Chinese tourists abandoned by tour guide

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Six Chinese tourists were abandoned by their guide after refusing to buy “extras” not included in their low-cost package.

Apparent victims of a supposedly outlawed “zero-baht” tour, the four men and two women called police to the D&C Hotel in Jomtien Beach June 16 where they were left by their unidentified Thai guide.

It actually was the second time the travelers had needed to call authorities. The day before, the guide had refused to check them into the hotel because they wouldn’t pay for extra items and activities not included in their base tour package.

Tourist police got the six checked into the hotel, only to have the guide disappear with the 13 other tour members who did pay the extra fees.

For years, unscrupulous travel agents have sold “zero-baht” tours allowing mainland Chinese to visit Thailand for little or no money down. But when they arrive they are hit for large bills for extras ranging from meals to transport to destination entrance fees.

The government last year claimed it had ended all the zero-baht tours when it seized the assets of the largest operators. But the practice is continuing.

The Chinese tourists demanded police track down the tour guide, check its license and have the company give them back their money and an apology.