Living Like a Thai Days 19 & 20: Ringing the Bell

Living Like a Thai Day 19

During the day of the 19th I pretty much stayed in and ate what I had on hand although I knew I was going out tonight to return my friend Nut’s camera and as luck would have it she owns my local haunt and Sunday night is free food night :)

I headed to the bar at 10pm and ran into nut sitting out front, so, I pulled up a stool and sat down…no sooner had I done so I hear the distinct chime of a bell coming from inside. For those of you that don’t know: there is a bell in every bar in Pattaya no matter how large or how small and when a customer rings said bell they have effectively bought everyone in the bar a drink. Some bars have 2 bells where one is just to buy all the ladies working at said bar a drink.

I’ve never understood the bell ringer mentality. Some bars have huge mirrored walls where the bell ringer gets his name added to the bell ringing hall of fame but most places just put a large receipt in your checkbin for you to look at in the future and cry. It’s not that I’m a tightwad or anything as I have always bought my fair share of rounds for friends…but I’ll be damned if I’m buying drinks for a bunch of people I don’t even know. The only thing a bell ringer succeeds in is letting the bar know they have a good wallet and possibly short on brains.

I wonder how it would go over if the next time a bell was rung in my vicinity I asked for the monetary value of the drink instead of the drink itself.  :P

Note: For those of you who are uninitiated,  you have probably noticed that at the end of the bells rope is a phallic symbol, or as Catherine would say “A Cock” Even though Pattaya is known as Sin City the phallic symbol is actually related to Buddhism and not sex. The phallic symbol or Pallad Khik as it is known in Thailand is actually descended from Hinduism and represents the business owner inviting in good business and prosperity. Although, it does make a great conversation piece and another reason I will never ring the bell.

Back to the day at hand. Seeing as I had a free drink coming my way from someone I didn’t know and would never meet I ordered a Jack Coke and settled in. I also availed myself of some free food made available to all at happy hour which consisted of both Western and Thai fare. I couldn’t resist a little Hawaiian pizza and Tom Yung Goong ( spicy shrimp soup ). After I ate and sipped my drink down I did the unthinkable…I said my goodnight’s and headed back to the condo.

In another stroke of good fortune or bad luck as it were,  my aircon in the bedroom died…while it will suck for a day or two it will save me some money or electric this month and I need to save some budget money.

Living Like a Thai Day 19 Expenditures


Living Like a Thai Day 20

I wish I had great news to report today or at least less boring news but today was another day spent around the condo not spending money because as you can see my laundry bill came today and at 210 baht ( $7.15 ) it’s a good thing I spent a few days living frugally although I still managed a little time out to cure my boredom.

The next few days should test my frugalness as a good friend is having a party Tuesday Night which means free food and plans are under way for a July 1st election day cruise and Party to celebrate the end of the Living Like a Thai experiment :)

Living Like a Thai Day 20 Expenditures

Purchase Amount Cost Total
Laundry 1 week 210 baht 210 baht
Today’s Total 210 baht ( $7.15 )
June Total 2564 2774 Baht ( $94.45 )
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    101 thoughts on “The Pattaya Jet Ski Scam in Pictures

    1. I thought almost all Thai people followed Buddhism and Thailand was the world’s most Buddhist country. What happened?

    2. Talen, it’s a wonderful and brave writeup. I hope you are careful walking around Pattaya from now on. I’ve heard nasty things about these guys.

    3. … and just hope that they or their friends, wives, or girlfriends don’t cruise the Internet.

      One bit of nastiness convinced me to avoid sticking my neck out for Thailand a second time. Self-preservation to the rescue

    4. These pieces of shite are nothing at all. I have had three confrontions up to now,the last one with that cop who started shoving me backwards out of a group getting scammed, I told him do it a third time and I would knock him to the ground. The others gathered ,but I would have taken them all on,but when it’s one against a few it gets difficult.

      Just need a few farangs to get together and defeat them.

    5. i have seen and photographed this over 30 times. you are correct everyone is involved in this and the money involved is huge. the reason groups are targeted is between them they can raise more funds and some can be held hostage on the beach while others go to get cash from ATM’s or the hotel. most popular time to pull a scam 16.00 hrs onwards they are all at it.

      latest ploy is to take multiple pics of the falang on the ski then while he is out in the bay the SD memory chip is removed and photoshopped so when he gets back there are pics of himself on an apparently perfect ski.

      that and the signed damage form seal his fate

    6. I forgot to mention type jet ski scam into you tube and u can watch an 8 min video of a scam going down that somebody braver than me filmed. 62,000 hits and counting

    7. Nice post, thankyou.

      Please consider raising this with your Embassy. Insist that they take action. Give them time to act, then ask for a written response detailing steps taken.

      Our diplomats have special protection and legal privileges. They are also very well remunerated. The diplomatic community needs to do much more to expose these scams. Thailand will only act if loss of face or tourism revenue are at stake.

    8. We had a similar scam on Patong Beach back in the early 80′s only instead of jet ski’s (dregs of beach fun to me they are)the same type of scam involved MTX motorbikes (dirt bikes). Some kind of “damage” would happen and the repair bill would be horrendous…that is…until somebody got fed up with the scam & scammers & went completely sane with a 12 gauge and stopped the scam in its tracks. About 15 people, all Thais, were shotgunned to death & the local constabulary never caught the perp because the coppers couldn’t positively ID the victims. I hope Pattaya sorts out the jet ski scam before something like the Patong MTX massacre happens up there ’cause that’s very bad for tourism.

    9. Talen I find it somewhat ironic that only yesterday the Thai PM was calling for TAT to focus on quality(tourists) rather than quantity.

      Personally I agree with him but what chance of attracting high end tourists to Pattaya when stuff like you report goes on every day. Mind you its not just Pattaya is it….remember the Black Sheep documentary production you wrote about?

      If nothing else your report confirms to me that I certainly chose the right area of Thailand to call home.

    10. Hi Talen,

      Great write up and a brave one to boost. I agree that these scammers probably won’t find your blog but better stay clear off the beach for a while, these guys don’t like to see their business getting interrupted, especially not by some Farang.

      Sorry for not having checked in more often, am just too busy and can rarely keep up with my own blogs at times.

    11. Thais are indeed for 95% Buddhists as Talen points out, but they must be the most flexible bunch of Buddhists around

    12. JB,

      With all due respect, violence will be the least effective way to go about this. All Thais around will gather up against you and whomever is with you and you just can’t win unless you’re good at martial arts. It will be a Phyrrus victory either way and you may well be targeted afterwards by these scammers. Definitely not the way to go in my opinion.

    13. Recently (about 6 months ago?) there was a UK based travel show on telly in the UK that filmed one of the scams. I think it was Phuket.

    14. Gordo,

      I would be extremely surprised if the scams in Phuket have ceased to exist! I think that they’re well alive and kicking!

    15. From what I’ve been told by diplomats, it is not a diplomats main job to go after scammers in any country.

      Their job is to clear the way for business between countries.

      What their countrymen get up to or have done to them in turn is a mere annoyance…

    16. Excellent photos and reporting.

      These punks will not stop because they have FULL protection from the police. If you can call them police with a straight face.

      I have good reason to believe the Mayor and his brother are both in on this scam.

      Thai politicians are corrupt to the core and the Kunplome family is no exception. One brother runs Chonburi, the other Pattaya.

      Tell everyone you know to not rent jet skis in Pattaya.

    17. Seems this will never get sorted unless some police from outside Pattaya step in or they replace the police there with a new chief. The tourist police number is 1155 if you ever feel you are getting scammed in Thailand.

    18. Martial arts ? don’t make me laugh. They like to think there true masters,told you they are nothing.

      Once got threatened by a trained Thai boxer,told him I’d rip his leg off for a start then I’d finish him off for my breakfast.

      60 Kg yeah ,don’t make me laff!!!

    19. Not only is 1155 not answered 1/2 the times you call it, but the tourist police will not assist anyone with scams, especially the jet ski scam.

      In fact, foreign tourist police have been instructed by their superiors to NOT get involved with the jet ski scams in any manner.

      Do the math.

    20. It’s quite amazing to find that a mayor in any country has created a FB page to get suggestions for his city. Kudos to Itthiphol Kunplome, the mayor of Pattaya City.

    21. looks like you got some good advice talen. isn’t it sad that you had to be fearless to post this?

      interestingly my friend and i were talking about thailand’s gem scams yesterday but this one?! horrible.

    22. You’ve seen the scammers police get involved. That us who shows up, time and time and time again.

      It is also a fact that the foreign police have been instructed to not get involved. There was even a news release on this.

      IF you take the issue to the Soi 9 police station, your price increases, as those police now want a piece of the pie.

      But don’t take my word for it, follow every step of the scam for yourself and note the same police who show up every time. There is no shortage of evidence online to see who these players are.

    23. Talen great story but do a bit more reading on the forums and news local online papers , there is currently an investigation going on regarding corrupt police being involved the mayor has stated that on this page.

      but as far as an assumption the Mayor is involved I don’t believe that.

    24. The money is huge and the police chief wouldn’t let these beach thugs keep all that cash. Hundreds of cases a month for years.

      Now they may do the mayor a favor and take a break but that’s all we can expect.

      Evan the Prime Minister can’t tell the police what to do.

      They are a criminal organization that back crime for a fee.

    25. Holy hell, absolutely amazing review of this ongoing criminal conspiracy and a perfect example of why Thai government is so full of BS. They don’t understand what reputation is, or investment, or side effects are. Thanks for having the courage to write this.

    26. Well done on reporting this Talen; is that why you were considering the Muay Thai lessons It looks like this thread has got the attention of a lot of people and maybe it will make a difference. I think the problem is that locals can get away with ripping off tourists for a long time – it does come back to bite them but most will be too short-sighted to see this.

    27. Congratulations on this report! In order to stop those scams, where everyone is involved, especially police and local politicians, it needs people like you who expose it! BRAVE!

    28. I think that everybody who hang out there should warn any tourist when they are seen approaching the jet skis so that nobody will hire them. There should be information regarding this scam in every hotel foyer and everybody should continously talk about it so that the word gets around.

    29. Another good article.

      Corruption is endemic in Thailand and there is very little chance anything will ever be done about the blatant criminal activities that a perpetrated on foreign tourists and residents. The best course of action is to continue to highlight the fact to tourists and hope that over time word will spread enough so that they start to loose business and dissapear.

    30. you could not warn tourists on the beach, quite simply it would be too dangerous to attempt.

      these guys cannot be outnumbered they have more than enough bodies up and down the beach to call on.

      they cannot be outrun they have their motorbikes parked nearby.

      the police will be of no help, the line is you signed you must for damage.

      there is also an old sikh guy and 2 eastern europeans who will often attempt to “help”. they won’t help cos they are in on it too.

      the answer is stay away from renting a jet ski.

    31. Best thing is we all go down there en-masse and rent all the jet ski’s and head of out to a waiting boat and give them a Viking burial before racing off around the headland. LoL

    32. Talen an excellent report and a very brave one too. Now might be a good time to check out Chiang Mai for a week or so.

      I’d like to know what happens if the tourist hasn’t got 50,000 baht. Many people are down to their last couple of thousand baht as their holiday nears its end. I guess that’s when a good beating gets administered.

      Lie low sweet chariot or someone’s gonna carry you home.

      Great post.

    33. Or, we could gather everyone we know with a camera (especially video) and position ourselves around each scam.

      There aren’t that many and everyone has a camera these days.

    34. That would be BRILLIANT!

      Anyone have contact info for this? If it is reasonable, I will put our youtube video on there for a weekend.

    35. Nice one, it shows that it’s ‘alive’ and that people are aware of it or want to know about it.

      Many people shared the link on FB, which helps as well!

      I don’t see this scam stop overnight but more attention like your post will slowly put an end to it.

    36. my family were visiting me in patts at Christmas 1st thing i said to them was do not rent jet skis.

      i would love to see these scum receive a good kicking maybe we need more of the British ibiza crowed to visit patts imagine what would happen if one those lads got scammed and they were mob handed like they usually are .mmmm, if only

    37. A banner with a picture of a jet ski ,a red cross over it, with a few words of warning in 4 or 5 languages ,paraded along Beach Road,with a hefty gathering of farangs leading the show,newspapers invited as well as TV cameras.

      That would embarrass them no end,the police could do nothing but stand back as though doing their job

    38. i sent this message to the mayor yesterday

      Khun Kunplome

      when are you going to do something to resolve the problem of the jet ski scam operators this issue is generating a lot of Internet traffic and many people from around the world are aware of this scam this is not going to be beneficial to pattaya in the long run

      i am surprised i got a response

      thank you very much for your suggestion….a lot of things in progress…to solve this problem…sir

    39. Same scam runs with motorbikes all over the country aspecialy in koh phangan .

      I dont know how can be the officals so shortsitet the little scambags make money but the c ountry loses more and more ravanues every year .

    40. I’m too bad at all Pattaya. I will say this, huh, when President d Pattaya and all parties involved. I apologize on behalf of the Thai people with offline.

    41. Buddhism in Thailand, like everything else here, is merely superficial. LOS doesn’t mean the Land of Smiles anymore. It means, the Land of Superficiality, the Land of Scams, the Land of Stupidity, the land of Sneers, the Land of Sinners, the Land of……well, you get the picture, Thailand has become a very poor choice for tourists.

      The two-tier pricing system is getting out of hand here as money gets harder to earn honestly. I have been living and working here for many years, and the even at the market I go to regularly, vendors who treated me fairly are now starting to gouge for as much as they can. I’ve simply stopped buying from any vendors who don’t have their prices clearly displayed. The entry fee into national parks is many times higher for foreigners than it is for Thais, and perhaps that can be justified to some degree. Unfortunately, other (private) venues have decided that the government must be setting a proper example, so they also charge foreigners much more to gain entry. Do not support two-tier pricing.

      A good friend came to visit me a short time ago, and was disappointed with Thailand compared to Mexico, where he usually holidays. He said the beaches here were, for the most part, dirty and inferior to the ones in Mexico, prices for equal food and accommodation were higher, the people (especially in Phuket) were not as friendly, and although he generally enjoyed himself and was glad that he experienced it first-hand, he made it very clear that he would never pay the much greater airfare and endure the long flight to come to Thailand again when the much better alternative of Mexico is so much closer and better.

      Thais are victims of their own government, so I feel sorry for them. They are very undereducated in comparison to most other nations, but they’ve been brainwashed to believe they are superior to all other nationalities. An arrogantly huge ego together with a very low level of intelligence is a dangerous combination, and that’s exactly what’s happening in Thailand. Antiquated customs, like the importance of “saving face” means that one Thai can never criticize another Thai, so when a situation is obviously screwed up, nothing can be done to remedy it because pointing out a problem will inevitably mean that someone will lose face. This has caused Thailand to slip down form being a developing nation to a 3rd-world country, and there isn’t a snowball’s chance in Thailand that anything will be done to change the culture and advance forward – the problems are too deeply ingrained. Thailand will NEVER be a developed nation.

      I’m afraid I could go for a long time with more criticism about Thais, with things like how Thais are some of the most inconsiderate people I have ever seen, and contrary to the perception that they are quiet, demure, and respectful people, for the vast majority of them, the exact opposite is true.

      I’m sure people are questioning why I remain in Thailand if it’s so screwed up, and it comes down to my job and my hatred of winter. I live in a small village in a condo at the beach for a price that I could never find elsewhere, so the combination of employment, climate, economics (and the ability to insulate myself from most of the bullsh*t ) keeps me here. I suspect that someday I’ll decide that I’ve had enough of Thailand, but for now it still offers mostly what I want, so I’ll avoid the worst and enjoy the rest.

    42. Great post. But even if the mayor feels motivated enough to do something this scam is relatively minor compared to some of the persumably police sanctioned attrocities that occur every night in Pattaya.

      Top of my list of outrageous Pattaya practices would be things like the widespread presence of child prostitution, illegal casinos, Russian mafia, drug lords etc. If you want to protect the tourists from the consequences of their own sleazy inclinations then perhaps you could focus on the regular defenestrations from high rise buildings and use of knockout drugs by prostitutes many of whom congregate on the same beach…

      But hey, its sin city. The tourist money is based on the availability of vice. Innocence is in very short supply amongst either the buyers or the sellers so many, if not most of those tourists you are trying to protect are in Pattaya to behave badly if not criminally. So lets call it what it is. These people are here to exploit the desperation of some of the locals. The fact that other locals are exploiting the tourists could only be a surprise to someone who thought Pattaya was a normal place and a person who has been there for longer than a few hours and still has that illusion… well this seems really unlikely to me.

      Its a risky place to visit and so long as it retains its traditional attractions its unlikely to change. We’ve all seen the t-shirt. Good guys go to heaven. Bad guys go to Pattaya.

    43. Hi

      I was very interested in reading your report on the jet ski scams.My husband and I have been frequent visiters to Thailand for aprox 15 years a few years ago we got caught in one of these scams on Patong beach, Pucket. It involved my husband ,2 sons and one of their friends. To cut a very long, tense story We walked away with out loosing any money and all in one piece, due to my husband being strong and sticking to his guns hhowever it could of ended a lot worse.

    44. Well done, kudos on having the balls to stand up to them but do think of your own safety.

      How about this for a suggestion? Take up their offer to rent the jetski take the jetski up to the beach and do a real inspection. Take photos of the existing damage. See what their reactions is – do they still try and rent it to other customers?

    45. Talen

      Actually I made the unfortunate error of purchasing property in Pattaya to weather the unpleasant winters just like yourself. I have three years of up close and personal experience of Pattaya expat life and on that basis I would not retract a word. But if you are unfortunate enough to be living in the cesspit I can understand your need to sustain a state of denial until such time as you are able to extract yourself. This sounds a little churlish so I will say that I have met some very nice decent people in the Pattaya morass. Nice Thai people and nice westerners do live in Pattaya but you are talking about the tourists. You can suggest that the non-western visitors are not there with the same agenda but I’d disagree strongly with that suggestion. Many of the Chinese come for the gambling (offshore if you know what I mean). If the Russians are not interested in the prositution then please explain the caucasian prostitution phenomenon. And the Indians have a very well known reputation for cheap low living in brothels which is surely deserved. Yes, there are many couples and even some families on holiday but these are a small if highly visible minority.

      Your other point is quite true of course. While Bangkok and Phuket (and Chang Mai on a tiny scale) have similar options to Pattaya they are not defined by prostitution in the same way. One night in Bangkok may make a hard man humble but one night in Pattaya stikes me as simple a euphemism for for degenerate behavior. There’s nothing else to do really apart from the odd magic show, tame transvestite cabaret or visit to the multiplex what other options does Pattaya have? Jazz club? The place is tiny and can barely make money most of the time. Hard rock cafe? Seriously? Live music? Well if you like bad cover bands then sure. Third road clubs? Watch out for the late night gunfights in the carpark. I could go on but what’s the point. The place is permeated with slease and inundated with criminality. Pattaya is a modern day Gomorrah with a raison d’etre to provide whatever vice seems profitable aided and abetted by local institutions who rely on the purveyors of vice for their funding. Good luck attempting to make an impact on that highly biddable mentality.

    46. Talen

      Actually I made the unfortunate error of purchasing property in Pattaya to weather the unpleasant winters just like yourself. I have three years of up close and personal experience of Pattaya expat life and on that basis I would not retract a word. But if you are unfortunate enough to be living in the cesspit I can understand your need to sustain a state of denial until such time as you are able to extract yourself. This sounds a little churlish so I will say that I have met some very nice decent people in the Pattaya morass. Nice Thai people and nice westerners do live in Pattaya but you are talking about the tourists.

    47. You can suggest that the non-western visitors are not there with the same agenda but I’d disagree strongly with that suggestion. Many of the Chinese come for the gambling (offshore if you know what I mean). If the Russians are not interested in the prositution then please explain the caucasian prostitution phenomenon. And the Indians have a very well known reputation for cheap low living in brothels which is surely deserved. Yes, there are many couples and even some families on holiday but these are a small if highly visible minority.

    48. oops

      my original comment has miraculously appeared now. Its posted in full so you can disregard the split up truncated version that I have been labouring to post

      sorry about that

      glich in the wordpress I guess.

    49. 7 years in Thailand full-time and 10 more part-time, and enough is enough. Unless you live like a Thai, you will be scammed over and over again. It is isn’t just the jet ski issue, it is everything. You might as well have a direct-line plugged into your pocket, your brain and your soul, because this Country wants all of it from you. Shopped at Foodland lately? Tops? Villa? Paid for school for your Thai children? Paid rent for somewhere decent to live with equal western amenities to your own Country? Everyone knows what the real attraction is here. And everyone knows what percentage of men verses woman travel here. What is the real cost of that young girl you are with that you swear loves you jing jing? Wake up people, live here and get scammed, visit here, get scammed double. This is the life in Thailand. If you think it can’t happen to you, just wait. Thai people hate you, especially if you are no use to them. Behind the bullshit smile, it is one the most racist places in the world.

    50. Talen,

      Thank you for this undertaking. This is not just a shame; it is a tragedy. You are so correct: if they want to improve tourism, they have to quit these types of shenanigins. I hope to be there for a long time someday: this is my dream. However, knowing about such things is important for a well-prepared visitor to the “Land of Smiles” will be forwarned and forearmed! This happens everywhere. I remember going into a camera shop and, before I could retract a sale of a camera, the guy told me I had to pay “or else” he would call the policde as it was legitimate. It turned out to be a great camera; however, it was not really something that I could affor when he finally added up all of the costs. I took a shellacking that time and learned from it. My money never leaves my pocket until the receipt is there and I am satisfied. I also know that these “papers” that they have tourist sign may be in Thai and would be illegal in most countries with tourism. Well, I hope that jet ski renters have to sit out wht remains of the “high” season as well as the “low.” It would serve them right. Actually, should you pursue this further: there should be a law stating that no jet ski may be rented when damaged in any way whatsoever and that the proprietor guarantees that the jet ski is in proper working order wihout any damages. Also, there should be a pamphlet telling tourists/renters exactly what to look for and that ANYTHING looking improper on the jet ski should be noted, just as they do on rental cars before one rents them in California. Also, the renter should be able to note any anomally of the jet ski on the diagram of it. Of course, the renters in the panphlet would be told what to look for and where! Not a single inch uninspected by the renter! This can become very timely and would cost proprietors a lot of time and less revenue until they give up on this scam.

      Good luck. Take care. I hope that I may come to Thailand and meet you there one day to give you a thenkful hug for your work. If you like beer, I would also buy whatever you would like!

      Anyse (pronounced “ah-niece” not “ah-nephew”)

    51. Glad to see your brave article and all the response you have received to it. Spreading the word is the solution as we know what Thailand will do about this: Nothing!

    52. The mayor and other dignitaries are probably not aware of how much this is costing Pattaya in general. They probably don’t care.

      I don’t go to Pattaya. I avoid it because of what goes on there. The jetski scam is for me the ultimate clincher.

      I also don’t invest in Pattaya. I was in negotiations with a school in Bangkok wishing to expand their operations. They wanted to set up a branch in Pattaya. I talked them out of it. I also declined to invest in a new shopping mall in Pattaya, and I refused to set up a shop there.

      But I’m only one guy. So why should anyone care.

      Well, it’s not just me. I know of several large factories and international corporations who purposely avoid anything to do with Pattaya for the same reasons. They’ll take their money and investment and development expertise and job opportunities to Hua Hin or Chiang Mai or Rayong or even just Rangsit or Samrong or Bang Yai, the outskirts of Bangkok, rather than have anything to do with Pattaya/Chonburi area.

      You’ll always get the big names setting up anywhere, regardless. They treat mafia activity and corruption as the ‘license’ cost of doing business. So you’ll always get Tescos and Big C and Central, and even smaller unscrupulous operators like Walen. But the rest of us will leave Pattaya to the criminals and will take our custom elsewhere. I’m not even sure the (expensive) resorts will do all that well either. It doesn’t matter how ‘family friendly’ they say it is, I’d take my family to a resort elsewhere – I’m not sure about Phuket (it doesn’t seem all that much different, but at least I haven’t heard of any potentially violent scams as a matter of routine) – and there are plenty of other nicer places to go to in Thailand. And EVEN if you’re the kind of guy that just wants a cheap slut and a string of bars to drink in all night, there are better places for this in Thailand too!

      As for tourism, my guess is (from people I know who had planned to come to Thailand on holiday) that about half decide not to come at all. The other half fly into Bangkok, but then go straight on to Laos or Cambodia or Malaysia, maybe spending only a few days in Bangkok (so the tourist numbers are misleading: the number of visitors appears to be unaffected, but many of the visitors are just passing through because of what they perceive to be a potentially corrupt/violent tourist trap).

      I think if residents, business people and politicians were aware of the true cost of these scams to their own livelihoods, they might not be so complacent about condoning this type of activity.

    53. this is ridiculous. No evidence, no taped conversations. Why are the victims not western. Why does it look like the victims are thais. Maybe this is going on but it is sort of ridiculous. I think this guy talen is just a stickman wanna be he set this whole thing up so he could make a stupid video and get hits on his site. Show me a hidden camera tough guy journalist. What a dickhead……talen….hahahahahaha. You dont deserve this exposure.

    54. This is nothing new and not restricted to Pattaya and Phuket this happend to me in Koh Samui 2001 and I refused to pay and one of them took a swing at me…their problem was I was 102kg shredded with a background in boxing, mixed martial arts and american football…I beat the shit out of the 3 guys confronting me…and because of witnesses on the beach the police “arrested” them but two days later they where back in business a few hundred meters away from before.

    55. who was violently attacked. I would like to know that. You said that some tourists were “violently” attacked when they could not pay. I doubt that. Let us see the evidence.

    56. @ Ron paul you obviously have no knowledge of patts or you would know about these scams they have been going on for years most ex-pats and long time visitor to patts are very much aware of the jet ski scam do a google search before you start accusing people of being a dick head

      ya Muppet

    57. @Ron Paul and Anonymous

      I got attacked I was lucky they didnt have any knifes or so. I was down in there working as a divemaster for a few months and my encounter happend just a week after I had arrived…I later learned that almost everyone I worked with knew about the scam…and most locals hotel staff etc knew…but people dont tell you in advance!

    58. I look forward to the day the so called ‘Big Man’ kicks the bucket and Thailand either goes into meltdown or it gets its act together.

      It is about time someone stuck a bit of lead behind the ear of these scam JetSki operators. Sooner the better!

    59. I quit going to Pattaya for many reasons. Pattaya has too much crime. If the mayor were strong he could stop it and increase international investment probably 1,000% over the next 2 or 3 decades.. Developing the beach front would be a very worthwhile investment to attract more tourists. The city could become very rich off foreign investment and tourism instead they rather make small money.

    60. Just a week ago (7 March ’11) I stood on top of the steps of Beach Rd,looking on a scam involving Indians

      I was told to fuck off by one of the gang,I replied to him in the same terms as well,immediately set on by five of their group,dislocated jaw amongst other injuries suffered.

      Complained to police who asked me to view photos,even though the gang were operating virtually outside the police station. All so so very corrupt, I hate the place.

    61. Talen, thank you for the post and standing up for what is right. we need more people like you in the world.

      I just want to add an additional comment and let people know I was involved in a similar scam on the island of Koh Phangan, only it involved motorbike rentals not jetskis. Essentially the scam works the same way, but when I protested I was knifed in the face by one of the thugs.

      This happened at the bike rental shop outside the Dream Hill Resort on Haad Yao Beach (Koh Phangan).

      Just be aware these guys are professional criminals and will not hesitate to use violence.

      I’m very sad to see Thailand going from the land of smiles to the land of switchblades.

    62. Thanks for this video. I will never contribute a penny to any business owned by a Thai male ever again. I will spend 100% of my money in businesses owned by other foreigners.

    63. Thats nice. Hopefully they will learn and take actions. Stupid to cause a rumour like this for tourist when they visit Thailand. Hopefully more scammers will go down.

    64. I saw these scams several times in pattaya dec-jan during this winter, last time it was a thai girlgroup from bankok that paid 15000 bath to the scammers. At the time i had a legmassage at the beach just a few meters from the scam and my massage girl told me what was happening – she told me that she see these scams every day at the beach and she feels wery bad about that this still going on day after day and noone stops it.

    65. I paid 600bt for 1/2 an hour, knowing about the scam. I didn’t think they’d try it on me (big and fit and experienced in Thailand).

      I’ve rented jetskis before from dodgy heavily tattooed Thai beach dudes before and they’ve never dared.

      Anyway I didn’t get my change from 1000bt, “get after”, not a good sign, but not a lot of money.

      Then came the digital camera with extensive photos of me on the jetski. Yes we all agreed there were extensive scratches etc.

      Went out for a spin, came back. The stage had been set. The jetski dudes wouldn’t look me in the eye when I handed the lifejacket back. Another bad sign.

      Then the commotion play started. The now sizeable pack of Thai guys started pointing and yelling.

      There was a piece of rub rail missing about 15cm long from the middle of the side.

      The other Ski Doos were missing the same piece.

      I don’t know if they blu tac the section on, or pop it between the screws, but it had fallen off by its own accord.

      The Thais were highly aggressive straight away. One was playing with a knife, one with a piece of wood.

      My heart sank, I knew what they were playing at.

      I denied any accident, then up came the old lady who gave false witness to say she had seen me in a big collision.

      I said to get the Police, and of course they agreed. So I knew someone was going to turn up either their uncle who was a cop, or someone dressed as one.

      The situation was escalating, and the chance of violence was very high.

      I knew my only option was to grab my pregnant wife and to escape the thugs. We crossed over to the “Ripley’s” Mall with security, and they dared not follow us in.

      When I stay in Thailand I spend a lot of money. I stayed on this occasion in the Sheraton’s best rooms. My Holiday would have cost over $10,000.00 AUD

      The fact that the Thai people allow these small time mafia thugs to operate is an absolute disgrace.

      Nobody should be put in this position, especially within the knowledge of the police and other authorities.

      I will never return to Thailand and I urge others not to as well.

    66. I spoke to 2 young english guys yesterday after they left pattaya beach.

      they got done for 20,000 bht having started at 50,000. they both told me they had not hit anything, that they knew they were being turned over but were intimidated into paying. 1 of the russians who help in the scam was involved in the negotiations.

      and so it goes on….

    67. Seems all Thais know about the scams but they are too stupid to realize the damage to Thailands reputation (as a whorehouse)

    68. Finally some effort from the local authorities to clamp down on the jet-ski thugs. Now ALL claims must be settled by an arbitration panel. Not sure how it will work or if it will be enforced – this is Thailand after all. Time will tell.

    69. the way things go with this, soon they won’t even bother with the renting scam, just pick some tourists and shake them down with force and intimidation.

    70. As of today, 28.04.2011, we’ve also just confronted with pattaya jetski scam. I do not recommend anyone to rent a jetsk in pattaya. police does not help and you are against a physical violence. they started with requesting 25000 baht and finally we agreed to pay 4000 baht. Never come to Pattaya and Thailand and they will see who will lose.

    71. Well, how is that going to work? Will JJ hand over an info pamphlet to his customer and explain that he can handle everything in claims court? I think time has told already on this one. It’s been going on for years and they’re out there today doing it.

    72. So who are the higher ups that are bankrolling this? Names? I think the mayor is just going to do the usual tried and true “look I’m doing something” song and dance until this blows over, and the result will be the same as it has for years: zero effect. Now you might say, “If he wanted to do something about it, he could have it stopped in a day” and I’d say, that’s only if he’s a much bigger fish than whoever is running this operation (which I doubt), and even if he is it probably isn’t that simple, it may be that it’s a political favor he’s obligated to fulfill. (that’s not meant to legitimize this, but more to consider how things like this work behind the scenes) And even if the big fish itself gets knocked out somehow, I’d bet another would just swoop in to replace him. This is a problem of culture, not individuals. Look at the comments: it happens everywhere tourists go in Thailand. It means nowhere in Thailand is there any risk of Thais being disturbed by this. How many Thais go report these scams to the police when they see them? That image alone must seem comical to any expats reading here. And it also means that police country-wide can be expected to support it.

    73. First thanks for this post it can only help Thailand in the long run

      I have been to Thailand several times “not for sex” but for medical they have fantastic hospitals even in Pattaya.

      Thailand is very nice and very nice people but the were hit by the Tsunami and the bad world economy and they are hurting and trying to survive so I will still go back to Thailand but you have to do your homework.

      You have to deal or avoid the scams your whole life, Thailand is just a good training ground. I will tell you the first one you will encounter the Taxi ride out of airport ,always use the meter they will try and set a price instead and don’t prepay for ride. Learn a little Thai “Let me hold on to your passport” means give me all your money.

      This is a test what would do if you read a sign “Beware of pickpockets in area”

      A) Check to see if you still have your wallet or stash of money

      B) nothing

      C) Put you wallet in you front pocket

      How fast you check your money tells the robbers weather you have cash and where it is ,they put up the sign

      Learn street smarts. Life is a scam. Every baby needs a SS# sure your going to get your money back when you retire. Good luck your going to need it

    74. Wauw, I have been living on bangkok for 9 years and been in pattaya at least 40 times. Luckily, i have never ever had any issues but i also never rented any jet skis there. Your article about the jetski scam was really good – it is so simple scam yet I would definitely also have fallen prey to it if i encountered it. I only one time rented a motorcycle for 2 days and there i had to apy 150 baht in damages (and that was my fault, so that was fair enough).

      Yes, there are good and bad thai people and this scam will definitely not get stopped anytime soon.

    75. Understood. Still, as you mention then having people to come home and have been scammed for 50.000 baht is enough to make many people not come to Thailand. It is a lot of money even for farangs.

    76. I think the problem is not with the good people of Thailand but with the officials in charge the Mayor, Police, Thai Mob ect. Be careful dealing with them. Most people never know the most valuable thing you will ever own is your reputation ,Thailand doesn’t doesn’t want to get a bad one.

    77. This same thing happened to me yesterday across from pizza hut/mikes shopping mall in pattaya,

      we rented 2 jet skis and we actually did hit into each other, causing damage on the front right side, but some how there was a huge mark on the back left and they were saying that it was from us……we didn’t hit there. so they asked for 5000b and we were okay with that. well that was for one guy, sure enough a group of thais surrounded us and demanded we pay 45000b. we ended up talking them down to 28000b and left. while i was on the jet ski i didnt know that an ex pat came up and told the rest of my family that it was a scam.

      I cant believe how crooked they are.

    78. Considering the Mayors father is literally Thailand’s #1 crime boss (Somchai “Kamnan Poh” Kunplome), does anyone actually need to try to figure out why this scam is happening and why it’s not being stopped?

      Why do you think NOTHING has been doing to even so much as question these guys, despite several bogus meetings with the mayor and local police claiming they will look into it.

      Gee, it’s only been over 1 YEAR since they started looking into it. Not a single person has been arrested or even questioned, including the foreigners who are now assisting them, and regardless of the punks on the beach pulling weapons on tourists. Instead, the public has been given nothing but limp wristed excuses from Pattaya’s mayor.

    79. I experienced it first hand yesterday on Koh Larn opposite Pattaya. But we really knocked into a boat so I am sure it was no scam. We paid six grand for a cracked piece of plastic side of the Jet Ski we broke. However, we saw another commotion with an Indian bloke taking place near us. He was asked to pay one hundred grand for knocking into three boats. They have moved from scam to extortion.

    80. Have seen this play in Pattaya. No doubt about it. Clearly the scam is run/protected by police. It would be easy to stop, but no one in power has any interest in doing so. Stay away from Pattaya…scams and criminals aall over the place, protected by people in power. Pataya is the arsehole of Thailand, and it always will be.

    81. I have a hard time believing they would victimize a group of American’s this way. I think they would end up bleeding out of their mouth. They are rather small and weak looking, probably why they target Indians.

    82. @oneirishpollack,

      I’m a 6’2″ American (confident, fit, etc) and was involved in a similar scam with a moto-bike on the island of Koh Phanang. I called them out of their bullshit, and before I even thought it would escalate to violence, I got knifed in the face (just missed my eye). These guys dont give a shit if you european, american or asian. All they care about is money.

    83. I am 5’10″ and as mean as shit. I would poke their eyes out and bite their noses off. You on the other hand are the soft and weak lamb that the wolves love to corner. Go down like a man, with the intent of taking two lives for your own.

    84. oneirishpollock you have clearly never been to Thailand. these guys cannot be outnumbered, their rival renters will be by their side in a flash. however big and tough the falang weight of numbers will defeat him.

      Matt what u describe is a typical fight in LOS, when out of the blue it goes from near calm to WW 3 in an instant with the foreigner taken completely by the sneak sudden attack. stay away from the jet ski hire, it’s much safer.

    85. i had the same happen to me in thailand when i went to see my brother, and we had first hand proof this was going on coz i rented a ski to see if it happened,,and it did, but guess what they didn,t get a penny out of us. all the thai men and police are corrupt FULL STOP…

    86. P.S HE HAS JUST BEEN STUNG FOR 70.000 ENGLISH POUND FROM BEEN IN A THAI RELATIONSHIP..dont be a mug thailand lovely country bad people..

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