No one is saying who gave the order, but footpaths along Dongtan Beach have been buried in sand, supposedly to give more space to squeezed-out beach vendors.
Complaints began pouring in last week when well-constructed concrete sidewalks along the quiet beach were covered with sand. No one was saying why or who ordered it. No one on the beach would take responsibility and city hall officials responsible for the beaches refused to talk with the Pattaya Mail.
Beach vendors brush sand off the footpath to prove that it was all buried.
Beach vendors said they were told the footpaths were covered in order to give more space to beach chair and umbrella vendors, who had recently been ordered to give up more of the sand to the public. A 2011 order allowed beach chair operators to occupy 65 percent of the beach. A city hall directive this month reduced that to 50 percent.
Pol. Maj. Jeerawat Sukhonthazup, head of the Pattaya Municipal Police, said Aug. 20 he only learned of the cover-up two days earlier. He said he went to investigate himself and ordered that the sidewalks be restored within a week.