Connect with us


Chinese tour guide war in Phuket turns violent

Legacy Phuket Gazette



PHUKET: Scuffles broke out in front of Wichit Police Station yesterday as tensions boiled over between Chinese-speaking Thai tour guides and Chinese nationals who they accuse of taking their jobs.

More than 100 Thai guides gathered at the station in support of Suraphol Saelub, 24; Somchai Saetung, 39; and Ja Saema, also 39, who all face charges of attacking Chinese national Ta Leng in a restaurant near Wat Nakaram (map here) on Sunday.

“Mr Leng works for the tour company Tai Lee Co, which is based at the Phun Phol Night Plaza in Phuket Town,” Wichit Police Superintendent Chawalit Phetsipear told the Phuket Gazette.

“He filed a complaint that he was attacked by six Thai tour guides, and that he was struck on the head with a bottle during the attack,” Col Chawalit said.

“We invited Mr Leng and the three men he accused to come to the station on Monday so we could question them,” Col Chawalit said.

Tempers boiled over as Mr Leng and his work colleagues left the police station after the meeting. Angry guides accused Mr Leng of working as an illegal guide and questioned the ethics of his employer.

“Illegal guides are a serious problem for us. Working as a guide is a job reserved [by law] for Thais, but many tour companies hire Chinese nationals as guides,” said Chaifu Saelee, a 43-year-old Chinese-speaking tour guide.

“They are taking our jobs and we are left with no work, so we would like officials to help to find a solution to this problem,” he said.

In April last year, Mr Chaifu led a protest group of tour guides to complain to Governor Maitri Inthusut that over 300 Chinese guides were stealing their jobs (story here).

Last July, Mr Chaifu noted that there were not enough legal Chinese-speaking Thai guides in Phuket and encouraged the local government to remedy the situation. He also urged police to diligently check tour companies to make sure they were complying with guide laws and not hiring Chinese citizens as guides (story here).

To bring the issue to the attention of Phuket’s top-ranking official once again, tour guides will march from the Clock Tower Circle (map here) to Provincial Hall (map here) on Friday to hand a formal complaint to Phuket Governor Maitri Inthusut, Mr Chaifu added.

— Kritsada Mueanhawong


Get more from The Thaiger

📱 Download our app on Android or iOS
👋 Have your say on our Thailand forums
🔔 Subscribe to our daily email newsletter
📺 Subscribe / Join YouTube for daily shows
👍 Like/Follow us on Facebook
🐦 FOLLOW us on Twitter
📷 FOLLOW us on Instagram


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.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

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

Follow Thaiger by email:

Thailand28 mins ago

Thailand to apply for Guinness World Record for longest petrified log

Coronavirus (Covid-19)43 mins ago

Koh Samui bar and club finds 16 Covid-19 infections

Best of2 hours ago

Kanchanaburi’s 5 coolest hotels

Welcome back to Thailand!

Thaiger is getting behind local businesses for the restart of tourism in Thailand - up to 50% discounts across all advertising packages!

Thailand2 hours ago

Thousands of inmates granted royal pardon on HM the King’s birthday

Coronavirus (Covid-19)3 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: 16,533 new cases; provincial totals

Best of3 hours ago

5 of the most amazing hotels in Koh Chang

Join the conversation on the Thaiger Talk forums today!
Best of3 hours ago

The best steakhouses in Pattaya serving juicy steak

Coronavirus (Covid-19)5 hours ago

Girls infected with Covid after mother dies at home; public criticises healthcare system

Coronavirus Vaccines5 hours ago

Crowds rush to Bang Sue for vaccination ahead of walk-in registration ending

Coronavirus Thailand6 hours ago

Thai PM predicts current Covid crisis will be over in 2 or 3 weeks – 4 at the most

Coronavirus Vaccines6 hours ago

Health Ministry says all frontline medical workers will get donated Pfizer doses

Coronavirus Vaccines7 hours ago

Study confirms mixing AstraZeneca and mRNA vaccines as good as 2 mRNA doses

Coronavirus Phuket7 hours ago

Officials reluctant to cancel Phuket sandbox, lifeline for desperate locals

Best of7 hours ago

Top 5 art museums in Pattaya

Coronavirus (Covid-19)8 hours ago

Wednesday Covid Update: Record high of 16,533 new cases

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Phuket5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

Phuket Thai food treats you need to try | VIDEO

Thailand5 months ago

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

Tourism5 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand6 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

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

Thailand7 months ago

Thailand News Today | Southern floods, Face mask fines, Thai Air Asia woes | January 8