Pattaya Daily News

07 November 2008 :: 22:11:32 pm 2011

What You – Our Readers – Think of Pattaya

What follows is a representative sample of what you, the readers, think about the present state of Pattaya, and especially the attempt by the Mayor of Pattaya to downplay the level of violence and lawlessness on the streets of the city.
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Pattaya’s problem is not politics; the problem lies in Pattaya itself: too many people are ripping the tourists off, all over Pattaya. The world is getting smaller; therefore news is getting around quicker, especially with the Internet. People will go elsewhere. Another one of my friends was robbed in Pattaya 2 days ago, gold was snatched from around her neck. The place is going downhill rapidly.  

As is always the case with negative news in Thailand, the City Council is focusing on the image, not the problems. You can promote whatever image you want, until doomsday, but it will not change the facts. The fact is and remains that Pattaya is seen as the sex capital of the world. Be it justified or not.
  
The crime rate is staggering. You get shootings in broad daylight in highly populated places, and the police catch no one. Tourists and residents alike are forced to catch the criminals themselves.
Pattaya has become a very unsafe city, where a tourist cannot rely on the police for help. Influential persons run businesses cheating the customers, and their connections to the police (many times they are the police), mean the customer has no chance of getting justice.
  
  

It is true that in every tourist town, there are people who try to rip others off. However in Thailand, there is not the least bit of effort to weed this out. Tourists are seen as nothing more than walking ATMs.

This is evident in any news related to tourism. They are always referred to lost or gained revenue.Tourists hate to get ripped off. Wouldn’t you? It’s not that they can’t afford to pay, it’s the principle.

I sincerely hope that this and the upcoming high seasons will be a total failure. 

Thai people need to learn once again to treat tourists and foreigners alike, with respect and genuine care. The only way to make Thai people even consider this is money; in this case dwindling tourism revenues. 

I’m not very hopeful though. Thais have an amazing ability to blame everyone and everything else, except themselves for their problems. 

Looking at the sharp decline in tourism, it seems my wish is coming true. Let’s see if the Thai people will actually change their attitudes. If they don’t, the tourists may very well just never return in the usual numbers anymore. 

Pattaya will always be a place to come and party, like no other place in the world. I have seen the change in the last 4 years I have been coming there, and call Pattaya my second home.Just as it is in any city around the world, crime is everywhere, and if you go to a tourist city, that is what you get. 

People trying to make a dollar to live and eat. I live in New York, and have been working in the Middle East for the last 4 years. When I go to Pattaya, I stay in my condo and still love it there.   

Yes, it does need a lot of cleaning up. They need green parks, other outdoor attractions to keep you out of the bars 24 hours a day. The bars and discos will always make money and get business. But this gives the locals who live there a better life and a chance to do other work than just work in the bars, discos and at vending jobs.
Thailand is a very beautiful country and I’ve been to a lot of cities and the countryside in Thailand, the people are not the same all over.Pattaya will get better in the years to come, like everything else in life, it just takes time. Don’t give up.

The mayor of Pattaya along with the City Council need to be looking at this article and the responses it has gotten. 

While I’m not sure I agree with all of the suggestions here, and others may not have agreed with things I’ve written earlier on, one thing is for sure, and that is there is some really good and valuable input here. 

It seems the City Council, based upon the article above, is more focused on trying to promote tourism and is neglecting the reasons that tourism is falling off. These were their proposals: 

1. advise the media to focus on positive rather than negative aspects;
2. tell readers that Pattaya has remained untouched by events in Bangkok;
3. explain that there are no problems travelling from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya;
4. write letters to all the tour agencies to assure them that Pattaya has no problem, and it still safe to travel here;
5. encourage local tourists, especially from Bangkok;
6. spend 5 million baht on events such as Loygratong, and the Christmas and New Year count down. 

These suggestions don’t address the real problems. The City Council needs to take into consideration the tourist and local business owners’ input, for these people “are the lifeblood” of Pattaya. I’m afraid though that some of the City Council members may not want to address the “real” issues, as if they do, they will be “opening Pandora’s box” and finding even more serious problems. 

Another huge problem that is lurking around Pattaya is when a customer in a bar has a problem with the price of a beer the bouncers beat the living crap out of the guy! Those bouncers have the power to hold the guy until the police arrive, to settle the matter in a proper manner, but they resort to violence, which in turn makes all the bars look bad and reduces business for all. 

My suggestion is to permanently close down those bars and hold the owners, and bouncers legally responsible. 

Here is my 5 cents’ worth on how to get the tourists back to Pattaya: 

 1. the crime in Pattaya is now unbelievable – stop the gangs and the shootings.
2. Stop the double-price systems in national parks, discos, shops and taxis.
3. Kick out the Russians, Ukrainians – most of them are prostitutes or Mafia anyway.
4. Don’t restrict the opening hours of bars, discos or shops.
5. Don’t harass the freelancer girls or vendors at the beach – the tourists love them.
6. Close down Walking Street. ALL of those bars, discos, restaurants are rip-off-joints.
7. Arrest and deport the foreign (Russian, Ukrainian, Polish) prostitutes.
8. Outlaw ALL big motor bikes over 150 cc – way too many accidents.
9. Ban water scooters and fast motor boats – they kill too many people.
10. Get tough with hooligans – Minimum 5 years in jail for starting a fight.
11. No motor bike hire for tourists – they can use taxis or buses.
12. Respect religions – Muslims who drink alcohol or go with prostitutes should be jailed.
13. Impose a maximum age for bar girls – appr. 30 years.

PATTAYA, DRUNK SWEDE KILLS ONE THAI BANANA BOAT PASSENGER AND INJURES ANOTHER.

Thai officials love a good meeting and free lunch. Who cares if nothing is achieved? At least they were there.

My friend was just in Pattaya and he was robbed and lost 20,000 baht. Might be an idea to crack down on the criminals for a start.

Most of the locals I speak to don’t know what is happening with the global economy or if they do, they don’t think it will effect Thailand. They are living in a dream world. I expect 2009 is going to be a very interesting year for Thailand, exports will be very hard hit and tourist numbers will continue to fall.

Let’s hope the Thai baht depreciates (a lot) in value.

The reason why there are fewer tourists has a lot to do with the crime situation in Pattaya. I was recently robbed in a bar in Soi 6. The management just laughed me off, and said they had friends in the police. I waited for an hour and no police came. (From Soi 6 to Soi 9 is not far.)

So the bar owners pay-off the police, steal customers’ money and everyone is happy? I was also witness to a drive-by jewelry theft in Soi Buakhao.

A tourist had a gold chain and pendant stolen, value 150,000 baht. Again, the police never came.

I was only in Pattaya for 3 days. If known thieves and clip-joints can operate with impunity, people should know about it. City authorities want people to lie and say nice things about Pattaya.  

But shouldn’t they first try to get the police to do their job? My expectations are not high. I will not be going back to Pattaya, and will warn any and all of its dangers.  

In the meeting, the reporters are not usually (or allowed to question).

The PDN publisher had been invited to the meeting as a business owner not a reporter, so her comment was made on behalf of business people.

We noticed that a lot of business people were disappointed, that they never had a chance to discuss the problems and submit solutions.

Most of the time, the local government officers and the city members did all the presentation, and formed the conclusions themselves. We feel that it would have been more constructive in the form of a forum, with equal give and take from the presenters and audience.

You’ve had a long time to discuss the problems and find the solutions. I notice that NONE of it has been done!

The biggest thing Thailand can do to attract tourists (and improve its export revenue) is to devalue the baht immediately.

When I came to Pattaya late in July, I was getting 32 baht for one Australian dollar. Now I am getting 22.

The same is happening with other farang currencies in relation to the baht, (except the American dollar. Ironically, the Americans are worst affected by the financial meltdown, and will not want to come to Thailand anyway).

I assume that the baht is tied to the greenback, so it is suffering a de-facto appreciation.

If this is allowed to continue, not only the economy of Walking Street will be devastated, but the whole national economy.

The solution to Thailand’s economic woes is as plain as the nose on your face. The only thing preventing it being implemented is the economic illiteracy, pride and corruption of the Thai government, (who are pre-occupied with navel gazing over this country’s kamikaze political strife).

Thailand should allow a “free float” of the baht immediately. The Australian dollar was allowed to float freely from the mid- ‘eighties’,and as a result has had one of the world’s best performing economies for the last twenty years.

Notably the free floating dollar helped Australia avoid the Asian Financial Crisis of the late nineties, and it is now set to come out of the current crisis comparatively unscathed.

The Pattaya Council would be wise to start reading this publication, (if they can read English), and start doing their research on devaluing the baht.When they eventually come up with the same conclusions as I have they should put pressure on the incumbent Thai administration, otherwise, there are going to be a lot of starving people in this country in three months’ time.

Sadly, I have no confidence that the Council read this publication, owing to the stupid utterances that come out of its recent meetings.

If PDN simply had just this one page of comments translated, and sent to the Mayor, no more meetings would be necessary. Your readers said it all.

Same old story – big meeting, nice lunch and, as usual – “no final solution was arrived at”.

MEETING, MEETING, MEETING and all to schedule another meeting but a first, the PDN publisher suggested that maybe, someone, other than the government officials who got Pattaya in this mess, might have some suggestions to offer.

that the publisher does not know what the man on the street does – Thai officials ‘know it all” and do not take kindly to suggestions, good, or bad.

Good ideas, suggestions and comments are made by Thai citizens every day and yet I have never heard of one being implemented or even discussed.

The publisher may find they are not invited to the inevitable, next meeting. What needs to be done in Pattaya to improve its image for foreign tourism?

1. Repair walkways along the Beach Road to eliminate holes, cracks, and other impediments to walking.

2. Re-grade walkways on Beach Road to eliminate the collection of water pools (for mosquito abatement).

3. Finish the 5-year-long project to move the utility cables underground. The city should be ashamed it has taken this long and is not completed yet!

4. Remove obstacles on Beach Road sidewalks (phone booths, vendors) so people can actually walk on them.

5. Stop people and police from driving motorcycles on the sidewalks.

6. Give pedestrians a way to SAFELY cross Beach Road. Either install a traffic signal near Royal Garden or Mike Shopping Mall, OR build an elevated crossover walkway from the second level of Royal Garden (near Swenson’s Ice Cream Shop) over to the beach side. It’s a risk to your life to cross now without any consideration from the drivers. Do the same for Second Road.

7. Now that the city has cut down the shade trees for the benefit of the CCTV cameras, REPLANT SHADE TREES AND LOWER the cameras on their poles, or place cameras on the other side of the street SO YOU CAN ACTUALLY SEE FACES WITH THE CAMERAS.

8. Remove the silly statues of children from the sidewalks. Space is already limited. Place them in non-walking areas.

9. Replace the round benches provided with ones that will not tip over.

10. Build more benches of cement along Beach Road, but not on the sidewalks so as not to increase the loss of walking area.

11. Provide lifeguards at lifeguard stations full-time during the daytime, located along the Beach Road.

12. The sea water is full of garbage and pollutants. Clean it up so tourists can swim without getting sick.

13. Have the city garbage trucks pick up trash at times with fewer cars for them to block. Stop sorting trash as they go. Just pick it up, and leave. Sort it at a central location. Spend minimal time on Beach Road.

14. Insist that the motorcycle rental dealers do not use all the parking on Beach Road. Enforce the existing law!

15. If all people must wear a helmet while driving motorcycles, insist the police and their children do the same.

16. When gangs of Thai youths walk on Beach Road and intimidate people, remove them! Hooligans have NO RIGHTS.

17. Leave the beach vendors alone. Charge them a small license fee, and stop chasing them all over. Waste of resources.

18. Ensure an adequate amount of water by enlarging the reservoir next time it is empty again.

19. Eliminate power outages.

20. Insist that all Karaoke lounges close at the same time as bars (2:00 am) and police use a decibel meter to assess the violators. Fine them 500-1000 baht.

21. Stop trucks with loudspeakers from playing music, or commercial message too loud. Fine them 500 baht.

22. Stop Song Taew drivers from ripping off tourists. Post standardized rates in the seating area, including a phone number to report violators.

23. All Song Taews must stop within 18 inches of the curb, not in the traffic lane. Holding up traffic should incur a fine of 500 baht.

24. All Song Taews can only stop at designated spots, located near intersections with sois, indicated with a signpost and red & white striped painting.

25. Large buses can only stop at designated parking areas, within 18 inches of the curb. Failure to do so should result in a 1000 baht fine.

26. Improve the Soi Bua Khao Market with cement floors, similar to Naklua Market.

27. Inspect weights and measures of gas stations, and at fresh markets to insure customers get what they pay for.

28. Build a park in one of the few remaining plots of open space in the center of the city to allow dwellers to enjoy some open green space.

This place is amazing. They don’t ask for suggestions or solutions from us farangs, perhaps because of assumed ‘loss of’ face.

There are SO MANY reasons why tourists have chosen to not come to Pattaya, the smallest and most insignificant of these being the points they addressed in this news article.

BRAINSTROM TO RESOLVE CRIME PROBLEM IN PATTAYA

Pattaya has been changed by its leaders in ways that have changed the way Pattaya is perceived.

Congratulations City Council. I don’t believe you can abuse tourists, not give them safety, cheat them of their money while smiling at them, raise prices while offering no improvement or value for their money. I for one am not surprised to see Pattaya reap what their leaders have sown.

What is the purpose of holding a discussion, if the local merchants have no input towards the solving the issues? I think it was a blessing, that the U.S. fleet were allowed to have RNR in Pattaya, but during that time, all the sailors that were not love-struck, and have been to Pattaya before have noticed a lot of changes. We all sat around, after returning to our ships, and discussed what we found and didn’t find.

Correct, there were not a lot of tourists other than our shipmates. The glamor of going to Pattaya was the fact that it was one huge party, where everyone interacted with each other, regardless of what country they came from.

Pattaya is tearing down all our memories, and trying to modernize too fast, too quickly. Keep in mind that the people keep going back and spending tons of money. Are they those that have some sort of attachment, within or around that region?

I have been to Pattaya over 10 times, including the recent US ship leave, and every time, we the tourists are constant harassed by all kinds of vendors that insist you purchase something illegal, and would be taken away at the airport on our return trip to our country.

It is also alarming to see children trying to sell you flowers, gum, or even trying to sell you pictures. I’ve have sat there, and observed the reaction of shock on tourists’ faces, especially when they see these kids wandering about between the hours of 21:00 and 04:00.

The city needs to work on getting these annoying people away from the tourist, and create decent amusement parks, golf courses, museums, Broadway type shows, Thai historic tours, and so on, so the all these annoying people have real jobs, which would make them feel better about themselves.

Believe me it was many a time when I’ve seen these people continuously insist, and even get violent when being told “no” politely.

Crime and despair is a huge factor now in Pattaya. My friends and I monitor the situation in Thailand, especially in Pattaya, on a daily bases via Thailand papers, or on-line in order to plan our next holiday.

Crime and despair have definitely gone up! Also during some of my last visits, that’s all that was in the local news. We have seen in some instances where the Thai police looked the other way.

That is alarming as well! I know there is crime everywhere in the world, including here in New York City, but you know what? I think it’s a lot safer here.

Thailand is a beautiful country, and I’ve always enjoyed visiting all its towns and islands, such as Koh Samui, but I always end my trips by going to Pattaya for about 2 weeks, and having a massive party because it helps me wind down, before heading back to the United States.

I will miss Thailand, Pattaya especially, for until Pattaya cleans up its act, both my friends and myself, will be taking holidays elsewhere.

Many people that I have spoken to, and who have visited Pattaya, (in my type of work I see tons of people around the world), feel the same way about Pattaya, and choose to take their holidays elsewhere, or none at all.

I don’t think the current political situation in Thailand is the reason the tourist numbers are dropping off in Pattaya. I think a couple of the main reasons for the decline in tourism to this area is the vast increase in violent crime, for example, gang shootings, and the ever- increasing restrictions placed upon the bars.

If the local government would truly like to help, please start a harsh crackdown on these gangs that keep riding around and shooting at one another, and robbing people. It’s alarming to see the increase in violent crime, and drug use that has occurred in this city.

It wasn’t all that long ago, when I actually felt safer, walking the streets of Pattaya at night, while on holiday, than I did here in the United States, in my own hometown.

The attitudes and friendly nature of the Thai people that I’ve encountered during these times was amazing and made me want to return. Nowadays, there is a definite need to be concerned about your safety while in this city and this is really sad. Is there room in this city to become a more diverse tourist destination?

I believe so, but to do so, you have to make it friendly and safe for the tourists, and local residents, who go there to relax and have fun.

To do this, I think it’s necessary to also be friendly, and less restrictive to the businesses that support these visitors.

Pattaya “is what it is”. Support the businesses that support the city, and focus on ridding the city of the true criminals and gangsters that continue to plague this city. Mr. Ittipol needs to understand, that he can’t feed people shit, and tell them it’s ice cream.

Pattaya is a sordid cesspool, and I mean that in the nicest possible way.

THAT is why people come here, not for the non-existent scenery, and beautiful turd-filled beaches.Hoping it will turn into a family destination is a fantasy.

Russians are mostly broke, and the Chinese don’t do much spending when they’re driven around in circles on tour buses, especially if there is no Western corruption to gawp at.

Pattaya was a nice place many years ago, but not anymore, since the Russians arrived. Most of them are either Mafia or prostitutes. They don’t care about other tourists, they’re extremely noisy, starting fights, deal drugs, and are uneducated. In short, they are the scum of human race. As long as Russians keep coming to Pattaya, I won’t come back.

1. Do something about this political turmoil in Bkk.
2. Ban all the stupid regulations which affect nightlife in a bad manner.
3. Make flights from outside Asia cheaper by tax reduction.
4. Open U-Tapao Airport for flights from the main European cities.
5. Advertise in Europe, America and Australia instead of attracting non-spending Russians, Chinese and Indians.

Also, you might relax the closing hours of the bars, and also the harassment the bars have been getting.

PATTAYA, DRUNK SWEDE KILLS ONE THAI BANANA BOAT PASSENGER AND INJURES ANOTHER. 

A farang does not appreciate being caught up in bar raids. The closing of bars at 1 am had a huge negative impact on tourists as they can go to another country and party all night if they want.

“Russia has no problem and will continue come to Pattaya”, that in itself is enough to keep me away.

The growing presence of the Russian Mafia is one of the main source of problems for the area. Drugs, prostitution, and crimes against other persons are not uncommon for this group. It would seem the local officials, condone the presence of this organization, and have no intention of keeping it in check.

But without these problems, Pattaya would not be Pattaya.

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Editor’s Comment.
These have just been a few instances of necessary feedback from you, our loyal readers. We really appreciate the effort you have all made in trying to get across to the City Fathers what positive measures you as tourists and visitors would like to see to improve Pattaya’s image. We had already translated these comments and submitted them to Pattaya’s Mayor, Mr Ittipol, in the sincere hope that he will take constructive measures to radically improve the situation in Fun Town, for all concerned. Once again, thanks for your feedback and keep it up; only by pressurizing the Powers That Be will anything-positive come of it.

Reporter : PDN staff   Photo : PDN staff   Category : Society

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