ONE ROUNDABOUT LESS
Pattaya is not famous for its roundabouts and now there is one less. The one on Jomtien Two Road has been demolished to make way for traffic lights. The rumour is that there were many accidents as Thais don’t understand roundabouts. Whether traffic lights can do any better remains to be seen.
ANOTHER CABLE CULL
City Hall has once again announced an electricity overhaul to prepare us for the next ten years with its expected surge in demand. Several areas of the city centre are designated to have their ugly overhead cables removed to an underground status. We have heard it all before but hope springs eternal.
MORE SPEED SIGNS
It has always been a bit unclear what is the speed limit in town, but the local authority has been busy on hills and crossroads installing flashing lights which usually say “30”. Additionally, several right hand turns on Sukhumvit Road are now indicated with illuminated signs to try and improve traffic flow. These are actually welcome developments.
COUNTRY CLUB WOES
Those of us hoping to once again use Soi Siam Country Club to approach the Mabprachan lake area in the near future will be disappointed. Quoting flood problems and technical issues, the builders say that the roadworks and unfinished paving will be with us indefinitely. That probably means until the end of the year.
HUMAN DISPOSAL ALTERNATIVE
There is now a third way on top of burial and cremation. Alkaline Hydrolosis mean that you are placed in a cylinder where ozone-friendly acids make your body vanish into an ooze. Quite a lot of bones remain and they are crushed to a powder which then is handed over to the relatives in an urn. The process is cheaper than traditional cremation and uses a lot less gas or electric power in an environmentally-friendly way.
Easy Health, on Third Road near New York Pizza and where the French restaurant Aux Agapes used to be, is proving a popular choice for those who like healthy eating. It is not wholly vegan or vegetarian, but there are lots of options for those cuisines. Open 10-10 daily, but closed on Sundays.
THIRD COUP ANNIVERSARY
It is now just over three years since the Thai military took over the country. Most commentators say they have done a good job in ensuring street order, by and large, but have been less successful on the economic front. Some even claim the junta is now embattled, but tell that to Donald Trump or Theresa May who have been in office for much less time.
Quite a number of tourists have cancelled vacations to the Philippines after the declaration of martial law on the south island of Mindanao because of a mounting insurgency there. Popular tourist areas such as Davao City and Zamboanga are said to be suffering because of tanks and soldiers on the streets. The country last had martial law during the presidency of Ferdinand Marcos in the 1970s.
NIGHT CLUB SHORTAGES
Pattaya’s clubs are said to be suffering a shortage of hostesses and hosts to entertain the tourist crowds. The reasons are mixed. Those visitors interested in a good time seem to be numerically in decline which leads to a shortage of customers. Also, the social media have to a degree replaced night-time spots as an introduction to the gal or guy of your dreams. Pattaya really is changing.
A reader asks if he can renew his one year retirement permission-to-stay two months ahead of time. Difficult, as the Immigration Bureau says that you must apply within one month of the expiry date. If you have an urgent reason for early renewal, such as travel abroad, you would need to make your request in person. Best of luck!