KOH SAMUI — A Russian tourist was physically assaulted after she and her boyfriend refused to pay entrance fees to a popular tourist post on Koh Samui, police said Monday.
Police said Ekaterina Kuzmenko, 33, was attacked by a ticket seller on Saturday afternoon after the couple entered Overlap Stone Viewpoint, a scenic spot on a hill on Koh Samui, without paying the 50-baht entrance fee.
“I was hurt and frightened,” Kuzmenko said. “I didn’t think I would be attacked. I come here for vacation, not for a fight. This is my first time in Koh Samui and I don’t want to come back here again.”
Kuzmenko suffered a bruise on her left cheek, while her necklace and sunglasses were also snatched, police said.
Ticket seller Mangkorn Hinmai, 57, said he asked the couple to leave the property after the two Russians ignored the 50-baht entrance fee sign written in Thai and English. The couple continued to take photos, so he pulled Kuzmenko’s arm, which she responded by screaming at and hitting him in the head. Mangkorn fought back and a quarrel ensued.
Police eventually charged Mangkorn with assault on Monday night.
The unique giant rock is a well-known tourist attraction on the island. Mangkorn said the scenic spot is part of a 11-rai private land own by his boss and the entrance fee has been imposed for over a year to pay for the upkeep of the bridge and mowing the lawn in the area.
“I have my own instinct as well. I’m Thai and won’t let a foreigner kill me at home,” Mangkorn said.