Retirement guide for Koh Samui

Is Koh Samui a good place to retire?

Absolutely, for those of you who are looking to retire after a long life of hard work, Koh Samui has all the tranquility and communities that one would expect. This island is perfect if you would like to have boat and you enjoy fishing. There are many walking trails, indoor gyms and beautiful beaches where you can take part in activities to keep yourself fit and healthy. Koh Samui will allow you to rest and give you the boost you need to re-align yourself if this is what you are looking for. There are many communities such as the SOS (sisters of Samui), the Rotary Club and the Hash club to name a few. You will be able to meet other expats and share your adventures.


Food wise, it is very easy to find from the most authentic Thai food to the most refined European dishes. Local markets to Luxury restaurants will give your taste buds a blast. Low prices for local foods are a plus. You can also eat healthier thanks to the widely available vegetarian/vegan foods.


Visas are the most complicated part of living here as an expat. Though thankfully, the Thai Government has announced that they are hard at work to simplify the visa process to make it easier for foreigners to live in Thailand. Source; Govt mulls visa rule overhaul for expats, tourists, investors.

What type of property should we look out for and in which location?

This is where it gets interesting, properties for retirement are fundamentally different from your regular properties on Koh Samui.


First let’s talk about the area. The south of the Island is a very popular place for retirees, mostly because it is the most authentic part of the island, far from all the traffic and noise. But as a plus, the price of properties in the south is generally lower than those nearer to the center and other busier parts of Koh Samui. It is also exceptionally beautiful because the south exposes not only the sea, but the many beautiful islands (such as Koh Tan and Koh Matsum) that lie beyond. You could also visit these smaller islands on your next trip, as they are quite exotic.


Properties on this island, often suffer from an awkward layout with too many stairs or very steep access roads. This makes access or travel within and outside the house difficult and tiring. The remedy to this problem many retirees face, is choosing a different layout for your villa. The observed favorite layout is the bungalow type or as the French call it ”a plain-pied”, which is a one-level house with barely any stairs. One of the benefits of this layout is the possibility to get the widest angle of Sea view from anywhere in the house, as well as giving the house a spacious feel.


There are many ways to get your own property and you should do it in the way that works best for you. Whether it’s building your own, buying an existing property or investing in an off-plan project from a developer.


Upon your arrival to Koh Samui, you will be bombarded with choice. It is important to take a break between each set of property viewing and not jump on the first deal that looks too good to be true. Visiting a few professionals in real estate, a few lawyers and a few builders before taking any type of decision will help you make your own judgement. Do keep in mind that you should be wary of anyone who speaks bad about another individual, they usually do it to cover up for their own dishonesty or incompetence.


Koh Samui is a beautiful island. But being in a new environment undoubtedly means you will be the target of bad actors, losing you time and money, talk about a bad first experience. If we’re strictly talking about buying or building a property, the problem lies in most part because real estate agencies in Thailand do not require a license to operate. Hence why we cannot stress enough that you should only work with professionals who have a physical office. Furthermore, ask about their background before working with an agent, were they waiters back home, and are now improvised agents? Also, stay away from freelancer agents or you could take the chance of having them run away with your deposit the first chance they get.


That’s the big reality check everyone must face on Koh Samui, and the rules are surely different from home. At Century 21 Atlas, we feel it is now our responsibility to be blunt and honest with our customers, simply because we hoped that we could have been informed of these many potential dangers when we first arrived as a family on Koh Samui back in 2016.


We have now made it our priority to ensure a safe and transparent transaction, simply ask any of our satisfied costumers. We provide the standard in real estate and make use of our 25 years of experience so that you can come to Koh Samui and live your best life.

If you have any questions regarding the laws & regulations, property/land purchase process, timeframes, building regulations and references or any questions related to Koh Samui, we would be happy to help you. 

You can reach us on our Contact us page for any further inquiries.

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