English tourist assaults tuk tuk driver over fare dispute in Phuket

Screenshot taken from Facebook/Oiltuktukpatong Saranate

An English traveller in Phuket has been caught in 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.

The video clip reveals the English traveller forcefully gripping the driver’s neck and shouting at the driver.

“Show me what I paid you with.”

Despite the driver’s continuous refusal, the tourist escalates the situation by slapping him. As he walks away, the English traveller is heard saying, “You’re lucky you got a little slap.”

According to the original social media post shared by Oiltuktukpatong Saranate on Friday evening, the altercation involved a relative. The post described the incident, stating that the relative drove the tourist to a hotel at Karon Beach for a fare of 400 baht.

However, the English traveller allegedly paid only 100 baht and then claimed he had handed over 1,000 baht.

The post goes on to explain that the driver suggested involving the police to resolve the issue but the English traveller responded with physical aggression, making the driver fear for his safety.

“The driver wants justice. Please share it,” pleaded the concluding statement of the post.

Notably, the post does not clarify whether the tuk tuk driver has filed a formal complaint with the local authorities. Although the footage was captured by a camera installed inside the vehicle, the identity of the driver remains undisclosed in online posts featuring the video.

Reactions to the video have been mixed, with some criticising the tourist’s behaviour while others question the driver’s actions.

“The more free visas the more crazy guests get.”

Some responses suggested that drivers should clearly display the money handed to them, for instance on the dashboard, before returning the change.

It is important to note that at the time of writing, the Phuket Land Transport Office (PLTO), the government office that oversees all public transport drivers in Phuket has not acknowledged the incident, reported Phuket News.

The Karon Police and the Phuket Tourist Police have also not publicly recognised the incident, so the actions of either party are pending further investigation.

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Mitch Connor

Mitch is a Bangkok resident, having relocated from Southern California, via Florida in 2022. He studied journalism before dropping out of college to teach English in South America. After returning to the US, he spent 4 years working for various online publishers before moving to Thailand.

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