(a.k.a Plan C)
This is the story of our holiday home / guesthouse ‘Baan Rim Nam’ on the island of Koh Chang, Thailand which, when complete, will be available for visitors to rent.
Way back in October 2003, our original plan was to rent some land and build a small resort. Buying land wasn’t an option as we didn’t have much money and all land in good locations was way out of our price range, even back then.
So, after a month or searching and asking everyone we could find we got hold of some roadside land in Bailan on a 9-year lease. This was ‘Plan A’. Another couple of months passed and our plans for eight bungalows and a coffeeshop/house/small restaurant were finished. The plans were approved, after sitting in planning offices in Trat and Koh Chang for a couple of months, in early March 2004.
We could have started building then, but after having spent a lot of time travelling around the island, speaking to resort owners and seeing where visitors were staying, it was clear that Bailan wasn’t going to be busy for another couple of years at least. (Even now, in 2009, although a luxury hotel, the Dusit Princess, and many new bungalow resorts have sprung up, most are very quiet.)
We then heard about a seafront resort – including large restaurant and 16 bungalows by the sea – for rent in Bailan for only 100,000 baht/year for a long lease. We spoke to the owner and even negotiated a reduction in rent as we’d have to rebuild the bungalows & restaurant which had been neglected for a few years. This was preferable to the roadside land and was ‘Plan B’.
Then, out of the blue, one morning in early May 2004, our landlord told us that there was an fisherman’s house for sale in Klong Prao. Plan C. (There’s a very limited number of these houses which are built over the water one of the charms is that no more of these houses can be built now. So as Koh Chang gets busier, living or staying in house on the waterfront would naturally become more popular. Well, that was our reasoning.)
So we went and looked at it, and the next day paid a deposit on it, having decided to scrap the previous plans A & B. A week later bought it for what we both considered to be a good price. The following day we were offered 40% more for it by a guy who wanted it but had been too slow in paying his deposit to the owner. So if the worst comes to the worst we know we can get rid of it easily.
In mid-May 2004, we started to fix the house up. The following pages will detail what we’ve been doing and when we’ll open ‘Ban Rim Nam’ (‘House on the Water’) to guests. Next Page