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 Pattaya News

 2011
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8th October   

Commented: Re-sanding Pattaya Beach...

Cunning plan to reclaim the beach from the sea
Link Here

pattaya beach resanding Researchers have completed a cunning plan to reverse coastal erosion and restore a stretch of beach running between North and South Pattaya to a width of 35 metres and a length of more than 2.7 kilometres.

A 20member team led by Prof Thanawat Jarupongsakul, a lecturer at the Unit for Disaster and Land Information Studies at Chulalongkorn University's Faculty of Science, devised the plan, which will add sand to the eroded area.

After a year of studying different methods of adding sand, the team finally found a suitable method. Chosen because of its similar composition and grainsize to the sand on the eroded beach, 369,035 cubic metres of sand from a Rayong river mouth will be used to reclaim the beach in Pattaya.

The reclamation effort will be done in 100mlong stages, as authorities do not want it to affect vendors and tourists.

We expect that in the first year after reclamation, the beach will be eroded 10 metres; in the second and third years it will be eroded a further one metre each; and from the fourth year on, it will lose 0.8 metres per year. Therefore, we will have to add sand again every 10-14 years. However, if there are heavy storms, we will have to reclaim it earlier - in the next five to seven years, he said.

 If it approves the plan, the Marine Department will be able to start the beach restoration in 2012 or 2013, said Thanawat, adding that it would take eight months to complete.

Comment: Disaster Studies

8th October 2011. From DavidT

lorry train The Unit for Disaster and Land Information Studies at Chulalongkorn University seems aptly named.

What they are proposing is most likely a Disaster in that during the re-sanding over many months (years ?) for the entire length of Pattaya Beach Road, environment, tourism and businesses will be devastated. Imagine the stench and noise from 700 sand lorries plying the road and tens of bulldozers and backhoes on the beach.

The thousands of cubic meters additionally eroded into the bay means that the water level will be raised and even more sand will be needed to build a higher barrier. If this project is really needed then take the sand from the bay at low tide and not from a river in Rayong!

 

25th September   

For the First Time Ever...

Jetski extortionists have been arrested
Link Here

JetskisTourist Police have arrested five men operating a jetski scam on the Pattaya beach. The gang had threatened foreign tourists after the jetski rented by the tourists and the jet was supposedly damaged. The gang wanted more than 200,000 Baht for the damage. The tourists refused to pay and the gang threatened to beat the tourists.

All suspects were operating a jetski rental service in Pattaya Beach Soi 10-11. The arrest took place at the lobby of the Mariott Resort Hotel in Central Pattaya. The gang is accused of threatening behaviour.

Police were notified by the Duty Manager of the Marriott when eight Thai men arrived at the hotel and were threatening a to beat the hotel guests.

Upon inspection the police found five suspects trying to extort money from four foreign tourists for supposed damage to a jetski. The tourists refused to pay and called the police. At the police station, the jetski gang were still threatening the tourists and demanding the money.

When the tourist police were informed about this case they immediately arrested the five suspects in order to prevent further damage to the already rock bottom reputation of Pattaya, where threats and extortions from jetski operators are common.

 

16th September   

Jaws...

Alligators escape from Pattaya's Million Year Stone Park
Link Here

alligatorsPattaya Daily News is reporting that many crocodiles had escaped from the Million Year Stone Park and the Crocodile Farm's reptile pools. More than ten zoo keepers were trying to catch the crocs.

The reporter arrived at the park where he found the zoo staff about ten people with equipment engaged in catching the big reptiles that had escaped to the lotus well. Later in the evening the team was able to catch four big crocodiles.

A worker of the Crocodile Farm said that two escaped crocodiles had been found in the neighbouriging area.

The reporter could not get much information from the staff and the Crocodile Farm management did not want to be interviewed.

Update: Reward

16th September 2011. See article from pattayadailynews.com

Million Year Stone Park and Pattya Crocodile Farm reported that 29 of the escaped crocodiles have been recaptured. In case additional crocodiles are found there is a 5,000 THB reward per crocodile.

Chairman of the park, Suan Panomvattanakul, Said that, if there were still were escaped crocs on the lose, the farm will give a reward of 5,000 THB per crocodile for any person who can find a crocodile. He added that these reptiles are farm crocodiles and not as aggressive and dangerous as the wild crocodile species.

Presumably people seeking the reward don't have to actually capture the beast, just report its whereabouts.

 

1st September   

Working Up Steam...

Thai government considers possibility of a new fast railway to Pattaya
Link Here

thai diesel truck engiThe State Railway of Thailand will study the viability of four high-speed regional train routes over the next six months, said Deputy Transport Minister Chatt Kuldiloke.

He ordered the state enterprise to study routes running from Bangkok to Chiang Mai in the North, to Rayong in the East, to Khon Kaen in the Northeast and to Hua Hin in the South.

The study will cost about 50 million baht per route on average. He expects the contracts to build the routes to be signed four years from now.

 

30th August   

Sustainable Optimism...

Mayor outlines his ambitions for Pattaya
Link Here

greenwash paint A 10-year tourism master plan has been drafted by the Designated Areas for Sustainable Tourism Administration (Dasta).

According to Mayor Ittipol Khunplume, Pattaya will be the focus of 132 projects to be implemented in the city and related districts from 2012-22.

The projects include improving public transportation services such as a offering shuttle bus service in town, building a road linking with the motorway, extending the rail link service from Suvarnabhumi Airport to Pattaya and building new ports in Pattaya and Koh Lan.

In addition, there will be plans to improve public utilities such as the water supply, waste water and waste management, a water drainage system to protect the city from floods, water recycling system and renewable energy.

The city also plans to invest in beach recovery projects, promote new tourism routes such as community tourism in Na Kluea and green tourism at Koh Lan and Koh Phai.

Last are projects to promote sustainable tourism such as educating locals about organic farming, allocating areas for biking, improving the environment in Koh Lan and other tourism destinations in Pattaya and nearby areas.

Update: Signed

5th September 2011. See  article from  pattayamail.com

Local government officials have signed a 10-year master plan to designate Pattaya as a special area for sustainable development, opening the door for the region to receive up to 15 billion baht in funding for so-called greenovative tourism projects.

 

23rd August   

The Pattaya Derby?...

Buffalo racing at Lake Mabprachan
Link Here
buffalo racing Buffalo racing featured in Pattaya last weekend  at Lake Mabprachan Activity Ground.

A more famous event is held in Chonburi town each year but Pattaya also has an event featuring buffalo and horse racing.

The racing was presented by the Tourism Authority of Thailand, and Provincial Government.

 

24th July   

Offsite: Hard to Distinguish Between Crooks and Holidaymakers...

Crroks and holiday makers all flock to Thailand as it is an enjoyable place to be
Link Here

usual suspects Lieutenant-general Wiboon Bangthamai, the commissioner of the immigration police, said officials at remote border posts had been known to suffer inexplicable computer troubles when people with lots of cash sought to cross the Thai border illegally. Officers at small border checkpoints would break the computers and let them in, Wiboon said. The American cables point to weak law enforcement, a country preoccupied with political problems and inconvenient geography.

Thailand's borders are long and extremely porous and the country is therefore vulnerable to international criminal elements of all kinds, the cables said.

Another reason Thailand has struggled to contain its fugitive problem is that stamping out what makes it attractive for the most wanted might curb the billion-pound business of hosting all those tourists without criminal records. Thailand's anything-goes ethos is coupled with a deep-seated hospitality that often seems blind to a foreigner's background and appearance.

Bangkok's red-light districts crawl with beady-eyed, beer-swilling foreigners who might not look out of place on most-wanted posters. But as one Thai government adviser noted, it can be hard to distinguish between the crooks and the holidaymakers.

...Read the full article

 

12th July   

Spot the Celeb...

A couple of British sportsmen take an interest in Thailand
Link Here

Jimmy White One Only DVD British newspapers are reporting that the snooker player, Jimmy White has bought a Pattaya holiday home. So we'll be able to play 'spot the celeb'.

Also footballer Robbie Fowler has signed a one year contract to play for Muang Thong United. The team plays in the Bangkok area but no doubt an occasional visit to Pattaya may be tempting.

 

5th July   

Little Britain...

So how many Brits are there living in Pattaya?
Link Here

British Embassy logo Barry Kenyon, former British Honorary Consul and now attached to the Immigration Police, said Pattaya now hosts about 10,000 British residents on one-year visas.

Presumably this figure refers to Brits on 1 year visa extensions

Of course there are also those living in Pattaya doing visa runs on tourist and 'O' visas. Could add up to a fair few.

 

22nd June   

A Tour of Pattaya's Dark Side...

Thai tourist guide extorts money from Chinese coach party
Link Here

tour busChinese tourists were forced to buy tickets for sex shows in Thailand after their guide stopped their bus in a remote area and switched off the air-conditioning until they paid up, authorities said.

The group were on a week-long trip organized by the Shanghai Chatianyuan International Travel Service Co Ltd when they say they came under pressure from the pushy guide.

One tourist surnamed Cai said the group, mostly old people, left the city on April 30. They were heading toward Pattaya about 10pm on May 2 when the tour guide began promoting activities that cost extra: These activities were expensive and included some sex shows, which we didn't want to see.

However, the tour guide then asked the driver to stop the bus and turned off the air conditioning.

It was extremely hot in the coach, but we dared not leave because it was stopped in a dark, remote place, Cai said: The tour guide said that if we didn't pay, the driver wouldn't have money for fuel.

After two hours' deadlock, the tourists gave in and paid 800 yuan (US$114) each for the shows. However, most of the group were shocked and scared and declined to watch the sex shows on offer.

Chatianyuan International Travel Service yesterday admitted that the tour guide acted inappropriately, and has been sacked. It promised to refund the fee and offered some compensation, but some of the party were unsatisfied with this.

 

11th June   

Shocking...

Crusade against Pattaya's cable eyesores
Link Here
pattaya cablesPattaya City Council member Banlue Kullavanijaya has resumed his war with the area's utility companies, drafting city workers to pull down kilometers of unsightly, unused telephone lines.

Since last summer, Banlue has demanded TOT, TT&T and CAT Telecom clean up their spaghetti-like mess of cables in his Sukhumvit Road district. After being ignored, Banlue in September took matters into his own hands, going with city workers to pull down cables near Pattaya School No. 1.

The city has now restarted an attempt to clean up the unsightly mess of unused wires around town, embarrassing local utility company management who were told to do this themselves a long time ago.

Banlue said he's tired of the ugly mess of wires hanging from power poles throughout the city. Lazy phone line installers rarely take down disused cables and simply string up another when a new line is called for.

 

7th June   

Wait and See...

Beach vendors cleared to continue hassling tourists
Link Here
beach vendorPattaya has stepped back from an unlikely sounding ban on beach massages.

At a May 18 Pattaya City Hall meeting, Pramote Sapsang, director of the city's Natural Resources Department, said the number of people selling massages, manicures, tattoos and other such services on Pattaya, Jomtien and Naklua beaches has increased dramatically in recent months. All of them, he noted, are unregulated and have no licenses. Their constant pestering of tourists has added to the bad name of Pattaya's beaches among visitors. Pramote said. that the time has come for something to be done.

The panel at first debated a ban of all such vendors from the beach. However, the panel decided to drop plans to move forward with any radical solution.

It was noted that the Pattaya City Council already is considering new regulations to curb beach pollution, prostitution and commerce. He said the city hall committee should wait to see what other legislators do before taking more action.

 

20th May   

Random...

Serious sounding stop and search of motorcyclists
Link Here

Thai Police logoPattaya police set up their station on Soi 17 of Pattaya Third Road to conduct alcohol breath-tests, body search and drug-tests for all motorcycles passing by

At 1.00 a.m. police and volunteer police team set up their station at the entrance of the Land Department Officer on Soi 17, Pattaya Third Road.

The police conducted random breath-tests for drink drivers and body search for illegal drugs possession, an officer said. Suspicious motorcycles were pulled over for random search, he reported adding that in particular young drivers were all tested for drugs As the result, five teenagers were tested positive and were taken to the police station for questioning.

 

19th May   

Ramayana Water Park...

A new attraction for South Jomtien
Link Here

white waterRamayana Water Park held its official signing ceremony on April 8th, 2011, together with WhiteWater West Industries from Canada at the Inter Continental Hotel Bangkok. WhiteWater is a leading designer and manufacturer of waterslides and waterpark equipment..

Ramayana Water Park will offer the latest industry-leading thrills and family rides available. In fact, Ramayana Water Park will feature Asia's first ever Viper family ride. The award-winning AquaLoop being the world's only vertically looping waterslide. This first of its kind ride drops riders vertically with thrilling g-force then performs a 360 degree complete vertical loop. The waterpark will also feature Dueling Master Blasters, where friends can race each other on triple tubes while racing up and down hills on specially designed water rollercoasters.

Alan Mahony, the Managing Director of MAHONYdmc, appointed to oversee project design, said: We have selected not only the most popular thrill rides but also have dedicated a large portion of the waterpark to family and children attractions, including a giant themed AquaPlay structure and a mini Abyss, for children to enjoy. The waterpark will be themed along the storyline of Ramayana and will feature a native landscape. The waterpark will also feature shaded relaxation areas, special VIP Sala's that can be rented for the day, plus a large range of local and international cuisine.

Ramayana Water Park will be located on Na Jomtien, Sattahip, Chonburi. The waterpark plans to open late 2012.

 

17th May   

Fare's Fair...Maybe...

Baht bus cooperative says it will improve its act
Link Here

Baht BusThe Chairman of Pattaya Baht-bus Cooperative has established more stringent rules and regulations for Baht-bus drivers in order to reduce criticism of Pattaya transportation.

In a recent survey 30% of 5000 tourists travelling to Thailand criticised the Thai transportation services, according to Suphol Sripan, the Director-General of Department of Tourism.

A common criticism about Thailand's transportation such as hired cars, taxis or tuk-tuks is that the drivers deliberately overcharge their customers by taking indirect longer routes, Suphol says.

The tourism image in Pattaya City is also affected. In particular, many tourists experience unsatisfactory customer services and reckless driving from their taxis in Pattaya.

Pattaya Bus Cooperative has established new regulations to control misbehaving Baht-bus drivers and taxi drivers. For example, the cooperative will impose a fine of 500B for any Baht-bus that overcharges their customers or abandons passengers at inappropriate destination. The bus drivers will receive 200-Baht fine if dressed inappropriately or behave rudely. Furthermore if these misconducts recurred, the drivers will be suspended for 3-7 days and if the convicted drivers refuse to change their behaviour, their businesses will be permanently suspended.

On every Baht-bus, there will be attachments of a price list based on distance; feedback forms in Thai and English and Hotline numbers, the Chairman of Pattaya Baht-bus Cooperative states.

 

15th March   

Pattaya Bus Stops...

Experimenting with baht bus stops
Link Here

Baht Bus Pattaya Mail is reporting on a pilot project to require baht bus drivers to stop only at designated passenger stops.

Underway along Central Road since early January, the project set up 12 designated bus stops in an effort to relieve traffic congestion and improve safety for passengers. Traffic police Lt. Theparat Sukrakan said in the month since the program began, no baht bus-related accidents have been reported in the area.

He said taxi owners and drivers were 'educated' to stop only at designated points and not in traffic lanes, which snarls traffic and creates hazards for those embarking and disembarking from the trucks.

 

1st March   

Update: A Little Fishy?...

Fish spas under investigation by Farangland health protection agencies
Link Here

fish spa Experts are worried that the latest craze for fish spas could spread infection and disease.

It has already been banned in 14 states in the US.

The UK Health Protection Agency says the practice is the subject of a major investigation. An agency spokesman said: The HPA will examine the most up-to-date evidence of any possible risks associated with garra rufa fish pedicures.

The treatment involves customers dunking their feet in tanks to have their dead skin nibbled away by scores of Turkish miniature toothless carp.

But it has been revealed the pedicures using the garra rufa fish could spread infection from person to person through open wounds. Salons say they use UV-lit tanks which are constantly filtered to keep them clear of disease.

But the therapy's opponents say that unlike usual salon rules, which compel staff to throw away or sanitise tools after each use, the epidermis-eating fish are too expensive to discard.

 

28th January   

Red Means Stop...

But not in Pattaya
Link Here

Red means stop graphicPattaya has had pedestrian crossing lights for a few weeks now. So how is it panning out?

The basic functionality of the crossing lights seems pretty good. They respond quickly to pushing the button, there is only a short time to cross, which is probably good as it keeps the delays and annoyance down for the drivers.

They are reasonably spaced out, except that there a few too many on Beach Road near Walking Street. Probably a bit annoying for drivers caught at each set.

For some hard to understand reason the lights are only part time. They are often turned off and just sit there flashing orange. There seems no logic to when they are turned off. They are likely to be turned off at peak times when they are desperately needed.

But of course the really bad news is that drivers commonly refuse to stop at the red lights. Thankfully the crossing lights retain a little bit of use as many drivers do actually stop. So even the totally inconsiderate ones have to be 'on caution' that someone may stop in front of them.

Some brave souls, assume that the drivers are at least wary of the need to stop. They brave the traffic by holding out their palm and 'going for it,' even when the traffic hasn't yet pulled up. But for the rest there is always a chance that the drivers leading the pack will sometimes stop for pedestrians.

I'd hate to think what parents make of this. It must be extraordinarily dangerous for kids from Farangland who are taught that they can safely cross the road on a flashing green man. Again despite the talk, Pattaya fails abysmally on the family friendly front,

But for those that have sufficient life saving awareness of the totally inconsiderate nature of some drivers, then it is at least a little easier to cross the road than before.

 

23rd January   

Seriously Degraded Beach...

Disaster expert presents plan to preserve Pattaya Beach
Link Here

Photographic Province AWL Discover Images A meeting was held at Pattaya City Hall to consider another Master Plan to Improve and Preserve the Beaches .

The meeting was opened by an Expert in Disaster Studies from Chulalongkorn University, Professor Tanawat Jarupongsagoon.

Mayor Ittipon Khunpleum presented an official report. Pattaya's beaches have been ruined due to many problems, including poor sanitation, poor regulations and intrusions into the public areas.

The master plan will employ a technique described as : using sand to replenish the shorelines of the beaches. Chulalongkorn University has taken on this project, and the plan will be strictly followed, as Pattaya's Beaches are now very close to serious degradation, and need to be restored immediately.

 

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