Two years after Pattaya’s then-military government spent 95 million baht to renovate and beautify Bali Hai for the navy’s International Fleet Review the entire pier has deteriorated into a mess of cracked roads, broken lights and dry fountains.
From CCTV cameras to traffic lights to its youth sports center and Koh Larn’s solar-powered office building, Pattaya has a long, embarrassing history of spending big money on shiny new projects only to spend nothing on maintenance.
In 2017, the navy directed Pattaya’s military-appointed administrators to transform Bali Hai Pier for its international show. About 13 million baht was spent to pier buildings, including construction of a new administrative building, and 81 million baht on landscaping Bali Hai’s 10 rais, including building a “dancing fountain” with colorful LED lighting.
Less than two years later, the fountain’s lights are broken, the pump is out of order, the administrative building vacant and dilapidated, the walkway behind the fountain pockmarked with holes, and floors of the multipurpose zone cracked.
Deputy City Manager Kiettisak Sriwongchai and city officials inspected the run-down pier Oct. 7 under orders from Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome to quickly begin repairs.
Kiettisak said more than 4.2 million baht of the original contract was set aside for maintenance to be carried out by the contractor, who did nothing since getting paid. The city sent two letters requesting maintenance work was done, but no follow up was made and Bali Hai was left to rot.