On The Beach, Ko Samui
I just got back from a trip to Koh Samui and was unfortunately involved in a JET SKI Scam.
Me and 5 of my friends rented jet skis and paid about 850 baht for 30 mins, little did we know what we were getting into.
In the middle of the ocean, while the jet skis were stationary they barely touched each other due to a wave. I dont think that the touch was even enough to cause a scratch.
Anyways, we get back to the beach and the "boys" inspect the Jet skis and say we have damaged one of them and points to a SCRATCH on one of the jet skis. We feel that it may have been caused by us and offer to pay 1000 odd baht.
At this point the "boys" call the owner who comes and starts acting really angry. Considering there were 6 of us we also get all angry and an argument starts.
At one point in the argument the Boss of the jet ski place picked up a beer bottle and almost broke it on my head, he was looking at another man with him and asking him if he should. I also took an aggresive stance and i think that is the only thing which prevented them from getting violent.
I called the Police but guess what - THEY NEVER SHOWED UP.
I called up AMARI, Koh Samui where we were staying and they said they could not do anything to help and just advised us to try and get the jet ski people with us to the hotel for our safety.
The jet ski company is on CHAWENG BEACH, right in front of this place called THE LIBRARY.
Finally we talk our way out and ask him to come to the hotel.
He comes to the hotel after an hour and demands 20000 Baht !!!!
We talk to the manager of the hotel who tries to reason with him and he gives us a discount of 2000 Baht but still insists on 18000 baht.
When we refuse to pay he wants us to go with him to the police.
At this point we ask for the General Manager of Amari Hotel being sure that a senior person would be able to do something.
He advises us not to go to the police in ANY circumstance as that would make things more expensive with even the police demanding money, also the JET SKI owner can file a case on the basis of the agreement he made us sign and the police would ask for our passports and we would not be allowed to leave the country till we somehow pay.
We asked what would happen if we refused to pay and all he said was that it would get VERY nasty and even the hotel would not be able to help. Basically the JET SKI Owner would get lots of local boys and things would get very violent.
Basically we were told to PAY and finish this mess.
Looking at NO other possibility, we asked the general manager to get a local person to help negotiate, he got his F&B manager who was from KOH SAMUI and he brokered a deal for 15000 BAHT
Imagine paying 15000 BAHT for a scratch which also i think we didnt cause BUT HAD TO PAY.
In short NEVER EVER RENT A JET SKI IN THAILAND. Specially the one on CHAWENG BEACH in front of THE LIBRARY.
And imagine threatening tourists with breaking beer bottles on their head.
The Police, Government, Local People are all involved.
EVERYONE should STOP VISITING THAILAND completely.
I would NEVER go there again.
Not so much of a warning or danger really but at night time around the restaurants on the Chewang beach you will get a bunch of local children challenging you to a game of Connect 4 - 100 bahts to play - if you win you'll get 200 bahts. Easy peezy you may think considering the child you are playing is about 6 years old... Not so - they are child genius's!! I don't know how they do it but you will lose every time. I quite enjoyed it and became quite friendly with some of them, but they can harrass you if you let them - just be firm if you don't want to take part.
When snorkelling or swimming watch out for jelly fish tentacles. They look like long clearish strings which float on the surface. I was stung by one on my leg, and it felt like somone had set my leg on fire. To add to the pain I paniced so much that i almost passed out. They say to put vingar on a jelly fish sting, but that didnt seem to work for me...ice did the job.
Beach vendors are very common on Samui especially on Chaweng beach where I have spent most of my time. These locals spend many hours walking up & down the beach trying to make a sale.
Over the 6 times that I have been to Samui I have noticed that these vendors are a lot less pushy than they used to be but a handy tip is to learn the thai saying My ao (as in cow ) khap or ka which is a polite way of saying I don`t want.
As with most of the beaches I visited in Thailand unfortunately there sometimes is a problem with garbage. Most of the time it is just people not caring or assuming somebody else will pick it up. However, the danger not only is broken glass, water bottles ect, but while on Chaweng beach we happened to find some used syringes. This is not only a problem with adults, but there are also children on these beaches.
I would ask that some people be more aware of their litter and dispose of it properly. It would be a shame to have a beautiful place like this destroyed over time because of ignorance.
Some places are dangerous in the water. If you find stones in the water wear sandals. I had lots of accident with my feet in the water. I was blody all around after I came out. If you are not carefull enough your swimm can be dangerous too.