Chinese tourists have taken to their social media to say that a Thai company ripped them off to the tune of thousands of baht for a Loy Krathong celebration that left them completely unimpressed.
So bad was the rip off that Chinese tourists were seen in clips chanting their dissatisfaction before a crowd surged forward and one man stormed a stage where a cultural event was taking place.
The angry crowd were furious they had been charged 6,000 baht for VIP tickets – and got virtually nothing.
Fancy advertisements were just a front for the rip-off, they said.
Operators have said that the incident and bad publicity is another nail in the coffin for Chiang Mai tourism and they want action taken against the company responsible. There have even been suggestions that the company is linked to the Phoenix Boat disaster in Phuket last year.
Customers who had been at the event in Saraphee district went online to vent their anger at their experiences in Thailand.
A great event was promised with fancy decorations, a slap up meal and all the culture they could handle.
But there weren’t enough seats on the buses, the decorations were useless, there was just a small pond with no floating water for the Krathongs, those with VIP tickets mixed with those without and the lighting of a lantern was so disorganized that it caught fire.
They had paid 3,000 baht for ordinary tickets and twice as much for what was called VIP.
One video showed the storming of a stage amid “we demand our money back” chants as presenters tried to keep a cultural show going. Local dignitaries had been on stage adding to the embarrassment.
Manager called it a disgrace for Thailand.
Operators said that no wonder tourism in Chiang Mai had gone down from 5 million to half that number of visitors. These shocking operators ripping people off should be investigated, they said.
They termed the social media coverage from China as “very damaging”.
And even suggested that the company – that was not named – had connections with the Phoenix boat disaster that killed more than three dozen Chinese people and thoroughly damaged tourism last year.