Walking Street, the most famous street and nightlife venue in Pattaya is rumored to be facing an uncertain future. It is said that more than 100 buildings, which include some of the most famous nightclubs, discos, go-go clubs and restaurants in Pattaya have been built illegally, and could possibly receive their marching orders.
The illegal properties are all on the beach side (see photo above) of Walking Street, and have overstepped the mark by encroaching on to and over the beach, which is the property of the Thai Royal Navy.
If you venture through some of the restaurants and bars on the beach side of Walking Street (see photo above) you can clearly see the ramshackle arrangement of the buildings supported on stilts and piles protruding from the beach.
As seen in the photo (above) the buildings cover the beach along the entire length of Walking Street, following the curve of Pattaya Bay. That’s a lot of prime real estate, and a lot of beach which would usually be considered a major asset in any seaside town.
What will happen to Walking Street ?
If it is decided that action will be taken against the illegal buildings, it is a matter of which course of action to take.
When you consider previous actions taken by the government to clean up Pattaya, such as the demolition of the bars and restaurants on Na Jomtien beach, the removal of boats from Bali Hai and postponement of the Waterfront condo project, you have to believe it is possible that the beach side of Walking Street could be demolished.
Life after Walking Street
There are of course 2 halves to Walking Street, only 1 half is under threat. The question is, in what capacity will Walking Street remain.
Will Walking Street continue to prosper as Pattaya’s most frequented nightlife zone ?. Will the go-go clubs, beer bars, discos, nightclubs and restaurants which occupied the beach side of be relocated to new premises ?.
Asa nightlife venue, Walking Street attracts a lot of visitors to Pattaya, and a lot of revenue. A new look, re-vamped Walking Street offering bars, restaurants and hotels with sea views could still be very popular as a nightlife venue, and keep the tourist revenue flowing in to Pattaya.
Removing Walking Street nightlife establishments to a new zone would open up the area, and the current buildings for development as a hotel, shopping and recreation area. But there would be no sense in building and trying to fill hotels on top of what used to attracts masses of tourists to Pattaya.
The Thai Government Purge
Since the military government took power they have taken their promises to clean up Thailand seriously. Much of what the government wants to clean up indirectly involves and affects the tourist industry, be it sex tourism, beach management, scams or corruption.
In a sense, Pattaya’s Walking Street epitomizes everything the government wishes to change about Thailand. Demolishing the illegal buildings on Walking Street would be a signal of intent, and for better or for worse, may herald the start of a new, uncertain era for Pattaya.
Poll closed: results
What Should Happen to Walking Street ?
It should remain as it is, with appropriate deeds and titles issued. (48%, 13 Votes)
It should remain a nightlife zone, but the illegal buildings should be demolished. (41%, 11 Votes)
The buildings should be demolished, and and all nightlife removed to a new zone. (11%, 3 Votes)
What Will Happen to Walking Street ?
Nothing will be done. (69%, 18 Votes)
The buildings will be demolished. (31%, 8 Votes)