In a recent article by “The Pattaya News”, Pattaya City Hall hosted a presentation by a group of professional consultants hired as part of the greater Eastern Economic Corridor (E.E.C.) to outline two different yet very similar proposals for the future modernisation of both Bali-Hai and Walking Street.
The overall aim of the two proposals is to seamlessly connect Pattaya’s major shopping malls with Walking Street and Bali-Hai Pier via a modern mono-rail similar to that of the BTS network in Bangkok but obviously on a much smaller scale. In recent years Pattaya City Hall has conducted several feasibility studies into a possible tram network, and the latest two proposals seem to indicate that Pattaya City Hall is learning more towards an elevated overhead mono-rail network as opposed to either a tram or subway network as an alternative to it’s existing public transportation network which is still largely baht bus dependent.
On reflection, a mono-rail network actually makes a lot of sense as it’s the least expensive option of the three. And since the mono-rail network would be suspended directly overhead some of our already badly congested roads, it should cause minimum disruption to traffic within Pattaya City once completed and hopefully go a long way towards helping alleviate some of Pattaya long time inner-city traffic congestion issues particularly over the weekends and public holidays.
Without doubt Walking Street still remains the number one undisputed nighttime tourism hotspot for both domestic and international tourists thanks to it’s unique proliferation of vibrant bars, go-go’s, discos and restaurants which have dominated the adult entertainment scene here in Pattaya for several decades. However by day, it’s shortcomings quickly become apparent as evidenced by the lack of tourist foot-traffic during the day as most of the aforementioned entertainment and eatery venues mentioned above remain closed during the day giving tourists little to no reason to visit Walking Street during the day aside from going to and from the Koh Larn passenger ferry terminal via Walking Street.
Quiet understandably, most tourists tend to congregate either on the beaches or in the major air-conditioned shopping malls during the day. And thus it’s hoped that the inclusion of a massive recreational walkway linking Pattaya Beach to Bali-Hai Pier via land reclaimed from the sea alongside Walking Street together with a cantilevered observation wheel, much like the “London Eye” but obviously on a much smaller scale will aid in Pattaya City’s efforts to entice daytime tourists and local residents back to the area.
Other proposals for the area also include the building of an international cruise terminal, which would involve the construction of a new pier and breakwater next to the existing marina adjacent to the lighthouse. Whilst it’s hoped that the proposed mono-rail network could serve as a seamless, hassle-free and more importantly cost-effective link ferrying passengers to and from both Walking Street, Bali-Hai Pier and Pattaya’s major shopping malls.
The consultants ended their presentation over at Pattaya City Hall by cautioning everyone who was present that their future modernisation proposal plans for Walking Street and Bali-Hai Pier are still at the early proposal stage, and as such can be subject to change with a possible anticipated completion date sometime in 2025 if everything goes according to plan.