As tourists return, Pattaya’s Walking Street set to close to cars again

Pattaya Walking Street

Pattaya officials say that starting tomorrow (Thursday), the city’s tourist magnet, Walking Street, will close to cars again, as it did in pre-Covid days. This news comes as more former bars have opened as ‘restaurants’, a loop hole in the Thai government’s Covid restrictions that’s been forced on bar owners so they can get their businesses open again.

From 7pm to 6am the street will shut to be shut to cars again, just like a true walking street needs to be. The street has allowed cars at all hours since Covid-19 first broke out in 2020.

But as Thailand’s Covid restrictions ease, the number of people heading back to Walking Street has increased, creating problems as people dodge the traffic. The Pattaya News reports that social media users have mostly given positive feedback after the announcement about closing Walking Street to cars at certain hours.

Along with several back-peddles over the un-popular Thailand Pass, Thailand’s CCSA announced last week it also plans to ease another Covid-19 restriction… the alcohol curfew. Restaurants, and ‘restaurants’, will now be able to serve alcohol until midnight, instead of 11pm. Like the Thailand Pass changes, the alcohol curfew change is set to start on May 1.

Of course many venues are already operating until at least midnight, or beyond, despite the draconian restrictions that, officially, require bars and nightlife in Thailand to remain closed.

But the slight official loosening of the alcohol curfew to midnight, along with the easing of travel restrictions, is likely to boost the number of walkers along the famous Pattaya foreshore street.

Last month, an entertainment official in Pattaya called on authorities to move closing times on venues to 1am instead of 11pm. The official was the secretary of the Pattaya Association of Entertainment Venue Operators. Time will only tell how much the new midnight curfew can satisfy entertainment and tourism sector.

Good news, generally, that Pattaya’s vibrant nightlife is slowly gearing up again.

SOURCE: The Pattaya News

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Tara Abhasakun

A Thai-American dual citizen, Tara has reported news and spoken on a number of human rights and cultural news issues in Thailand. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history from The College of Wooster. She interned at Southeast Asia Globe, and has written for a number of outlets. Tara reports on a range of Thailand news issues.

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