All aboard please, Pattaya’s air-con bus service is finally running
After many months of delay, Pattaya’s public bus system is
finally running. The Pattaya Beach Bus Company, which has the sub-contract to
provide public transport, began services on August 23. City administrators and
members of the media boarded the bus as it left city hall for the maiden trip.
In the initial stages, three buses will run the Green route
over the next 30 days in order to iron out any potential problems. Following
this, a further six buses will begin servicing two other routes.
Amnart Luengamornlert, Pattaya Beach Bus Company president,
revealed that the company had invested 80 million baht on this part of the
public transport concession contract, aimed at easing the city’s growing
Air-con buses, each seating 30 people, will service three
main routes with a fare of 30 baht for the entire distance of each route. The
month-long test run will also gauge the number of passengers as well as
difficulties on the route. The full 24 vehicles are expected to be in service
on all three routes in October.
Future plans will see the buses modified to cater to the
city’s disabled community, and there will be an increase in bus stops and
ticketing venues at hotels, shopping centers and convenience stores.
The three routes are color coded into Red, Green and Yellow
Route 1, the Red Line, is the longest at 30 km. A total of 8
busses are scheduled to run this route. The “right hand route” leaves Big C
Supercenter in South Pattaya, heads south along Sukhumvit Highway all the way
to and down Soi Chaiyapruek, up Jomtien Beach Road, past the Dongtan Corner and
up Thappraya Road, through the South Pattaya Road Intersection and continues
along Second Road through the Dolphin Roundabout, continuing along
Pattaya-Naklua Road to Banglamung Police Station, where it takes a left onto
Sukhumvit, past Banglamung District office. The bus then makes a u-turn at the
Kratinglai intersection and heads back south on Sukhumvit Road all the way down
to Soi Chaiyapruek before making another u-turn and returning northward to the
Big C Supercenter in South Pattaya.
The Red Line’s “left hand route” leaves Big C
Supercenter in South Pattaya and travels north along Sukhumvit Road, turns left
at the Banglamung Police Station and travels along Naklua Road to the
roundabout, where it makes a right turn down towards Beach Road, travels along
Beach Road to the beginning of Walking Street, where it turns left onto South
Pattaya Road. The route takes a right at the South Pattaya Second Road
intersection and continues along Thappraya Road, along Jomtien Beach Road to
Soi Chaiyapruek, up to Sukhumvit Road and returns to the Big C Supercenter in
A total of 3 busses service Route 2, the Yellow line. The
starting point is also the Big C car park in South Pattaya. It begins by
heading south down Sukhumvit Road, and takes a right onto Thepprasit Road. The
route continues along Thepprasit before making a right at the Thappraya Road
intersection, makes another right onto Pattaya Third Road under the overhead
bridge, then makes its way along Pattaya Third Road to the North Pattaya Road
intersection. Here it turns right towards Sukhumvit, makes a U-turn at the
Sukhumvit intersection and heads back towards the beach past city hall, then
goes round the Dolphin Roundabout to return back to Sukhumvit, heading south
down Sukhumvit to the Thepprasit / Sukhumvit intersection, where it makes
another u-turn and finally returns to the starting point at Big C Supercenter
in South Pattaya.
Route 3, the Green Line, also has right and left hand
routes. The outgoing (right hand) route starts from Big C Supercenter in South
Pattaya, goes down South Pattaya Road to the South Pattaya / Second Road
intersection, where it turns right onto Second Road, continuing up to the
Dolphin Roundabout in North Pattaya. At the roundabout, it goes straight along
Pattaya-Naklua Road before turning into Soi Potisarn. At the end of Soi
Potisarn the buses turn left onto Sukhumvit and run past Bangkok Pattaya, then
make a U-turn in front of the mosque before going back along Sukhumvit Road to
the Thepprasit intersection, making another u-turn and returning to Big C in
The Green Line inbound (left hand) route leaves the Big C
Supercenter in South Pattaya, travels north along Sukhumvit, turns left onto
Soi Potisarn in Naklua, and left onto Naklua Road before turning right at the
roundabout, goes south along Beach Road to Walking Street and back up to
Sukhumvit, turning right and making a u-turn at Thepprasit before returning to
the Big C Supercenter in South Pattaya. A total of 3 vehicles will service this
Ticket prices are 30 baht for one trip, 90 baht for a day
pass, 180 baht for a three-day pass and 900 for a monthly pass.
The bus service is scheduled to run daily from 6 a.m. until 2 a.m. with
service at regular intervals and additional buses at peak time for the most
Deputy PM gives city 2 months to sort out water shortage problems
Two months have been given to the water authorities and
the East Water Company to increase supplies to the city in time for the
upcoming tourist season, following a visit to Chonburi and Rayong by
Deputy Prime Minister Phinij Jarusombat on August 25 to investigate the
regional water shortages.
Prime Minister Phinij Jarusombat reviews the current status of water
shortages in Chonburi and Rayong, which included a visit to Pattaya.
Phinij’s tour included an inspection of the Pattaya
wastewater treatment plant, which releases approximately 40,000 cubic
meters of treated water daily. The aim is to turn this water into a viable
resource to help combat the city’s current shortage, and in association
with the East Water Company to build a pipeline to the Mabprachan
reservoir to refurnish supplies.
East Water president Wanchai Lohwatanatrakul said that
the use of wastewater is a feasible concept but the current high levels of
chloride make it unsafe.
“Once we solve this issue the water can be re-used
without any problems. The city needs to investigate why the chloride
levels are so high and once this is done East Water can pump the water to
various industries which in turn will return a significant amount back to
the residential sector,” he said.
The proposed idea is estimated to cost around 10
million baht and one to two months would be required to install the
systems, according to Wanchai.
Chonburi Governor Pisit Ketphasook, who was also
present during the visit, said that the province is still having major
water shortage problems.
“The water levels in the eight main reservoirs in
total are only around 10 percent of capacity. Currently we are working on
short-term solutions to hold off running out of supplies,” said Pisit.
A 700mm-diameter pipe has already been laid from the
Bangpra reservoir to the Pattaya Water Authority and is providing an
additional 40,000-50,000 cubic meters per day. As a medium-term strategy,
East Water is currently laying a pipe from the Bangpakong River to the
Bangpra reservoir to increase the supply by another 200,000 cubic meters
daily. This should be completed by November this year.
“For the long term, we are in the process of studying
the effects of adding another two reservoirs in the Huay Soam and Huay Kai
Nao areas of the Khao Mai Kaew sub-district to aid in supplying the
Pattaya area. The study should be completed within four months,” said
On behalf of the Pattaya Business and Tourism
Association, Sinchai Wattanasartsathorn, PBTA secretary said that Pattaya
businesses have never had to deal with such problems in the past and it is
a costly exercise to date.
“As an example of the increased costs, 15 of the 25
main hotels in the city have seen their average water bill rise from
30,000 to 50,000 baht per month to 300,000 to 500,000 baht per month. The
water authority claims that they are supplying 80,000-100,000 cubic meters
per day, which is not possible.”
Phinij ordered the relevant departments and the East Water Company to
increase water supplies to the city, returning them to normal levels in
time for the upcoming tourist season or an average of 90,000 to 100,000
cubic meters daily.
Councilors slam city administrators over poor management
Two city councilors have hit out at the Pattaya
administration for what they say is management failure on a number of
The grievances were aired during a fiery debate at the
monthly council meeting on August 23, held at city hall, with councilors
Sanit Boonmarchai and Farouk Wongborisoot leading the charge.
Chaisawangwong, city council chairman chaired the monthly council meeting.
Sanit started by calling for clarification and further
action on the city beach enhancement projects, specifically the Bali Hai,
South and North Pattaya beach areas.
“These areas are very important to the city’s
tourism, specifically the beaches. These have changed dramatically due to
tide changes. The beaches are washing away because the administration has
failed to prevent business operators from building structures on the water,
specifically near the Dusit Resort corner on North Beach Road,” he
“These water breaks have also been built near the Sea
Rescue office near Bali Hai without any significant interest from the
administration in correcting the problem. The issue is urgent or we’ll see
these areas become a mirror of certain areas on Jomtien Beach where there is
virtually no beachfront left.”
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn replied that these
problems have been longstanding and the city is not idle on the subject.
“We handed the issue over to the department of public
works to inspect these areas, with the results to be returned in the near
future, so that a proper solution can be undertaken to preserve the
beaches,” he countered.
Farouk next stepped into the debate by berating
administrators on their failure to properly execute the city’s public
relations campaign to boost tourism. Farouk cited two recent events that
failed to draw any significant interest because of the poorly planned
“The first and most beneficial was the opening of the
new Queen Sirikit Public Park on Pratamnak Hill as part of the Mother’s
Day/Queen’s Birthday celebrations and the second was the Father Ray
Memorial Day at the Redemptorist Vocational College for the Disabled.
“Both of these were poorly attended due to the lack of
a proper public relations campaign and cooperation with the local media in
giving them information. They are a clear failure of the city
administration’s responsibility to improve the overall profile of Pattaya
in the local, national and international community. We have the facilities,
equipment and infrastructure but they were not properly utilized.”
City administrators accepted the responsibility for the
failure and offered to look closer to prevent the situation from
Also during the city council meeting, Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn
handed out 33 educational scholarships, valued at 10,000 baht each, on
behalf of the city as part of the annual educational support to the city’s
A project with vision helps
the elderly with free eyeglasses
Eyeglasses were handed out to the elderly at city hall on
August 24 under a support project organized by Mayor Niran
Wattanasartsathorn in conjunction with Pattaya councilors.
Niran Wattanasartsathorn (left) looks on as an elderly woman takes an eye
test prior to being allocated eyeglasses under the elderly and disabled
The eyeglasses were donated by members of public and by
the Beautiful Eyeglasses optical store under the auspices of the Social
Administrative officer Pannee Limcharoen said this
project was initiated because the elderly often could not afford to buy
eyeglasses. The elderly and disabled support project was therefore created
for those who are 60 or over, and who are registered as residents of Pattaya
City. There were 102 eyeglasses received in total but some were not in good
condition so the Beautiful Eyeglasses store made up the shortfall of 39.
Each of the recipients was given a sight test so they could receive the
correct eyeglasses. The city has further schemes in the pipeline to give the
elderly wheelchairs, walking sticks and hearing aids.
Mayor honors those who have worked for their community
Mayor Niran Wattanasartsathorn held a presentation
ceremony at city hall on August 24 for people whose conduct and good deeds
have raised money for and benefited the community this year.
Niran Wattanasartsathorn and Pattaya councilors have their photo taken with
the prize recipients.
Deputy Mayor Wuttisak Rermkijakarn had earlier presided
over a meeting, which was attended by Pattaya City Council and 27 community
representatives, to choose nine people whose actions and good deeds have
benefited the community most during 2005.
Those chosen were Praphan Thinnarong from Roilang, Mrs
Lamiad Arunsaeng from Wat Chaimongkol, Kamnung Chaweeruang from Koh Lan,
Padet Wansuntorn from Soi 5 Thanwa, Kae Ketthong from Watthammasamkkee,
Santi Klongnoi from Lanpho, Surat Bunsua from Khao Noi, Miss Chutikan Huay
Yai from Soi Post Office, and Ar Thongtawee from Nongket.
The mayor presented a shield to all nine people as well
as certificates to 17 other people who have worked to benefit the community.
Mayor Niran praised those receiving the awards, saying that every person
in the community, not just those on council committees, has the opportunity
to work to benefit the whole of the community. He said that their hard work
and sacrifices are well appreciated and he hopes that others in the
community would follow their excellent example.
Had Yao in readiness for mass gathering of Scouts as 25th Asia-Pacific
Jamboree draws near
December 28 to January 3 will see the 25th
Asia-Pacific Regional Scout Jamboree gather at Had Yao, the second occasion
that this camp has hosted a huge assembly of Scouts. Had Yao was also the
venue for the 20th World Scout Jamboree held from December 28, 2002 to
January 7, 2003, and opened by HRH Crown Prince Maha Vajiralongkorn.
Yao Camp is the perfect spot for a Scouting jamboree this size.
Had Yao Camp is located on the Gulf of Thailand about 180
km, a two-hour drive, south of Bangkok, and about 30 km from Pattaya. The
ocean-side camp covers an area of 6,500 rai, has a beautiful beach, and
numerous islands lay just offshore. The surrounding area is one of great
natural beauty, and there are many places of interest including a number of
temples, several fishing villages, the HTMS Chakri Naruebet aircraft carrier,
and Nong Nooch Garden with its lakes, botanical gardens and cultural center.
The jamboree is being held under the theme of Scouting:
the Road to Peace, and the Ministry of Education and the National Scout
Department are sharing the responsibility for its organization. The minister
of education is directing the operations, assisted by the secretary-general
of the Vocational Education Committee, the commander of Sattahip Naval Base,
the governor of Chonburi province, and other supporting departments.
Organizing an event of this magnitude involves many
aspects including adaptation of buildings and all facilities, completing a
thoroughfare, and supplying utilities including a sewage system and a health
and safety administration.
Participants will arrive at the height of Thailand’s tourist season, and
will enjoy excellent weather conditions. Many will visit Sattahip and Pattaya
prior to the jamboree for a holiday, and they will also have the opportunity
to travel to Chiang Mai, Phuket and Bangkok.
City takes ownership of new 72mn baht rescue boat
As part of the efforts to provide safety on the
region’s waters the city has purchased a new rescue vessel, the 72.5
million baht Pattaya 801, which was launched on August 19 near Ocean
72.5 million baht “Pattaya 801” sea rescue vessel ready for launch.
The 24.4 meter long and 5.48 meter wide boat comes
complete with the latest safety equipment, sonar, global positioning
system, and a full-fledged onboard critical care unit.
Designed and built locally, and powered two 820
horsepower engines, the Pattaya 801 can travel up to 20 nautical miles per
hour in rough conditions. On deck are two water cannons used for fire
fighting which can spray water and foam up to 70 meters, and a 30-meter
hose is also stowed on board.
Sutham Petchgate, Larn Island community chief who
represented the city upon receiving the vessel said, “This is the first
time Pattaya has taken real steps to ensure marine safety. The vessel has
the best and latest equipment and can handle rough conditions.
“This step is timely as there has been an increase in accidents in the
bay, specifically near Koh Larn and in surrounding waters.”
Dead manatee washes up on Bang Sarae beach
Sattahip resident Amporn Pengjinda, out
walking on Bang Sarae Beach, immediately called the Rojana Thammasatan
Foundation when he saw a dead manatee laying at the water’s edge. Foundation
personnel said that it hadn’t been dead for very long.
rare manatee washed up on Bang Sarae Beach.
This species is in danger of becoming extinct. They used to
be a familiar sight swimming across Sattahip Bay, but their numbers have been
greatly reduced because of environmental changes. The manatee’s main food is
seaweed, which in the past was plentiful at Sattahip.
The manatee was measured and found to be 2.5 meters long.
It weighed in at 260 kilograms. There was an open wound on the head, which was
assumed to have been caused by a fishing net. Fishermen using their nets
illegally in restricted areas at Bang Sarae for other breeds of fish are
likely to have inadvertently caught or harmed the manatee.
The dead manatee was taken to the Fishery Department for further study and
German fleeing Berlin
on fraud charges captured in Pattaya
Acting on information from the German Embassy, Pattaya
Immigration police led by Superintendent Pol Col Ittipol Ittisarnronnachai moved
in to detain a German national wanted in Berlin on fraud charges.
Klaus Schiffer, 63, was arrested in front of his Jomtien
condo at around 10.30 p.m. on August 23 and taken to the immigration office for
Whilst at the office, Schiffer asked why he had been arrested
as he had done nothing illegal in Thailand.
Pol Col Ittipol produced the August 18 court order from
Berlin seeking his arrest after being found guilty of defrauding the equivalent
of 40 million baht in diamond jewelry in Germany. The immigration superintendent
said the embassy was revoking Schiffer’s passport and that he was to be
deported immediately to face jail time in his home country.
Jealousy may have led
to shooting of builder
Police believe jealousy may have been the motive behind
the killing of a building decorator, shot dead by unknown assailants in his
home in the soi opposite Town In Town Hotel.
The shooting occurred around 9:30 p.m. on August 19. When
Pattaya police arrived on the scene, the victim had already been rushed to
Bangkok Pattaya Hospital by one of his friends.
A food vendor working nearby, 35-year-old Mrs Somporn
Nguanthaisong, told police that she heard people shouting and then she saw
two men fleeing on a blue Honda Wave motorcycle. The rider was wearing a
full helmet and the passenger wore a white cap.
At Bangkok Pattaya Hospital, the victim was identified as
Pornthep Siangjong, 41, a native of Kanchanaburi province. Pornthep had
received multiple wounds from a 0.38 caliber gun. He had bullet holes to
each temple, in his chest and in both hands. Two of the bullets were still
in his body.
Officers questioned the dead man’s friend, 33-year-old
Wuthichai Huabunsarn, who said he wasn’t aware that Pornthep had any
enemies. Wuthichai said Pornthep had a wife, Jong, and was very possessive
of her. They argued often. On the evening of the shooting, Pornthep had gone
out to follow his wife.
Investigations moved to Mrs Banjong Prombai, 34, an
employee at Pornthep’s building business. Banjong said she had a close
relationship with him for about three months, although she stressed that
their relationship was platonic. She said he often verbally abused her and
she did not want to assist in the murder inquiry. The police should
investigate this matter themselves, she said.
Banjong did, however, admit she had been told the
shooting had been carried out by her brother Ngaew. Investigations are
Frenchman faces heavy jail sentence for having sex with
Sad story of the mother who sold her
A mother who hired out her eight-year-old daughter
to foreigners for sexual services has been arrested along with one of
her regular customers.
The Redemptorist Street Children’s Center alerted
the police to the case, the center’s Supakorn Noja reporting that
the woman had been hiring the child out at the price of 1,000 baht
young victims point out French national Jean Claude Charmoux.
When officers investigated they discovered that Mrs
Dang Saebun, 42, was working at a bar in South Pattaya and acting as a
procurer for the sexual services of her eight-year-old daughter, who
has been given the alias of Srai. A habitual customer was named as
56-year-old Jean Claude Charmoux, to whose 17th floor Jomtien Beach
condominium Dang regularly delivered the child.
Police obtained an arrest warrant from Pattaya
Provincial Court and took Dang to Pattaya police station for
Dang tearfully admitted that she was forced to hire
out her daughter because she was very poor and sick, and needed the
money. She had been taking her daughter to Charmoux regularly since
2004 and he had paid her 1,000 baht each time. She was charged with
procuring a child for sexual services, and Police Lieutenant General
Jongrak Juthanont, commander of Police Region 2, who had been in
charge of the case, ordered Dang be charged with one more offence,
namely that of forcing her daughter into prostitution.
The scope of the case widened when police obtained
another warrant from Pattaya Provincial Court, this time for the
arrest of Jean Claude Charmoux, a French national. He was apprehended
at his Jomtien Beach condominium, where police learned he also had a
sexual relationship with a 12-year-old girl, alias Ae.
Police searched the room and found over 300
pornographic photographs that Charmoux had taken during sex sessions
with the girls. It was alleged he was going to distribute the photos
via the internet. Charmoux confirmed the woman’s story that she had
brought the eight-year-old child to him for payment of 1,000 baht each
time. He has been charged with raping the children.
Investigations revealed that a woman had brought
12-year-old Ae to Charmoux, and that she lived in a rented room behind
Lotus in South Pattaya. Police identified her as Miss Benjamas (Mam)
Thabtimthai, age 28. She has been charged with procuring a girl under
the age of 15 years for sexual services.
Police Lieutenant General Jongrak said the two
cases represent the type of crime that the government is determined to
stamp out. He said that it was extremely sad that a mother would use
her own eight-year-old daughter to earn money in such a way. The
children were totally innocent and the adults participating in this
vile trade should be punished with heavy jail sentences.
When asked what kind of punishment those involved could expect,
Jongrak said that the mother would be liable to imprisonment of 10-20
years and/or a fine of 200,000-400,000 baht. Charmoux would be liable
to a jail sentence ranging from seven years to life, and a fine of
between 14,000-40,000 baht.
No smiles for Mona Lisa staff caught gambling
Following up on reports that illegal gambling was taking
place at the Mona Lisa karaoke bar on Pattaya Second Road, a police squad
consisting of a major, a captain, two sergeant majors, a corporal and
another 15 officers raided the premises.
They discovered 11 Mona Lisa employees playing cards. One
pack of cards and a pot of 150 baht were seized. All 11 were arrested and
charged with illegal gambling. It was noted that the staff were playing
cards in their own time and not during working hours.