Pattaya’s popular low-cost housing area goes dark

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Somchai Kudphan owner of Tao Bowling drinks shop together with some of the residents of Soi Dang Dum sit idly all day long as business is really slow.

The exodus of Pattaya’s bar and tourism workers has left a Central Pattaya street known for low rents half empty.



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Soi Dang-Dum – Soi Red-Black – was a popular spot for cheap apartments for bargirls, motorcycle taxis and other “informal” workers who powered the city’s tourism industry during boom times. But since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, Pattaya has lost 300,000 non registered residents who returned to provincial hometowns after becoming unemployed.

Never to give up hope, residents still have time to shoot a fun selfie.

Somchai Kudphan, owner of the Tao Bowling grocery said his stores brought about 5,000 baht in revenue a day, with about 1,000 baht in profit. These days he’s taking in 300 baht or less.


Pattaya City Manager Teerasak Jatupong said Pattaya boasted a half-million informal workers in 2019 working in pubs, bars, karaoke clubs, hotels and restaurants. Sixty percent of them have now left town, he said.

Japanese and American residents in the area gather for a drink and fellowship at Tao Bowling drink shop.

Pattaya City Manager Teerasak Jatupong said Pattaya boasted a half-million informal workers in 2019 working in pubs, bars, karaoke clubs, hotels and restaurants. Sixty percent of them have now left town.