Pattaya, struggling along for the past 7 months with a handful of domestic tourists and Bangkok weekenders, has had its busiest weekend for a long time, albeit a long weekend created by the public holiday in commemoration of King Chulongkorn. Much of the increased traffic were Thai faces, a big change to the city’s old demographic of international tourists and expats.
Tourists flocked to the city for the long weekend which included the Eastern Colorful Food, Culture and Music festival stretching along the Beach Road foreshore.
The focus of the weekend’s events was the Beach Road which was visibly busy with expats, locals and tourists joining in the foreshore festival, talent shows, music concerts and local food. Central Festival, in the middle of the Beach Road, hosted a range of activities and shows.
Several proprietors with businesses in the city’s red light areas also told The Thaiger that it was the busiest they’d seen areas like Walking Street and Soi 6 since the tourist tap slowed to a dribble after the borders were closed down in late March.
The city, along with the rest of Thailand, might have a few more good weeks ahead with the Loy Krathong and Halloween celebrations. The Central Festival Bikini Beach Run is also being held next week. Around the corner the Fireworks Festival on November 27 and 28, a seafood festival, and not too far away, Christmas and New Year celebrations.
Speaking to a number of participants in the foreshore festival on Friday evening, some people said they’d come down from Bangkok to escape the threat of disruptions from the ongoing government protests. Chad said he needed a Bangkok Break…
“Just had to escape for the weekend and get out of the city. All anyone is talking about now is the protests and I needed a bit of Pattaya pampering.”
Another expat, working in the tourism sector, (who didn’t want to be named) noted that Pattaya’s famous (or infamous) nightlife had sprung back to life.
“It didn’t take long for the bargirls to flood back and the shutters open on the bars again. Most of the faces I’m seeing are Thai. I figure it may be the first visit to Pattaya for many of them. Let’s hope they keep coming.”
“Very happy to see the events and festivals are coming back to Pattaya. We will see more in the last 2 months of the year,” said Sawas Dee.
Beyond the foreshore area there was still much of the city still closed up and hotels were offering excellent rates through the usual OTAs. Pattaya is still in a struggle to keep its businesses open but at least the last 3 days have given a much-need boost to city life.
The Thaiger has a full story about Pattaya’s struggles on our YouTube channel tomorrow.
Watch a quick video from Sawas Dee here…
SOURCE: The Pattaya News
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