The latest video to go viral on the Internet in Thailand also did a lot of damage to the tourism industry in the kingdom. It showed a beach vendor on Koh Larn, off the coast of Pattaya, arguing with a Russian tourist. The man was angry as the tourist was lying on the beach on a towel for free instead of paying him money to sit on one of his sunloungers. In the video you can clearly see him kicking sand on the towel of the tourist trying to get her to move.
These pictures show the beach vendor, who turned out to be Cambodian, being taken back to the beach for a re-enactment. It is not known yet, but he is expected only to get a small fine before he walks free. Though, as he entered the country illegally and doesn’t have a work permit, he will probably be deported. Police are also now saying that they don’t have a plan to prosecute the person who shot the video and uploaded it to YouTube.
But, at least some good may come out of this. The attitude of the beach vendor highlights complaints made by other tourists that they act like they own the beach. Though, I guess as they paid over one million Baht for the rights to a small stretch of sand, they probably do feel they own it. Which also explains why they want people sitting on the seats for 100 Baht (50 Baht for Thais) instead of for free on the sand.
What do you say? Should all of these beach vendors be cleared from the seafront? Personally I think there should be zones for sunloungers and umbrellas. But, it shouldn’t be controlled by the mafia type figures.