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Phuket tuk-tuk fares in the firing line

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Phuket tuk-tuk fares in the firing line | The Thaiger
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PHUKET: A provincial committee set up to find a solution to the old problem of tuk-tuk drivers overcharging tourists in Phuket will start by setting a maximum 200 baht charge for any tuk-tuk journey within Patong.

The committee, chaired by Phuket Governor Tri Augkaradacha, met at Phuket Provincial Hall earlier today.

Also in attendance were committee members Vice Governor Weerawat Janpen, Phuket Provincial Land Transport Office Chief Kanok Siripanichkorn, Patong Taxi Federation President Preechavude “Prab” Keesin, Kathu District Chief Siriphat Phathakul, and Kathu Traffic Police Chief Lt Col Jakkawat Boontawegunsawat.

The committee members agreed to set a maximum fare of 200 baht for tuk-tuk travel within Patong, as well as standard fares from Jungceylon to various destinations on the island.

A few samples of the rates from a list distributed at the meeting showed the following:

Airport: 800 baht (one way); 1,500 baht (round trip)

Laguna: 600 baht (one way); 1,100 baht (round trip)

Karon Beach: 300 baht (one way); 600 baht (round trip)

Phuket Town: 500 baht (one way); 600 baht (round trip)

Phuket Deep Sea Port: 650 baht (one way); 1,200 baht (round trip)

A total of 43 locations were included on the list.

Mr Prab said members of his Patong Taxi Federation, which comprises about 85% of service vehicles in Patong, would abide by the rates.

For taxi and tuk-tuk trips within Patong the drivers would also agree to charge a maximum of 200 baht, but with the option to charge extra on a per head basis if the number of passengers exceeded four.

“Tourists aren’t too concerned with the fare from Patong to different parts of Phuket, but they are concerned that rides in Patong can range from 100 baht to 300 baht. For this reason we will set 200 baht as the maximum, allowing passengers and drivers to continue to negotiate rates for shorter journeys,” said Mr Prab, who also happens to be the son of Patong Mayor Pian Keesin.

Describing Patong as a “model”, Gov Tri said similar standard fares would eventually apply across the island.

“I aim to have all Phuket taxi drivers charge tourists the same standard fare, but it will fail if we try to force them all at the same time. So let’s start at one location and extend to different areas later,” he said.

Mr Prab predicted that drivers who charged more than the standard rates would lose passengers.

“This will cause all drivers to charge the same fares in the near future. If any drivers overcharge after February 9, please phone in a report to our call center, which will go into service as soon as we determine which is the most memorable number to use,” he said.

The fare chart and explanation of services will be posted on Patong Municipality’s noticeboard before February 9.

This date is also the date the committee will convene again, this time meeting with drivers’ representatives and trying to convince them to adopt standard rates.

— Pimwara Choksakulpan

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Phuket

Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket

Caitlin Ashworth

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Woman arrested for abandoning newborn baby on a bench in Phuket | The Thaiger
PHOTO: Siangtai/Newshawk Phuket

Police tracked down and arrested a Burmese woman who allegedly left her newborn baby on a bench in Phuket’s Patong area last week. The mother faces charges of abandoning a baby.

The newborn was left in a reusable shopping bag on a bench behind a Krungthai Bank branch. A woman in the area heard the baby crying and found the newborn in the bag along with a bottle of milk, diapers and clothing. Police reviewed surveillance camera footage shows a woman, police later identified as Ei Ei Phyu, leaving the bag on the bench.

Police say the woman gave birth on September 9 at a local hospital in Surat Thani’s Phun Phin district. Ei Ei allegedly took a van from Surat Thani to Phuket on September 22 and stayed with a friend in Patong. The early the next morning, she allegedly left her baby on the bench before boarding a bus back to Surat Thani.

Burmese workers in the Patong area told police Ei Ei used to work at a local Indian food restaurant before she moved to Surat Thani to work as a rubber tapper. Ei Ei allegedly told police she is not in the position to raise a child.

In earlier reports, police said the baby is healthy and does not appear to have any injuries.

SOURCE: Bangkok Post

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Thailand

Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid

The Thaiger & The Nation

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Phuket police arrest 6 after finding large amounts of methamphetamine in raid | The Thaiger

Phuket Provincial Police have arrested 6 people after finding large amounts of methamphetamine and other drugs during a raid. One suspect alone allegedly had 7.6 kilograms of crystal meth (ya ice) and over 12,500 methamphetamine pills (ya bah). 29 year old Surasak ‘Bank’ Wijit and 27 year old Panida ‘Mei’ Saeyang were arrested at an apartment car park in Soi Lookkaew, Moo 6, Rassada, in eastern Phuket, after they were found in possession of the drugs.

Police also found 2 mobile phones and a red Honda PCX, registered in Phuket, as evidence. Both suspects have been charged with posessing a Category 1 drug with the intent to sell.

Other suspects arrested at the same time include 36 year old from Chiang Rai, 42 year old Sarawut ‘An’ Srichanon, from Ranong and 31 year old Pornthep ‘Iew’ Thepchampa, who were charged with the same crimes in Chalong after police found more drugs in their possession. 33 year old Kamon ‘Kung’ Sae-ngow, was arrested as well after police found kratom juice and leaves at a house in Rassada. He was taken to Phuket City Police station and was charged with a Category 5 drug possession.

SOURCE:The Phuket News

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Thailand

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC

The Thaiger

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Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | The Thaiger

The upcoming Ultimate Fighting Championship Fight Night event in Abu Dhabi will feature Thailand’s only national marking her third fight with the UFC, the world’s largest mixed martial arts competition. 24 year old Loma Lookboonme, from Burirram in northeastern Thailand, will fight in the event on October 3, 2020.

Loma is a Muay Thai fighter who has adapted her MMA skills to fight in the UFC where she currently trains at the Tiger Muay Thai gym in Phuket. Loma qualified for the national team at the age of 19 and has fought in over 12 nations worldwide. She currently trains 6 days a week starting daily at 6:30am with a 3 kilometre run. In the UFC, she will be competing against China’s Angela Lee who is the undisputed champion of the 52 kilogram fist weight category.

Phuket Muay Thai fighter is the first Thai national to compete in UFC | News by The Thaiger

Loma’s parents are former Muay Thai fighters and her 2 sisters currently compete as well. She reportedly started training at 8 years old after being inspired by her father, whom she describes as her “hero.”

Like most Thais in such fighting sports, Muay Thai offers a way to rise out of poverty-and fighting for the UFC can be financially lucrative. But Loma says her only Thai sponsor is the gym where she trains, with the rest of her sponsors being from foreign brands. She says she is trying to get more Thai sponsors but feels that maybe she needs to win the UFC first before Thai brands notice her.

Loma lost her last fight and says her new opponent gives her nothing to lose. She says her goal is to get into the Top 10, but is not sure when it will happen. Loma says for now, it would be good to fight against someone in the Top 10 to help her prepare for her future.

FULL INTERVIEW: Thisrupt.co

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