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Published: July 20th 2007
Hola from Houston!
Ah, the joys of international travel! I’m currently stuck in Houston for two days after a long trek back from Thailand. The 19 hours of flying from Bangkok to New York wasn’t so bad actually, but the nine hours on the plane to get from New York to Houston was pure pain! Besides the crying kids behind me on the plane, we were several hours late leaving New York, got diverted to Lafayette, Louisiana for hours, and then we were kept waiting on the tarmac in Houston for a long while before finally being allowed to deplane. Of course, I missed ALL of the connecting flights to San Jose and hence, I’m now stuck in Houston until Saturday when there is finally another flight that is not overbooked to Costa Rica (and I thought it was the low season in CR now!). From now on, I’m sticking with direct flights even if I have spend more money. Then again, maybe I’ll just stay in Costa Rica and never leave!
The whole travel experience was worth the trouble as I very much enjoyed visiting Thailand again after not having been there in some ten
years. My colleague Mike and I went there to start setting up Boomers in Thailand, our new tour company which will be very similar to the company we have in Costa Rica, Boomers in Costa Rica (www.boomersincostarica.com). I’ve been to Thailand for business many times in previous careers but until the past two weeks, had never really looked at the country for my own businesses, particularly real estate and tours.
We spent days learning about the ins and outs of retiring to Thailand, meeting many expats, meeting with Thailand’s “retirement and real estate experts,” interviewing possible tour guides, and working with our joint venture partner to identify the most appropriate areas for tours and real estate opportunities (no, I’m not leaving Costa Rica in case you thought I might be!).
One of the first things you notice about Thailand, particularly the Pattaya area (1.5 hours south of Bangkok), is the heat! Yes, it’s much hotter in Thailand and it is very noticeable compared to the near perfect climate of San Ramon. However, the outdoor sports, beaches and the food make it a great place to consider. We focused on Pattaya first as it has been a haven for
expats for years and offers enough to diversity in terms of things to do and housing to make it a possible appropriate area for a tour.
We were impressed with the quality of real estate in Thailand as the construction seemed better than I would have expected—and the prices were reasonable. The people here are proud of their work and take great pride in doing thing right. While proud, I did find it odd that most of the real estate agents and developers we met did not want me to taking pictures of the homes being built—or completed homes—which I found to be a bit odd. I did, though, get to take a few pictures as I couldn’t leave Thailand without having some real estate pictures.
We did have a little free time and Mike and I scooted around on our small motorcycles all over the southeastern coast. Riding bikes here, particularly in the city and worse, on the highway, is not for the faint of heart! While the bikes were not terribly powerful, had big tires, and sat low to the ground, I never felt 100% safe on Thai roads as the drivers are worse than those
in Thailand. Exhaust fumes only add to the experience as did the downpours of rain which only seemed to occur when we were on the road and not near shelter!
One day we did something I have done in years: visited a Go-kart track, as Mike’s uncle, who lives here, wanted to do it. I’m not up to speed on the regulations for go-kart tracks in the U.S., but I am quite sure this facility would never be able to comply with U.S. laws! Our go-karts were super fast and the helmets they gave us were clearly not going to protect us. We did it anyways and survived—I just slowed down around hairpin turns!
Things moving along in San Ramon….
It has been terrific to see the roads starting to go in at our 18-lot development in the Magallanes section of San Ramon (http://www.crcommunities.com/properties/prop.php?currdevid=0&currpropid=1). It’s been a long time coming but the work is on track and we’re excited that after a very short time, the project is almost sold out and home construction will start before long. I’ve included here a few pictures of the work with much more soon.
I’m sure after I get
back to Costa Rica I’ll have more to write, but right now I’m going to make sure I really am on Saturday’s flight home!
Thanks for reading and for your comments.
www.CRCommunities.com (real estate and more!)
www.BoomersInCostaRica.com (4-day/3 night relocation/retirement/real estate tour!)
www.CostaRicaRealEstate.typepad.com (Boomers’ Real Estate & More Blog!)
www.AngelValleyFarmBandB.com (the B&B!)
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