Tourists and tour guides were left confused and angry after authorities again closed off a section of Bali Hai Pier without adequately explaining their plans or providing adequate alternatives.
Pattaya officials accompanied by soldiers and Chonburi Land Transport Department staffers on March 16 shut down the parking lot used by tour buses when dropping off and picking up customers at the South Pattaya jetty. The area is to be redeveloped in a 97-million-baht plan for this fall’s International Fleet Show.
As was the case when the army ripped out Bali Hai’s boat ramp and rerouted speedboat passengers from Pattaya Beach to the pier, the shutdown of the bus lot proved a disaster. Military officials again made grand plans but failed to explain them to pier users or prepare alternate parking and drop-off zones.
The result was a chaotic morning, with backed up traffic, lost tourists and frustrated tour operators.
Realizing too late, authorities scrambled to prepare a new boarding zone, by taking a backhoe to move barriers around a motorcycle parking area that could be used for buses.