Japanese tourist’s 6,000 baht tuk tuk ripoff shocker in Bangkok

A Japanese tourist shared a truly shocking experience on social media yesterday, detailing how they were ripped off by an unscrupulous Bangkok tuk tuk driver. The tourist was charged an extortionate 6,000 baht (US$162) for a trip from Asoke to the Sala Daeng area, a journey that would normally cost around 32 baht on the BTS Skytrain.

Travelling in a group of four, the Japanese travellers opted for a traditional Bangkok experience by utilising the local tuk tuk service, only to be severely overcharged by the driver.

Travelling from Asoke to Thaniya shopping centre in Sala Daeng, each of the tourists was charged 1,500 baht, adding up to a total of 6,000 baht in a trip that would normally be no more than 32 baht each if they had taken the Bangkok BTS Skytrain.

The poster revealed he has made frequent business trips to Thailand over the past seven years, demonstrating how even the most familiarised travellers could still fall for the criminal tactics used by some of the capital’s tuk tuk drivers.

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The mass criticism deriving the post mainly highlights the effects of how overcharging tourists and the lack of transparency regarding prices on many taxi services may inadvertently discourage tourists from utilising the services in the future.

The ongoing issues with taxi services overcharging customers, especially foreign tourists, demonstrate how this act could further negatively impact not only the quickly declining traditional taxi services industry but Thailand’s tourism industry in its entirety.

Foreign tourists

This isn’t an isolated incident. Taxi drivers and tuk tuk drivers have form for ripping off foreign tourists. Objections and challenges are met with anything from a shrug of the shoulders to acts of violence.

Only recently, an English traveller in Phuket had a troubling confrontation with a local tuk tuk driver over a fare dispute. The incident, which has been widely shared on social media platforms, shows the tourist physically assaulting the driver after accusing him of withholding change.

Yesterday, a Thai woman took to social media to accuse a tuk tuk driver on Bangla Road in Phuket of overcharging her foreign friend and attacking her after they refused the service.

The Thai woman, Kanyasiri Sisuwan, shared the story about the tuk tuk driver on Facebook. She said she wanted to seek justice for herself and for tuk tuk drivers in Phuket to respect passengers’ choices.

The Government of Thailand promised to crack down on unscrupulous tuk tuk and taxi drivers.

In February, in a move to safeguard tourists’ wallets, Bangkok unveiled an arsenal of measures to tackle the notorious tuk tuk and taxi overcharging crisis.

These measures do not appear to have worked and Thailand’s taxi drivers continue to escape their criminal practices.

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