It has happened all over the world; a quiet area of outstanding natural beauty is discovered by backpackers, written about in travel guides, eulogised over on the internet as a paradise; and then in move the developers. Often in these beauty spots there are few established ground rules for building and in the rush for profit, the initial draw that attracted people is destroyed by untrammelled property development.

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Sadly in Thailand, the results of unrestricted property development can be seen in many places with parts of Phuket and Samui providing excellent examples of how unrestricted development can kill the goose that laid the golden egg.  Thankfully in Koh Chang, property development was already subject to stringent restrictions before it became a popular destination.

Koh Chang, Thailand’s second largest island, sits just off the coast of Thailand’s eastern seaboard and within easy reach of Bangkok. Lying in the clear calm waters of the Gulf, Koh Chang is the major island of the Mu Koh Chang archipelago; a group of over 60 islands characterised by golden sandy beaches and lush tropical forest. The very idyll of a tropical holiday paradise.

Thankfully it will remain so in the coming decades – rather than fall victim to the unrestrained property development seen elsewhere because of rigorous building restrictions enforced by the Thai authorities in time before the boom started at Koh Chang.

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The main brake on limitless Koh Chang property development is ordinances that protect the majority of the island as National Park. Over 80% of the island has been designated as enjoying the protection of legislation including the 1961 National Park Act, the 1991 Wildlife Preservation and Protection Act, various forestry and fishery laws, as well as the 1992 Environment Act.

At least as far as Koh Chang is concerned, the rules and regulations of these laws are strictly applied, meaning quite simply that the vast majority of island land is simply unavailable for development of any kind and virtually any Koh Chang property development that is permitted must take place on a thin strip of land on the coastline.


Of course, an island can still be spoilt even if development is only restricted to the beach. Unsightly high rise blocks and dense clusters of bungalow fronting the beach are a common feature of overdeveloped resort destinations. However, Koh Chang imposes some of the tightest building controls in Thailand. For a start, no building over three storeys is permitted anywhere on the island which totally removes the threat of unsightly towers and eliminates height completion between developers fighting to be able to offer a sea view.

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In addition, there are further restrictions in relation to a Koh Chang property’s position and the beach line. No construction at all is permitted within 20 metres of the beach line and between 20 and 50 metres from the beach, only one storey buildings are allowed. This ensures that every beach development is low level and low density.

The meticulous enforcement of local building regulations, in addition to the severe property development restrictions arising for National Park status, have ensured that despite its rapidly growing  popularity as a tourist destination, Koh Chang is an island that has retained it outstanding natural beauty.

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Siam Royal View is the premier Koh Chang property developer and offers a range of beach villas, condominiums and other real estate. As a company we strongly support all legislation to ensure that all Koh Chang property development is environmentally sustainable.