South Korean YouTuber sparks tuk tuk fare controversy in Thailand

Photo courtesy of Oppa Hong (YouTube)

South Korean rapper and YouTuber, Il Hong Min, commonly known as Phi Hong, recently aired his dissatisfaction with a tuk tuk service encountered during his visit to Ayutthaya, Thailand. In a video shared on his Oppa Hong channel, he revealed that he was charged 1,200 baht for a four-hour tour, a service he claimed was forcefully sold to him and his friend by the 59 year old tuk tuk driver, Somjit Tharangam.

Somjit allegedly also asserted that Grab taxi services were illegal in the area, a claim Hong found surprising, having used the service during his numerous trips to Thailand over the past two decades.

The video, which forms part of Hong’s journey through Thailand’s 77 provinces, prompted a response from a local Facebook page, Ayutthaya Station. It urged relevant authorities to investigate the incident, citing potential harm to the image of Thailand’s tourism sector, reported Bangkok Post.

Following this, the Ayutthaya Provincial Land Transport Office directed transport officials, including the deputy district chief and provincial Tourist Police, to examine the issue involving the local tuk tuk service.

Related news

The investigation concluded that the fare Somjit charged was in line with the pricing standard established by joint committees during the administration of the now-defunct National Council for Peace and Order, as affirmed by Kannika Rerkukot, head of the transportation academic group. However, Rerkukot pointed out that Somjit’s forceful sales approach could have compelled the passengers to purchase the service against their will.

In light of this, Rerkukot announced plans for a meeting with tuk tuk operators and associated agencies to discuss a more reasonable fare rate for tuk tuk services. Furthermore, she ordered Tharangam and her colleagues operating near the Ayutthaya Railway Station to partake in an attitude adjustment session at the provincial land transport office. This is aimed at improving their customer relations approach.

Rerkukot also advised all tuk tuk drivers to display their price tags visibly to allow tourists to discern the costs clearly, stressing that these prices must adhere to fare rate regulations. In addition, she instructed Somjit to dismantle the Tourist Police logo placed on the price rate tag, as it was an inappropriate use of the symbol.

Thailand News

Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

Related Articles