As little as it’s breaking news that some seemingly traditional massage parlours provide outright sexual services in Pattaya it’s an equally well-known fact – yet hardly makes any headlines – that Baht bus drivers around Funtown have a tendency to rip their foreign customers off.
Now a group of eight Chinese tourists who had chartered a Baht bus on Pattaya Third Road requested the assistance of Pattaya police after the driver had dropped them off at their requested location on Second Road at around 10 p.m. on Wednesday night, however demanded the tourists to pay a total of 400 Baht for the relatively short taxi ride.
Their mistake? They had forgotten to negotiate a fare before chartering the empty Baht bus for what is obviously not one of the standard routes.
As we’ve explained in detail in our guide to getting around in Pattaya: Unless you’re using a Baht bus on one of the regular routes – where a price of 10 or 20 Baht may apply – you should always negotiate a fixed fare in advance. Just relying on the driver’s honesty is akin to asking for trouble and possibly getting overcharged after you’ve arrived at your destination.
According to Pattaya One, police found the group of Chinese tourists arguing loudly with the driver and soon
found out, with a little difficulty due to translation issues, that the tourists had been picked up on 3rd Road, North Pattaya. They had made their way down to [the Central Marina shopping centre] which is estimated to be around 3 Kilometers.
No price was agreed beforehand, so after arriving at the destination, the driver requested a total of 400 Baht.
The tourists were obviously not first timers and quickly realised that this was far too much for the journey. They refused to pay the requested 400 baht and offered 20 baht per person instead. This offer was refused by the driver and the argument escalated before police were eventually called.
After hearing and understanding both sides of the story, the police told both parties that a fee of 250 Baht was fair. The fee was paid and both parties went their separate ways.
Police did comment that the 400 Baht was in fact too much and stressed that it was important not to take advantage of tourists as they bring a lot of value to Pattaya.