It wasn’t long ago that the east coast of Phuket didn’t even get a second glance. It was considered by many to be too remote, too dull and too boring. However, recently it has been discovered by property buyers who would rather it remained a secret.
The west coast has always been the preferred destination in Phuket with its idyllic sandy beaches, quaint seaside towns and villages and a good mix of top quality restaurants.
Since the late eighties, when the island started to develop as a tourist destination, luxury hotels, boutique resorts and plenty of apartments and villas have sprung up on the west coast. Making it popular but perhaps a little over-crowded.
Towns such as Patong and Kata have become so popular that in high season you can’t walk down the street without being asked to buy a suit, stroke an Iguana or buy some sort of crazy gadget. Beaches are littered with sun-loungers as tourist clamber to catch enough rays before they go home.
If you like that sort of thing then the west coast is for you – but if you seek peace and quiet away from your busy day-to-day life you should take a look at the east coast.
For a start it’s less crowded – in fact it’s hardly crowded at all.
With only a handful of hotels and resorts, the east coast hosts far less holidaymakers. East coast resorts favour spa breaks, wellness retreats and relaxation; discos, jet skis and tailors shops would most definitely be out of place here.
What’s more, the east coast boasts the best views on Phuket. The islands and limestone karsts of Phang Nga Bay rise up from the ocean and as the sun sets the sky is filled with orange hues. Fishing boats meander across the waters and yachts return to their marinas for the evening.
If you enjoy boating, the east coast offers something that the west never can – marinas. Any expert will tell you that the west coast is far too choppy in the summer season to safely moor boats.
Yes, the east coast with its calm tranquil waters is ideal for boating. Phang Nga Bay is a playground for all to enjoy;it has a myriad of awe-inspiring islands, caves and deserted beaches to explore.
If you are looking to get away from everything -you should take a trip to a deserted island, and spend the day on the beach collecting shells, snorkeling or simply relaxing on the sand.
If you are lucky enough to own a boat you have a wide choice of moorings; Royal Phuket Marina with it’s up-market retail shops and restaurants, Boat Lagoon, Yacht Haven or the newest and for many the most attractive – Ao Por Grand Marina.
If you play Golf – it’s on your doorstep too.
Mission Hills, a superb Jack Nicklaus designed links course with a fabulous clubhouse, is located right on the east coast. A short twenty minute drive takes you to several other courses on the island including The Blue Canyon, which has hosted the Johnnie Walker Classic twice, and Loch Palm located in the centre of the island.
With property prices on the east coast being far less than on the west – it makes sense to consider the east for longer term living.
When you compare prices, you’ll be paying around 80,000 Baht per square metre on the east coast, whilst a west coast property of the same quality will cost you in excess of 140,000 Baht per square metre – a 75 percent difference!
There are also some superb properties available; The Bay at Cape Yamu is one of the finest examples of modern architecture to be found in Phuket.
Waterfront villas are literally 30 metres from the shoreline and come with a price tag of just 45,000,000 Baht for a 792m2 villa – try finding that anywhere on the west coast.
The neighbouring development at Baan Yamu is managed by the top five star resort Twin Palms. It offers a great range of apartments, penthouses and villas with prices starting from as little as 12,830,000 Baht – a fraction of the cost of a west coast equivalent.
The east coast is developing at a steady pace. Developers are not clambering over each other to build lots of boring apartments and over priced villas on small plots. They are building carefully planned, high quality developments.
Villas have privacy, spacious interiors and dramatic views. Condos are large and functional for longer holidays and even more permanent living.
The east coast has a certain charm. The locals enjoy a traditional way of life; fishing and rubber farming. It doesn’t have sexy beach bars, tourist hotels or parasailing…but it also has something that few places on the west coast can offer – peace and quiet.