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Popular tourist viewpoint on Koh Samui closed following official inspection

Flickr/Frederic Boursicot

A popular tourist viewpoint on the island of Koh Samui has been ordered to shut temporarily, after officials found it was operating without a licence. Provincial officials visited the privately-owned Overlap Stone viewpoint on Tuesday, to find it had no business licence and that the bridge used to access the giant rock had no construction licence. The owner has been ordered to shut down access to the viewpoint, which is located on Lamai Mountain, until the proper operating permissions are in place.

This week’s inspection follows an incident earlier this year when a foreign tourist filed a police report, alleging she’d been hit by a Thai man for refusing to pay him 50 baht to access the site. The 33-year-old Russian national went to Boput Police, accompanied by her partner, reporting that she’d been hit on the cheek and in one of her ribs.

According to media reports, the tourists were travelling around the island by scooter, when they tried to access the Overlap Stone viewpoint. The Thai man, who was stationed at the entrance, asked them for a 50-baht entrance fee, which the woman allegedly refused to pay.

It’s unclear how the physical altercation started, but video footage from a passerby who witnessed the incident shows the Russian woman shouting at the Thai man, as her partner tries to diffuse the situation. Then the man can be seen throwing something at the tourist, who picks it up and hits him with it.

According to the site’s caretaker, a sign at the entrance informs visitors of the 50 baht entrance fee.

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