Billionaires Traffic Jam On The Sarasin Bridge
One of Greater Phuket's most interesting storylines continues to be Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li's 1000 rai mega project at Thai Muang.
In what is envisaged to be on of Asia's leading destination resorts along with lines of Laguna Phuket, with an 18 hole golf course, multiple hotel and residential options and a marina, the project was challenged last year over changes in zoning to Phang Nga's Town Planning Ordinance.
The project has been receiving a growing amount of support in government circles given it's tremendous impact to both the provinces economy and creation of jobs for Phuket's neighbor to the north.
Over the past six month a large oceanfront land parcel reported to be 130 rai has been acquired by a high net worth individual who is developing the property into one of the most exclusive luxury estates in the country. Site work has already commenced.
Despite the nearby Ritz-Carlton managed mixed used resort being postponed, nearby beachfront land and ultra villa properties have continued to rank amongst the most expensive in Phuket (or the expanded Greater Phuket area).
Back to the Thai Muang project or Andaman Bay as it is now known, the Project Design Director Jack Le Breton has issued the following statement and update on the project which provides some insight into the development and long term goals –
"Andaman Bay is a multi-faceted and sophisticated Oceanfront Community, designed
both to enjoy the natural benefits of its location, and to demonstrate the real ability of
such communities to care for, and maintain the natural beauty of its setting.
This community is built around a range of waterfront dining and lifestyle outlets set within
a low-rise Village context, and providing enhanced public interaction with the beaches
of Thai Muang. At the same time, great care is being taken to avoid encroachment
onto that coastline – with the Residential Design configured to avoid both light and
noise pollution onto the beach itself. The quality of water within the environment, the
responsible use of fresh water reserves, and its subsequent re-cycling, remain an
important consideration – from the scale of the individual residence up to the operation
of the 18-hole Golf Course.
Within the planned facilities – and in addition to a range of Residential & Leisure options
– amenities are planned to include Swimming Pools, Tennis & Squash Courts,
Gymnasium and Spa, Sailing, Golf, Running /Walking Paths, Cycling Paths, Indoor &
Outdoor Playing areas, plus a Wellness Clinic to serve both the destination and the
local community, a Hospitality & Culinary School, and a Marine Conservatory facility for
research into the health and population of local marine life – including turtles, are
features which will benefit the local population, and local youth.
It is notable the design locates the Yacht Marina inland; in a sheltered environment –
both in order to protect the Boats themselves, but also to minimise impact on the
"We welcome comments by Mr. Pichete Sathirachwan, Thailand Trade Representative,
during a recent visit to the site, supporting the project design and noting the
development is environmentally responsible and will provide employment for several
thousand local people. Khun Pichete said in that "the project is especially an interviewconcerned about the environment," and that "…the environment is the project's selling
point. Having this project means it is good support for the tourism sector and a large
"In addition to Khun Pichete's remarks, Andaman Bay confirms that it has gone to great
care and expense to ensure the environmental sustainability of the site. For example,
we are in the process of transplanting some 170 existing trees to a nursery on site for
later replanting, throughout the destination. Many more will follow. Buildings across the entire project are designed for low to medium height to blend in with the surrounding environment, and to be enhanced by the presence of mature trees.
"We also support Khun Pichete's comments about the project's sustainable tourism
potential. We believe the design will fully complement the natural beauty of the site
and that it will be a 'sanctuary' in Phang Nga for owners, customers and guests to enjoy
a carefully stewarded resort environment.
"Plans for the project are still in a conceptual stage, and we are in the process of
obtaining such necessary environmental and other approvals. As this is an ongoing
requirement involving many different parties we are at present, not in a position to
publicly roll out further information. As we realise any approvals for the project require
local consultation, we have already conducted some meetings with Phang Nga
authorities and local community members to ensure mutual agreement. So far the
project has received strong support from local residents".
"We believe Andaman Bay will, as Khun Pichete has pointed out, be a valuable
addition to Phang Nga's tourism, and a strong boost to local resources & employment.
Exceptional care is being taken to ensure the project is highly complementary to the
This remains a story worth keeping tabs, and perhaps one key trigger is the recent change of government and how they view the issue of Phang Nga's economic growth.