Pattaya in 10 years--Is this where you want to be?
Its been about 10 years(!) since I first strolled the Sois of Pattaya.
And I have seen A LOT of changes.
MUCH higher prices for real estate, food, and the nightlife. But, happily, prices for transport (baht bus) and
rental housing have moved little. (This ignores the Baht appreciation of 25%+!)
The city has also evolved into a more 'family' oriented destination--especially with the Russian invasion which
seems at record levels this year.
Seems to be less talk of the 'old farang, cheap charlie' coming to stay than in years past.
Lastly, the construction boom in 'high end' condos and announced 'five star' hotel chains has been a BIG
surprise--at least to me.
So, I'm going to look into my crystal ball and offer three forecasts for the next 10 years:
1) The 'demise of cheap charlie'.
Their will always be the long-staying expat in Pattaya living on his meager pension--but I think
this number is diminishing daily and will accelerate.
Living on a $1,000USD monthly retirement (or equivalent) will be too difficult for many as they'll seek residence
in other countries like Cambodia, the Philippines, and Myanmar (Burma).
Thai officials, meanwhile, will only be too happy to see them go--a shame, I think.
2) Vacancy rates will escalate, especially at 'higher end properties'.
I read, somewhere, hotel occupancy rates in Pattaya average in the mid-50s--a low percentage as
I believe 70% is typically needed for break-even.
New hotels (Le Meridian, for example) with rooms starting at 3,000B++ will, I think, will suffer heavy losses as
the city will NEVER consistently attract the 'Phuket tourist'.
3) The nightlife will contract--less bars and higher prices due to rising labor costs.
Pattaya is built on its nightlife--and while it will continue, albeit with less bars, prices will continue
to escalate especially due to a birthrate (so less labor) that's fallen by more than half over the past several
years--especially in Issan province.
Look for a greater influx, and tolerance, of Cambodian and Burmese immigrants working in the city.
Living happily in Thailand requires a PLAN--which means preparing for change.
And while I'm not Nostradamus, I've stressed over the years financial and physical 'flexibility' is needed to live
Don't get stuck in a place that's become unwelcoming, too expensive, and you aren't comfortable in--all with no
See this CLASSIC essay: http://retiretopattayathailand.com/Issue-133.html