So you’ve been to Samui many times, and perhaps you love the buzz of Chaweng or perhaps you prefer the serenity of Taling Ngam. But you need to ask yourself this question, “Is what I want when on holiday, the same as what I want from my home?” As great as Chaweng is for a night on the town, would you want to stay amid the mayhem? As beautiful and quiet as Taling Ngam is, do you want to drive 45 minutes to school and back each day? These are things that one needs to take into account. A retired person has perhaps more choices than someone wanting to run a business or with school-going children, as then quick access to the business areas and schools needs to be considered.
You’ll find that most expats live in areas close to, but not in the main tourist drags. Living on Samui where tourism is the biggest industry, most expats are involved in the tourism business somehow, so it’s not a case of being close to the touristy spots, but rather close to work. Also, those with children will need to be near to the school that their children attend, and of course, daily chores such as grocery shopping need to be considered too.
On Samui, the biggest working expat communities are in the areas of Bang Rak, Plai Laem, Choeng Mon, Bophut, Mae Nam and the outer areas of Chaweng. Retirees often choose the less developed, and sometimes cheaper areas of Lipa Noi, Bang Po, Laem Set and Taling Ngam. Wherever you choose, it’s perhaps advisable to rent a property in the area before committing to buying one, to make sure that the area is right for the needs of you and your family.