, will cost at least 65 billion baht.

Pattaya U-Tapao Airport has received a budget of a mere 600 million baht. As you very well know, you get what you pay for. First of all they don’t have that kind of money. Well, they do, but they want to spend it on submarines and other stuff.

Anyway the big money is ALWAYS spent in Bangkok. Only Bangkok matters to the ones that make the big decisions. It has always been like this and is not likely to change.

What we get is BIG words. Rest assured they won’t spend a 100 billion baht on an airport so far from Bangkok.

It would have been nice though.
I dream big dreams of having a wonderful world-class airport near Pattaya. But they have go give us the money first.
You know, the Chirathivat Family can spend 5 billion baht on a world class shopping mall without hesitation.
Why can’t the politicians think big, think long term? It would pay off.

12 June 2016

Feeling depressed?
Tired of staff at City Hall, someone responsible for issuing various permits and licenses, tourist police, immigration and practically all the government organizations demand money from you every month?
Tired of the local mafia?

Thinking about leaving bacause all this is very frustrating?
Well, think twice. Yes, there are these unofficial taxes where the money ends up in the hands of influential mafia figures.

BUT in Europe they will tax your business even more. They will drown you with paperwork. Here in Thailand, despite of these unofficial taxes, you can still have a good business. You will just need to get used to the idea that someone else wants a piece of the pie.

The next 3 – 4 years don’t look bright, but I expect that from 2020 – 2030 the economy will change. There is money to be made in the next decade.

Asia and Thailand is a magnet, people are drawn to the place by the prospect of gain, of pleasure. I clearly see opportunities to make money.

Don’t worry about tomorrow. Don’t look at what will happen during the next couple of years. Look towards the next decade.

2 June 2016

Rumors about a mall coming up in Walking Street. Anybody out there that knows something?
Story by a reader:

“Have you heard anything about a planned Shopping and Entertainment complex for Walking Street? A guy told me, that an investor bought 4 Rai of land including all buildings sitting on this land … right in the heart of Walking Street … Land between two of the small Soi’s … According to this guy, the investor is planning to demolish all the buildings and building a huge shopping and entertainment complex with Cinema, Bowling and of course lots of bars and restaurants … This guy even claimed to have seen 3D renderings and animated video! Any rumors around? That would be amazing … But at the same time almost unbelievable … If I just imagine the amount of money this investor would have to put down to buy 4 Rai and all the buildings in one of the most famous or infamous party miles on this planet … Who would have the money and balls to do that?”

2 June 2016

Terminal 21 Pattaya will transform Pattaya into a shopping destination.

A statistical analysis of the 10-year cycle regarding the development of large sized shopping malls in Pattaya.

Sorry, I can’t help it, the university professor in me has something on his mind. We will do it with a glimpse in the eye and a sense of humor.

It seems that 10 years is the time it takes for history to repeat itself, the time it takes for Pattaya to be ready for yet another new large sized shopping mall.
It seems that Pattaya will get that very important second chance.
It seems that Pattaya will be reborn, exactly in the same way it happened when the Central Festival Pattaya Beach complex opened and changed the city forever.

Let’s do some time travel, lets go back in time to the 23rd of January 2009 at exactly 11.39 am. This was the time when the Central Festival Pattaya complex had the Grand Opening.

Before that we only had Royal Garden Plaza and Mike Shopping Mall, both malls too small to put Pattaya on the retail map. In January 2009 things changed dramatically for our little city, we suddenly got something to feel proud about. We were able to attract the large middle class from Bangkok.

So why am I sitting here today, friday the 3rd June 2016, feeling ecstatic while writing these words?
I am feeling ecstatic because it is happening again. A lot of bad stuff has happened in Pattaya during the last couple of years, a leading property developer has even pulled out of the local property market, they have cancelled their latest three projects. There is no need to name names, practically all the developers have gone through a very tough period of time. That is why being able to tell good news feels extra good.

A 10-year cycle? Please explain. Ok, it is like this. Terminal 21 Pattaya, a new large shopping mall, has just started construction. Thai Bauer has entered the site in North Pattaya where we will get a very large shopping mall and a hotel adjacent to it. The hoarding is up already and the land has been cleared. Let’s give them 2 – 3 years to complete this job, they should be able to do it in this time frame. That means The Grand Opening could take place in early 2019, about 10 years after Central Festival Pattaya Beach opened.

What does all this mean for Pattaya? It means Pattaya is undergoing a change. It means Pattaya is being transformed into a shopping destination.
This is what we all want, isn’t it? A new beginning. You know where you are reading about it, right?
We are proud to be of service and tell all the good news.
Naturally we are called newpattaya.com

2 June 2016

2 June 2016

No child is born stupid. Remember this because it is very important.

So why is it that some people often act in stupid or non-intelligent ways?

You can blame society and the educational system. It is not in the DNA, it is not in the genes or chromosomes.

Let me tell you a story about a father and his son. Once upon a time there was a young thai boy, the son of an average thai couple. When he was 5 years old his mother took him to stay in New York. He lived in The United States for about 20 years and after that he returned to live in Thailand.
I met him in July 2015 at Snow Town Bangkok. He was there alone with his son, father and son out having fun. He looked 100% thai, he had pure thai blood running through his veins.

I talked to him for a long time, I actually enjoyed talking to him. I had met a person that (to me) seemed to be a normally functioning human being. He said all the right things (the things I wanted to hear), I fully agreed with him on everything we talked about.

He looked Thai, had thai blood and everything. But he wasn’t thai at all, his mindset wasn’t thai. He was an intelligent American, a loving and caring father. A guy that put his son’s interests before his own.

His words: “Looking out the window it’s hard to believe that Thailand is actually a 3rd world country.”
Before me stood an intelligent person with a mind of his own. This was the result of his mother taking him to New York when he was a kid.

What do they learn in school? They spend the first 6 years in school learning to respect authorities, learning NOT ask questions, NOT to be curious, NOT to make any changes to society, NOT to have a mind of their own.

Then in the evening when watching TV they are reminded that the country used to be a slave society where people are obligated to obey the master’s will.

Furthermore when watching TV they are told that ghosts and superstitions play important parts of daily life.

What scares me more than anything is the thai educational system. Kreng Jai, to be afraid or unwilling to act. To let jet ski scammers and mafia figures get away with wrongdoing. They don’t want to become involved in society, they simply mind their own business.

Thailand is a very conservative country. That is why change or reform is virtually impossible.

30 May 2016

Talking about neighbours I do have a few comments. Being sensitive to noise I would give anything to get a good neighbour.
What is a good neighbour? A good neighbour is one where you don’t know if he is home or not. He is considerate towards others, he doesn’t slam the doors, doesn’t turn on loud music, doesn’t add a subwoofer to his tv or computer. A good neighbour is extremely hard to find.
I remember my last neighbour clearly.
He constantly talked a lot.
He talked with a very loud voice.
He talked on the phone a lot.
With an even louder voice.
He had a lot of friends coming.
Not his TV, not music, not wife and kid. His voice. I got really tired of listening to his voice all the time. He has left, thank God for that.
My new neighbour is strange. I haven’t seen him yet. I think he lives alone. I hear his TV every day, all day long. Why stay in Thailand and watch TV all day long? He can do that in his country of origin. As I said, probably a very strange guy. For what I know he might be a serial killer. We share a wall so I have to listen to his TV. Nothing I can do about that. He is not nearly as bad as my former neighbour but I wish he would turn his TV off at least once in a while.

30 May 2016

Why does the combination of permanent condominium residents and tourists seldom work?

The retired permanent resident is here to live a quiet life. He is often an older gentleman that would like to think of his home as his castle. He might want to party once in a while, if that is the case there will most likely be a place for that 50 m around the corner. He will seldom bring the party to his condo.

The short time tourist is here to party and have a good time. Every minute counts, he is eager to get the most out of his holiday. Noisy parties, lots of people coming and going, constantly slamming doors.
No, permanent residents and short time tourists are seldom a good combination. These tourists seldom behave well, they are generally not considerate of people living close to them.

30 May 2016

If I were a billionaire, say I had around 100 Billion Baht to play around with, then I would not even consider investing a single baht in the ferry project between Pattaya and Hua Hin. The risk is too high. We are in the high-risk investment category.

As a customer I would love to jump on board a ferry and be in Hua Hin 1 hour and 30 minutes later. It would be great, it would be a dream come true.

What would I do with my money then? I would invest 5 billion baht in a new super mall in Sriracha. They only have a very old mall, the Pacific Park mall housing the Robinson Department store.
There is room for a new mega mall in Sriracha. Most importantly, there would most likely be a nice return on investment. I would own a solid building that would generate income for the rest of my life. People love and need malls. In other words a low-risk investment.

25 May 2016

25 May 2016

For Pattaya to become a real city like Bangkok, for Pattaya to have tall office towers like in Bangkok, for Pattaya to have a Skytrain system, for that to happen we need more people living and working here.
Yes, more people. But we only have ONE main road in Pattaya, the Sukhumvit Road, as opposed to many hundreds of main roads in Bangkok.

In the years to come the city of Pattaya will grow, no doubt about that. However, having only a single important road will limit economic growth. Driving a car in Pattaya will become a terrible experience that people with a sound mind will avoid at all cost.

That’s why we don’t have even a single office tower in Pattaya. We won’t get one until the day that educated professionals are in charge of city planning.

It does not require that much brain capacity to figure out that good infrastructure and economic growth go hand in hand.

I don’t know if they don’t care or if it lack of logical thinking, logical reasoning. Probably a a combination of both…..

The point: It all boils down to having a good educational system. And that is the main problem which nobody is trying to solve.

Only the rich families that can afford to send their kids to study abroad can get a good education. Imagine what would happen if these rich kids suddenly had to compete for the good positions with 40 million well educated locals.

That is why things will remain the way they are.

19 May 2016

Why Thailand? We can find lots of stuff to complain about. Lack of infrastructure improvements, traffic congestion, garbage problems, poor water drainage systems, dirty beaches, corruption in the public sector, old fashioned schools etc.

So why Thailand? Why not one of the neighbouring countries?

Let’s take a look at things. You see, people have different reasons for choosing to live in Thailand.

1) We have a foreign guy running a small business here. Probably a bar, a restaurant or a hotel. The business concept is working, there is a recurrent stream of income. Basically he is happy because he is making money. He won’t complain too much. First and foremost he is a business man. He will pretend to be one of the blokes if it is good for business. Don’t trust him for a second. He is here for the money.

2) We have a foreigners that likes girls. If he is here to party he certainly has found the right place. If he is gay or into ladyboys he will believe he is in heaven. This guy is into the hanky panky stuff. He will prefer to keep the status quo. He is here to get laid.

3) We have a foreigner that likes food. He will have restaurants in abundance on all streets and in all the shopping malls. Fuji, MK, Sizzlers, Shabu Shi, The Pizza Company and many others are here to his convenience. None of the restaurants mentioned above can be found in Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia. Finding a Burger King outlet in KL is close to mission impossible. There are very few. Anyway, this guy is here for the food.

So why Thailand? Is there the same expat community in the neighbouring countries? Are there the same business opportunities?
Are the girls in Malaysia as pretty as the Thai girls? Are the Malaysian girls and boys ready to party with the tourists the same way as in Thailand?
Can the neighbouring countries compete with the number of restaurants in Thailand?

Answer these questions and you might find some answers.

You choose Thailand by comparing with what is offered elsewhere. When buying a laptop you will look at the products available on the market.

So who is complaining? Some guys with too much time on their hands, often sitting in front of a computer screen.

That’ll be all for tonight. Class dismissed.

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