The Haad Rin Guide Book contains a chapter covering some of the potential risks, physical, financial and otherwise, which you may come across during your stay in Haad Rin. However, it might seem like there are a lot of entries in the chapter, so it’s important to keep things in perspective. The point of the 'Things To Watch Out For' chapter is not to make people so worried that they avoid visiting Koh Phangan altogether, but simply to make people aware of some of the things to be aware of. Hopefully, this will help ensure that backpackers have a problem-free visit to Koh Phangan and enjoy their visit to its full potential.
To give a brief flavour of the chapter, here's one of the entries from the 'Things To Watch Out For' chapter...
Jet Skis:If you’re considering hiring a jetski while in Thailand then I would strongly advise doing a Google search for ‘Thailand jetski scam’. The Official Government Travel Advice for the United States, Canada, Australia and Ireland all warn against hiring jetskis in Thailand.
Phuket and Pattaya are the worst places for jetski scams where your chances of getting scammed are somewhere between 80-100%. The scale of the problem isn’t as bad on Koh Phangan, but tourists have still occasionally encountered problems and jetski operators in Koh Phangan have been known to charge excessive amounts for minor damage to their jetskis. A backpacker mate of mine was a victim of this a few years ago when he and a friend got charged around £500 for damage to a wing mirror on a jetski. They didn’t dispute the damage, but £500 seemed excessive for such minor damage. Be aware therefore that even if a jetski operator doesn’t pull an outright scam like those seen in Phuket and Pattaya, there is still the possibility that in the event of minor damage they may estimate a grossly inflated figure for the repair costs.
Put simply, I would strongly recommend against hiring a jetski while in Thailand. Phuket and Pattaya are far worse than Koh Phangan, but although your chances of getting ripped off on Koh Phangan are far less, some people have still had a bad experience.
If you do get charged for damage, real or imagined, after hiring a jetski while in Thailand, then check the hire contract maximum liability clause so you can see the maximum amount that you are liable for. Having said that, there have been reports of jetski operators trying to charge customers over and above the maximum liability clause, and using threatening behaviour (in Phuket and Pattaya), so basically the safest solution is to avoid jetskis altogether unless your budget can afford the possibility of having to pay a fine of tens of thousands of baht.
The following website provides further details regarding jetski scams in Thailand:
If you do hire a jetski problem free while on Koh Phangan then please leave some feedback below, so that honest jetski operators can be highlighted. Likewise, if you get overcharged for minor damage or encounter other problems, then please also leave a comment below in order to warn other backpackers and tourists which jetski operators to avoid.
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