Failure to regulate Pattaya speedboat operations leads to new complaints, crackdown

Pattaya Deputy Mayor Wuthisak Rermkijakarn inspects the Bali Hai Pier where speed boat operators have set up their businesses.

Pattaya once again is trying to rein in price-gouging speedboat operators at Bali Hai Pier.

The seemingly never-ending battle against ferries preying upon tourists – even after months of not having any tourists – continued Nov. 18 when Deputy Mayor Wuthisak Rermkijakarn dispatched regulatory officers to check piers and floating docks at the South Pattaya jetty.

A barrage of complaints alleged that speedboat drivers not authorized to work Bali Hai Pier were offering cut-rate fares and then leaving people on the island even though they had purchased round-trip tickets.

Of course, Mayor Sonthaya Kunplome pledged on June 15 that Pattaya would set fares for speedboats operating between Bali Hai Pier and Koh Larn following complaints from tourists about prices and service. Typically, none of that has happened as promised.

Pattaya officials said June 15 that the city would start selling mooring licenses and regulate how many speedboats can serve Bali Hai. Applications had to be submitted by June 18 and then the city began deciding who gets to operate at the pier.

Their inaction now is exacting a price on the city’s image again.

Hundreds of speedboats line the beach waiting for customers to hire them to go to Koh Larn Island.

Deputy Mayor Wuthisak Rermkijak dispatches regulatory officers to check piers and floating docks at the South Pattaya jetty for illegal activities.