While Thailand has a very good pub scene, visitors to the country would usually be better off getting some shopping done. A massive undeveloped area of the Thai resort town of Pattaya has become famous around the world for its numerous sex tourist businesses. While the city has since been cleaned up, some tourists still hang out in the area.
Now, after much delay, the port city’s West Beach, popularly known as the Beach Hotel, is finally set to reopen for tourists. News outlet ABC reports that a $27 million project to fix the infrastructure and revitalize the tourism area — which has some bars and a market — should be completed by Christmas. The News shared video footage of the construction work, which seems to be well underway.
The international interest in Pattaya reportedly became intense in 2000 when the Naomi Watts and Leonardo DiCaprio-starring film The Beach was released. The city, with more than a million people and home to some of Asia’s finest beaches, was due to be turned into an exclusive island, the report said. Instead, about half the expected revenue never materialized, and Pattaya was left with a bankrupt nightclub and a big hole in its economy.
The report, which is available to read in full, goes on to say that the tourist project in Pattaya, which has also seen the area turned into a drug smuggling zone, is not all bad. Aside from its famous beaches, the city is said to be a vibrant and largely safe place for tourists.
Officials say they hope the new project will turn the surrounding resort into a first-class destination for those wanting to live the high life.