Street carts outnumber customers as Pattaya’s unemployed go self-employed

This entrepreneurial man carries his restaurant on two wheels, selling chicken, pork and fish with rice.

Tour guides, hotel employees, bar staffers and other unemployed workers are pursuing new careers as street vendors. But so many have gone that route, it seems there are now more carts than customers in Pattaya.

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Using modified sidecar motorbikes and push carts, they’re roaming Pattaya’s empty streets hawking vegetables, fruit, grilled pork, tea, coffee, fried meatballs, made-to-order meals and other items to get by.

A local girl shops for something to wear from this Bra on Wheels vendor.

Many were forced into self-employment after their employers closed. Others, like bar workers, left as they weren’t making any money.

Selling meatballs won’t make you rich, but at least it’s something, many said.

Some simply have left Pattaya. Speedboat driver Sarawuth Pomthong packed up he and his wife and went to work in Buri Ram farming and doing manual labor. Once foreign tourists return to Pattaya, so will they, Sarawuth said.

Many food carts are parked in littles sois where some bars are open hoping to make a living from local tourists and bar workers.


Sarawuth Pomthong, former driver of a tour boat in Pattaya is happily working in the farm with his family in Buriram.