The (new) lights are on, but no one is home on Walking Street.
Continuing to prepare the famous nightlife strip for the day when foreign tourists return en masse to Pattaya, local officials gave the South Road gate to Walking Street a much-needed facelift after earlier repairing its aging wiring.
New, colorful lights illuminate the way to a once-colorful street that has fallen dark in most places amid closed go-go bars, music pubs and restaurants.
City hall has taken steps to address those dark spots, adding more streetlights to prevent crime from lurking transvestite pickpockets.
Pattaya officials hope the colorful vinyl panels and LED lighting will bring a festive feel to Walking Street by Chinese New Year in mid-February, but whether the city’s bars will be open by then remains doubtful.
Posted to social media, photos of the new lighting drew criticism, with keyboard warriors writing that the city should instead have spent the money on helping the unemployed.