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Pattaya Beach Could Disappear In 5 Years

Sam Hill

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Bangkok Post

24 Jan 2011



Sand erosion could cause Pattaya Beach to vanish in the next five years, a Chulalongkorn University researcher says.


The science faculty's head of disaster studies, Thanawat Jarupongsakul, has released a paper which shows erosion at the beach is now "critical".


The erosion is caused mainly by changes in wave patterns reducing deposits of sand on the beach, and this is being exacerbated by increased beach use.


Pattaya Beach covered 96,000 square metres (about 60 rai) in 1952, with the distance to the water about 36 metres. The beach area had fallen to 50,500 square metres (31 rai) by 2002, with 18.7 metres to the shoreline.


"The latest survey found the beach width had dropped sharply to just four to five metres," Thanawat said.


"Without serious action, Pattaya Beach will disappear within five years."


Thanawat said Chulalongkorn University's Aquatic Resources Research Institute, its science faculty and the Marine Department of Transport Ministry had together prepared a plan to counter the erosion.


This involves 200,000 cubic metres of sand being filled along the 4.48 kilometres of the beach to expand its width to 30 metres.

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I thought I have been imagining things. I have thought a couple of times that the beach appears to be getting smaller. In typical Thai style it looks like they will treat the symptoms rather than the cause.

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I understand a part of it is caused by rainwater now running off the streets to the beach, where it erodes the sand. Before Pattaya grew so big, the rainwater was absorbed into the soil. Water doesn't soak into cement very well.

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Erosion of the sandy beach at the centre of the resort city of Pattaya has been moving at a fast, severe pace, and some parts of the beach are virtually nonexistent. An academic who has been following the situation there warns it could totally disappear in five years if nothing is done to restore the disappearing waterfront.

Coming to rescue the vanishing beach, the Pattaya City municipal administration and related parties are seeking measures for restoring the beaches by a sand-refilling process.

Beach chair rental businesses along Pattaya Beach have become bearish due to the small number of tourists owing to the ongoing sand and beach erosion. The erosion can be seen along the beach, causing Pattaya's beachfront to shrink to only three metres in width. In an attempt to slow and reduce the impact of waves on the beach, beach-front business owners have built their own seawalls by placing sandbags in parallel to the beach.

Pui Pitsawongprakan, 79, flashes back vividly to a time when she was young and Pattaya beach was very large. The distance between the beach and the sea was very far, and the young girl had to go a long way to go swimming in the sea.

Having run a chair rental business here for some 40 years, Pui recalled the beach previously was wide enough to place four rows of deckchairs. Currently, narrow space leaves room for only one row of chairs as the strong waves and tides hard hit and have significantly eroded the beach during the past two years.

The disappearance of the beautiful and attractive beach also affects tourism-related businesses along the beach, she says. Her income fell from Bt2,000-3,000 per day to only Bt400-500 due to the drop in the number of tourists, Pui complained.

Meanwhile, Pattaya Beach is not only workplace for Ms Pui but also a part of her home filled with memories and with profound bonds. She feels sad about losing one of Thailand’s beautiful sandy beaches.

“In the past, a large number of foreign tourists visited and spent their time here, but now they just come to see, then move on to other places as there is no large and beautiful beach for them to enjoy,” Pui bemoaned.

While locals attempt to save the beach, using sandbags as wave breakers, the authorities and researchers are working to replenish Pattaya beach using other methods.

The Pattaya City Hall on Friday invited local residents and entrepreneurs to listen to a hope for solution to the beach erosion. The project to reconstruct Pattaya’s sandy waterfront is a cooperation between the Marine Department and Chulalongkorn University. The study has been carried out to lay out a master plan and a survey has been conducted to design sand reinforcement.

At the meeting, science faculty disaster studies head Thanawat Jarupongsakul said that part of the beach has disappeared due to changes of land use such as land reclamation to build hotels and docks, causing different pattern of sediment shifting from those in the past.

Aerial photographs showed that Pattaya Beach used to be as wide as 30 metres and that beach erosion has caused the sand beach to vanish at around 1.8 metres per year. According to the researchers, it could totally disappear in five years if nothing is done to restore the beach.

A planned solution is to suck sand deposits about 5-10 kilometres from shore near Laan Island off Pattaya to refill the 4.5 kilometre long Pattaya beach, making it expand to 30 metres wide, its original width.

Mr Thanawat said this method is an academic approach to restore nature, but the process must be repeated every 15 years.

Beach erosion occurred not only in Pattaya, Thailand’s eastern tourist seaside resort, but also happened along the Gulf of Thailand. In Rayong and Phetchburi, rock was laid near shore vertically to save the beach from erosion and this is solving the problem in the terms of structure. However, the rock became eyesore to beautiful scenery. Sand reinforcement is a different solution regardless structure and it has been done in many countries.

The team of researchers proposed to Pattaya city community to consider the method to tackle the problem as the beach is the Pattaya’s highlight, which draws about five million tourists a year. Without the beach, Pattaya will become only a name of a legendary tourist destination in the past. (MCOT online news)

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I wonder how long until my condo has a seaview? :GrinNod1:

Edited by ExpatDave
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does pattaya have a beach? :Hit_Self:

I have a Problem..... I just can't decide if its a good problem or a bad problem...

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As long as coconut bar is not effected im not bothered to much..lol


I hope so. The last thing Pattaya needs are a bunch of non-monger tourists coming here for the beaches. If the beaches were good enough for Pattaya business to draw in toursts just for that I could guarantee you the sex tourist scene would be under much greater pressure to shut down. The way I see it. The less alternatives Pattaya has to the sex scene the better. The beach goers can go to Phuket.

Edited by whatsup

I spent most of my money on beer and women. The rest I wasted.

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Build a concrete wall now where the beach starts and let the sea have the remaining 3 metres of dirty sand, then admit that Pattaya is not a world class family beach resort and let Pattaya do what we all know it does best.

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I used to go to Goa in India alot. There was a beach called Coco Beach within a bay area. Scientists predicted the same thing about this beach and they were right! It did not have much to do with the tourists though as it is all about wave patterns. The end came quick tho, once it got to a critical low point it only took about 2 years and it was gone! Now just bare rock. I hope this does not happen in Patts. Regardless of the nightlife I believe the city will struggle without a nice beach as there are so many other locations within Thailand.


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Hopefully they can save the beach. I love beches and prefer destinations which have them. It may not be among the best beaches in Thailand, but it belongs to the athmosphere. Also you can tell other people that the reason you visit Pattaya is because it has a nice beach.. All you do there is sunbathing..no bar hopping :D

Pattaya sweethearts...aren't prostitutes, they are entertainers.

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A report on this topic just appeared in today's UK Sunday Times.

Only 2 weeks late - pretty good for the twats in the UK media.


I'm feeling that this is a good thing in some ways.

Gives me an excuse to visit more often...

...before Patts disappears beneath the waves like Atlantis. :Wassup1:


Roll on end March...

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i also read that bit in the travel section of the times , at the cost of 12 million to fix the problem , whos going to front the bill ,

Take me down to the paradise city. Were the grass is green and the girls are pretty

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