Hooray for Koh Sireh as Property Prices Rise
For those of a certain age, the never-ending, tortuously-lingering melody of the song "Que Sera, Sera "' ignites thoughts of waterboarding at Guantanamo. It's like the nerve- screeching act of sawing a frozen turkey with a violin bow.
For most of us, commercials and advertising jingles stuck in our subconscious outnumber memories of more profound events in our lives. Anyone who has ever woken up in the middle of the night humming the Macarena can attest to that.
If only Sigmund Freud were online to accept my Facebook friend request.
But let's not go off on a tangent here – oops, way too late for that. There is an island off of Phuket Town called Koh Sireh, or is it Siray?
Bruised and battered, I break into the chorus of "tomato, tomato, potato, potato, let's call the whole thing off".
The island, Koh Sireh, is connected to Phuket by a bridge that's so short it's nearly a causeway.
Maybe it's just a mental block, but the destination is so close, yet seems so far to many of us. Most local expats have never visited or even know about it.
However, the opening last year of the upscale, internationally branded Westin Siray Bay Resort and Spa has piqued interest from both afar and nearby.
And with plans for a Centara Grand Siray Resort's, as well as a soon-to-be-launched luxury hotel on the northern tip of the island on the agenda, that interest is growing.
On the property development front, a Thai firm has launched the oceanfront Nchantra@Sirey Beach project with eight Bali-style private pool villas and four penthouses. Prices start at 15 million baht.
The same developer, Nchantra, has sold out branded projects in Rawai, Palai and Nai Harn. On Sireh, construction is well underway and sales are brisk for those looking for views of Phang Nga Bay.
With a land area of about 20 square kilometers, Koh Sireh is never going to be a mass market.It's reminiscent of Cape Panwa a number of years ago. Though with a resurgence of Phuket Town and hopefully a UNESCO acknowledgement of its culinary delights and architecture, this could all change very quickly.
For visitors to Koh Sireh, a hilltop monastery, sea gypsy community and mangroves where monkeys are plentiful add charm and culture to the location.
Yes, there are white-sand beaches and mangroves with ocean views, and a wide variety of alternatives.
Land speculation and pricing has already started to increase, with new real estate projects looming on the horizon. As more hotels come, expect more property offerings alongside these demand generators.
Another facility on the island is the Phuket International Dog School, a well-established academy known to many for its quality canine teaching and spacious boarding for pets.
The owner, Wichai Chidchio, reminds me of the sensei in The Karate Kid.
Diversity remains the spice of Phuket life and hotel and residential markets remain moving targets. Next time you have some time on your hands, take a trip east and get to know Koh Sireh.