New Year brings back old traffic problems in Jomtien

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New Year’s Eve brought an old problem roaring back to Jomtien Beach: Traffic.

Cars driven by Thais from many provinces jammed the beachside road, with visitors in town both for the sand and the sounds of the Pattaya Countdown concerts later that night.

It seemed half the cars parked along Jomtien Beach Road had Bangkok traffic plates, which made sense to anyone in the capital that day, where Sukhumvit Road in Bangkok was a ghost town and the restaurants and shopping malls half empty. With a week-long holiday, everyone had left town.

Pattaya had arranged additional parking at Dongtan Beach, but it wasn’t enough, with many cars simply double parking.Pattaya had arranged additional parking at Dongtan Beach, but it wasn’t enough, with many cars simply double parking.

Pattaya had arranged additional parking at Dongtan Beach, but it wasn’t enough, with many cars simply double parking. Some enterprising businesses rented out their lot for 50 baht a vehicle.

While those locked in by discourteous double-parkers and those unable to find a beach chair might have bemoaned the crowds, it was a sight for sore eyes among beachfront merchants.