UA-610852-2 Issue 144|Retire to Pattaya Thailand UA-610852-2

Retire to Pattaya Thailand!


Issue 144

Why Pattaya is STILL the best!

As MANY Pattaya business owners suffer through one of the WORST 'low seasons'
in memory, their has been a litany of suggested reasons.

The strong Baht, which is something I warned about
, rising airfares, escalating crime rates, and inexorable inflation as prices have
risen at hotels, restaurants, and overall nightlife.

Along with this gloomy picture are the chronic Pattaya letter writers (see Pattaya
periodicals here for
examples) all longing for the 'glory days of yesteryear'.

Fond memories of lower prices, less traffic, and the 'friendly Thai people'
inevitably are written about.

So, having things gotten THAT bad in Pattaya? Is it time to SERIOUSLY consider revising
one's present or future retirement plans?

My answer is a clear, at least for now, NO!

And while I haven't been coming to Pattaya since the early 70's, unlike
some expats I know, over the past ten years I have seen SIGNIFICANT changes.

Albeit NOT all for the better, as I have stated here
but I see three MAJOR improvements in the area that definitely have made it more
livable and accommodating.

1) Suvarnabhumi Airport's Opening

Although I have fond memories of Don Muang Airport, the easy of getting around inside
or grabbing a taxi where excellent, its location was LESS than ideal for the Eastern
Seaboard traveler-especially if arriving late in the evening.

What could easily be a nearly three hour journey, if going through Bangkok rush
hour traffic, has now been nearly HALVED as the airport's closer and the new
highway has improved the transport considerably.

No longer are the days of being 'forced' to spend the night in Bangkok to
catch an early morning flight as the drive times are not that much different anymore.

2) Low cost of living, STILL, overall

While prices have increased on a significantly on a PERCENTAGE basis on some accommodations,
food, etc., they have also worldwide.

However, let's keep the increases in perspective as several Internet posters
were lamenting the 'enormous' price increase at a local hotel-approximately
20% on their cheapest rooms.

The increase? They went from 450B to 550B per night. In USD that's about $3.12
at today's exchange.

And here's another-A local buffet increased their prices, based upon memory,
about 21%. The actual increase: 30B or less than one dollar.

Lastly, its inarguable that 'asking' prices for real estate have increased
A LOT but you know what's only slightly moved...?

Rental prices-not much higher than a years ago. Likely also to stagnate in the future
as MORE and MORE condominiums come on the seeking renters.

3) 'SOME' infrastructure improvements

Although I can the typical, cynical expat laughing regarding 'infrastructure
improvements' but I do think things HAVE improved in some areas.

Finishing of the Beach Road sidewalk, the attempts at cleaning the beach, and the
new Bangkok-Pattaya highway have made things better.

NOT perfect, as TIT (This is Thailand), and unquestionably MORE needs to be done
but things are slowly moving forward.


I am NOT a 'Dr Pangloss' proclaiming how 'wonderful everything is'.
To the contrary, see some comments here:

It is, however, important to appreciate the GOOD in what
Pattaya offers-as their is an ABUNDANCE more than the bad.