PHUKETINSIDER OPINION Zoning Needed For Entertainment Creep
Perhaps the recurring nightmare of many a Phuketian is the danger of a transformation taking place on the island from one 'P' to another 'P', meaning less Phuket and more Pattaya. While in days past the entertainment zone was firmly established and prospering in Patong with a small creep into Karon, Kata, and Phuket Town, as of late Rawai, Kamala and even now southern Bangtao is starting to see an influx of beer bars and roadways lined with friendly companions.
I have no presumption to comment on social mores and for me the previous designation of Patong has proven successful in controlling and containing Phuket growing entertainment industry. Even in staid old Cherngtalay the march north looks to be inevitable.
While Bangkok for the most part has selected areas such as Patpong, Soi Cowboy and Nana Plaza, here the sweep threatens downgrading the higher end resort neighborhoods and create a sprawling nightmare that can only be compared to Pattaya.
Don't' get me wrong the eastern seaboard in many ways gets things right and certainly the influx of new mega hotels such as the Centara and Sheraton as breaking new ground, here is seems that a foothold is being lost and there is no real vision by the powers that be to control the entertainment zone in designated areas.
No one can ignore that much of the nightlife and entertainment lends itself to the unique Thainess as a destination, but again moderation and planning are needed to ensure that the delicate balance of Phuket's diversifying tourism market retains a little something different for every segment. To each their own we'd like to say, but this includes those who prefer a less commercial choice when visiting the island.