What’s in a name? Pattaya mulls changing monikers for 66 streets

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Is Soi Land Office or Soi Sophon Market less confusing than Soi Sukhumvit 33 or 44/2? Banglamung District officials seem to think so.

District Chief Chakorn Kanjawattana, Pattaya Deputy Mayor Ronakit Ekasingh and Chonburi deputy police chief, Pol. Col. Pisit Proeyrungroj, met Oct. 6 to begin the task of renaming 56 sois and 10 major roads in a bid to “reduce confusion” for residents and motorists.

Pattaya consists of many familiar main roads, but also many side streets that cut through routes that already have an existing name.

Some people may also come across nameless intersections that are unofficially addressed by locals as well as the sois. Many are informally named after a landmark, like the common-sense Soi Post Office, but sometimes with monikers known by only those living within walking distance.

Officials are trying to decide whether to change the names of Pattaya’s sois, and if so, to what?Officials are trying to decide whether to change the names of Pattaya’s sois, and if so, to what?

One solid suggestion came from the Engineering Department, which proposed giving permanent names to all the intersections along the railway-parallel road.

Some of the intersections already have an existing name, but some don’t so this was part of the discussion as well. The Kratinglai-Rayong junction was suggested to change to the Highway 36 Intersection.

Officials noted that ambulances and emergency responders are trying to reach a particular intersection might get confused as to which side of railway road it is on.

Proeyrungroj said Pattaya should install proper signs and have proper names for its intersections, sois and other streets due to its rapid growth. It is also a popular tourist destination where foreign visitors holiday, so it is necessary for Pattaya authorities to cooperate with community leaders and residents to get the signs correct and understandable.

Is it easier to following a logical numbering system? For many, especially western tourists and expats, certainly. Would changes to common names help find that little restaurant on the side soi opposite the 7-Eleven by the big temple? Even the government officials couldn’t agree.

The meeting deadlocked and everyone decided to leave well enough alone for now amid the usual promise for “more study”.