The military declared an end to speedboat operators using Pattaya Beach to take on or disembark passengers, using a force of 200 officers to move them to Bali Hai Pier.
Maj. Gen. Yuthachai Tieanthong, commander of the 14th Military Circle, dispatched his army of police, city and district officials and soldiers to the beachfront Feb. 16, checking, catching and fining any boat operator embarking or unloading tourists on the sand.
They were told to use the floating docks at Bali Hai from now on or face prosecution.
The officers also worked to regulate traffic around the pier, install bridges to make it easier for passengers to board boats on the floating pontoons and checked that boat owners were towing their watercraft to and from Jomtien Beach with proper trailers and vehicles.
Only cars and pickup trucks may tow boats on the roads, the army said, and all boat trailers must be made of steel and have proper turn and brake lights.
Army officials said most vendors cooperated with the new orders, but the operation was not glitch-free.
For starters, there are more boats than pontoons at Bali Hai, forcing tourists to wait an excessively long time to catch their ride. Second, since evicting speedboats from Bali Hai, the military still has not solved the problem of where they should park now.
Yuthachai gave in to pleas by owners to let them continue to park on Pattaya Beach until adequate parking, docking and mooring space is arranged.