Pattaya Mail turns 12

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Vol. XIV No. 11
Friday March 17 - March 23, 2006

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HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:

Chapeau Pattaya Immigration Police

What about the considerable number of improvements?

My first trip to Thailand

Chapeau Pattaya Immigration Police

Having noticed the possibility to apply for an extension period through the internet I tried that service. Having completed the TM.7 form I pressed send. I repeated the procedure for my wife. The next day we went to their office in Jomtien and asked for the extension. The computerised system being brand new, one could expect that something might have gone wrong. (Having been in IT myself for over 30 years I know all the pitfalls and Mr. Murphy.) The officer told me that indeed something had gone wrong that night and that the forms had not been received by them properly.
Almost everywhere in the world one would expect to be blamed for incorrectly having handled the system. But the officer apologised, handed us 2 empty TM.7 forms, and with the passport copies attached, asked us to sign the blank forms. The completion of the TM.7 was to be taken over by the police themselves! After having paid the 1,900 baht per person we got he extension.
Well done Immigration Police. That’s what I would call: Real Customer Service.
Cees Bosman

What about the considerable number of improvements?

Dear Sir,
I wonder if Dr. Leon Palmer (“Lost Horizons”, Mailbag, Pattaya Mail, 10th March), has forwarded his jaundiced opinions directly to the ‘City Fathers’, or does he, like so many other correspondents, expect them to read the Pattaya Mail in case anything is written to their detriment?
I wonder exactly where he spent his holiday and how he gained his information? He asserts that both tourist numbers and spending have fallen dramatically. Can he produce figures to support his argument? Is crime really endemic? Are the incidents of crime more numerous in Pattaya than elsewhere?
What about the considerable number of improvements that have been made by those same city fathers? The list is extensive: the widening and resurfacing of Sukhumvit Road, the resurfacing and improvements to the pavements in both Pattaya Thai and Second Road, the resurfacing of Beach Road and the changes to the promenade? May I add the new Bali Hai pier and the roadways to the Royal Cliff and Sheraton Hotels? I could go on.
Not all the bars and clubs close at 1 a.m. On Thursday of last week there were more people in Walking Street at 2.30 a.m. than at 9 p.m. the previous evening. The food vendors were doing a roaring trade as were the bars, albeit with the lights turned down and the absence of music.
Of course there are further improvements that could be made and I am sure that many are planned for the future. I concede that progress may be slow, but after all this is Thailand!
Yours faithfully,
Robert Patnicroft

My first trip to Thailand

My first trip to Thailand came 35 years ago when Pattaya was just a little sleepy fishing village and R&R stop for the United States Military during the Vietnam War. At that time there were two hotels in town, the Nipa (now Nova) Lodge and the Amari if memory serves me. Since that time Pattaya has grown into a world renowned tourist destination for both good and bad reasons. The biggest problem I see is that the city grew so fast with no forethought that the city cannot build and does not have sufficient infrastructure to support the growth.
If Pattaya is to survive as a world tourist destination, the city needs to build a water supply system that can assure that people will have water without having to resort to buying a tank full for those times when the water is cut off. They need to get the maze of dangerous power and telephone lines off the antiquated poles and buried underground but still accessible. I believe this was started along Beach Road but stopped as high season came around. Not a smart move, had work continued it may be done by now.
Folks can complain all they want about the cost of this, that and the other thing, and being charged more than Thais. If you don’t like it, live someplace else ... holiday someplace else. In the meantime if we can come up with constructive ways to improve our little corner of the world let’s do so together. It will be to all our benefit in the long term. I can live with some inconvenience now for things to be better in the end. Thailand is still one of the most affordable places in the world to live in spite of escalating prices.
I would like to urge the city fathers to quit relying on the high season to make your annual sales and tax revenues and to continue to push good viable infrastructure improvements that will benefit both Thai and farang. We all will benefit in the final analysis.
Thank you,
Jim Gilmore
South Pattaya

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