Mayor sets 2-week major beach cleanup

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Pattaya’s mayor said the city’s namesake beachfront will be cleaned up within two weeks.
Pattaya’s mayor said the city’s namesake beachfront will be cleaned up within two weeks.

Pattaya’s mayor said the city’s namesake beachfront will be cleaned up within two weeks following unfavorable comparisons to Miami Beach on social media.

Anan Charoenchasri said Oct. 6 that sandbags that have been a fixture on the beach since last year finally will be removed, along with trash, construction scrap and other leftovers from the stalled sand-refill project.

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Heavy machinery will be brought in to remove large objects and overturn the sand to make it attractive before next month’s international fleet show.

The cleanup comes after doctored photos of Pattaya Beach were uploaded to Facebook side-by-side with pristine images of the American tropical resort and a favorable comparison of the two.

Online users excoriated the claim, posting their own real-life photos of Pattaya showing 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.

The 429-million-baht reconstruction of Pattaya Beach was supposed to have been completed in December last year, but never even started due to the inability to find 400,000 cu. meters of matching sand. The area was fenced off, soon becoming a hideout for petty thieves and homeless people and neither Anan nor any other Pattaya official has mentioned the erosion-combatting sand-refill again.

The project was launched in 2011 amid claims that erosion would wipe out Pattaya Beach within five years. Only small, stop-gap refills have delayed the inevitable.