Tourists arriving at Pattaya’s Bali Hai Pier at the weekend were greeted by the sight of rival speedboat operators punching each other. It’s not the first time. The Pattaya News reports that the extended brawl, which happened at around 5pm on Saturday, August 26, broke out over who was going to transport a group of tourists to Koh Larn.
Many tourists waiting to take a ferry to the island (probably a better idea) panicked at the fistfight taking place in front of them. The fight was (of course) filmed and the 5 minute saga has gone viral on social media.
It’s understood there were two groups of speedboat operators involved in the brawl at the pier. Both groups got into a heated dispute over who would get the money and the right to transport a group of tourists who had enquired about travelling to Koh Larn by speedboat.
The verbal dispute quickly escalated into a physical brawl, with several punches thrown. A number of officials at the pier tried to intervene to diffuse the situation – and failed. According to the report, it was only when the Pattaya Police arrived, in response to a frantic call from pier safety officers, that the fight broke up.
It seems the brawl was not the only one that day. One local resident, who asked not to be named, told the Pattaya News that the same individuals had already fought each other earlier that morning.
According to the resident, fights between speedboat operators at the pier are a recurring problem in Pattaya. The fights are the result of operators competing for business from tourists who want a quick trip to Koh Larn.
The anonymous resident says that with the pier always packed with tourists, he’s concerned the brawls will damage Pattaya’s reputation as a safe holiday destination. He wants the authorities to take the incidents seriously and do something to prevent the situation from escalating.
According to the report, the police are investigating.
SOURCE: The Pattaya News