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North Pattaya Beach Walk: a state of collapse

There was a time when those who liked to stroll could walk all the way from Bali Hai Pier to the Sanctuary Of Truth. This was true up to about eighteen months ago, when the walkway around the north headland in front of the Dusit Thani was intact and passable.

Since then the walkway or causeway has fallen more and more into disrepair, so that it’s almost impassable at high tide.

Starting from the beach entrance near the Dusit, the walkway has many large cracks in the concrete surface. Moving around, you will encounter quite a long length of the walkway covered in algae, where at high tide the sea washes over the surface enabling the algae to form. These are treacherously slippery and great care needs to be taken.

Just a little further on, the concrete surface has completely gone, leaving the walker to scramble over large rocks. From here the walkway begins to rise, but the concrete sections between the support pillars are clearly moving away from the headland wall, and where they abut each other on the support pillars they look likely to collapse at any moment.

Almost all the concrete sections of the walkway have been on the move, separating themselves from the headland wall, and moving outwards on their support pillars.

At a point about half way around, two complete sections have collapsed. Here someone has erected a bamboo rail, although with the sections having collapsed it serves no purpose whatsoever. At this point it is possible to scramble down on to the rocks and collapsed debris below, even at high tide, but one does have to have the agility of a mountain goat to do so.

Having made the descent, scrambled over the rocks and scaled the second pillar it the walker can proceed, but probably for no more than another twenty-five metres, where the walkway has collapsed completely and no fewer than seven or eight sections are completely gone, although the support pillars are there for all to see.

At this point someone has constructed a bamboo ladder, to enable the walker to get down onto the rocks. At this point only those in swimwear or those who are not bothered about getting wet can pass when the tide is in, and to negotiate the sharp volcanic like rock, suitable footwear is required.

The decline in the condition of this walkway can only continue. The likelihood of a section collapsing whilst someone is on it is considerable, and the possibility of serious injury apparent.

Just who is responsible for the construction of the walkway in the beginning is unclear, as is whose responsibility it is to maintain it. I would have thought City Hall would have considered this access from beach to beach to be an essential one.

Who has erected the bamboo railing and ladder is also a mystery, but perhaps it was some of the beach vendors who ply their trade along the beaches, so that they can continue in their business of earning money to survive.

Whoever is responsible should effect immediate repairs, not only before a serious injury occurs, but to restore a vital access between the beaches around the headland. A repaired walkway would benefit not only walkers and beach traders, but also the businesses on the other side of the headland.

- Wilson