April 18, 2021 In buying, dreams

Aemilius Cupero News: Wai not: Thai net dreams of buying island paradise shattered by scam reality

Aemilius Cupero News:

For a few hours, thousands of minds had left their troubles and the glum pandemic reality behind for a sunny future as owners of a lush, exotic island.

At least until national park officials last night crushed those dreams in a statement dismissing the purported sale of a gulf island as a likely social media scam – but only after thousands said they would pool funds to buy it together.

Mu Ko Chang National Park officials announced last night that the nearly 48 hectares of land advertised as “family land” for sale on Koh Wai (only THB350 million! or US$11 million) is all protected national park but for a small piece belonging to the Koh Waii Paradise Resort, one of at least three places on the tiny island. 

In other words: not for sale. The resort, which has been there 30 years, quickly said it had nothing to do with the attempted “sale,” which featured photos of the resort taken from Google maps.

Island fever started Tuesday when Facebooker Minky Arisara posted about her desire to sell private family land on Koh Wai, which is 45 minutes from Trat’s port and likens itself to the regional Maldives. She claimed that 70 bungalows and fresh water ponds were included with the sale, with most of the land being beachfront property. 

Soon, the internet was rallied to pitch in to buy the island together: On a virtual marketplace for Thammasat University alums, Facebook user Sand Ramanwong suggested that 100,000 people chip in THB3,500 each to buy the land and share ownership. Thousands expressed interest in joining.

It even inspired Michael Punpisut, who identifies himself on social media as a pilot academy trainer, to do a fly-by and take aerial photos of the island for interested investors.

While Minky never said explicitly that Koh Waii Paradise Resort belonged to her family, the implication was clear to many. Now the resort has responded by doing what every marginally embarrassed organization does – threaten to sue, according to park officials.

“Lastly, the information on Facebook for the land sale is totally not true,” the resort said in a statement signaling its intent to take unspecified legal action.

And with that, a brief but bright dream faded. The original post was deleted, and Minky Arisara has apologized for her “mistake.” She insists her family does own property there, but now says it only consists of farmland.

“I apologize for my unintentional misinformation. I didn’t expect such huge interest and the enormous sharing of the announcement,” she wrote.  

Koh Wai is one of 43 gulf islands comprising the Mu Ko Chang National Park in Trat province. It is known for its white beaches and clear waters, as well as an abundance of coral reefs. 

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