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Exodus Of Western Expats From Pattaya


sojourner007
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According to the Visa Plus articles in Pattaya Trader long-term Anglo-Saxon residents of Pattaya are leaving the City of Sin in increasing numbers for their home countries. TOT statistics indicates a downward

trend over the last few years in arrivals from those countries. I think the main reason for these trends is that Pattaya is no longer what it used to be. The city has changed dramatically over the last 7 years or so.

Many of us who decided many years ago to stay here long-term liked the relaxed, easy-going atmosphere of a small resort city with most of the foreign visitors being just like us, - single Western men in search

of Thai partners for fun and companionship. Pattaya now resembles Bangkok with its high-rises, traffic snarl, pollution, high living costs, and crowds of people. Instead of a relatively homogenous Western expat

population the city is now dominated by hordes of boorish Russian men and Russian women increasingly imposing their culture on the place.

I imagine most expats are returning to their Western homes reluctantly. The old Pattaya was unique in the world for single Western men in many respects and I cannot see any alternative of the same level of perfection.

However, perhaps there are places in Thailand or other countries where the old Pattaya atmosphere could be recreated if sufficiently many of us moved there. I drove to Phayun beach (see attached photo) in Ban Chang the other day. It is only 50 km from Pattaya. It was Saturday but the beach had very few visitors, only Thais and Western expats. There are a few nice seafood restaurants right on the beach. The sea view is

not perhaps as beautiful as in in Pattaya bay but nice enough and a strong breeze keeps you cool. There are a few condos by the beach, some of which seem to be largely unoccupied. On the other side of

Sukhumvit there is a strip of bars for Westerners. Looking around me I thought how great it would be if this place became a new 'old Pattaya' for Western guys. Coincidentally, this month edition of Pattaya

Trader has a good report on Ban Chang and what it has to offer.

Another advantage of places like Ban Chang is that they should not hold much attraction for ordinary tourist couples from Russia, China, India and the like. There are no standard tourist attractions here like

zoos, gardens, shows, etc.

Are there other places like Ban Chang or even better, in Thailand and abroad, which could become like what Pattaya used to be? There is already a forum thread about alternatives to Pattaya. But the postings

there are about the notorious hangouts like the Pattaya's 'dark side' (a rather depressing, hot, and dusty area from my point of view), Angeles in the Phillipines, Sihanookville, Phuket, Hua Hin. None of these

seem to have that complete combination of the right ingredients of the old Pattaya: sea, beach, low costs, bar girls, proximity to an airport, undeveloped and uncrowded by 'family' holidaymakers and yet

having the essential modern comfort, services and conveniences.

The way things are going now Pattaya will soon be another Sochi and the locals are already learning to speak Russian. Perhaps it is time to move on.

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I'm not really bothered by the changes here. It may motivate me more to learn Thai and there is only so much bangers and mash and fish and chips that any man can stomach!

Edited by Jingthing
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Where did TOT get the statistics from?

I got a letter in my post box in Thai, wanting all the information about who lives in the condo and so on, as usual it found its way into File 13. Maybe this is how TOT got their statistics as it is one of the advertisers on said form, and expats unable to read it just binned it.

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Perhaps it's more to do with the exchange rate. :)

More than likely, the tumbling exchange rate. Must be hitting some folks very hard, sadly.

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You make several valid points sojourner. I have just finished replying to a similar topic on pattaya news clippings regarding a police raid on a small, and insignificant soi in pattaya. Check it out. Your observations pretty much coincide with mine. I have to be honest and say that a lot of people are in denial though. Of course the exchange rate is a factor, a big one too. But its not a real problem for a lot of farangs who have enough money to ride it out. Not me i hasten to add, i wish! But you are undeniably correct, this city is going downhill fast, despite what the apologists with their heads in the sand would have you believe. Hopefully enough people will be honest enough to admit it, and keep posting the unpalatable truths here on thai visa.

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What nonsense.

Pattaya has been an over-crowded sleaze-pit for at least 20 years (and probably well before). It has always had regular "clean-ups" and expats and tourists have always complained about this and that.

The only thing that has changed much is more Indian and Russian tourists (and maybe more violent crime).

Don't get me wrong, I like the place, but pretending that it was a idyllic spot just 7 years ago is just plain silly. :blink:

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The decline really sped up about 2 years ago. Now all I see is Russian tourists everywhere and bars being torn down. Sad to see the place go to the dogs like it has.

I moved to Pattaya just as it started to take this nosedive. I had no idea when I moved here everyone else would be moving out.

Should I move somewhere else? Maybe a different country? I've thought about moving to Cambodia. No visa hassles is a big plus for me, since I'm only 30 and can't get a retirement visa. Khmer food is pretty tasty. Prices are fairly low if you can avoid getting ripped off. Although the major downside is the lack of infrastructure. No good hospitals yet and few of the nice condos you have in Thailand.

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In what way are the Russians "Imposing their culture on the place"?

Rather funny that comment...what have the Wesetrn Europeans been doing the past 20 years or so with Irish bars and the like.........

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Where is this Exodus starting ?

Is there a long line of Baht Buses led by Moses lined up on Tai, Klang, and Nua leading us to the promised land on Sukumvit ?

Why in the world would Telephone Oganization of Thailand produce such statistics to justify such a headline ?

Just because you read something in an English rag here in Pattaya doesn't make it any more true than reading it here on Thai Visa :whistling:

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The Indians and Russians were here 5 years ago when I came first. There are loads more now though. Why ? Cos its cheap. And they have more disposable income. Gone are the days of the Soviets being caged up behind the Iron Curtain. Gone are the days of the British Raj and punkawallahs, servants and oppression of the local population.

Who knows, soon will be gone the days of "bar girls" sucked into selling themselves for a thousand Baht just because they come from a dusty dirt poor hovel in Asia.

How many foreigners have married and live long term with ex-bar girls now? Just because they worked in a bar does not make them a bad person (there are exceptions). Would these men like to see their daughters and sons for that matter selling themselves down Soi 6 or 7? I doubt it.

I hope the children of these ex-pats are growing up living in gated safe secure well schooled society are not going to tolerate the old ways of corruption, degradation and squalar.

Soon, who knows? this new local population will rise up and get the government they really want and have actually voted for.

The world is changing. The global internet shrinks it beyond believe.

If the OP likes the "old style ways" let him vote with his feet and find his hedonistic nirvanah where ever it may lie.

But mark my words, if it has anything to do with Thailand and there is a chance to exploit the area and the patrons. It will soon look like Bangkok and Pattaya......some things never change !!!

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I have now lived/worked in Pattaya for 7 years. The first year I came there were very few Russians. No menus or shop signs were written in Russian. Within a short time, a flood of Russians have taken over the main nationality that visits Pattaya. No longer is Pattaya only full of mostly Western single men, but now one can see nice looking couples and families stolling about and spending money at the shopping centers and restaurants (not just at the beer bars) . I see nothing wrong with this. I think it is good for Pattaya's economy. Four star hotels have sprung up, Central Festival shopping center is a big plus for the city; plus the various tourist day trips one can go to (floating market, crocodile farm...). Yes, the old timers would like to keep it as it was. But the "old timers" have to remember they also "changed" Pattaya when they arrived. More and more go-go bars and massage parlors were constructed. Back 30 years ago there were only a few.

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Although I dont live there, I think Pattaya is quite a nice place now compared to a few years ago...yes theres a lot more traffic but I have visited a few times in tha past year and really enjoyed it......seems a lot cleaner and friendlier now and I prefer it much more than Phuket or Samui for a short break.......

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Pattaya has been an over-crowded sleaze-pit for at least 20 years (and probably well before). It has always had regular "clean-ups"

20 or 30 years ago it was MUCH more sleazy here and the sleaze was of far better quality. It wasnt crowded at all: you could always find a hotel room at any time of year and everywhere you looked there was empty land (and empty new buildings: that at least hasnt changed). There was much less crime though there were more arguments with baht-bus drivers owing to the "flexible" pricing. You rarely saw a farang woman or child: nearly all the farang men were looking for a "good time". There were very few farangs working in town, unlike now where one business in two seems to have a farang owner/manager. They did indeed have "clean-ups" but they were very half-hearted. There were few condos and much less traffic.

I remember at the time a lot of comments about how Thailand was hoping to broaden the market for Pattaya and attract more families, and this has certainly happened. Quite why they come here I have no idea: I certainly wouldnt choose Pattaya as a family destination but as I dont have a family its not my problem!

But the sleaze today is just a very pale shadow of its former self. This is a shame because Thailand always did sleaze rather well, compared to other countries. And the crowds of pointless farang families trooping around the shopping areas now are rather depressing, to say the least.

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Why do you want to be banned to stop you coming to the forum? Don't you have the balls to just leave?

You have made such wonderful posts in your short term here........NOT. I think you are just a previously banned member that has come in to cry.

Go and have a cup of tea, paint your fingernails and bend over for your friends, I'm sure they've got more balls than you.

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The OP tends to write off the ‘Dark Side’ as ‘a rather depressing, hot, and dusty area’. I can only assume he is referring to the southern end of the Darkside – maybe the Nern Plub Wan, Kow Noi, Kow Talo area as up here, in Pong, nothing could be further from the truth.

I have lived in the Pattaya region for over 7 years and apart from a year that I spent in a condo overlooking the sea in Jomtien, for the rest of the time I have lived near Mabprachan Lake, on the northern end of the Darkside and can state that is neither dusty nor depressing. It also has lower ambient temperatures than downtown Pattaya , with cool mornings and evenings, and lower humidity.

Admittedly there are no sea views and for those who demand a sea view when waking up in the morning then the Darkside is not for you. Personally, I woke up with a view of the ocean for twelve long months when I lived in Jomtien, and after the first few weeks, I forgot that it existed. The novelty soon wore off for me, but I admit, maybe not for everyone.

On the plus side, there is much to commend the Pong area of the Darkside. The proximity of the large lake affords many activities such as canoeing, fishing, picnicking, jogging, or just taking an evening stroll with the dogs as I do, and watch the sun set over the lake; a very picturesque sight. Then there are the restaurants, bars and hotels which have grown up around the lake – not invasive but in sufficient number to suit all tastes, in both food and women!!

Most areas of Pong are less than five minutes from the main Bangkok/ Rayong Highway, and the new motorway spur will take you to central Pattaya in less than 10 minutes, avoiding all the hot, dusty, traffic snarled sois. You can be in Bangkok airport within the hour and in central Bangkok in 75 minutes – a saving of at least 20 minutes journey when compared to driving from Pattaya city.

Heading directly east from Pong is Route 331, a good 4-6 lane highway which will whisk you northwards to Kabin Buri and thence to Sa kaeo, Korat and the rest of Issan, or northwards to Chiang Mai, all without having to go via the congested Bangkok outer ring road.

Going south west from Pong you can take the route 331 to Na Jomtien, Bang Sare, Bang Chang, Sattahip and beyond without having to drive through Pattaya.

There are several, large local markets in the Darkside area which are well stocked with fresh fruit, vegetables and meat at much lower prices than the Pattaya stores and there is a growing infrastructure of grocery and hardware and other stores within a few minutes’ drive. At the border of Nong Prue and Pong, at the corner of Siam Country Club Road, is a huge 7/11 which now provides a 24 hour service to the local Pong community.

I could go on and on… the local Thais are friendly and are quite unlike their counterparts in Sin city, although most speak very little English so learning even a few words of Thai would be very useful and much welcomed.

Pattaya City itself? Yes, it has much changed and I am now convinced that it will slowly go mid-market but I doubt that the seedy areas will totally disappear. Out here in the Pong area of the Darkside, I now have the best of both worlds; I can live in the relative peace and tranquillity of life around the lake yet within 10 minutes I can be in the hustle and bustle of a growing metropolis where I can shop, wine and dine to my heart’s content.

Eat your hearts out…… :D

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I love Pattaya because everyone's so calm, cool, happy & contented here, in this Thai Paradise we all call home... and I can see I'm not the only one.

Today's forecast for the Greater Pattaya Area: Gonna be a great day!

Tomorrow: Even better!

Monday: Valentine's Day

Sanuk, sanuk krap...

B)

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I love Pattaya because everyone's so calm, cool, happy & contented here, in this Thai Paradise we all call home... and I can see I'm not the only one.

Today's forecast for the Greater Pattaya Area: Gonna be a great day!

Tomorrow: Even better!

Monday: Valentine's Day

Sanuk, sanuk krap...

B)

That's the spirit mate.

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In what way are the Russians "Imposing their culture on the place"?

Rather funny that comment...what have the Wesetrn Europeans been doing the past 20 years or so with Irish bars and the like.........

Does Pattaya belongs to the "British Race"?

Quite ignorant attitude!

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The OP tends to write off the ‘Dark Side’ as ‘a rather depressing, hot, and dusty area’. I can only assume he is referring to the southern end of the Darkside – maybe the Nern Plub Wan, Kow Noi, Kow Talo area as up here, in Pong, nothing could be further from the truth.

I have lived in the Pattaya region for over 7 years and apart from a year that I spent in a condo overlooking the sea in Jomtien, for the rest of the time I have lived near Mabprachan Lake, on the northern end of the Darkside and can state that is neither dusty nor depressing. It also has lower ambient temperatures than downtown Pattaya , with cool mornings and evenings, and lower humidity.

Admittedly there are no sea views and for those who demand a sea view when waking up in the morning then the Darkside is not for you. Personally, I woke up with a view of the ocean for twelve long months when I lived in Jomtien, and after the first few weeks, I forgot that it existed. The novelty soon wore off for me, but I admit, maybe not for everyone.

On the plus side, there is much to commend the Pong area of the Darkside. The proximity of the large lake affords many activities such as canoeing, fishing, picnicking, jogging, or just taking an evening stroll with the dogs as I do, and watch the sun set over the lake; a very picturesque sight. Then there are the restaurants, bars and hotels which have grown up around the lake – not invasive but in sufficient number to suit all tastes, in both food and women!!

Most areas of Pong are less than five minutes from the main Bangkok/ Rayong Highway, and the new motorway spur will take you to central Pattaya in less than 10 minutes, avoiding all the hot, dusty, traffic snarled sois. You can be in Bangkok airport within the hour and in central Bangkok in 75 minutes – a saving of at least 20 minutes journey when compared to driving from Pattaya city.

Heading directly east from Pong is Route 331, a good 4-6 lane highway which will whisk you northwards to Kabin Buri and thence to Sa kaeo, Korat and the rest of Issan, or northwards to Chiang Mai, all without having to go via the congested Bangkok outer ring road.

Going south west from Pong you can take the route 331 to Na Jomtien, Bang Sare, Bang Chang, Sattahip and beyond without having to drive through Pattaya.

There are several, large local markets in the Darkside area which are well stocked with fresh fruit, vegetables and meat at much lower prices than the Pattaya stores and there is a growing infrastructure of grocery and hardware and other stores within a few minutes’ drive. At the border of Nong Prue and Pong, at the corner of Siam Country Club Road, is a huge 7/11 which now provides a 24 hour service to the local Pong community.

I could go on and on… the local Thais are friendly and are quite unlike their counterparts in Sin city, although most speak very little English so learning even a few words of Thai would be very useful and much welcomed.

Pattaya City itself? Yes, it has much changed and I am now convinced that it will slowly go mid-market but I doubt that the seedy areas will totally disappear. Out here in the Pong area of the Darkside, I now have the best of both worlds; I can live in the relative peace and tranquillity of life around the lake yet within 10 minutes I can be in the hustle and bustle of a growing metropolis where I can shop, wine and dine to my heart’s content.

Eat your hearts out…… :D

Fully agree....only thing missing is a Lotus, Carrefour, Foodland over here. This would limit the travel downtown further.

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The decline really sped up about 2 years ago. Now all I see is Russian tourists everywhere and bars being torn down. Sad to see the place go to the dogs like it has.

I moved to Pattaya just as it started to take this nosedive. I had no idea when I moved here everyone else would be moving out.

Should I move somewhere else? Maybe a different country? I've thought about moving to Cambodia. No visa hassles is a big plus for me, since I'm only 30 and can't get a retirement visa. Khmer food is pretty tasty. Prices are fairly low if you can avoid getting ripped off. Although the major downside is the lack of infrastructure. No good hospitals yet and few of the nice condos you have in Thailand.

I wouldn't move to Hua Hin. I predict in 5 years it will be another Pattaya. Cha Am will be another Pattaya in about 10 yrs.

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The only thing I see somewhat different now in Pattaya from when I moved here in 2004 (besides a change of people{which does not bother me in the least} is the traffic. It is becoming more & more like the congestion in Bangkok.I moved to Bang Saray & like that it is only 20 minutes to Pattaya(which I go to at least once or twice a week.15 minutes to Makro. Not a problem for someone not working & something fun to do anyway.I can see more of an issue of funds since the Pound , Euro & Dollar have taken a hit - that & the Bahts strength & inflation up the wazoo since 2004 is way more of a factor for someone selling the farm in their home country to try to make ends meet on a pension.

Pattaya isn't any more sleezy (or less) than when I moved here. I wouldn't change the scene anyway as it definitely serves a purpose anyway. No one is forced to go to soi 6 or walking street for action. Still plenty of choices. I do enjoy being away from the traffic but Pattaya I see it is far from going to the dogs. I lived on the darkside for a couple years & didn't find anything bad about it. As Mobi pointed out there our other alternatives to Pattaya before those that live here. The question is that Pattaya could use more positives to bring in more expats not dwell on the mass exodus. Nothing wrong with Pattaya & surrounding areas just the monetary woes causing more problems.

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Although I dont live there, I think Pattaya is quite a nice place now compared to a few years ago...yes theres a lot more traffic but I have visited a few times in tha past year and really enjoyed it......seems a lot cleaner and friendlier now and I prefer it much more than Phuket or Samui for a short break.......

___________________

Since I live in Pattaya, I can see the cracks and crannies more than a one week tourist, but I will say staying here on vacation would be less of a strain on the pocket book than Phuket; the hotels are cheaper and there are some nice ones now; and the local people (in general terms) are a lot more friendlier -especially the baht drivers. The tuk tuk drivers in Phuket are nasty in my opinion.

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The nationalities don't bother me...it's the type who come here to a foreign land and whinge about other nationalities that are a pain. First it's the Thais, then Russian, then mid-eastern, indians, chinese etc etc.

As if Anglo Saxon (to use the OP's term) means you have the monopoly on Pattaya. I am glad there are more non English speaking people coming these days, the variety keeps the place interesting. If you want a "homogenous" Anglo Saxon world in Pattaya, well tough titties for you...it never was and hopefuly never will be.

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What nonsense.

Pattaya has been an over-crowded sleaze-pit for at least 20 years ...

Don't get me wrong, I like the place, but pretending that it was a idyllic spot just 7 years ago is just plain silly. :blink:

Most of the year it wasn't all that over-crowded even ten or fifteen years ago, or at least didn't appear to be.

Before TukCom was resurrected about the only activity on Pattaya Tai , was at Friendship SuperMarket and late at night at Hollywood. Third Rd had a few small bar/karaoke places that mainly catered to Thais. Further east was totally dead. The only thing approaching a shopping mall was Big C near Pattaya Nua. You could walk across 2nd Rd or Beach Rd or Pattaya Tai without much hassle with traffic. December to February it become more crowded, but during the summer months it was pretty quiet. Sleazy it's always been.

If there are more Russians and fewer Brits, for example, why is that a bad thing? If you crave Brits or Americans, there's plenty of them in UK or the USA. Coming to Thailand seeking their company seems a little odd.

As to mass exoduses, everytime the wind shifts (or the baht exchange rate changes or there's some political noise from red or yellow shirts or there's a coup or they change the times the bars can stay open or they enforce visa regulations or some new flu strain emerges or there's a curfew or ...) all the Chicken Littles announce the end is nigh, everyone is leaving, that's the last nail in the coffin ...

Judging from conversations overheard in the elevator/lift in my building I'd say there are more Germans than before, a fair number more permanent resident Thais, a smattering of French speakers and some more who appear to be Scandinavian and a few people from the Middle East. None of them has attempted to impose his/her culture on me.

Once again applying a Yogi Berra quote to Pattaya, "No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded."

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If there are more Russians and fewer Brits, for example, why is that a bad thing? If you crave Brits or Americans, there's plenty of them in UK or the USA. Coming to Thailand seeking their company seems a little odd.

As to mass exoduses, everytime the wind shifts (or the baht exchange rate changes or there's some political noise from red or yellow shirts or there's a coup or they change the times the bars can stay open or they enforce visa regulations or some new flu strain emerges or there's a curfew or ...) all the Chicken Littles announce the end is nigh, everyone is leaving, that's the last nail in the coffin ...

Judging from conversations overheard in the elevator/lift in my building I'd say there are more Germans than before, a fair number more permanent resident Thais, a smattering of French speakers and some more who appear to be Scandinavian and a few people from the Middle East. None of them has attempted to impose his/her culture on me.

Once again applying a Yogi Berra quote to Pattaya, "No one goes there anymore, it's too crowded."

Congratulations you hit the nail on the head.

Couldn't have said it any better !!

Yermanee

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i spent 8 years in Samui now theres a place going or gone down hill fast. been here a year and think its great, airport hour away and 130 on air con bus, baht bus 10 baht, can buy practically anything you want, all sports and hobbies, reasonablly priced beer and company. for me its great

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