The Best Neighborhood in Pattaya?
Songkran is behind us for another year and most Pattaya residents are glad it’s over. Everyone has their own way of dealing with the week-long drunken water fight. Many expats, like me, get out of town and avoid it altogether. But lately, I’m noticing many more residents and long-term visitors staying put and avoiding the majority of the mayhem by simply stocking up on provisions and enjoying Songkran in the confines of their own neighbourhood. For instance, there is really no reason to get involved in the week of wildness that happens down on Pattaya Beach Road if you live in Jomtien Beach. Jomtien used to be dependent on Pattaya to sustain a decent existence, but not anymore. In fact, I’d say Jomtien is the place to be; and statistics from CBRE, Knight Frank and Raimon Land all back me up. With over 5,500 new units on the way, there are more condos under construction in the Jomtien corridor than anywhere else in the region. Since the construction of Jomtien Beach Second Road (Jomtien Sai 2), the whole neighborhood has expanded and evolved. First of all, there are many more ways to get into and out of Jomtien without ever entering Pattaya proper or fighting Beach Road. Jomtien used to end at the intersection of Jomtien Beach Road and Chaiapruek Road. Anything further south was treated like an uncharted region with no way out. Since Jomtien Sai 2 opened, Jomtien-ites can come and go on Chaiapruek Road, Soi Wat Boonkanjana or utilise the massive new intersection between Jomtien Sai 2 and Sukhumvit Road. I personally know people who live in Jomtien that go for months without ever venturing further north than Thepprasit Road. Not only is Jomtien more accessible than before, but the choice of housing has exploded. In the past, the only places available were some older condominium buildings and aging beachfront resorts. The View Talay brand was holding its ground with their older towers, but soon followed up with buildings 5A and 5B and then constructed their most stylish offering to date, View Talay 7. Once Jomtien Second Road officially opened, the new wave began. It started with The Residence, a cozy little low-rise tucked away off Thepprasit Soi 17. Soon to follow was The Park, now known as Zen in the Park; a spread out low-rise condo development that has struggled to get built, but now boasts both residents and new construction. Now in full-blown construction is the biggest project on the entire Eastern Seaboard--Heights Holdings’ Laguna II--covering 25,000 square metres with seven low-rise buildings and a 5,000 square metre lagoon-style pool. A second wave of development started just to the south of Rompho Market that includes Acqua, a 309 unit low-rise; Atlantis, an eight-floor water-themed mega-resort with five Jacuzzis, and Dusit Grand tower, a 36-storey high-rise near the intersection with Soi Watboonkanjana. Travel east from Jomtien Second Road on any of the major crossroads and you’ll find more low-rise luxury condos going up like Universal Group’s Savannah Sands on Soi Watboonkanjana. But, the most startling development has come on the extreme south end of Jomtien. Major Development’s majestic twin towers called Reflections are finished and open for business. Lumpini Park, with its distinctive blue and yellow colour motif, stands out of the expanse of flat land between Second Road and the beach. Tulip Group’s Centara Grand and Nova Group’s Nam Talay are in a
feverish state of construction. South Jomtien looks like a property developer’s model-under-glass, with streets lights bearing the Pattaya Brand, landscaping and sparkling new resorts-by-the-sea. The way we do condos, here on the Eastern Seaboard, sure has come a long way. Even the beachfront in South Jomtien is under renovation. This area has long been known, especially by Bangkok Thai visitors, as seafood heaven with open-air seafood restaurants like Suttangrak and Phu Pen drawing visitors down this narrow strip of Beach Road for years. Now it’s getting a facelift and widening so more people can enjoy sunset and seafood in south Jomtien. Life itself has gotten easier in Jomtien Beach. Convenient access to banks, pharmacies, and even our new local immigration office make things so easy. Rompho market expanded offering residents an open-air fresh food market as well as dozens of night time entertainment options. High-end restaurants like the dazzling new Da Vinci’s opened their doors recently adding a bit of class to the place. No doubt more eating, shopping and nightlife options will follow as the wave of new residents fill up new condo projects. Perhaps next year I’ll have no reason to board a plane to escape Songkran madness. Maybe I’ll just hide out in the sweetest little neighborhood in town…Jomtien Beach!
Written by Jan Nuijten
Managing Director, Pattaya Prestige Properties Co., Ltd.