- HEADLINES [click on headline to view story]:
Something’s not right
Rip-offs in Pattaya
The human blight
Thanks for noticing
More bar closures
Something’s not right
On my usual read of PM and other weeklies I was drawn to make a comparison
between the two cases involving Et Pho-lam and Kevin Quill.
Et Pho-lam is currently being held for the brutal murder by stabbing of a
Finnish national whilst being hunted by police for robbery charges. PM
reports that that he has a long record of 10 charges involving the
trafficking of amphetamines beginning in 98 when he was arrested on
amphetamine charges and fined. The following year he was arrested by the
same police, again for ya-ba possession with no record of punishment. In 01
he was arrested again in a different province for possession of ya-ba in
Lopburi. The following year he was arrested for the same thing twice and
again the following year. After this final arrest he was sentenced to four
years. In March last year an arrest warrant was issued relating to charges
of ya-ba dealing. In conclusion, it would appear that Et Pho-lam has been a
career dealer for over 10 years and in that time served only 4 years in
Mr. Quill on the other hand was a business man who in 02 was caught with
amphetamines in his luggage in what must be by definition questionable
circumstances; so questionable in fact that an appeals court in 05
overturned the verdict. Mr Quill had already served 6 months in Chonburi
jail prior to this. He has always proclaimed his innocence and never broken
his bail despite obvious chances to do so on health visits to the UK. Now
his not guilty verdict has been turned again by an appeals court to that of
guilty and he has to serve 6 years. This final life shattering decision
comes after 8 years, having served 6 months already and now suffering from
the effects of throat cancer.
Both Mr Quill and Et Pho-lam are subject to the same charge involving
amphetamine possession; the difference is that one is a multiple offender
over 10 years who only served 4 years in prison and who finally became a
killer. The other is a guy caught once in questionable circumstances who
served 6 months and was then found not guilty, has now been found guilty yet
again and given 6 years.
I am sure that common sense will prevail and Mr Quill will be allowed home
or His Gracious Majesty will grant a pardon.
Rip-offs in Pattaya
Due to the fact there is no “Better Business Bureau” that I am aware of in
the greater Pattaya area, many a visitor gets grossly “taken” by scams,
shady business persons, some Thai and some farang, which go unchecked.
Having no accountability leads to more and more scams, crooked businesses
and bad service. I strongly suggest a section of your newspaper, where those
having been taken to the “proverbial cleaners” can alert others of the scam
or bad service and in-so doing, just maybe those shady businesses will
either shape-up or go out of business due to exposure of their poor service,
scams or crooked ways.
Having been a 2 year resident of 1st Pattaya, then Jomtien Beach, many of us
ex-pat friends would often alert each other of great service or great value
at a certain business ... and likewise of a scam, bad service or “rip-off”
establishment, whether it be a Thai business or farang business. With a
career of owning several successful businesses in America, I believe in
“reasonable” customer service, honesty, mutual respect and fairness in all
dealings by both parties, yet (some businesses in) Pattaya (have) a well
earned reputation for “ripping off” visitors.
Case in Point: My Thai wife (teacher) and I now live north of Bangkok but
visited Pattaya for Songkran festival and rented a motorbike paying a 1,000
baht deposit and the 4 day fee up front. The lady renting the bike insisted,
if we had any problem with the bike to call her. We had a hotel room on Soi
Dania near her rental shop. After 2 days of use, the bike had a flat tire
due to very bad and cracked old tires that were unsuitable to be driven on
in the first place. Repeated phone calls to the bike rental shop got no
answer. Plus, no repair shops open on the 2 days for the festival. Upon
returning the bike Sunday morning the 20th, with flat tire, after only
getting 2 days use out of the 4 days paid rental on the bike, we did get our
deposit back. I told the lady about not being able to use the bike for 2 of
the 4 days we paid for rental, but of coarse, she did not reimburse me. I
was charged for 4 days bike rental to which we only got 2 days use.
As we checked out of our hotel, the motorbike rental lady showed up, making
a big disturbance and demanding I pay for a new tube and new tire, to which
I refused as the tires were old cracked tires and not fit to be driven on in
the first place and she, in reality, she should pay us back for the 2 days
of non-use of the bike due to her bad bike maintenance.
The motorbike rental lady was jumping up and down, hollering and screaming,
threatening to call the police, while we calmly made our way to a baht bus,
then bus station and home.
Why is it, many in Pattaya feel that it is “open season” on visitors or
“tourists” to pay and pay and pay, for the mistakes, bad service, no service
and bad maintenance of the equipment of the business owner?
Unfortunately, Pattaya is very successful in getting a great reputation for
“ripping-off” visitors and “tourists.” The horror stories could take up
volumes. Maybe it is time to print the facts to alert others and shame those
I sincerely hope your newspaper will consider the benefits for tourism in
the long haul by allowing everyone to report their horror stories which are
killing the tourist trade in the city. It is only by publicly exposing the
cancer will it be cured.
I thank you for your considerations,
It depends on which meeting you attended: The front page of the Pattaya
Mail, Friday, April 18 - 24 subheadlines “No water shortages this summer
says Irrigation Department”. Tap water for everyone.
Sombun Yutithampinyo says there is enough water to last the year. Sounds
On Saturday the 19th, another weekly, on page 18, had the headline “Water
Shortage”. In the discussion with police colonel Nopadol and recent Pattaya
Mayor Niran present, Jamroon Wisawa-Chaiphan says there is a huge water
shortage, and this needs to be solved as quickly as possible.
Do we, or do we not have a water shortage? During the past week of Songkran
it doesn’t seem like it, but then again, I still don’t have water in my home
on Sunday mornings.
Soi Keow Noi
The human blight
We are told by Don Aleman that he is a 4-year, retired visa holder. Why is
he? Week after week his moaning missives say only what he thinks is wrong
with Thailand and week after week he is shot down by the better informed. He
is a ‘global traveller’, he tells us (yeah), yet if he thinks so badly of
Thailand one can only cringe at the thought of places he has travelled to.
Whatever makes people like him think that readers are interested in the
minutia (that means fine detail Mr Aleman) of an obviously dreary life? His
latest unbalanced curdle is that the Songkran festival is childish. Maybe
so, but more childish is constantly seeking to be a sort of [very poor]
American Idol in print. He tells us that he has participated in strange and
weird events. Another ‘yeah’ is my first inclination, but strangest of all
must be his star turn in Pattaya’s Moaning Muppet Show.
As to Songkran, days preceding the official water-play have been hijacked by
those who are not in their 2nd childhood but never developed upstairs. One
gets the impression that Western asylums send their patients to Pattaya for
the period. After ‘hunkering in’ to avoid the pea-brains, however, to miss
the official day is to miss 1000’s of people, Thai and farang, having a
great day. Mr Aleman calls the festival distorted and outdated, but why
doesn’t he pick on his own culture’s main festival? Statistics tell that
Christmas is the time of most Western depression and suicides, so should
everyone be deprived of it? Truth is there are many who never learn the
meaning of fun, and who suffer the worldwide human blight of wanting to hang
their hang-ups on others.
And take note ‘Mickyfin’ (April 18th). Pattaya’s expats are no more all
Cheap Charlies than its tourists are all paedophiles, as some ‘outsiders’
suggest. What is true is that ‘all the same’ assertions mark a very small
mind. So does basing a holiday on being able to spend a few days squirting a
water-pistol. Need to have fun by being a nuisance to others for days on
end, the motive of the farang week-long revellers and discernable by their
glee when dousing someone who obviously doesn’t appreciate it, makes anyone
Thanks for noticing
Re: Article by Sawittree Namwiwatsuk concerning “flouting of traffic
regulations”. It’s interesting to see that somebody shows some concern about
drivers flouting traffic regulations. This is an occurrence seen at every
traffic light controlled crossing, many times every day.
Surprisingly the police find it more important to make an all out effort to
catch as many motorcycle drivers without helmet (absolutely necessary) but
far less important then trying to stop all drivers speeding through red
lights. It’s absolutely frightening how much disregard drivers have for any
kind of traffic law. Anybody treating a red light signal with so much
contempt, as can be seen hundreds of times daily, should be apprehended by
the police and fined heavily.
Police please take note; otherwise a lot more accidents, with tragic
consequences, will be the result if these mindless individuals are not
I would like to include my name, but fear repercussion as result of trying
to tell the police what should take priority. Please publish this letter, it
may do some good and save a couple of lives.
More bar closures
Once again we have two weekends with the bars closed because of some minor
election that hardly anyone votes in anyway. What has happened to the ‘Brave
Heart’ bar owners who are openly sticking up the ‘one finger’ to the
authorities over the ‘No Smoking’ ban and allowing their ciggie sucking
customers to pollute the air in their bars? Why can’t these gutless wonders
get together and tell the local authorities that “We are not putting up the
shutters every time there is some obscure election going on, we have a
living to earn and Pattaya is a tourist town and our customers are tourists
and ex-pats who can’t vote anyway!” After all, the authorities cannot take
every one of the hundreds, maybe thousands of bar and entertainment venue
owners to court, and if they closed them all down, that would be the end of
Pattaya as we know it now. Perhaps the authorities would then realize what a
stupid regulation it is and see sense, and join the rest of the normal world
where bars open 365 days of the year no matter what, especially in tourist
resorts where they are trying to attract customers, not drive them away.
Soi Khao Noi
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