Samui Wining & Dining
HEAVENLY HEIGHTS
Gaze down like a god at the breath-taking views from Narai Kiri.

HEAVENLY HEIGHTS

We’ve come a long way from the wooden huts and the hippies of the ’80s. The hippies have morphed into backpackers. And today there’s now a whole new breed of young and moneyed ‘techpackers’. These are the people who travel with iPads, tablets and smartphones, plus a couple of credit cards for luck. They seek Wi-Fi, not marijuana. Today they’re touring about, making the most of being young, and taking it all in. However, these are the same people who, in a few years’ time, will be earning big money. They’ll be coming here with their children.

          

There are only two places on the island where people want to buy land or property. If you’re a rockstar or the dictator of a small developing nation, it’ll be on the beach. But for most of the rest of us, the call of the heights is hard to ignore. Every year our green hills mountainsides are studded with more white dots. Of course, it’s a lot cheaper to build something half way up. But the prime pinnacles are the best. They’re where everyone wants to be. Way up high, with a view like a god. There are not so many places like this; they are highly sought-after. And one of the most impressive to date is Narai Kiri.

          

Actually, it’s a little confusing, because Narai Kiri is actually two things at the same time! Let’s explain. Firstly, the group name of one ambitious group development in four locations, ‘The Narai Kiri Project’, has three different developments close together in the hills above Bophut, plus another one up at the north-eastern tip of the island at Plai Laem. Here, the development is known as ‘The Royal Holdings Project’. In Bophut, the scheme that’s the closest to the coast is ‘Hill Top Villas’. A little more elevated, and close by, is the ‘Hillside Project’. And then in prime position, with sweeping views and a panorama of almost 270 degrees is ‘Nara Kiri’ itself.

          

As a buyer, you actually have a lot of choice here. Basic land plots, with all amenities in place, are available for you to build your own holiday home, and there are further choices when you come to do this – either do-it-yourself or consult with the project manager to build on your behalf. And, as a spin-off from all of this, currently you’ll findthat quite a number of the villas which have already been built are available to buy or rent.

HEAVENLY HEIGHTS

What they all have in common, however, are the breath-taking views. And, of course, the location and scenery is what you’re attracted by. If you are looking for an outstanding place to buy, it’s so tempting to jump in and grab it. But this is where you need to dig deeper. You need to look at the contract, the maintenance, the support system in place and the services included. The smaller writing on the contract. The details. And, most happily, with The Narai Kiri Project, these are comprehensive and sound. Actually coming to live in Thailand is like chalk and cheese from a short holiday break – an utterly different experience. Even just paying your electricity bill can be a traumatic trip into uncharted territory; you can’t read the language, nor can you mail a cheque or use your credit card, as you’d normally do. People in the past have had mini breakdowns over the sudden culture shock. And that’s where Khun Pinyo comes into the story.

          

Khun Pinyo Khumprom (nicknamed Khun Yo) was born here, and his family have been here for as long as anyone can remember. This might not seem important with so many other details to think about. But you have to remember that our rapidly expanding island has attracted many Bangkok-based investors and speculators. They’ll often throw money at a project and head back home to Bangkok, leaving a not-so-well-paid manager to half-heartedly oversee things. Khun Yo is educated, mature, well-travelled, cosmopolitan, and in charge! He lives here. It’s his (and his family’s) good name on the line if things don’t run smoothly. He’s the project manager for the entire Narai Kiri Project, and it was his baby right from the start.

          

Unlike many local entrepreneurs, his aim isn’t to cut costs, get a quick turnover and move on. He delights in designing quality villa projects; it’s his passion. He works closely together with established award-winning European designers and architects and engages the services of Thai craftsmen to create a contemporary synthesis of clean, light, modern style flavoured with Thai traditional elements.

HEAVENLY HEIGHTS

And the result of all of this is that, as mentioned, you have a choice of buying a plot to build on, buying a villa that’s already been constructed, or renting one of the existing villas.

          

And this is again where the sound organisation of the whole scheme comes into play. As an owner, you need to be completely assured that your investment is being properly maintained and managed while you are away. And as someone looking to rent a top-quality villa, you need to know that you’ll have readily accessible help with all the day-today things like cleaning, reliable vehicle rental with comprehensive insurance, what excursion to go out on – even things like yacht charter are available if you need it. In fact, just about anything is possible at the Narai Kiri Project. An onsite caterer or chef for a special event? A DJ? Even Thai cooking lessons can be arranged if that’s your wish.

          

At one time, you had to make a decision whether to rent a hut with running water or go for a cheaper one without water at all. Times have changed. But some things stay the same. And one of these is that everyone loves Samui. The difference being that today you can stay here in luxury like a god – and with a view from the heavenly heights to match!

          

 Rob De Wet


 


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