Connect with us


Tuk-tuk, jet-ski, taxi scams: Ambassadors name the bane of Phuket



PHUKET: In their first official visit to Phuket, the British, Canadian and Dutch Ambassadors to Thailand today plainly described their chief concerns about the scams and cheats continuing to plague Phuket’s tourism industry.

Speaking with Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut at Provincial Hall this afternoon, ambassadors Mark Kent of the UK, Philip Calvert of Canada and Joan Boer of the Netherlands focused on why tuk-tuk and taxi drivers are continuing to charge tourists in Phuket higher fares than are charged elsewhere in the country.

They also asked why metered taxis are not as common in Phuket as they are in other major tourist destinations across Thailand, including Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

“They are very concerned about why taxis are so expensive compared with other tourist areas in Thailand,” Governor Maitri said.

The governor explained to the ambassadors the steps Phuket authorities have taken in recent months in an attempt to regulate taxi drivers.

Phuket Land Transport Office [PLTO] chief Teerayut Prasertpol, who was present at the meeting explained further, “The PLTO is trying to get metered taxi drivers to charge by the meter, but the drivers do not want to because if they charged only by the meter they would not make enough as a living.”

“This has also deterred any private investors from even wanting to start a metered taxi service company,” Gov Maitri added.

British Ambassador Kent also introduced the governor to the website, which lists incident after incident of tourists in Phuket being cheated, scammed and even violently attacked by tuk-tuk and taxi drivers.

“The police are doing their best, but there is a serious shortage of officers in Phuket,” Gov Maitri replied.

Ambassador Boer specifically cited his concern about jet-ski operators keeping tourists’ passports as a condition of renting jet-skis.

However, Phuket Marine Office chief Phuripat Theerakulpisut replied that keeping customers’ passports was a practice of the past.

“They no longer do this, and I passed that message along to Ambassador Boer,” Governor Maitri explained.

In addition to sharing his concern over the fares charged by tuk-tuk and taxi drivers in Phuket, Canadian Ambassador Calvert also raised the issue of the media using photos of dead bodies and photos of passports in news stories.

Despite the contentious nature of the chief concerns discussed today, Ambassador Kent was supportive of the Thai government’s efforts to resolve Phuket’s perennial problems.

“Most tourists who come to Phuket enjoy their holidays and have a good time,” he said.

He also praised the governor’s willingness to work with embassy officials in tackling the major issues affecting Phuket.

As a closing note, Ambassador Kent also praised the government’s efforts in raising the number of motorbike riders and passengers in Phuket who wear crash helmets.

“I think the government has done a great job in getting people to wear helmets – you can see it just driving around the island,” he said.

— Chutharat Plerin


Get more from The Thaiger

Join the conversation and have your say on Thailand news published on The Thaiger.

Thaiger Talk is our new Thaiger Community where you can join the discussion on everything happening in Thailand right now.

Please note that articles are not posted to the forum instantly and can take up to 20 min before being visible. Click for more information and the Thaiger Talk Guidelines.

Archiving articles from the Phuket Gazette circa 1998 - 2017. View the Phuket Gazette online archive and Digital Gazette PDF Prints.

Follow Thaiger by email:

Road deaths9 hours ago

‘Drowsy’ driver crashes van, killing 3 Laotian workers

Thailand10 hours ago

Is the dream over? China walks back Belt & Road ambitions

Politics11 hours ago

Prasert levels 6-billion corruption accusations at Prayut

Sponsored12 hours ago

Segafredo Zanetti Coffee teamed up with Bangkok Airways and hosted “Bangkok Airways Surf Festival 2022”

Thailand11 hours ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Baht plunges to 38 against USD for the first time in 16 years

Phuket11 hours ago

Phuket dwellers honour 10th Lunar Month

Thailand11 hours ago

Thai govt owes 100 million baht to hospitality industry

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Thailand12 hours ago

BMA reveals Bangkok druggies buy yaba online 

Phuket12 hours ago

Delivery driver & customer brawl over payment in Phuket

Transport12 hours ago

Thai Airways flying high at Skytrax Awards

Thailand13 hours ago

Soi Dog Foundation steps up fight against rabies and dog meat trade in Vietnam

Visa13 hours ago

Thailand to extend Smart Visa scheme to draw talent

Cannabis13 hours ago

Can I take cannabis on domestic flights in Thailand?

Thailand13 hours ago

Thailand pays 3.8 billion baht for first train hub in hospital

Transport14 hours ago

Bomb scare on flight from San Francisco to Singapore

South14 hours ago

English teacher’s body found in South Thailand

Thailand1 year ago

Morning Top Stories Thailand | Police to end protests, Human Trafficking | September 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Thai Airways in rehab, All go for Songkran | March 4

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket’s nightlife. Yes, bars and clubs are still open | VIDEO

Phuket2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid passport talks, Thai Airways heads to court | March 2

Tourism2 years ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bars, pubs and restaurants ‘sort of’ back to normal | Feb 23

Tourism2 years ago

In search of Cat & Dog Cafés in Phuket Town | VIDEO

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Gambling crackdown, Seafood market to reopen, Vlogger challenge | Jan 21

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid testing for visas, Business impact, Vaccine approval | January 19

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Weekend Bangkok bombs, Thailand fires, Covid update | January 18

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Stray car on runway, Indonesian quake, 300 baht tourist fee | January 15

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Governor off respirator, sex-trafficking arrest, condo prices falling | January 14

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Chinese vaccine, Thailand ‘drug hub’, Covid update | January 13

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Bangkok may ease restrictions, Phuket bar curfew, Vaccine roll out | January 12

Thailand2 years ago

Thailand News Today | Covid latest, Cockfights closed down, Bryde’s Whale beached | January 11