Opinion: The Face of Jomtien is Changing and Not Everyone Agrees With It

Later this week, from March 1st, Jomtien Beach Road begins an ambitious beach area construction project from the Dongtan Beach police box to the Chaiyapreuk intersection which will see the street turn one way for some time, in a decision that has not been greeted with much positive fanfare from our readers.

We aren’t going to cover a lot about that project in this opinion piece, you can read more about it here if you wish.

What I want to talk about is how Jomtien is changing and continues to change and how those changes for what tourists may want and what residents may want are likely polar opposites.

I’ve been a resident of Jomtien since 2017, for the years before that I lived in Central Pattaya. Jomtien has always had the reputation of a quieter area than Pattaya without as much nightlife and with many ex-pat residents. I live in the busier area of Jomtien near Dongtan that sees many bars and restaurants as opposed to the further end approaching Na Jomtien….but even that area is changing.

The expansion of the badly eroded Na Jomtien Beach in recent years certainly attracted many more tourists to the area, especially Russians and domestic Thai tourists. Almost nobody argues that the nearly non-existent and eroded previous beach by the South end of Na Jomtien Beach in Sattahip needed to be restored. Where the argument began was how to handle the increased crowds and noise.

The beach expansion has brought multiple new night markets to the Jomtien Beach area and many overnight drinkers, some who light off fireworks and play loud music at all hours of the night, annoying residents who had previously chosen this area for being quiet and more remote than Central Pattaya.

During Covid and border closures many Bangkok Thai tourists truly discovered Jomtien Beach which has become more popular than ever with domestic Thai tourists, many choosing it over the closer Bangsaen. However, this has brought traffic to the area that the roads, especially the smaller road in Na Jomtien, can’t handle well and frustrated many residents. Every weekend, especially holiday weekends, see nearly impassable traffic…but heavy tourism revenue…for the area.

Many of our readers are probably also not aware that the southern end of Jomtien Beach near the big seafood restaurants is NOT the responsibility of Pattaya City but are handled by Sattahip and Na Jomtien authorities. Differences in how each jurisdiction handles complaints and problems have also annoyed some local residents.

Pattaya is actively looking at possibly expanding the legal entertainment zones from Central Pattaya into Jomtien as well (But not the Sattahip portion). These zones have not changed in almost 25 years and since they were first instituted Jomtien has now seen hundreds of bars arrive and is now the home of the largest and most popular gay area in Pattaya, taking over from Boyztown even before Covid.

Pattaya City is well aware of this and well aware that many of these bars want to legally be able to be open to 2 AM or later and not have to pretend to be restaurants, like Pattaya proper. However, many Jomtien residents are against this nightlife zone expansion, even if it seems like it could be unavoidable, and technically with the area already having hundreds of bars that operate in a somewhat grey legal entertainment status.

Pattaya is still planning to expand the North part of Jomtien Beach as well, widening the area like the Southern end. This will certainly attract even more tourists to an already popular area, especially Thais and Russians, but will also again change the face of the area. It is unclear if this will eventually happen to Dongtan Beach, as many condo residents in this area have vocally expressed their opposition to City Hall, concerned it will overwhelm the area with even more traffic and tourists.

Pattaya is also throwing regular major events on Jomtien Beach, more than ever before, which of course is bringing more traffic and more visitors to the area, and a main reason the previously mentioned road construction project is happening imminently.

Project aside, one of the biggest weekends of the Pattaya music festival on the third full weekend of March will be held on Jomtien Beach by the Now Hotel and the fairly new and VERY popular Yaimak night market, featuring Thai A-lister bands like Bodyslam and Cocktail and top Thai hip hop artists like Youngohm.

All of these events, bars, construction projects, and more are certainly changing the face of Jomtien. Major condo projects like Copacabana and Riviera and more to come are bringing more residents to the area, but many of them are more partial to nightlife or tourism activities than some of the longer term residents in older condos who originally chose Jomtien for a quiet place to stay. Indeed, some of the newer condos seem to be primarily being used as basically hotels by Russian and Chinese tourists.

Like all the world, things change and progress marches on and not everyone is going to be happy. Pattaya City officials say they are doing their best to try to please all sides and control noise pollution, even if they legally expand the entertainment zones, but that remains to be seen.

I haven’t even touched on air pollution or nightly racing that are also common complaints from residents here. Or, the “rumor” that IconSiam is strongly likely to put its long planned major Pattaya mall in Jomtien in the future, not Central Pattaya, which of course would see significant traffic increases.

Things are changing, that much is certain. What do you think about the changes? Tell us at Editor@thepattayanews.com.

We will keep you updated, as always, on the major project changes coming soon to Jomtien.

This article is an exclusive editorial/opinion self-written by TPN media content chief Adam Judd and is not to be replicated or rewritten using AI without permission or linking to the original piece.

Adam Judd
Mr. Adam Judd is the Co-owner of TPN Media since December 2017. He is originally from Washington D.C., America, but has also lived in Dallas, Sarasota, and Portsmouth. His background is in retail sales, HR, and operations management, and has written about news and Thailand for many years. He has lived in Pattaya for over nine years as a full-time resident, is well known locally and been visiting the country as a regular visitor for over a decade. His full contact information, including office contact information, can be found on our Contact Us page below. Stories please e-mail Editor@ThePattayanews.com About Us: https://thepattayanews.com/about-us/ Contact Us: https://thepattayanews.com/contact-us/