Walking Street becomes true to its name again Thursday April 28, as Pattaya again bars nighttime traffic and parking for the first time in 21 months.
With most go-go bars closed and few tourists strolling during the coronavirus pandemic, Pattaya reopened Walking Street to traffic in July 2020 at the request of business owners targeting Thai tourists driving their own cars.
But a steady increase in tourists and many go-go bars reopening at “restaurants” made mixing pedestrians and moving vehicles a dicey proposition in April. Cars regularly honk at tourists accustomed to walking in the middle of the street and whizzing motorbikes pose a real hazard.
Bar owners also complained about parked cars blocking access to their venues.
On April 28, city hall again will close Walking Street from 7 p.m. until 6 a.m. the next morning. Oddly, that’s actually three hours more than before the pandemic.
Walking Street, however, remains a shell of its former self, with many bars closed and operating under restrictions. The street itself also is a shambles, with the months-behind-schedule project to bury overhead wires continuing.