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UPDATE: 3,000 baht Phuket van fare for Australians tourists “all a misunderstanding”

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UPDATE: 3,000 baht Phuket van fare for Australians tourists “all a misunderstanding” | The Thaiger

As a follow up of the complaint about an overcharged van fare of 3,000 baht from Phuket International Airport to Kata by two Australians, a meeting was held yesterday between the driver, the tourists and a representative from the Phuket Land Transport Office.

They agreed, in the end, that it was all “a misunderstanding”.

The complaint about the expensive fare went viral an even got to the desk of the Thai PM. PM Prayut Chan O-cha ordered all departments involved to investigate and prevent the overcharging of taxi and van fares in the future.

(The Thaiger notes that Phuket’s expats and tourists have heard this rhetoric for decades with ZERO advances in the systemic problems)

Meanwhile, a meeting was held at the Karon Police Station, where the media were barred from attending. Following the discussions, the Phuket Vice Governor, Supot Rodruang Na Nongkhai, reported that after investigating the story from the two Australian tourists, it appears that they negotiated the taxi rate at the airport.

Naruemon Jampathong was the tout in the negotiations, who approached them in the arrivals hall and called the van driven by Poompat Chankaew to take the pair to Kata. The Vice Governor explained that the tourists and the taxi driver told police different stories regarding the price. The tourists said they were offered at 3,000 baht ride while the van driver said he agreed on 2,000 baht (which is still 400 baht above the advertised and signed price for a private van hire for the journey).

However, Naruemon was found guilty of entering the airport without a permit and the AoT has fined him 2,000 baht for this transgression.

Regarding the amount for the van fare, there were further investigation as the two sides have offered conflicting stories.

He noted that the PM emphasised to make justice for this case, especially to the Australian tourists and also to prevent these types of incidents in the future. The taxi driver told the media that, as soon as he was made aware of the controversy, he rushed to Karon Police Station to report in person to the police that he only charged them 2,000 baht, which was the negotiated price and the passengers were willing to pay as they didn’t want to wait for the van to be filled up (with other paying passengers – usually charged 200 baht each, as advertised and signed around the arrivals area).

He insisted there was no mention of a 3,000 baht fare. However, in the end, police called the tourists and the driver for another round of talks. This time, according to police, both sides agreed that they negotiated for a 2,000 baht fare and the complaint was “all a misunderstanding”.

The taxi driver was taken by police to the airport to pay the fine for picking up passengers at the airport without a permit.

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Read more headlines, reports & breaking news in Phuket. Or catch up on your Thailand news.

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2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Charlie

    July 19, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    haahahaha of course it was, because they turned the driver in. i love Thailand.

  2. Avatar

    Jim

    July 19, 2019 at 5:05 pm

    The driver knew he wasn’t allowed to pick up a fare at the airport and then doubled the price! What misunderstanding? He was a scam artist and no one stuck up for the unsuspecting young tourists! Hum… Wonder why tourism is way down? Take a look at how you treat the few you have coming to Phuket now… Shameful!

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ASEAN

Thailand and South Korea partner on development of electric buses

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Thailand and South Korea partner on development of electric buses | The Thaiger

Original story by Shin Ji-hye

An all-electric bus sits on the campus at King Mongkut’s University of Technology in Thonburi, Bangkok. The electric bus is a joint project between Korea and Thailand, led mainly by Korean automaker Edison Motors, which currently provides public transport services with eco-friendly buses at Namsan in Seoul and on Jeju Island.

The project involves 11 organisations from both sides, including Korea’s Industry Ministry and Korean Energy Technology Evaluation and Planning. The Thai side includes the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority, the Electricity Generating Authority of Thailand and King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, where the bus is being tested.

Kitchanon Ruangjirakit, a lecturer at King Mongkut’s University of Technology Thonburi, says they are testing if the all-electric bus is suitable for the hot climate and traffic congestion of places like Bangkok.

“We are jointly working on traffic data collection, standards, energy consumption and battery capacity with Edison’s electric bus,.”

They plan to share the results of their research with the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority and the Ministry of Transport there, so the government can use the information in its future electric bus purchases.

When the systems have all been fully tested, the bus will be able to run 200 kilometres on a single charge. It uses an LG Chem battery.

The project, however, is only for research and not for commercial use at this stage. If Edison wants to produce electric buses in Bangkok, it has to take part in a bidding process. The Thai government plans to bid on 35 electric buses in the near future. Edison is willing to join the bidding, according to the government official.

Narit Therdsteerasukdi, deputy secretary-general of the Thailand Board of Investment, says Thailand is in the beginning stage of the EV industry and there is a long way to go.

“Thailand is the biggest exporter of cars (as an assembler) in ASEAN. We have 1,000 local parts suppliers. We are ready for the next step of the automotive industry. The Thai government intends to encourage its agencies to use electric vehicles in the future to create demand.”

“Some companies like Samsung, LG, Posco and Hanwha have invested in Thailand for more than 30 years. We hope more Korean investors are coming in the near future.”

“We are also trying hard to attract Korean battery makers, LG Chem and Samsung SDI, because we would like to build a whole supply chain of electric vehicles in Thailand. Not only car assembly, but we also want to build key parts of EVs like battery and motors.”

SOURCE: The Nation | The Korea Herald

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Bangkok

Central opens first luxury outlet at Suvarnabhumi on August 31

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Central opens first luxury outlet at Suvarnabhumi on August 31 | The Thaiger

Central Village, “Thailand’s first international luxury outlet”, located near Suvarnabhumi Airport in Bangkok, will officially open on August 31.

The Nation reports that the design of the 5 billion baht facility, owned by the Central Pattana group, will “highlight Thai architecture and cultural identities” and shoppers will find at least 130 well known international luxury and lifestyle brands.

“More than half of the brands are opening their first outlet shop in Thailand, and over 60 have chosen to open their exclusive outlet store only at Central Village, with discounts of 35-70% every day.”

Dr Nattakit Tangpoonsinthana, the executive vice president for marketing at CPN, says that Central Village is pioneering the new segment of ‘Luxury Outlet’ for the first time in Thailand.

“We intend to establish this new retail platform, filling the gap in the market, by making it one of the world’s leading shopping destinations, similar to other popular tourist cities such as Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong, which also have leading outlets in Asia.”

“We are expecting to attract 6-10 million customers per year, which can be divided into 65% domestic, focusing on the young and mass affluent nationwide, and 35% international tourists, focusing on those who fly into Bangkok.”

The facility will also boast restaurants, a Tops Market, a children’s playground and tourist service points.

CPN also plans to promote creative Thai brands at the Thai Pavilion Zone, where Thai products and contemporary art fairs will be held throughout the year, promoted as “Thai Signature Cultural Events”. CPN will join hands with governmental organisations led by the Ministry of Culture and the Department of Internal Trade to hold events in a modern Thai theme presenting gifts and souvenirs, and local handicraft or OTOP items will be on sale.

Central Village will also provide convenient transportion to and from the facility, which located near Suvarnabhumi Airport, using a shuttle-bus service available at three pick-up points: CentralWorld, Udomsuk BTS Station and Novotel Suvarnabhumi Airport Hotel. Tourists will be at ease in dropping by at Central Village on their way to and from the airport, according to a release on Wednesday.

SOURCE: The Nation

Central opens first luxury outlet at Suvarnabhumi on August 31 | News by The Thaiger

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Environment

Thailand Prime Minister rejects calls to ban plastic bags

May Taylor

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Thailand Prime Minister rejects calls to ban plastic bags | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Chiang Rai Times

In what some may see as a baffling contradiction, Thai PM Prayut Chan-o-cha promised to protect marine life, while simultaneously rejecting an increasing number of calls for a ban on single-use plastic bags.

Following the death of Marium, a young dugong who had ingested plastic waste, the PM says he has ordered the agencies concerned to take more measures to protect sea life.

Of particular concern to the PM is the fate of another young dugong.

“Yamil must not die”.

The PM says the use of some plastic will be banned by 2022, including single-use plastic bags, but insists the issue is not solely the government’s responsibility.

“Everyone has a duty to help reduce plastic waste. It is unfair and pointless to blame the government when sea animals die due to marine waste. This issue is everyone’s responsibility,” he maintains.

A conservation plan known as the “Marium Project” has been approved by the cabinet, along with a number of other proposals to protect marine life, specifically dugongs.

Among them is a plan to create more dugong conservation areas such as Koh Libong in Trang province, where Marium was looked after.  The chosen sites should have beaches rich in sea-grass, a preferred food source for the dugong.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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