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Phuket Taxi Mob Beats Driver In Broad Daylight

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Why don't the Thai business owners of all tourist related businesses march on City hall protesting the tuk-tuk and taxi driver's behaviour and demand action?

After all, it's their pockets that are going to get hurt.

Unless Thais themselves protest about this, nothing will happen.

I imagine because the tuk tuk drivers are only the grass roots of the problem.

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All this negative publicity will certainly keep me and my family out of Phuket for a long long time. We have enjoyed visiting Phuket many times over the years, and all we previously had to deal with, was the totally in saneTuk-Tuk prices. And it was easy to deal with this problem, by renting a motorbike or a small car, which we have done ever since our very first and only tuk-tuk ride in Phuket. I never deposit my passport at and motorbike or car rental shop, so we always rent through the hotel, which keep us safe from any possible rental scams.

Now that harsh gang-beatings and killings has been added to the risks, we will simply stay away from Phuket, untill it has proven to be a safe family destination again. I am just afraid that this will never happen, in a place where the BIB is not enforcing the laws, but let the criminals work freely, as long as they get a piece of the cake. We really need a miracle to save Phuket and other parts of this amazing nation. :bah: :bah: :bah:

Edited by Xonax
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On my first visit to Thailand, back in 2007 at Christmas time, I booked everything through a travel agent, Hotels, Airport transfers to the hotels and back again, the lot. Big mistake, but I learned better.

After four pleasant days in Bangkok, I flew down to Phuket, arriving late in the evening. A taxi driver was waiting for me, but said I needed to talk to the rep from TAT before he could take me to the hotel. The TAT rep turned out to be an oily little man , rude and condescending, to whom I took an immediate dislike.

He told me that he would arrive at my hotel next morning "To arrange all tours, shopping, and tourist activity" for me...

I was extremely tired and my plans for the next day included a long lie in. I told the man that I wouldn't be awake early and that I was extremely tired and wanted to leave immediately for my hotel.

"No, I will come to your hotel no later that 10.00 and I will have the reception staff call you if you are not there to greet me when I arrive. I am a busy man". I explained that he would be wasting his time as I had no intention of getting involved with commercial tourist activity over and above what I had already booked. I had no intention of going shopping for suits, gems, or gifts, or booking any excursions. He got cross : "But this is my job to do this! This is how I support my family". I said that I was sorry, but that I had come on holiday to relax, not to be dragged around the island on tourist excursions.

All I needed from him was my pre-booked taxi to my hotel, and the pick-up and drive back to the airport on the day I was leaving. Both these trips had already been paid for through my travel agent, and I had booking vouchers and receipts for my money.

With a poor grace the tout walked off muttering and "Allowed" me to take the taxi to my hotel. I wont bore you with details of the holiday, which I enjoyed.

On the last morning, I was ready packed and waiting in the foyer of the hotel about 15 minutes before the 09.45 pick-up time... No taxi appeared. My flight to Bangkok was due to leave at 12.30, and I was supposed to check in before 11.30. The flight connected with my international flight home from Bangkok at 15.00.

By 10.30 I was beginning to panic... The hotel staff were somewhat amused, but agreed to phone the emergency number I had been given... no reply.

I asked the hotel to get me a regular taxi as quickly as possible... This took ages. By that stage I was a gibbering wreck, and trying to work out how I was going to get home on a maxed out credit card. The hotel taxi finally appeared at about 11.25, five minutes before I was due to check in...

I was happy to pay the driver the 600 Baht he asked for, and explained that I was now very late for my flight... how long to get to the airport?

"Airport one hour" I was told... I had about 500 baht left. I said "500 Baht says Airport in 40 minutes... if it takes longer I will need this 500 Baht to put towards a new ticket!"

"OK... airport 40 minutes" was the response. The ride to the airport must have broken every traffic law on the island, and was a frightening experience. But 39 minutes after leaving the hotel we pulled into the airport. The time was about 12.07... the driver got his 500 Baht and I was rushed through check in and made my flight... just.

When I got home I went to the travel agency and complained about the lack of my pre-paid pick-up... They said they would check and to come back in a few days. I showed them the unused voucher for the journey.

When I returned to the travel agency they said that they had been told that I had been picked up and taken to the airport as per their contract. I said this was a lie. I asked how it could be that I still had the unused voucher in that case. "The Driver said that his passenger had lost the voucher" was the response. I got a refund for what I had paid for the cab back to the airport, eventually.

It was quite obvious that the oily sod from TAT had cancelled my pick-up out of spite because I hadn't booked any of his over priced excursions or trips. I never made the mistake of pre- booking a transfer again, or of arranging a domestic flight on the same day as my international flight home.

So on that occasion the problem wasn't the fault of the taxi driver as such, rather the TAT rep, whom I would have happily beaten to a pulp if I had ever got my hands on him, lucky for him and for me... as spending time in a Thai prison wasn't part of my holiday plan.

Although I now live in Thailand, and have spent several happy weeks on Phuket with my family, I won't be going back there now... the continuing sage of violence and rip offs has soured me on the place for good now.

Edited by Murgatroyd
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I have my parents coming out to visit us in Thailand for the first time soon for a few weeks, their first time ever travelling outside of Europe.

I was planning to take them to Phuket as I've been there a couple of times before and it seems to be a place someone who is not used to Asian/3rd world standards could have a good time, I thought a nice resort on the West coast would be perfect however after reading these daily stories of violence, threats, trouble, murders and suicides I'm seriously considering avoiding the place forever even for myself and trying to find somewhere better suited for them.

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The Tuk Tuke problems are in every part of the country not just Phuket, people get beaten up regularily by Tuk Tuk drivers here in Chiang Mai regularily it's just not reported. They are territorial and their job is basically to rip you off. Most of them are likely using Meth so you just don't want to mess around with lunatics like that. The drivers in Phuket are much more close nit being an island but it's too much to say they are a Mafia, please, these people arn't organised.

I doubt anyone who speaks politely, doesn't park in their spot and barters the fare before going with them will ever have a problem.

It's extremely rare for a Thai to use violence unprovoked (unlike your own country where you can get shot and stabbed walking down the wrong street) but vengence is rife so don't go upsetting the locals with foul mouthed hooliganism which is why most of the farangs get smacked down.

What complete and utter crap. If there is anything worse than tuk tuk mafia types it's the people that apologise for and defend them. Why don't you just close your eyes real tight, plug your ears and scream, "There isn't a problem! THERE ISN'T A PROBLEM!"

People that apologise for criminal behaviour are, themselves, a part of the problem. One can only hope that the cesspool that is Phuket will wither on the vine and die the death it should.

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Great idea dedicated websites put it all online so people can read every victim reports ,media reports , forum links, dedicated sections for each scam let everyone see the truth about these crimes and corruption tourists to Thailand face daily.

Such a site exists, started by the father of a girl that was a victim in the hotel deaths in Chiang Mai and it is called thailand travel tragedies and is easy to find. You can submit anecdotes and press links to him by email at [email protected] his domain.

Yes and that isn't the only web site. I've seen another web site dedicated to "Thai Scams" and there are probably more. But that isn't enough obviously as these web sites have been around for quite a while.

Maybe the next hot business will be armed escorts for tourist transport.

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I have been avoiding tuk-tuks for years. They're all a big rip-off. In CM (where I live), it's almost always better to use the red song-taew.

I remember the days in Bangkok before taxis had meters. Now that we have metered taxis, they're almost always more comfortable, safer and cheaper than tuk-tuks, and you don't waste time arguing about the price.

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So what's the bet it turns out to be a case of self defense and not attempted murder ? :whistling:

This was not an isolated incident. Haven't you been reading all of the news articles in the past few weeks about these gangs beating up people? Maybe you should before making such a comment...

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It's all about what they can get away with, corrupt officials, no infrastructure, no back bones,money goes right to the top, anyone trying to put a stop to this will die,talk and write about the trivial everyday happenings,whinge and wine,but it will be to no avail,my dear friends!!

And a note to all the ignorant dickheads who simply say " if you don't like it why don't you f*** off" well, it's the actions of some of its people,we complain about,not the beauty of the land itself!!

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It may be true that "the vast majority of visitors to Phuket" experience no trouble and have a wonderful time. But it is the ones who have been beaten to a pulp, have been grossly overcharged by gently smiling rip-offers and fell victim to all sorts of scams whose stories will be picked up by the foreign media and put Phuket in a bad light.

I couldn't care less about Phuket. It's a destination for rather ignorant tourists who want to experience the "magic of the Orient" amidst pizza parlours, roaring jetskies and modern, airconditioned shopping malls selling "indigenous" handicrafts at shamelessly inflated prices.

But to say that one incident of this kind should be sweeped under the carpet in favour of perhaps 1,000 or even 2,000 "non-incidents" is like saying that one murder should be ignored for the mere reason that statistically only one in every 10,000 people is murdered. It is not the relative scarcity, but the fact that it does happen that is reason for concern and should be incentive enough to take appropriate action.

Phuket's taxi and tuk-tuk mafia has had a rather free hand in carrying out their activities for literally decades. It's about high time they're reined in. Every new report on such incidents will further erode Phuket's image. And it is 'image' that is so very important to Thais, isn't it? Well, if that is true, DO SOMETHING.

Fat chance, though, as half of the oh so image-conscious police and politicians are allegedly in cahouts with those thugs. What an image!

Edited by Misterwhisper
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