Everywhere I look in Pattaya I am seeing positive development and it is making for a very desirable tourist location. I am genuinely very impressed with the changes.
Don’t get me wrong I enjoyed the lad environment when I first started coming to Pattaya over a decade ago but firstly, it gets boring after a few years and secondly, I now have a family. I needed to move on, and in fairness so did Pattaya. And it has.
The issue for many of us is due to the tourist dynamic shift, namely the sheer volume of Chinese visitors. I have to admit it bothered me and was a factor, along with a couple of other things, that convinced me I was now a minority and I was better off going elsewhere.
But I am changing my tune. I think it is quite possible to still live in Pattaya away from the Chinese invasion. There are certainly lots of coaches on the road but City Hall has managed this quite well in fairness to them.
- Infrastructure – In terms of infrastructure first we had the underpass built on the Sukhumvit Road and next, we will have the soon to be opened Map Ta Phut bypass from highway 7 to Na Jomtien. This will make a big difference with traffic.
- Shopping – Terminal 21 shopping centre is a positive inclusion to the landscape in Naklua and absolutely tourist-centric. For me as an Expat, unless I am eating, I would still choose the Central Festival shopping centre. But, the dynamics of shopping are changing and moving online so shopping centres are more akin to experience and visitors these days in Thailand anyway. So it is a big thumbs up for Terminal 1 arriving in Pattaya.
- Overhead cables being removed – Pattaya Klang no longer has ugly cables that have all been moved underground, it will be a matter of time before the rest of the town follows suit.
- Beaches and Promenades – I have never been a fan of the beaches in and around Pattaya, but now that has changed. Pattaya beach is wider and the promenade is lovely. In Pratamumank from Pratamank Soi 5, along Dong Tarn beach and to Jomtien both the promenade walk and beaches look great. I would still never swim in the sea as it looks dirty and I don’t like walking on the mud base, but we cannot have everything.
- Good guys in, bad guys out – Immigrations strapline is well known in expat circles, but I think it is working. I want to live in an area with my family where it is safer and has fewer expat alcoholics. I think there has been an improvement over the years. If we can clean the bar scene up I think it goes hand in hand with reducing the bad foreign and Thais that tend to be associated. Pattaya has some cracking, very decent bars and restaurants now – much better than the ageing beer bar set up we had before.
If you are looking to retire somewhere nice, you need to look at Pattaya
Previously if anyone said they wanted to live in a decent area in Thailand, didn’t like sitting in bars and they had a nice retirement income behind them I would not recommend Pattaya. But I would now.
Hats off to Pattaya, it is reinventing itself and doing all it can to be fit for purpose as a seaside resort and ensure its future survival as a destination.