News flash: Pattaya is not Miami Beach

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Pattaya has a lot of work to do to raise beach standards to international levels. And it has nothing to do with making sure beach chairs are set up in a line.
Pattaya has a lot of work to do to raise beach standards to international levels. And it has nothing to do with making sure beach chairs are set up in a line.

It’s obvious to anyone who visits the beach here that Pattaya is no Miami Beach. But that didn’t stop some graphics-skilled social media user from uploading doctored photos of the local shoreline to Facebook along with pristine images of the American tropical resort to favorably compare the two.

While much has been done to improve the image of Pattaya Beach, the Photoshopped pictures of clean beaches and smooth, clear sidewalks clearly paint an unrealistic photo of the local shoreline – a fact that many online users, including even Sophon Cable TV, quickly reaffirmed.

The cable company, on its Facebook page, posted photos of how it really sees Pattaya Beach, with sandbags, piles of garbage, concrete obstacles on the footpath, dilapidated tin shacks at the edge of the sand, and homeless people sleeping under the tiny boardwalk.

Sure, efforts to reorganize the beach chairs and umbrellas have brought a more uniform look and large trees look better than the smaller ones they replaced. In addition, Beach Road is – and has been since 2004 – clear of the utility-wire clutter in the rest of the city.

But there are plenty of blemishes, including the large water pump planted at the south end, sand blackened by sewage spills, and an entire section fenced off where sand replacement was supposed to take place. Then there’s that small matter of erosion threatening to eat all the sand off Pattaya Beach within the next decade.

In any case, most agree Miami isn’t what Pattaya should try to be anyway. Only Miami’s nightclub-centric South Beach (8th) ranks on a Business Insider list of America’s best beaches, which averaged the rankings of seven travel guides and websites.

If Pattaya really wants to replicate an American beach, it should perhaps look instead to Cape Hattaras, North Carolina, the top-ranked beach in the U.S., or Coronado Beach, California, which ranked second.