Saving Pattaya Beach (and Dongtan too) - What's YOUR suggestion(s)

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Saving Pattaya Beach (and Dongtan too) - What's YOUR suggestion(s)

Post by Gaybutton »

Along with posting your own suggestions, are there any in the article you strongly agree with - or disagree with?
________________________________________________________________________________________________

Saving Pattaya Beach: Our Thai readers give suggestions on how to encourage domestic tourists to Pattaya Beach

By Adam Judd

24 August 2020

Pattaya has said several times in the past months since all restrictive Covid-19 related lock-down measures ended that they want to drive domestic tourism to the city in the absence of the roughly ten million a year foreign tourists and the estimated tens of thousands of Thai people who work and live in the city during “normal” times.

However, to do so, Pattaya is going to have to take many further actions note Facebook groups for Thai nationals like Pattaya Watchdog and Pattaya Talk.

The following is a list of suggestions to drive domestic tourists to Pattaya Beach in particular, collected from comments on both Facebook groups as well as our own Thai social media accounts.

-Legalize, at least temporarily, street parking for Pattaya Beach. The city used to have a parking lot near the beach and North Pattaya but it was shut and fenced long ago. Jomtien Beach allows street parking and thus many more people will visit there. Reducing the lanes to allow parking would not make traffic difficult as there is much less in Pattaya.

-In regards to the above suggestion, possibly set up an agreement with some of the still empty hotels on Pattaya Beach to allow free parking.

-More Shady areas and trees to sit under on the beach proper. Jomtien has many areas like this and they tend to be the most popular sections of the beach. (This is part of an already announced project to add more flora to the area.)

-Allow selling of alcohol from beach vendors like before Covid-19 and allow people to drink alcohol on the beach. Pattaya beach is reportedly still heavily enforcing the no alcohol rule so Thai’s are going to beaches such as Jomtien with more “relaxed” rules.

-Allow food vendors to sell on the sidewalks, temporarily. This will be very popular with Thai nationals and will drive them to the beach as well as make the area more lively. Jomtien Beach has many food carts and vendors but they are still constantly chased away from Pattaya Beach.

-Stop chasing away vendors. They are mostly allowed on Jomtien and other beaches but constantly chased away on Pattaya Beach. Allow lottery ticket sellers on the beach.

-Fix all the broken benches and seating areas. Add more seating areas across the beach as Thai’s like to sit and relax.

-The Pattaya City Free wi-fi rarely works. Upgrade it and highlight it. Quality free wi-fi up and down the beach will please many Thai nationals.

-Allegedly, there are many individuals involved in selling illegal items such as drugs in the area. Step up policing and get them off the beach.

-Provide better support and help for the homeless in the area.

-The beach is much cleaner in terms of the sand and regularly cleaned, however, there are still great concerns over the water. Public and regular transparent testing through a third party source, not the local government. Many Thai’s don’t swim anyways, but it would be a nice touch.

-Fix the sidewalks that were heavily damaged during the recent drainage work. (Already on the agenda, same as more flora.)

-Set up a sports area with volleyball courts and other beach activities. (This may be included with the sidewalk and more trees plan.)

-Set up an exercise area and encourage more regular zoomba and yoga classes. (Has already been proposed officially and may be part of the remodel, along with sidewalks and trees.)

-Stop kicking off street performers and musicians. They are allowed on other areas. Encourage street performers to perform on the sidewalk/boardwalk area.

-Use the rarely used speakers on Pattaya Beach to pipe in Thai music during busy times on weekends

-Advertise the beach in Thai and focus on the positive changes vs. how empty the area is.

-Reach out to bar owners in the area. Many Thais are still banned from foreign bars. They should be allowed in as long as they can pay their bills. Bar owners should advertise in Thai and provide suitable prices, music and an environment for Thai customers.

-Return to holding street markets and festivals on Pattaya Beach (Pattaya City is exploring a fireworks festival and music festival already this year, as well as an Indian Diwali festival.)

-Hold a seafood festival like Phuket recently did on Pattaya Beach

-Have free public restrooms. (Pattaya City is discussing underground restrooms that will be free on Pattaya Beach.)

The Pattaya News notes these are reader suggestions and not our own. What do our English readers think? Remember these are primarily ideas to drive THAI nationals to the beach, not allow back in foreign tourists or open borders but to provide the city with more visitors during the current Covid-19 pandemic.

https://thepattayanews.com/2020/08/24/s ... aya-beach/

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Re: Saving Pattaya Beach (and Dongtan too) - What's YOUR suggestion(s)

Post by Daleinpattaya »

I am amazed to see the following statement ...."Many Thais are still banned from foreign bars. They should be allowed in as long as they can pay their bills." YIKES ... Are there really bars in Pattaya that ban Thais??

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Re: Saving Pattaya Beach (and Dongtan too) - What's YOUR suggestion(s)

Post by Gaybutton »

Daleinpattaya wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 12:17 pm
Are there really bars in Pattaya that ban Thais??
I've never heard of any. Why would bars ban paying customers? Seems like made up nonsense to me.

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Re: Saving Pattaya Beach (and Dongtan too) - What's YOUR suggestion(s)

Post by Jun »

Most of the customers on the beach have been non-Thai. So the first thing to do to save the beach would be to allow tourists back into the country, under reasonable conditions. e.g. No restrictions on entry from countries with low covid infection rates. Increase restrictions for riskier countries. Make longer term tourist visas easy to get.

Ideas like piping in music are one way to kill off beach activity. Not everyone has the same taste in music and many like it quiet, for reading, chatting or just resting. For those who want music, well they just need a smartphone and earbuds. That's what the younger people use these days anyway.

Chasing away vendors is also good for business. Some prefer not to be harassed by vendors selling everything from squeaky toys to thick heavy blankets and even fake ED drugs. I've just learnt to totally ignore them, so they go away more quickly.

Allowing the beach to open 7 days a week is a good idea.

Whether the toilets are free doesn't matter much. What they do need is plumbing that doesn't leak and effective cleaning. So whoever is in charge needs a boot up the butt to get it sorted. Underground toilets would be pointless, prone to flooding and probably lacking ventilation. I've seen them in some European cities and they are rarely satisfactory.

Faster transport to get to the beach would help. Also, make sure there are pleasant walking routes with pavements at the side of the road in all locations.

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Re: Saving Pattaya Beach (and Dongtan too) - What's YOUR suggestion(s)

Post by Gaybutton »

Jun wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:13 pm
Ideas like piping in music are one way to kill off beach activity.
I agree. I don't want someone else's choice of music imposed on me. I don't want music imposed on me at all. Bad idea.

One thing I have not seen as a suggestion is dealing with the traffic problem. While reduced tourist numbers means less traffic, on holidays or whenever something is going on in Pattaya that attracts large numbers of domestic tourists, there is still the massive traffic jam problem. Thousands end up trapped in traffic jams for hours, sometimes the entire day. And even those who make it to the beach - it doesn't take long to run out of anywhere to park.

If they can come up with ways to effectively deal with that problem, I believe there would be much more domestic tourism in Pattaya. It doesn't take a high IQ to figure out that if you want to attract large tourist numbers, you need to come up with ways to conveniently and painlessly get them here - along with getting them back where they came from.

As long as I've lived here, you know what I've seen the city do that actually significantly helps reduce the traffic problems? Nothing.

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Re: Saving Pattaya Beach (and Dongtan too) - What's YOUR suggestion(s)

Post by ceejay »

In the short term, making an arrangement with hotels to use their currently redundant parking is sensible.

Allowing parking on Beach Road is not. The last time I was there it was, Lord knows, difficult enough to cross Beach Road on foot. Having a solid wall of parked cars there would make it lethal.

In the long term - build car parks on the edges of the city. Arrange reasonably priced public transport from there into town. Make the whole area from Dolphin Circle in the North to Bali Hai pier in the South and from Sukhumvit Road in the East to the sea a pedestrian zone with only residents and essential commercial traffic allowed inside. Ban tour buses, when they return from spending more than 15 minutes in the zone when they pick up their passengers from hotels.

Much larger cities in Europe have done it so is it possible? Yes.
Will it, or anything like it, happen? No.

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Re: Saving Pattaya Beach (and Dongtan too) - What's YOUR suggestion(s)

Post by Up2u »

Jun wrote:
Wed Aug 26, 2020 3:13 pm
Most of the customers on the beach have been non-Thai. So the first thing to do to save the beach would be to allow tourists back into the country
I understand and favor many of your comments but the article was talking about domestic tourism. There are not enough foreigners (expats) for beach vendors to survive and none for the foreseeable future. I detest loud music (especially at the beach) but Thais have no problem with someone creating a nuisance with a boom box. Thais love the convenience of vendors but I find them a minor distraction and shoo them away. Generally Thais don't favor walking so I understand why they want to park their vehicles and mb's by the beach but at Dongtan Beach I appreciate the car and motorbike ban where people are walking for exercise. The Jomtien Beach hour restrictions have been relaxed so seven days makes sense but I still don't go to the beach simply because the free wifi has been removed. I told my regular beach chair vendor, no wifi then no me. Supposedly it was to discourage socializing and long visits. Free, proper, sanitary, bathroom facilities sounds like a welcome addition to Pattaya Beach but why underground (as suggested) is unnecessary and costly.

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Re: Saving Pattaya Beach (and Dongtan too) - What's YOUR suggestion(s)

Post by Jun »

Ceejay nailed it.

I wonder how far it's possible to "save the beach" with domestic tourism ? There's the underlying cultural issue that brown skin is seen as undesirable in Thailand and much of Asia, hence I would think Thais are not going to want to spend much time on the beach. They might go there for a novelty, but I doubt they would visit several times a week, like many farang do.

As for Thais not wanting to walk, well it's about time the government started encouraging people to walk. Whilst obesity isn't yet at the levels seen in the US or UK, there are still too many fatties who can only complete the shortest of journeys on wheeled transport.

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Re: Saving Pattaya Beach (and Dongtan too) - What's YOUR suggestion(s)

Post by Gaybutton »

160 million baht Pattaya beach renovation to be started at the end of this year

By GoongNang(GN)

10 September 2020

A scheduled major Pattaya beach renovation is expected to be started at the end of this year with a 160 million baht budget. The renovation will consist of repaired and renewed footpaths, more green zones, more parking areas and underground toilets.

Pattaya City Mayor Sonthaya Khunpluem told The Pattaya News, “Pattaya City has received a 160 million baht budget for a complete Pattaya beach renovation. We need to make as many green zones as possible to attract more Thai tourists. This includes more trees, flowers, exercise parks, playgrounds and shady areas.

“This is one of our most important projects which has to be quickly done. We have to be ready for the upcoming tourists in the future as well as maximize domestic tourism at this current time.”

“The footpaths will be completely renovated including adding walkways for disabled people and the elderly. The underground toilet project will follow all structure laws and include disabled toilets.”

“The Pattaya Beach renovation project is expected to be started at the end of this year. We will also be finalizing a regular parking plan after many requests from residents.”

https://thepattayanews.com/2020/09/10/1 ... this-year/

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Re: Saving Pattaya Beach (and Dongtan too) - What's YOUR suggestion(s)

Post by Jun »

The Pattaya News wrote:
Fri Sep 11, 2020 6:51 am
A scheduled major Pattaya beach renovation is expected to be started at the end of this year with a 160 million baht budget. The renovation will consist of repaired and renewed footpaths, more green zones, more parking areas and underground toilets.
LESS parking areas is what they need. Encourage people to arrive via train and monorail & start discouraging polluting traffic.

Underground toilets will be horrible. They are not a great success in Europe. If they are subject to the sloppy build quality and poor maintenance like the facilities on Dongtan beach, it will be even worse. These places need drainage, ventilation & proper cleaning.

Of course, if it's built and maintained like some of the better Thai shopping centres, no problem. I just doubt we will see that from the public sector.

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