Two groups of rival speedboat operators in Pattaya engaged in a widely filmed and shared viral fistfight over who would transport a group of tourists on Saturday evening, August 26th.
The fight broke out at 5 PM yesterday at Bali Hai Pier, panicking numerous tourists who were waiting to board a ride to Koh Larn.
The incident, which was captured in a 5-minute-long video clip, involved two groups of speedboat operators at the pier. The groups were heatedly arguing about who would get the money and rights from a group of unidentified tourists who wanted to travel to Koh Larn on speedboats, before they started throwing punches.
Officials at the pier tried to warn the men to calm down, but to no avail. The fight only dispersed after seeing Pattaya Police show up after an urgent phone call from pier safety officers.
A local resident, who wished not to be named, revealed to The Pattaya News that it was their second fight of the day, adding the first one happened just in the morning.
The resident said that brawls between speedboat operators vying for the business of tourists who want to take a quick ride to Koh Larn are a recurring problem in Pattaya. They could significantly damage the city’s reputation as a safe tourist destination, the resident said, because Bali Hai Pier is usually packed with innocent tourists.
The resident suggested that it is critical for the authorities to take these issues seriously in order to prevent such violent incidents from escalating further.
Pattaya police are reportedly looking into the matter.
This isn’t the only recent brawl of rival business owners arguing over tourists and territory as there have been a number of violent incidents between rival motorbike taxi companies in Pattaya recently as well, as we have covered here.