Pattaya Daily News

15 February 2010 :: 13:02:03 pm 13308

Readers Observations: Pattaya’s Roadwork’s in Review

Pattaya is too in your face for a shy man such as your reporter; Its claim to fame or more correctly, notoriety is based on the sex trade. Having its origins as a major Rest and Recreation base for the American forces during the Vietnam War.
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Beer bars with raucous girls screaming for you to join them in the bar, assault ones’ ears from every soi (road) and even in Walking Street, which is a popular street where tourists can ogle Asian girls of all descriptions and Eastern European tarts dancing in windows. Amsterdam this is not; these girls are not regulated and therefore, their health is somewhat questionable. The cries of the girls put me in mind of a Dickensian picture wherein London doxies (prostitutes) would accost their would be clients with the refrain ‘ allo dearie want a good time’. This has to be said with a London Cockney accent to get its full garishness.

Hope is on the way according to a local newspaper; any bar found to be encouraging the sex trade by the practice of  letting customers take off the girls by paying a bar fine will be closed down. However, given that this would leave Pattaya with just hotels, restaurants and 7-Eleven convenience stores, this will not happen. Additionally, the unholy alliance of the Russian and Thai Mafiosi plus the usual vested interests will ensure nothing happens to upset their profitable way of life. Closing the bars and eliminating the sex tourism will certainly alleviate the chronic traffic congestion and pollution of the local beach and coastal sea.

Having decided that Pattaya was not the place to be, I venture to Jomtien, which although still part of Pattaya City is reputed to be somewhat more salubrious. The way to Jomtien is via Thappraya Road and to paraphrase a well known footballing term, it is a road of two halves, climbing and descending a hill. However, the gradient is not the only difference. The upward journey is on a newly constructed six lane road, quite smooth by Thai standards. Unfortunately, it does lack any form of pedestrian crossing. How one is supposed to walk along or cross this road is a mystery. The downward part of the road is still under construction and the local inhabitants tell me that this has been the case for at least three years. When one realises that the contracts for its construction were given to seven different contractors, then it is not surprising that it has taken this long. This is Thailand after all and everyone involved needs a piece of the cake. Again, there are no pedestrian crossings or side walks on this stretch.

OK, I reminded myself this is Asia and things tend to move more slowly than in the West. Things could only improve I surmised when we reach the bottom of the hill. How wrong could I be. After the junction with the major Theppasit Road the road surface had not been altered, but  the side walks certainly have. Not so much as altered as destroyed. The surface had been smashed to expose an open sewer, forcing pedestrians to walk in the road and enjoy the  smell of stagnant green slimy water and the great pastime of motor cycle dodging. It is not for nothing that Thailand has more motorcycle accidents than all of  the EU countries combined. Needless to say,  from Pattaya to the Beach Road at Jomtien there is not one pedestrian crossing or gantry.  I am told there are very good hospitals nearby, which is a blessing.

 

Although, I had only a small camera I had to take some pictures of the sewer as no one back home would have believed this of “Amazing Thailand”. There was one digger in evidence but if you look closely at the picture you will notice that its cab is empty. The residents of Jomtien must be a patient lot or perhaps they are just resigned to accepting civil engineering that would have put the Romans let alone the Victorians to shame.

In the spirit off fairness I should point out that the beach at Jomtien is superior to Pattaya proper and the sea, although still polluted, is less so. The restaurants are first rate and not over priced.  Fear not, the beer bars are here as well, for those so inclined to visit such establishments.

Pattaya is certainly not a family holiday destination. I am sure there are good family orientated  destinations in  Thailand, which I will endeavour to report on next.

Reporter + Photographer – Anonymous Reader

Category : Editorial

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