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  • Royal Thai Navy installs ‘Father’s Boat’ in Naval museum

    Thailand’s first domestically built modern navy vessel will go on display in Sattahip, honored as “The Father’s Boat”.

    Patrol Boat 91, commissioned in 1968, was decommissioned in September 26 2019. On Aug. 18, Vice Adm. Samai Jai-in, deputy commander of the Royal Thai Fleet, presided over a blessing ceremony for it to be moved onto dry dock for restoration and to be installed at the Naval museum in front of the Officer’s Club.

    While meager in stature, the patrol boat holds a honored spot in Thai navy history. It was commissioned by HM the late King Bhumibol Adulyadej after a trip to Germany who saw a similar vessel. He returned to Thailand and ordered the Royal Thai Navy to create a ship just like it.

    King Rama IX provided input to designers and was aboard during trial runs. The first vessel designed and built in Thailand in the modern era, the patrol boat really was “The Father’s Boat”, Samai said.:

    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


    • Speaking of Patters,

      Has anyone been there since Covid kicked off?

      I assume it's a ghost town with no foreigners but Thais are taking holidays in Patt/Jomtien.

      Lots of bars and restaurants shut down?
      LWO Community strong!


      • Pattaya monorail construction start planned for 2023

        Construction of a monorail line through the city area could start as early as 2023, if it receives cabinet approval, a senior city official said on Friday.

        Pongtawee Lertpanyawit, who is in charge of the feasibility study, said work should begin in 2003 or 2024 at the latest, and the 9-kilometre-long line could be operational by 2027.

        The monorail line still needs cabinet approval after the study is completed. It will include an environmental impact assessment.

        It project is now at the public hearing stage. An opinion poll found that 80% of city residents favoured a monorail over a tram or underground train.

        The construction cost was initially estimated at 26 billion baht, Mr Pongtawee said.

        The planned mass transit line will ease congestion in the city and link with the high-speed train line being built between Don Mueang and U-tapao airports. The exact route, from Bali Hai pier through the downtown area to the high-speed train station, has not been finalised.

        Pattaya deputy mayor Kiattisak Sriwongchai said the city will keep land appropriation to a minimum.

        He stressed the need for a new public transport system to tackle the traffic gridlock plaguing the downown area, pollution and inefficient existing transport system.:

        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


        • Leading Walking Street business owners warn of “total collapse” of tourism industry in Pattaya if Thailand has no foreign tourists for another 3-6 months

          Several leading Walking Street business owners, from seafood restaurants, to small shops to bars have warned of a “total collapse” of the Pattaya tourist industry if the Thai government does not find a way to allow in foreign tourists.

          The interviews took place with associated local press earlier this week and included a variety of business owners from around town but primarily Walking Street.

          Pattaya City usually has about ten million foreign tourists a year and last year was the 19th most visited city in the world, with about 350,000 more visitors last year than the year before. However, due to the Covid-19 coronavirus the city has arguably been one of the most decimated in Thailand, along with Phuket and Koh Samui, along with a few others. Pattaya makes roughly 80 percent of their GDP from hospitality and tourism according to Pattaya City Leaders.

          The city does attract a decent amount of domestic tourism, however, with an estimated sixty percent of venues or more across the city closed many people are choosing to go to other destinations. Pattaya has done better than some of the remote islands due to the proximity to Bangkok, however, the situation gets more dire the longer foreign tourists are banned from the city. As more venues close across the city or remain abandoned, homeless and stray animals have begun to grow in the city.

          Business owners warn of a near total collapse of the restaurant, bar, shopping and hospitality industry in the city that goes well beyond the “red light” aspect but is now starting to effect nearly every other business in the city from transportation, to tours, to bus companies, to attractions like the waterparks and cabarets to grocery stores, to food vendors, to shopping malls to real estate and landlords. Barbershops on Soi buakhao are shuttered, many 7-11’s, Mcdonalds and Burger Kings have shut with no foreign tourists, many of the massage shops in the city have closed. Language schools and cooking schools that catered to tourists and foreigners are shuttered. Even hospitals, beauty clinics and dentists, who depend heavily on medical tourism and foreigners getting dental work done in Pattaya, are struggling across the city. Tens of thousands of people are already estimated to be unemployed or have left the city and returned to their home province.

          Mrs. Prem Ruedee Sae Khow, the owner of King Seafood on Walking Street which is a landmark seafood restaurant that has been there for many years told the Pattaya press that she is open occasionally primarily to provide income for her employees but their primary customer base, foreign tourists, are gone and not allowed to enter the country. She says the shop has begun selling rice and Thai food to Thai people in the area but it only makes a very small amount of capital. She said many shops and owners she knows are struggling to make a thousand baht in profit a day. She says leaders keep saying “Save Pattaya” and “Pattaya must Survive” but quite frankly, according to her, she doesn’t see how that is possible with the continual ban on tourists.

          Prem also said that the government keeps talking about domestic tourism, however, she feels that although hot deals and travel promotions helped bring some more traffic to Pattaya, as the economy weakens overall and the troubles of the tourism industry extend to other industries as a domino effect, many simply don’t have the money to travel or spend money domestically at this time. She feels that the government must find a way to bring back tourists and not simply wait until a vaccine is available around the world.

          Mr. Weerasak Cheung, who owns a small souvenir shop on Walking Street, said that although most landlords have been understanding of the situation, many of them are also running into financial trouble. He did say that the government was providing assistance with things like bank loans and car payments but feared that these were all just “delaying” tactics and that if the country listens to doctors warning to stay closed for six months there could be a total collapse of nearly every customer facing industry in Pattaya.

          Weerasak also believes Pattaya City leaders should do more to target domestic Thai tourists. There have been talks about street festivals, food festivals and some venues have changed their business model to primarily focus on Thai nationals but he feels more needs to be done to make the area attractive to Thais. He believes that every weekend city leaders should organize events that encourage people to come to Pattaya (such as the current holiday weekend that is seeing a marked increase in traffic, The Pattaya News notes). He would like to see domestic travel agencies partner with Pattaya City leaders to encourage domestic tourists to the city.

          Mr. Ud Kaewsuwan, owner of a beer bar, said he has been in the industry for twenty years and although it has had its ups and downs he has never seen anything as bad as this current situation. He also stated that landlords were cooperating the best they could and that city leaders were helping many having problems and the business owners but he was most concerned with the employees, who are mostly informal and don’t have social security, losing their jobs across the city. He said his own landlord has agreed not to collect rent from him until borders can open, however, he said not every business in the city has the same positive relationship with their landlord. He said the current situation is like “waiting for rain during a drought.”

          Mrs. Amphon Kaewsaeng, the owner of Stones House on Walking Street, said that most of her customers are now Thai local residents living in Pattaya. She did say that weekends with Bangkok traffic are better, but overall her business is down about 70%. She said she has chosen to open to support her staff and provide them an income in these difficult times but if the situation does not improve and the government does not allow in foreign tourists in the next several months she will likely have to close at least temporarily, a decision she does not want to have to make. Like many, she said she has reduced salaries and costs in order to open at this time but is still not making a profit.

          Amphon said that she suggests that the current “midnight closure order” which is part of the Emergency Decree is scrapped as many of her customers want to come later. She also wants to see the promised festivals and events to draw traffic to Pattaya that were discussed by city officials.

          Doctors argue that letting in foreign tourists, even carefully, may start another round of infections causing the government to lock-down and shutter the entire country for several months again, causing even more economic damage country wide. The business owners and experts argue that staying closed for what they suggest for six months will see irreparable damage to the tourism infrastructure and industry for the entire country that could take a decade or more to recover. They may both be right, The Pattaya News adds.

          For now, all the business owners can do is wait and hope that over the next several months the situation improves. If there is one thing they agree upon it is that the city simply cannot “survive” with the status quo. As Mr. Ud told Associated Reporters “What good is it that I am safe from this virus that about 99% of people survive if I cannot eat and have no home and no way to take care of my family?”:

          In the remarks section to the article above there's some good information. Insurance for visitors/tourists related
          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


          • Pattaya-bound tourists killed, 40 hurt in Korat bus crash

            A speeding, sleepy driver is being blamed for a deadly bus crash in Korat early Saturday that killed seven Thai tourists and injured 40 others.

            Pinit Kaensakho, 44; Phenchan Anuprai, Ekkaphol Singboran, Srisurat Krachangchan and Pitak Chamchong, and two others died in the 3:45 a.m. wreck at the Chai Mongkhol bypass on Ratchasima-Pak Thong Chai Road Nakhon Ratchasima’s Muang District.

            The Kalasin-registered double-decker tour bus was carrying 47 health volunteers from Chaturaphak Phiman District in Roi Et to Pattaya for a study trip.

            Survivors described a terrifying drive as the driver, who at one point nodded off behind the wheel, raced down dark highways at high speed despite pleas from passengers to slow down or pull over to take a nap.

            The driver refused, saying he had rendezvous with two other company coaches carrying more Roi Et health volunteers in Kabin Buri District of Prachin Buri.

            The bus was moving so fast, passengers said they could not sleep as they feared for their lives. Their fears came true as the speeding coach entered the intersection at the same time as a 22-wheeled big-rig loaded with tapioca roots. The bus plowed into the side of the tractor-trailer traveling from Lop Buri, crushing the front of the coach before it overturned. Several passengers were crushed to death.:

            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


            • some pattaya beach pictures.........

              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


              • Pattaya is one of the most lively and enjoyable places in the world


                • Pattaya to hold Beach Road Food Festival on long holiday weekend November 19-22

                  At a Pattaya City meeting yesterday, September 28, 2020, Pattaya City officials announced that a “Taste, Eat, Walk, Enjoy” festival will be held on Pattaya Beach Road from Soi 6 to Central Festival from November 19 to November 22, 2020 this year.

                  This weekend is the same as a four day holiday weekend expected to bring many domestic tourists to Pattaya.

                  Mr. Ronakit Ekkasing, the deputy mayor in charge of events in Pattaya, presided over the planning meeting yesterday afternoon at City Hall. The event will be held in conjunction with the Department of Culture.

                  The event will feature dozens of delicious food vendors meant to appeal to all tastes and hope to take advantage of stronger than normal foot traffic in Pattaya driven by a four day holiday weekend. The market will stretch a significant length of Beach Road and also feature a grand food court at Central Festival.

                  A press conference will be held on November 7th, 2020, at the ground floor of Central Festival.:

                  Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                  • Pattaya’s abandoned Waterfront condo project

                    The Pattaya City Council is pushing for action against the abandoned Waterfront luxury condo after it has been left as an eyesore for many years along the Bali Hai Pier.

                    The Waterfront Suites and Residence is a half-finished 53 story condominium project that was stalled in 2014 after safety inspectors discovered that the building’s fire escapes and elevator systems designs varied from the already approved construction designs.

                    Thai Engineering, however, allegedly ignored the stop-work order and continued, but the company says it was not informed from the developers to stop.

                    But after complaints about the condo went viral online due to it obstructing the picturesque views of the area, the former mayor stepped in.

                    Then the condo’s Israeli-owned Bali Hai company, due to complaints about the condo’s obstruction of the natural landscape and land permit issues, filed a petition with the Central Bankruptcy Court in Bangkok for debt restructuring which subsequently failed as the company went bankrupt.

                    The Pattaya Court has ordered for the condo to be legitimately demolished but due to legal proceedings against the company dragging along, the condo continues to sit abandoned.

                    Furthermore, Pattaya City authorities were rejected by the departments that would carry out the demolition citing that the authorities were not specialised in estimating the cost of such a demolition.

                    Now, the authorities are still trying to get estimates from 11 different companies to outsource the demolition which is contributing to the delay.

                    But the Pattaya City Council chairman says that law firms should take control and use photographs and other documents before collecting the evidence to speed up the process.

                    Regardless, the demolition of the condo is in limbo as pending lawsuits are preventing it from moving forward.:

                    Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                    • 160 million baht project to renovate Pattaya beach set to begin by year end

                      A 160 million baht project to renovate Pattaya beach looks set to begin by the end of this year. Yet ANOTHER renovation project in a long list of makeovers for the city’s naturally slim beachfronts. Talks on the project have been ongoing since September 2019 and, while movement may have stalled for a while due to the Covid-19 ‘interruption’, it looks like work is due to begin shortly. But this time, rather than the actual beaches, most of the new budget is dedicated to the infrastructure lining the sand.

                      The work is expected to include the addition of more footpaths, the installation of underground toilets and the creation of additional parking spaces. Pattaya City Mayor, Sonthaya Khunpluem, says the budget has been approved and work will begin on creating additional space for domestic tourists.

                      “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.”

                      The mayor adds that the renovation is also designed to enhance the area for the elderly and the disabled, while acknowledging pleas from local residents to improve car parking in the area.

                      “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 maximising 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 finalising a regular parking plan after many requests from residents.”

                      Whether giving the beach area a facelift will help any of the struggling businesses in the area remains to be seen. Pattaya’s tourism sector has taken a severe beating as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the closure of Thailand’s borders to foreign tourists. Local business owners are now pleading with the government to allow international visitors back in, saying without them, tourism in Pattaya is doomed to collapse.:

                      Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                      • Pattaya light railway plans take shape/Monorail favoured for B21bn network

                        A feasibility study on a light rail network for Pattaya is nearly complete and will be submitted to the city's council and the cabinet for consideration soon, the study's coordinator said.

                        According to Siraphop Suwannakase, the study and public hearings have concluded that a monorail would suit Pattaya the most rather than trams.

                        Designs for the network and the routes were currently being looked at.

                        Pattaya deputy mayor Kiattisak Sriwongchai said the city would want to keep land appropriation to a minimum.

                        Most of the proposed project's stakeholders have already agreed to the construction of a 8.3-km route called the "Green Line" with 13 stations.

                        The Green Line will connect the city's main train station to proposed high-speed rail line, Mr Siraphop said.

                        Fares on the proposed monorail are expected to start at 16 baht for the first kilometre and not exceed 45 baht across the whole route, he said.

                        Mr Siraphop said the Green Line is one of several lines for the network which would be introduced in three phases.

                        The first from 2020-2026 will map out the routes and start the construction of the Green and Purple routes.

                        The second phase, from 2027-2031, will involve completing construction of the Purple Line which will run from the Nong Prue municipality to Muang Pattaya 8 School, he said.

                        The third phase, from 2032-2036, will construct the Red Line which will pass along Jomthien Sai 2 Road, Pattaya Sai 2 Road and Dolphin Circle, he said. Electric monorail tracks will be constructed along an elevated reinforced concrete beam, he said.

                        The 20.8-billion-baht project will include the construction of a park & ride parking building on an area of over 40 rai. A shopping mall, hotel, condominium and sky park will also be built nearby.

                        Actual construction could start as early as 2023, if it receives cabinet approval, a senior Pattaya city official said.

                        The monorail project is part of the Eastern Economic Corridor Committee's plan to develop the three eastern provinces of Rayong, Chachoengsao and Chon Buri.

                        It also seeks to construct a high-speed train line to connect major three airports, expand U-Tapao International Airport and develop the region's overall logistics system.:
                        Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                        • Pattaya, Jomtien beach repairs to last through Wednesday

                          Repairs to Pattaya’s beaches following some of the worst flooding of the rainy season are expected to be completed by Wednesday, Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome said.

                          Sonthaya and his top deputies surveyed the damage to the shoreline late Oct. 3 following more than three hours of heavy rain that morning. Work crews and heavy machinery didn’t begin repair work until Monday, however.

                          Bulldozers and backloaders began at the southernmost end, scooping sand from the sea to fill the huge tracts of sand carved out at several places along the beach by raging runoff from the storm that hit the city early Saturday.

                          Water racing westward from the higher elevations of Nongprue Subdistrict first submerged Sukhumvit Road, Third and Second Roads, before finally pooling on Beach Road where the floodwaters used car and boat ramps to dig channels more than a meter deep into the rebuilt Pattaya Beach.

                          Damage was nearly as bad on Jomtien Beach where similar chunks of sand were washed away. Like Pattaya Beach last year, Jomtien is set to receive a 586-million-baht rebuild that won’t be completed until 2022.

                          Sonthaya said it would take three days to completely return the beachfront to normal. By Monday afternoon, some gouges had been patched, although the sand remained very uneven with deep grooves and steps that needed to be leveled.:

                          Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                          • Showtime above Pattaya

                            A fireworks display lights up the sky over Pattaya beach on Saturday on the first day of the seaside resort’s two-day Fireworks Festival 2020.


                            Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                              • PRESS CONFERENCE “PATTAYA COUNTDOWN 2021”

                              Mr. Ronnakit Eakasingh – Deputy Mayor of Pattaya City, Ms. Darat Surakkhaka – Chief of Chonburi Tourism and Sports Office, Mr. Patompong Sirachairat – CEO of Mono Next PCL., representative of MONO29 Channel, and Mr. Vichai Sinananphat, Director of Tri Petch Isuzu Sales Co., Ltd., collaboratively held a press conference “PATTAYA COUNTDOWN 2021”. The countdown will be held on December 29-31, 2020 at Ocean Marina Pattaya (Bali Hai Pier), Chonburi. Executives of Pattaya City and Mono Next, along with supporters joyfully attended the press conference. Artists joined the event were Pete – Peera, Angie – Thiticha Sombatpiboon, Pong – The Sun, Mook – Pichana Yoosuk, Yada – Narilya Gulmongkolpech, Tungpang – Pattaravadee Laosa, Waan – Piranpach Leelatepin, and RUSH Girl Gang. The press conference took place at Stage 1, Mono Next Office, Chaiyapruk Rd., Nonthaburi.:
                              • New Years Countdown 2021 at Amari Pattaya approaching fast

                              Koh Larn island off Pattaya Beach plans own New Year’s countdown

                              Pattaya’s big New Year’s party will be at Bali Hai Pier, but Koh Larn doesn’t plan to be left out, organizing their countdown event Dec. 31.

                              Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome and his deputies met with administrators and community leaders on the resort island Dec. 13 to discuss plans for the fireworks show at the main pier, including coronavirus-prevention protocols.

                              The mayor also met with businesses about future development plans for the island, which includes clearing additional land to create new beaches and high viewpoints.

                              Plans also are proceeding with connecting all the beaches with a single walkway. The island already has several walkways in various states of disrepair. The plan is to repair and upgrade existing paths and connect them to allow tourists to walk easily between each beach.:
                              Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


                              • Pattaya to rebrand for sustainable growth

                                What’s next for the city after the coronavirus pandemic?

                                The City of Pattaya is redefining its urban model as it aspires to become a city that appeals to tourists, businesses and long-term stayers. The 3-fiscal year development plan (2021-2023) with a total investment of more than Bt775 million is adopting an approach that will see Pattaya and Koh Lan becoming so-called ‘Neo’ destinations.

                                The deep and likely prolonged downturn in the travel and tourism sector has made cities like Pattaya that rely heavily on foreign tourism rethink their future as they battle to achieve growth and prosperity.

                                Pattaya Mayor Sonthaya Khunplome says that the plan encompasses 32 investment projects to develop the old town of Na Kluea in the north of Pattaya and the popular resort island of Koh Lan. The projects are designed to upgrade infrastructure, public utilities, and tourist attractions, which will help strengthen the economy and enhance quality of life.

                                “As a part of the Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), Pattaya is attractive to investors wanting to set up new businesses. A Chinese investor is currently looking for land to develop a mixed-use project that will include office space,” said Sonthaya.

                                To develop Neo Koh Lan, located about 8 kilometres off the Pattaya coast in the Gulf of Thailand, the city will rebuild Na Ban Port which has been in operation for 25 years and improve Tha Hat Ta Wan Port. A new port is planned to handle cargo of every type.

                                In order to cope with the rising volume of wastewater in the future due to a growing number of tourists and residents on the island, the city plans to build a third wastewater treatment system.

                                Waste disposal has long been a critical problem for the island. Before Covid-19, Koh Lan produced 20-30 tonnes of garbage per day which Pattaya City workers would ship back to the mainland for disposal. But not all the waste has been removed and there are some 50,000 tonnes of accumulated garbage on the island pending disposal, mostly from shops, restaurants, hotels and resorts.

                                Sonthaya said that through a public hearing, the island residents agreed with a plan to build a waste incineration unit rather than use landfill. The new system, which will incorporate air pollution control, will be able to handle 50 tonnes of disposal per day. Construction should be completed in the last quarter of 2021.

                                In addition, the city is considering two options to address fresh water shortages. The first is to give approval to the Provincial Waterworks Authority’s plan to lay a 7-km undersea pipeline. The pipeline will be laid in parallel with electrical submarine cable to pump water to Koh Lan. Another option is to sign a contract with East Water to supply 3,000 cubic metres of fresh water per day. The city is expected to make a decision early next year.

                                Meanwhile, Pattaya is moving forward with projects to upgrade Na Kluea into a destination for popular cultural tourism. Known as Pattaya old town, Na Kluea charms with its traditional-style houses, shops, fish market and street food vendors.

                                Now, the city is planning to construct a 5-storey car park building to facilitate people visiting Lan Pho Fish Market. The market itself will be redesigned allowing tourists to buy fresh seafood or sample fresh seafood dishes cooked in the market.

                                Another projects include the construction of nature walkway from Lan Pho to Khlong Nok Yao (Saphan Yao) and another nature trail through the only mangrove forest in Pattaya.

                                Last year, Pattaya welcomed 15 million tourists, of which 10 million or more than 66 per cent were foreign visitors, generating over Bt240 billion in revenue. Koh Lan attracted 5 million, 70 per cent of them foreign.:

                                Keep your friends close and your enemies closer


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