Dhaka: The popular seaside city of Pattaya in Thailand was often known to be a city, which never sleeps. That was true, until late last month, thanks due to domestic tourist movements. But when the country’s second wave of COVID-19 struck, it has turned to be a ghost city.
All four coastal provinces in the eastern region, and Samut Sakhon, have now been declared maximum-security Red Zones, including Pattaya in Chon Buri.
Although many tourism-related businesses in Pattaya were affected by the first wave of the infections early last year, forcing some to close, there was no complete lockdown, as is the case today, and the situation gradually improved through the second half of the year, offering renewed hope to many entrepreneurs, albeit without Chinese tourists.
Many placed their hope on the recent long New Year holiday, which would normally have given them some short-term relief with the arrival of Thai visitors. Sadly though, their hopes were dashed.
The formerly vibrant resort is now a ghost city. The famous walking street is absolutely quiet as all the bars and shops remain shuttered. It is pitch black at night, as all the decorative lights and signboards are off, although the street lights still illuminate the empty roads.
Haunting “Annabelle” dolls have been placed anonymously at the entrance to the walking street, and on the beach road, as if to drive home the message that Pattaya has become a ghost town.
Despite the despair and desperation of many entrepreneurs, some have not lost all hope and remain determined to overcome the town’s worst crisis ever.
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