Once envisioned as a promising addition to the vibrant landscape of Bali Hai Pier, the “Dancing Fountain” project now stands forgotten and in ruins, mere years after its completion. Recently, authorities have resorted to applying a fresh coat of paint in a feeble attempt to conceal the wear and tear resulting from numerous accidents involving tourists. As questions arise within society, the investment budget for this ill-fated project begs reevaluation.
The inception of this endeavor can be traced back to the National Council for Peace and Order (NCPO)’s initiative to revitalize the South Pattaya tourist pier, located at Bali Hai Cape in Chonburi Province’s Pattaya City. The objective was twofold: to enhance the city’s tourism appeal and reclaim public spaces for the community’s enjoyment. With this in mind, the Pattaya City Council executives, at that time, allocated a budget exceeding 95 million baht to renovate the pier and its surrounding structures.
Among the various undertakings within the expansive 10-rai area, the highlight was the “Dancing Fountain Courtyard.” This ambitious project aimed to introduce captivating colors and create a novel tourist landmark within Pattaya. During its construction phase, the courtyard was hailed as a tourism masterpiece, featuring a mesmerizing spectacle of dancing fountains accompanied by stunning light and sound effects. The hydraulic water pump system concealed beneath the fountain’s base, equipped with a reservoir holding 50-60 cubic meters of water, formed the backbone of this enthralling attraction. Coupled with synchronized LED lighting, the water would elegantly spray into the air, swaying to the rhythm of the accompanying music. However, shortly after completion, signs of decay began to emerge.
Unfortunately, Pattaya City lacked the necessary expertise to maintain and repair such intricate systems, leading to a gradual deterioration of the “Dancing Fountain Courtyard.” Consequently, the involvement of a qualified contractor became imperative to address the mounting issues. Nevertheless, as the warranty period expired, Pattaya City exhibited no intention of further utilization or upkeep. What was initially envisioned as a lasting symbol and a new beacon of Pattaya’s allure was destined for a fate of neglect, eventually succumbing to irreversible decay. The dreams that had once painted a vivid picture of a thriving landmark now lay forgotten, disregarded by the people.
In more recent times, the Bali Hai Pier area has undergone a significant transformation, becoming a sprawling multi-purpose yard accessible to the public for parking and recreational activities. Startlingly, it has come to light that Pattaya City authorities have mandated the application of fresh paint to the fountain courtyard, creating a visual distinction from the rest of the pier. This move follows a series of unfortunate incidents where tourists stumbled or fell due to the elevated platform of the courtyard, approximately 10 centimeters higher than the pier itself. The “Dancing Fountain” has undoubtedly faded into obscurity, leaving behind a trail of dashed hopes and a substantial budget allocation, totaling millions of baht. This project, like many others, has fallen victim to the all-too-familiar pattern of short-lived utilization and subsequent abandonment or decay.
As the community grapples with this disheartening reality, an introspective question looms large: Is it not time to reassess the value and justification of investment budgets poured into such projects? The fate of the “Dancing Fountain” serves as a poignant reminder that sustainability and long-term maintenance must be integral components of any endeavor aiming to shape the city’s landscape and foster lasting landmarks.