Inspire Special Reporting from Russia
Pattaya represents that paradise not found in Russia
In Russia you have, like with most countries, the rich and the poor. The super rich are living a life some of us can only dream of with their flash expensive apartments in Moscow but for the vast majority living in Russia they earn very little and live in a small apartment often with two generations of family.
The average salary in Russia is 20,000 baht but in smaller towns and villages, for which there are many – especially in Siberia that represents 77% of the Russian territory – the salaries can be far lower.
What is it with Pattaya?
This Inspire reporter is currently on vacation in Russia and is privileged to get to visit both Western and Eastern regions from Moscow to the more isolated regions in Siberia; one such town was a 12 hour drive from the nearest airport. Speaking to Russians and asking not only why do they visit Pattaya but also go on to buy the response has been fairly consistent.
Pattaya as a resort is near get to, and unlike Egypt and Turkey, it is hot all year through. It is also very good value and therefore not expensive. For many of the poorer Russians that visit Pattaya it is like nothing they have experienced before; those seasoned expat may not wish to swim in the sea on Pattaya Beach Road as it looks a little dirty – but to many Russians where they have icy cold lakes – this beach is paradise.
Why they buy Property in Pattaya?
Pattaya becomes somewhat of a holy grail to many Russians and the idea of buying into this paradise with a condo – that is very low in price – is a major achievement, and one that they can gloat with others that they own a property abroad which holds high status. To own an apartment abroad, irrespective of size of quality, makes them feel very proud.
Do other Areas represent competition to Pattaya?
If you look at Thailand then the answer, in the main, is no. Phuket and Krabi, for example, is too expensive. If Cambodia or other beach locations in the region can get the message out to Russians that they have beaches, great weather and good prices then they could very well become future destinations for the Russian masses.