Michael Jackson spotted on Pattaya’s Walking Street


Like Elvis, Michael Jackson may be gone, but he lives on in Pattaya.

Chanapol Khongsri, 22, is one of the city’s best-known Michael Jackson impersonators.  Moonwalking and singing at nightspots around Pattaya, this grade-school dropout from Korat earns as much as 4,000 baht a day in tips.  For a country crooner, that’s a life changer.

Chanapot said he came to Pattaya three years ago, but was unable to find a “normal” job.  After watching the many freak shows and odd performers along Walking Street at night, he decided he could make a name for himself similarly.

Chanapol Khongsri (or Om), the Pattaya Michael Jackson. Chanapol Khongsri (or Om), the Pattaya Michael Jackson.

Jackson was always an idol for Chanapot and his older relatives had taught him a few magic tricks. So he tried out his luck entertaining tourists.  Today he has no problem attracting a crowd.  After Jackson died, he took the act further, dressing up and becoming a complete impersonator of the “gloved one.”

Chanapot can be found on Walking Street after 7 p.m. cutting cards, dancing and singing.  His tips run about 100,000 baht a month, which has made for a good life for him and his family, who have now been able to afford a new house in Korat.