The Farang (sex) tourists of days gone-by, the Germans, English etc., would often not book a package tour but were mostly individual tourists who would arrive in Pattaya from the airport by taxi or public bus.
Since ever-increasing numbers of Russian and (more recently) Chinese tour groups have started visiting Pattaya, however, the number of coaches on the roads of Pattaya has skyrocketed to unheard-of extremes. In combination with the city’s Baht buses they obviously also play a major role in regular traffic jams in downtown Pattaya.
Only recently in a conversation with some friends, we’ve floated the idea to ban large tour buses completely from the central Pattaya city area and provide tour companies instead with a huge parking lot somewhere on the other side of Sukhumvit Road, where minivans and Baht buses would be on standby to transfer the tourists to their respective hotels.
The effect such a ban should have on traffic in Pattaya should be a blessing for the city and tourism.
As it seems, the Banglamung District Chief, Khun Chakorn Kanjawattana, has read our mind and now floated basically the same idea in a town meeting yesterday.
In the meeting, the district chief actually went as far as identifying tour buses as the “main cause” of Pattaya’s deteriorating traffic problems, saying “they park where they want […] often double-parking and getting stuck on the small sois [side streets], where they should not be going in the first place.”
We can’t help but agree with his criticism.
According to Pattaya One, Khun Chakorn suggested to ban tour buses altogether from the central Pattaya area and instead have them drop off their passengers at a “large lot” on the Dark Side.
From there, tourists could continue their journey to the beach or their respective hotels in minvans or Baht buses that would be provided at no extra charges by the respective tour companies.
Well, it’s basically the same proposal we recently made in a conversation. So why is nothing happening?
It should be quite easy to identify a sufficiently large plot of land in East Pattaya, preferably near the motorway to Bangkok and the airport. So that can’t really be the problem. Obviously the tour companies wouldn’t like the idea of hiring minivans to transfer tourists to their downtown hotels; but do they really have so much clout?
Anyway, Pattaya One note that similar ideas to ban tour buses from Pattaya have been “suggested at least twice before in the past several years” and each time nothing happened. So no, we wouldn’t hold our breath this time either.