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Tourist safety: Phuket Gov meets honorary consuls

Legacy Phuket Gazette

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Tourist safety: Phuket Gov meets honorary consuls | The Thaiger

PHUKET TOWN: The Phuket Governor met with honorary consuls from 16 countries yesterday afternoon to discuss ways to improve safety for foreign tourists on holiday in Phuket.

Phuket Governor Wichai Phraisa-ngop chaired the meeting, which was hosted by the Royal Phuket City Hotel. Only the honorary consul from Spain was unable to attend.

After all attendees introduced themselves at the start of the gathering, Governor Wichai spoke though an interpreter to share his views about tourist safety issues.

Gov Wichai said that from now on all criminal cases and accidents involving foreign tourists would be reported by police to both the Phuket Provincial Office and either the consular official or embassy of the party involved.

Police will now have to not only report arrests, but also keep the diplomatic missions informed of updates in investigations involving their nationals.

As for the controversial issue of closing times at nightlife entertainment venues, Gov Wichai said he would like to introduce special zones in popular tourist areas that would allow foreigners to enjoy Las Vegas-style partying throughout the night.

Soi Bangla and Rat U-Thit Road in Patong and Thalang Road in Phuket Town were mentioned as possible areas for such zones, he said.

“But the special zones would only be for foreign tourists, not Thais,” he said.

The governor also spoke frankly on the issue of public transport options for tourists, reiterating that he would like to introduce standardized pricing requiring all independent-hire transport vehicles on the island, including tuk-tuks, to be fitted with meters.

Gov Wichai said he intends to call all of the departments involved to discuss the possibility of moving forward with such a plan, which he admitted is still in the conceptual stages.

Many disputes between passengers and drivers are the result of misunderstandings, he said.

Poor English language skills on the part of drivers and tourists’ unfamiliarity with the geography of the island combine to create confusion and frustration that can sometimes lead to disputes, he said.

As for complaints about long lines to clear customs, immigration and security requirements at Phuket International Airport, Gov Wichai promised to rectify the situation by tripling the number of X-ray machines there.

A question-and-answer session followed the governor’s two-hour talk.

German Honorary Consul Dirk Naumann pointed out that frustration with the tuk-tuk services on the island had reached a point where news about disputes had made headlines in media outlets around the globe.

Taxi services on the island present far fewer problems than tuk-tuks, which grossly overcharge passengers, he said.

Taxi and tuk-tuk drivers risk getting shot if they pick up passengers outside their own turf, he added.

Mr Naumann said that as honorary consul it was important that he also received real-time reports about accidents and deaths involving German citizens, not just police arrests.

Tossaporn Thepabutr, one of Phuket’s three members of parliament, also serves as honorary consul for South Korea. He said he would like the governor to address the problem of foreign tourists who are arrested or fined for driving without a Thai license, even though they are in possession of licenses issued by their home countries. Such problems are compounded when tourists get into accidents with rented vehicles, he said.

Supporting this idea, British Honorary Consul Martin Carpenter added that outfits renting vehicles to foreigners usually hold onto their passports as surety as a matter of procedure.

He suggested taking steps to change this, because people caught driving without a Thai license face problems with Traffic Police as well as Immigration if they are caught.

— Kitima Pornmongkhonwat



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Phuket

Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room

The Thaiger

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Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | The Thaiger

PHOTOS: Rawai Rescue workers / Phuket Tourist Police

The Phuket Tourist Police have been notified that a tourist had jumped from a building in Rawai and ended up on a steel awning covering the bottom floor today. But that wasn’t, in fact, what had happened.

The local Tourist Police say the owner of the building told staff at the Tourist Assistance Centre that the tourist had checked into the room on February 13.

The tourist didn’t actually jump down from the building but had moved a mattress from his room on to the awning and slept on it (mosquitos!!) He was also drunk and damaged some property inside the room.

The man is a 37 year old Estonian tourist. He was staying at the room with a 25 year old male friend.

Chalong Police have charged them both with being drunk and damaging property. They have said that they will pay for all damages to the owner of the property. They are heading back home on February 26.

Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The ThaigerPhuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger Phuket tourist decides hotel awning more comfortable than his room | News by The Thaiger

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Phuket

Patong motorbike racer arrested and fined – VIDEO

The Thaiger

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Patong motorbike racer arrested and fined – VIDEO | The Thaiger

PHOTO: Patong Police

Patong Police yesterday arrested a motorbike racer after identifying him and his motorbike from video clips that were popular in social media this week.

Patong Police are investigating alleged foreign motorbike racing gangs in Patong after video clips went viral in local social media.

Read more about the racing around Patong’s streets HERE.

Patong Police report that they have now arrested one motorbike racer and charged him with the maximum fine.

Patong Police are also asking motorbike rental operators to explain basic traffic rules for motorbike drivers who want to rent a motorbike.

(The Thaiger is assuming this would be covered when they get their motorbike license, which they are required to have before a motorbike is rented to them.)

PHUKETForeigners racing around Patong. Who would have thought?! https://thethaiger.com/news/phuket/police-investigate-motorbike-hoons-in-patongVIDEO: เป็นปากเป็นเสียง

Posted by The Thaiger on Wednesday, February 20, 2019

Patong motorbike racer arrested and fined - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger Patong motorbike racer arrested and fined - VIDEO | News by The Thaiger

 

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Phuket

500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong

The Thaiger

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500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | The Thaiger

Patong Development Foundation together with Patong Police and Patong Municipality have given 500 helmets to motorbike drivers in Patong today under the campaign ‘Wear your helmet’.

Handing out the 500 helmets to motorbike user in Patong was led by Patong Police Chief Col Anothai Jindamanee, Patong Municipality Chalermluck Kebsup and President of Patong Development Foundation Preechawut ‘Prap’ Keesin.

Col Anothai says, “Many motorbike drivers have been injured and died in road accident. We want 100 percent of motorbike drivers and passengers wearing helmets. ”

“More motorbike riders are now wearing helmets as the number of not wearing helmet charges has been dropping in Patong with better enforcement.”

500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | News by The Thaiger 500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | News by The Thaiger 500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | News by The Thaiger 500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | News by The Thaiger 500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | News by The Thaiger 500 free helmets handed out to motorbike drivers in Patong | News by The Thaiger

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