Connect with us


Across the Land: The persistent growing pains of Phuket



PHUKET: Last month, MasterCard Asia Pacific Destinations Index 2015 announced that Thailand is the most popular regional travel destination for 2015, with three of its cities making the top ten list. Bangkok was the most popular, followed by Phuket in fifth place and Pattaya in eighth.

The survey was based on 167 destinations from 22 countries across Asia Pacific and represented 90.1 per cent of all international overnight arrivals in the region. The Airport Authority of Thailand (AoT) also saw a 21.3 per cent growth in passenger traffic for 2015 through its six main airports. The AoT expects this growth to continue through 2016.

With the much awaited Phuket airport expansion, due to be completed in March 2016, effectively doubling its annual capacity from 6.5 million to 12.5 million passengers, 2016 will no doubt be another busy year for Phuket. The roadworks infrastructure development currently being undertaken throughout the island is unfortunately growing at a much slower pace. With ongoing roadworks cutting right across the heart of the island, along with road closures and traffic diversions, Phuket remains mired in traffic chaos. No doubt, the island needs all these developments in infrastructure to support its growth, but it’s proving to be a slow and painful process.

Residents and tourists alike are spending more time travelling around the island, and a trip to the airport must now be planned carefully in advance, or the result will surely be a missed flight. This inconvenience to Phuket’s residents and visitors is increasingly being likened to the infamous traffic jams in Bangkok. However, Bangkok now has an integrated mass transit system comprised of the Bangkok Transport System (BTS) and Mass Rapid Train (MRT) which alleviates the problem to a certain extent. Phuket, on the other hand, will have to wait for another ten years at the very least, for the proposed light rail system to become a reality.

In view of the current situation and the future construction of infrastructure around the island, property buyers must be very careful about the location in which they are looking to buy a property. Certain locations around the island could see years of construction ahead, especially if the light rail system comes to pass, which would mean more traffic jams, road diversions and flooding. This eventually will make selling a property in those locations harder and owners would end up having to offer large discounts on the property just to dispose of it.

The same can be said of long term residents who must now seriously consider moving or renting properties closer to schools or work places rather than endure the long drive time between home, school and work. Rental properties closer to schools may now fetch a higher rental income due to increased demand from parents looking to relocate. With the next new school term starting in April 2016, for many parents the hunt for a new rental property is beginning.

Amy Koh is the sales manager of Engel & Voelkers Phuket. To contact Amy, or for more information, visit

— Amy Koh


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand22 mins ago

Thai man faces prison for growing & selling corals online

Crime56 mins ago

‘Real owner’ of Mountain B nightclub released on bail for 1 million baht cash

South1 hour ago

UPDATE: 21 year old man found dead after Deep South bombing

Sponsored1 day ago

Super luxury villas in Phuket with breathtaking ocean views

Cannabis1 hour ago

Thai govt open to cannabis recreation, not pot-smoking tourists

Thailand2 hours ago

Tourists travelling for pot-smoking not welcome in Thailand | GMT

Press Room2 hours ago

School’s In, Face-To-Face Learning Shifts to the Home

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Destination Guide17 hours ago

Best areas to live in Phuket (2022)

Video18 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Fears of shenanigans in Mountain B Pub fire investigation

Travel18 hours ago

5 vineyards and wineries in Thailand all wine lovers should know

Thailand18 hours ago

Thai neitzens angry at SUV driver using a siren just to use toilet

Thailand18 hours ago

New poll says people from Thailand more relaxed about Covid-19

Thailand19 hours ago

Rama 2 Road guilty of being a repeat accident offender

Thailand20 hours ago

Body of one teacher found in double suicide pact in SE Thailand

Thailand21 hours ago

Son who tried to starve mother to death dies of TB in NE Thailand

Crime22 hours ago

Mystery 911 emergency service call turns out to be a monkey

Thailand11 months ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism1 year ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand1 year ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism1 year ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11