Phuket Gazette

PHUKET: Chalong Police are on the hunt for a man presumed to be a ‘tuk-tuk / taxi driver’ who allegedly set upon a French family with a beach umbrella in the Kata area of Phuket on Saturday evening.

The family, an elderly couple on holiday with their 44-year old son, his wife and their three children, aged 14 months, seven and nine, claim they were attacked when they parked their rented car along the Kata Beach road.

The family claims they were confronted by a man outside the Karon Municipality offices, at the southern end of Kata Beach.

He was aggressive and told them to move the vehicle, the family said.

After checking the area for no-parking signs, and seeing none, the family refused to move their car and began unloading their beach items.

Moments later, the man returned and assaulted them with the shaft of a beach umbrella, breaking the 44-year-old man’s arm. The 68-year-old father also sustained numerous bruises in the attack.

Many people saw the incident, which occurred at about 5pm, but no-one went to the family’s aid, the victims claimed.

The family escaped in their car, stopping at the Kata Palm Resort to recover from their ordeal. Staff at the resort alerted paramedics.

The family reported the attack to police on Sunday. Today, Chalong police invited the victims to study police file photos of known criminals in the area of the attack.

The victims have apparently identified their attacker and police are believed to be tracking him down.

Phuket's public transport shortcomings have been been the subject of bitter complaints from local residents and foreign tourists for at least a decade.

The complaints have intensified sharply this month, to the point where public outrage could culminate in mob action by victims of the system.

Following publication of a story by the Phuket Gazette on Dec 12, in which taxi drivers were alleged to have threatened and verbally abused staff and tour company representatives at the four-star Centara Karon Resort, the Gazette Online's Phuket Forum saw the first in what has turned out to be several hundred complaints from angry local residents and foreign tourists.

For related stories on the island's transport woes, particularly as they relate to tuk-tuks and airport taxis, please click here and here.
– Gazette reporters

3

Absolutey NO justification for not solving a problem like this!

Posted by moskito December 29, 2009 03:10:56PM

Reply

0    0

4

Think of how this will reflect on Phuket when the poor French Tourists return home. Another "black mark" against the tuk-tuks. I hope this has been reported to the French Embassy.

Posted by Michael G Finn December 29, 2009 03:16:44PM

Reply

0    0

5

Every year we read about problems with tuk-tuk drivers. Have you tried to park your car somewhere in Patong lately? I don't think Phuket needs the tuk-tuks anymore. Maybe make a movie like the youtube job that solved the jet-ski problem about a month ago.

Posted by Marc December 29, 2009 03:26:41PM

Reply

0    0

6

Someone should suggest that the tuk-tuk gangs should find this attacker and turn him in to the Police! That would really help the police find the suspect. But it won't happen. Meanwhile, it's another bad story for Phuket and the invincibility of the tuk-tuk people.

Posted by No Name December 29, 2009 03:31:34PM

Reply

0    0

7

If the police on Phuket actually have power, they would deal with the alleged attacker in accordance with the law and make an example of him. After all, this is exactly the kind of aggressive tourist bashing that everyone agrees is destroying Phuket's once shimmering image.

Unfortunately, the police appear impotent while the tuk-tuk drivers rule the roost. If the individual said to be the attacker IS the attacker, then it would be refreshing to see a photo of him in the press.

Imagine what would have happened if things were the other way around, i.e., if the tourist had attacked him. Swift action guaranteed.

Posted by Captain Jack December 29, 2009 03:46:50PM

Reply

0    0

8

This story is a very good example of why in earlier discussions we've see so much negativity in the public's attitude toward tuk-tuks! We all need to say "NO" to tuk-tuks.

Posted by Alexey December 29, 2009 03:50:40PM

Reply

0    0

9

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D- December 29, 2009 03:54:48PM

Reply

0    1

10

I repeat myself over and over, and I see no change. It's poor policing that allows this. Tuk-tuk drivers seem to be immune from daily policing, while the police are out arresting bikers without helmets, etc. Until the government sorts out the police force, tourists will continue to be in the hands of the public transport gangs.

Posted by Dave Lombardi December 29, 2009 03:56:52PM

Reply

0    0

11

What will it take for the powers that be, who control this island, to realize that whatever income is generated by the tuk-uk cartels is not enough to offset the customer dissatisfaction and loss of visitors who don't return to the island.

This kind of lawlessness and outright 'we are above the law' arrogance has to have a limit.

Posted by LivinLOS December 29, 2009 03:57:51PM

Reply

0    0

12

Most of the black taxi and tuk-tuk drivers are gang members. They take over most of the parking spaces along the public beach roads.

A month ago, I wanted to go to watch the international beach volleyball tournament in Karon. I had to drive my car around the area for almost 45 minutes, looking for a place to park. All the spaces were taken by the tuk-tuks and taxis. I finally sported an empty space along the beach road and parked my car. When I got out of it, two guys made me clearly understand that I could not park there as this was a space reserved for taxis.

I asked them, "How is it that there are no signs along the road?" They told me that it was their parking place and that they "use it every day"!

I didn't want to argue with them, so I left the place.

Posted by Alan Skipp December 29, 2009 04:07:39PM

Reply

0    0

13

This is the sort of behavior that has given tuk-tuks their deserved bad reputation. Surely the authorities must now come down hard on these people. Boycott all tuk-tuks until there is change.

Posted by Tony McGill December 29, 2009 04:12:31PM

Reply

0    0

15

Another fine example of who is running the pubic transport show in Phuket. It's the tuk-tuk gangs who rule the streets and the authorities are too afraid to do something about it.

If no action is taken, expats will continue to move to Malaysia as they are doing already right now. Tourists will surely follow.

I am sick of the tuk-tuks' agressive behaviour. Sometimes they get involved in gang-violence. I hope something is going to be done very soon. They are just destroying Phuket's image.

Posted by Manu Alders December 29, 2009 04:18:39PM

Reply

0    0

16

Too many tuk-tuks everywhere. It's impossible to find a parking space in the streets of Patong Beach and in many other areas of Phuket because the arrogance of tuk-tuk drivers is out control! They seem to think they are untouchable.

Posted by angelo December 29, 2009 04:24:03PM

Reply

0    0

18

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

These are legitimate public parking places that tuk-tuk drivers claim for themselves and intimidate people from using. Good on these tourists for standing up to whomever did this.

Posted by Terry December 29, 2009 04:28:55PM

Reply

0    0

19

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

These are legitimate public parking places that tuk-tuk drivers claim for themselves and intimidate people from using. Good on these tourists for standing up to whomever did this.

Posted by Terry

I agree, and I hope that they will end up as the heroes who FINALLY save Phuket from the transport gangs!

Posted by Sven Nygaard December 29, 2009 04:34:55PM

Reply

0    0

20

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

What an absolutely ridiculous comment. Since when did tuk-tuk drivers assume the mantle of policing?  (We all know that they already think they're above the law.) As for 'respecting the requests', how does a tourist 'respect' an assailant with a beach umbrella in hand  weapon with the obvious intent of striking him?

I'm sure that most 'local people' would be aghast at this kind of behaviour.

Posted by pag December 29, 2009 04:35:39PM

Reply

0    0

21

Isn't this getting a little tiresome? Once again... over and over... we get yet another story about an aggressive tuk-tuk driver getting away with totally unacceptable behavior.

Posted by sky December 29, 2009 04:48:23PM

Reply

0    0

22

Isn't this getting a little tiresome? Once again... over and over... we get yet another story about an aggressive tuk-tuk driver getting away with totally unacceptable behavior.

Posted by sky

He hasn't gotten away with anything yet, so far as we can see.

Posted by Editor, Gazette Online December 29, 2009 04:56:39PM

Reply

0    0

23

OK, the government has solved the jet-ski problem. Now it's time to solve it's close cousin, the tuk-tuk disgrace. Leave it too late and you can say goodbye to tourism in 2010!

Posted by Al Capone December 29, 2009 04:58:10PM

Reply

0    0

24

I parked my car in front of Carrefour for about 10 minutes on Christmas day. When I came out, the tuk-tuk drivers had stuck broken glass, large nails and a big piece of cement under my car so that when I pulled out it would damage my tires and undercarriage. I too, apparently, was parked in a tuk-tuk haven, which was of course unmarked.

The tuk-tuks are dangerous, and it is shocking that the government seems unable to replace them with a legal transportation system.

Posted by Pat H December 29, 2009 05:06:25PM

Reply

0    0

25

When is the Thai government going to do something about the tuk-tuks? If the public is so scared that they do not even help when they see a tourist being attacked, things are pretty bad!

This year we do not have many tourists. Of course the economy and the Thai political situation have contributed to the thin tourism picture, but these would not be the only deterrents in the eyes of potential visitors. It's not unreasonable to assume that the tuk-tuks have also had a very negative impact on Phuket's image.

When speak about tuk-tuks, we have to remember that it's not ALL tuk-tuk drivers who are culpable. So don't the good drivers do something to help? That way, the tendency to blame everyone driving one of the red menaces might be set back a bit.

Posted by Farang In Kata December 29, 2009 05:16:47PM

Reply

0    0

26

This is outrageous. It really must take a twisted mind to attack others in that way – especially elderly people! The tuk-tuk drivers are really destroying tourism and are jeopardizing the income and living conditions of the honest and decent majority of the people in Phuket.

Phuket is about to become to Thailand, what Sicily is to Italy.

Posted by Singha December 29, 2009 05:28:58PM

Reply

0    0

31

The tuk-tuks are the scourge of Phuket. Kick them out. They are destroying this Island. The government needs to replace them metered taxis.

Posted by Sean Healey December 29, 2009 05:56:16PM

Reply

0    0

32

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

What part of this is it that you not understand? Tuk-tuks do not own roads. And why is this tiring you? What about respect FOR tourists? Tuk-tuk are the voice of the law? Please save me if the status quo is as good as it gets.

Posted by d daly December 29, 2009 05:59:34PM

Reply

0    0

33

I agree with all on the fact that the tuk-tuk drivers think they are above the law! It's time to let them know they are destroying Phuket's reputation. Boycott them. Get a campaign going to let all tourists and residents to avoid them. Eventually, maybe the message will get across that we will not be intimidated by these people.

Posted by Bev December 29, 2009 06:03:46PM

Reply

0    0

34

AGAIN AND AGAIN! And the authorities do nothing! And maybe nothing will be done. What authority do the authorities have to allow the tuk-tuks to park in the public's (taxpayers') spaces?

Posted by cubitus999 December 29, 2009 06:20:12PM

Reply

0    0

36

Now that our lives are in jeopardy, every responsible government should warn against any travel to the island. Same for travel agents and airlines. The lines defining reasonable personal behavior and public safety were crossed a long time ago.

Posted by slh December 29, 2009 06:25:39PM

Reply

0    0

37

Avoid these people. They are violent. Just avoid them. Trying to impose the rule of law only invites violence. Tape to the dashboard of your car, where you can see it at all times, a sign reading, "Is it worth it?" Always ask yourself, "Is it worth it?" before you speak or act.

If you do that, and always think "No", then life can be pretty good here.

Problems like the tuk-tuks are not for foreigners to solve. They are for the Thais. Don't involve yourself in this nonesense – or anything else that is not worth it.

Posted by laosuwan December 29, 2009 06:55:55PM

Reply

0    0

38

I used to be a regular visitor to Patong, sometimes 3 times a year, but no more. The corruption, double pricing, tuk-tuk and jet-ski scams put an end to that. Patong is now known for what it is, a money-chasing free-for-all, and it is this that has turned people away from visiting.

Posted by british bill December 29, 2009 06:59:11PM

Reply

0    0

39

In my opinion, I think that they should have just moved their car. Why make things difficult, and make people upset? Foreign tourists think they can walk around and disrespect the Thai people. What a shame. I have seen these types of situations so many times. Have some respect, people. The Thai people know what is going on.

Posted by Brad December 29, 2009 07:58:13PM

Reply

0    0

40

Is there anyone in charge of this island, or do the tuk-tuk drivers run the show here? They overcharge, steal public parking space, and beat up elderly visitors. What's next? Do they have to kill someone? Have the authorities lost control completely? Phuket is best not visited until the transport issue is resolved.

Posted by Robbie Einhorn December 29, 2009 08:01:34PM

Reply

0    0

42

Tuk-tuk drivers are destroying Phuket. They are extortionate in the prices they charge, yet some people still use them. Paying their high prices only encourages them. Motorbike taxis are getting just as bad now. I recently took a motorbike taxi from Soi Sansabai to Soi Banzaan in Patong and back again. For a round trip I expected 60 baht, but should have checked before, My mistake. He charged me 200 baht which I had to pay or risk a kicking from the other drivers who were gathered at the entrance to Soi Sansabai.

Phuket really needs to sort out the tuk-tuk and taxi problems. Pattaya has a great system which could work here too. I now refuse to take tuk-tuks or motorbikes. The exercise is great.

Posted by sateeb December 30, 2009 06:30:59PM

Reply

0    0

44

Dear Powers That Be: Please stop looking the other way and uphold the law. If you are worried about upholding the law, then you are not doing your job.

Posted by Eddy December 29, 2009 08:21:17PM

Reply

0    0

46

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Best laugh I've had all day. "Requests or directions" – when's the last time you attempted to have a civil conversation with these guys? When did you last park in a spot you have every right to be in, only to return and find your paintwork scratched and your tires slashed? When going to the beach where do you recommend I park? Central Festival?

Posted by Mister Ree December 29, 2009 08:32:33PM

Reply

0    0

47

What a joke. Stop taking a hundred years to fix the problems that are so bad on the island. Phuket is going to be a place in the future where people are just not going to visit. Then let's see what these tuk-tuk guys do.

Whenever I go to Patong I cannot park my car. You have guys blocking spaces for their own selfish needs. The police should tell them to move on and let Phuket's guests (tourists) have the spots. After all, we are the ones spending money and creating the jobs.

Sort it out or there will be no jobs for the kids of Phuket.

Posted by vee December 29, 2009 08:42:49PM

Reply

0    0

48

I have lived here for over 5 years and seen many things happen in Phuket, a lot of which are not for the good of Phuket. Reading the Phuket Gazette I see honest reporting of negative actions by individuals and gangs, whether it be government land encroachment, traffic "accidents", muggings, murders, etc. But nothing has got people as riled up as the behavior of the tuk-tuk drivers and now this incident with the French tourists.

Tourists are the life blood of Phuket. What is the mentality of these people, who I hope are still in the minority of the tuk-tuk drivers. But whatever the reasons for their behavior, there is NO excuse for it and it has to be stopped NOW, before it really IS too late.

Posted by Tommy Tucker December 29, 2009 08:46:44PM

Reply

0    0

49

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Why should they listen or respect people who illegally block all the parking space on popular spots in Phuket when all you are trying to do is park your vehicle in a parking lot where there are no signs saying parking is not allowed?

Posted by jm December 29, 2009 08:47:46PM

Reply

0    0

50

Another tuk-tuk driver scam from this area is letting the air out of your tires, then trying to charge double fares to take you to and from the local tire shop. Amazing how helpful they get when you change your own tires! 95% of the tuk-tuk drivers are good working people. The rest are....

Posted by Mick December 29, 2009 08:48:54PM

Reply

0    0

51

Are there restrictions on members of the public parking along Beach Rd? 15 years ago, you could park anywhere around Patong. I tried to park outside Starbucks the other day and was told to move on by a tuk-tuk driver.There aren't too many parking spaces along Beach Rd.

Posted by Richard December 29, 2009 08:56:33PM

Reply

0    0

52

I have been boycotting the tuk-tuks and the businesses who advertise on them for 15 years. Join me!

Posted by Mr. Sotu December 29, 2009 09:03:05PM

Reply

0    0

53

I was attacked in the parking near the Club Med 2 years ago. I was with my mother my wife (Thai) and my daughter, looking for a place to park. If I hadn't run away, I think they would have killed me and my wife.

I really believe that the authroities can't, in fact, do anything. The problem is almost beyond solution.

Posted by godzi December 29, 2009 09:06:37PM

Reply

0    0

54

When is the Thai government going to do something about the tuk-tuks? If the public is so scared that they do not even help when they see a tourist being attacked, things are pretty bad!

This year we do not have many tourists. Of course the economy and the Thai political situation have contributed to the thin tourism picture, but these would not be the only deterrents in the eyes of potential visitors. It's not unreasonable to assume that the tuk-tuks have also had a very negative impact on Phuket's image.

When speak about tuk-tuks, we have to remember that it's not ALL tuk-tuk drivers who are culpable. So don't the good drivers do something to help? That way, the tendency to blame everyone driving one of the red menaces might be set back a bit.

Posted by Farang In Kata

Sorry to inform you, but ANY tuk-tuk driver in Phuket MUST belong to an organisation that is being run in every way like an organised crime syndicate. So, yes – all tuk-tuk drivers are members of that organisation, which means.... Well, I think the conclusion is obvious.

Posted by christos December 29, 2009 09:17:42PM

Reply

0    0

57

Are not the tuk-tuks and taxis in Phuket here to serve the tourists? They better get their head out because if this kind of crap keeps up, who would want to visit a place like that? I know just by reading what's happening there that my family and I will NOT. There's other places in this world where the locals appreciate a tourist coming in and spending their money.

Posted by Mr. Don December 29, 2009 09:52:16PM

Reply

0    0

58

The real problem, as far as I understand it, is that law enforcement is not willing to get involved in this. As long as that's the case, they won't.

Posted by peter December 29, 2009 10:11:16PM

Reply

0    0

60

Isn't this getting a little tiresome? Once again... over and over... we get yet another story about an aggressive tuk-tuk driver getting away with totally unacceptable behavior.

Posted by sky

About as tiresome as attitudes such as yours, which seems to intimate some kind of acceptance of occurrences such as this as inevitable for tourists in Phuket.

We (resident expats) have very little ability to comment or exert any influence over what goes on here. One of the very few ways we have of participating is in forums such as this. Hopefully, if the numbers are such that they're going to be meaningful, maybe (and a very big maybe) our views will be taken to a level where constructive action can be taken.

Perhaps I've misinterpreted your post, and you're not as accepting of this as you appear?

Posted by pag December 29, 2009 11:22:04PM

Reply

0    0

61

I go to Thailand 4-5 times a year. I avoid tuk-tuks in all cities. This is not a Phuket problem, but a Thailand problem.

In Bangkok I was once on business with two American female colleagues and the tuk-tuk driver, instead of taking us to the hotel dropped us at a deserted street by the Chao Praya river at 1:30am. What if the ladies had been by themselves?

I knew the area and walked to the closest hotel and took a cab back to our hotel. 5 miles out of the way.

Yank out ALL the licenses and regulate the drivers. It seems like the drivers are TOTALLY INDEPENDENT. No meters, no manners, no regulators!

Better do something or this is going to get worse.

Posted by akram yunas December 30, 2009 01:32:34AM

Reply

0    0

62

The tuk-tuks are the scourge of Phuket. Kick them out. They are destroying this Island. The government needs to replace them metered taxis.

Posted by Sean Healey

I agree with Sean H. Just kick them out and a lot of tourists will come back to Phuket. It's enough to keep 20% of the tuk-tuks IF that 20% has meters.

Posted by Tomas December 30, 2009 01:53:51AM

Reply

0    0

63

The tuk-tuk drivers pay a fee to be able to park where they do. They should put up official signs as well. Tourists: "Don't add to the problem. Rent a car, take a bus. But by all means do not patronize any tuk-tuk driver or unmarked (black) taxi driver.

Avoid them, at all costs!

Posted by Somchai at Modern Zen December 30, 2009 04:07:16AM

Reply

0    0

64

Same old story. I, along with many others, complained about these untouchable tuk-tuk drivers and their death machines many, many years ago. It seems to me, and apparently everyone else, that they have been getting worse every year, with more and more complaints now than ever.

What has the TAT done about it? Same as ever other year. NOTHING. As for Big D, his comment beggars belief. This was an innocent family going to the beach who were attacked for parking their car.

I could go to greater lengths replying to Big D, but the Gazette is a family newspaper and I think Mr D's comment isn't worth going into any more detail about – except to suggest, perhaps, that his views might be different if he had been among the victims of the attack.

Posted by frequent_traveller December 30, 2009 04:42:30AM

Reply

0    0

66

I cannot recommend Phuket. I was recently in NY City and hired a taxi driver on a slow day to drive me around for an hour to see the sites. Cost: $25. Even Tokyo has cheaper public transportation.

What a disappointment to arrive in Phuket and discover that you cannot afford to see any of the sites in the brochure unless you pay the highest public transportation charges in the world to ride in a 1930s-era, open-bed, smog-belching truck with bench seats and no seat belts.

I won't return to Phuket since it has unacceptable (by even the lowest standards) transportation.

Posted by A Joy December 30, 2009 05:43:36AM

Reply

0    0

67

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

So he told them to move. Maybe they refused. It doesn't give anyone the right to attack them. They should have called the police immediately, like they ultimately.

Posted by gerard December 30, 2009 05:50:59AM

Reply

0    0

68

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Are you suggesting that the tuk tuk gangs are entitled to take on the role of the police and local authorities? You are one disillusioned person, perhaps a tuk-tuk driver yourself?

The TAT is working hard to promote tourism to Thailand and this is just another kick in the teeth for Phuket and a poor defenseless family on holiday. Rest assured this act of pointless violence will be reported far and wide across the world via the internet.

No tourists on Phuket equates to no future for Phuket. Long live the internet and You-Tube. I hope this will be the undoing of the tuk-tuks. Nobody wants them.

Posted by Snapper December 30, 2009 06:30:07AM

Reply

0    0

69

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

If they were parked in a public parking area why should they move their car? Only because the yobbish tuk-tuk drivers would probably damage their car. I am a resident of Patong and am frequently asked to move my car from a public parking area by tuk-tuk drivers. I do so now because on one occasion my number plate was ripped off after I refused to move.

Posted by sam December 30, 2009 06:53:20AM

Reply

0    0

70

I was similarly accosted by tuk-tuk drivers in Karon for allegedly parking in 'their' parking space – a clear, totally unmarked and unsigned area of road.

I did approach the police (at sergeant level) and was politely told they had "no power whatsoever" over the tuk-tuks. This is no longer an island issue. This is a stain on the character of Thailand. It is starting to have a huge impact on tourism.

Just as the Bangkok authorities cleaned up Pattaya some years back, they should now send a sizeable force of police (backed up by the army if necessary) to rid Phuket of its rot. "

Who is the leader of the tuk-tuks? "Cut the head off the snake and the snake dies." We (tourists and residents alike) need real action before someone gets seriously injured or killed.

Posted by Laffinmahedoff December 30, 2009 07:23:42AM

Reply

0    0

71

You people did not print my entire comment.... and maybe you are afraid to. What I want to know is... who is protecting these tuk-tuk drivers? Obviously someone is. That's why this insanity continues to happen.

Posted by Sky December 30, 2009 07:28:25AM

Reply

0    0

72

The behavior of the guy who attached this family is way out of order. I hope he has his day in court. It would be good to see justice. However, we must look at the cause of this problem, too.

20 years ago, tuk-tuks and old cabs, etc, were all the transport there was in Phuket. These people have all seen their livings disappear due to the "rich resort" owners and many others getting their own vans, cars, etc, to squeeze more $$ out of "the trade".

Due to their powerful influence with some of the local authorities, the tuk-tuks do get some special rights. While I do not condone any violent behavior, I can also see how these guys are fighting for their very living now.

Same story in Bangkok. Tuk-tuks have disappeared from many areas, due to competition from taxis.

The tuk-tuks in Phuket would do much better with cheap fares and good service – not this kind of action!

Posted by newtronbom December 30, 2009 07:52:43AM

Reply

0    0

73

The tuk-tuks do not own the roads. Have you ever tried finding a parking space in Kata or Karon when the place is full of tuk tuks and taxis? This is a family with young children just wanting to go to the beach for the day. They should have been allowed to to park on the beach road.

Posted by clickblade December 30, 2009 08:05:47AM

Reply

0    0

75

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Big D. What does the "D" stand for? I can only guess.

Posted by jj December 30, 2009 08:48:09AM

Reply

0    0

77

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

This comment beggars belief. This was an innocent family going to the beach who were attacked for parking their car. I could go to greater lengths replying to Big D, but the Gazette is a family newspaper and I think Mr D's comment isn't worth going into any more detail about – except to suggest, perhaps, that his views might be different if he had been among the victims of the attack.

Posted by frequent_traveller December 30, 2009 09:38:24AM

Reply

0    0

78

"You no park here or I scratch your car." I've heard it so many times. Time to do something.

Posted by Hajo von Keller December 30, 2009 09:59:00AM

Reply

0    0

80

All tourists and residents should be able to call a hotline number to the tourist police at any time to help sort out these incidents before they get out of hand. There should be a sign at the airport or a leaflet informing all incoming visitors that there is someone to help in times of trouble. Allocated areas for tuk-tuk and taxis which are clearly marked would put an end to a lot of this trouble and make it easier for people who use them.

Posted by Steve G December 30, 2009 10:18:43AM

Reply

0    0

81

The comments made here are proof of what is really happening.

Posted by Tired December 30, 2009 10:17:57AM

Reply

0    0

82

Is there a webmaster out there who can organize a website that we can all contribute our stories to? That way, we could publicize the website on all the travel sites to make sure the word is always out there. We need to exert pressure for change before it's too late.

I am a local business owner who is sick of long-time, regular customers now not returning to Phuket, mainly because of the tuk-tuks and lack of alternative transport. I know there is cost involved, but I would happily contribute to the costs via a donation option on the site. And I'm convinced many locals would too.

Posted by selfhelp December 30, 2009 10:22:29AM

Reply

0    0

84

I have spent many holidays and dollars in Phuket and Thailand, and now all I can say is go to Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia – anywhere but Thailand. I have fallen out of love with the place due to the habit of seeing the foreigner as not much more than something to milk. A pity to see this country turn out like this.

Posted by Gary Markham December 30, 2009 10:31:44AM

Reply

0    0

85

@captain Jack: "If the police on Phuket actually have power, they would deal with the alleged attacker in accordance with the law and make an example of him."

The police have the power, but apparently not the will, to address this problem.

Posted by Somrak December 30, 2009 10:37:55AM

Reply

0    0

86

The behaviour of the tuk-tuk drivers has worsened over the years and is now untenable. It is probably my biggest negative in visiting Phuket. I feel there is a simple answer.

If you go to Bangkok they have an excellent, cheap and reliable service by using metered taxis. If I were among the senior authorities responsible for maintaining law and order in Phuket, I think I would feel a bit embarrassed at not being able to deal with this problem. Mark Mclean.

Posted by Mark McLean December 30, 2009 10:47:08AM

Reply

0    0

88

Because of the tuk-tuk mafia I stopped going to Phuket years ago. Continuously reading disgraceful reports like this confirms my decision. So long as the tuk-tuk  boys are in control there is no way that I will ever return to Phuket again. I am not alone here; many tourists that I have met elsewhere in Thailand say the same thing. "Phuket? Never again!" They are all visitors who love Thailand, but because of a small group of tyrants they will never spend another penny in Phuket.

They and I go to great length to tell others to stay away and enjoy the other places in Thailand. Someday, probably when it is too late, the TAT will begin to get the picture.

Posted by Anders Svenson December 30, 2009 11:17:57AM

Reply

0    0

89

I parked my car in front of Carrefour for about 10 minutes on Christmas day. When I came out, the tuk-tuk drivers had stuck broken glass, large nails and a big piece of cement under my car so that when I pulled out it would damage my tires and undercarriage. I too, apparently, was parked in a tuk-tuk haven, which was of course unmarked.

The tuk-tuks are dangerous, and it is shocking that the government seems unable to replace them with a legal transportation system.

Posted by Pat H

Well that would explain why I experienced so many punctures during my last visit to Phuket. I had 3 punctures on my car and 2 on my motorbike in less than 4 weeks, with nails firmly embedded in my tyres on each and every occasion!

There were also several scrapes on the side of my car which I could not explain.

This was a new experience for me. I can only assume that the tuk-tuk gangs resent seeing foreigners with their own transport, as so many of us have learned to avoid them!

Mmmm - deliberate sabotage! That never actually crossed my mind till I read the above article. More reason for the police to get out on the streets and protect the public.

Posted by Laffinmahedoff December 30, 2009 11:25:01AM

Reply

0    0

90

This situation has happened to most of us who drive and have lived here for awhile. The tuk-tuk drivers are always aggressive and unreasonable. I no longer bother driving to Karon or Kata as I know it is impossible to park.

We and the local authorities need the help of the national government in Bangkok. The tuk-tuk tyrants in Phuket are a NATIONAL problem requiring a national solution.

Posted by Idler December 30, 2009 11:32:37AM

Reply

0    0

91

Last night along the beach road in Patong there were 75 (seventy five) tuk-tuks parked between the Holiday Inn and Soi Bangla alone!

Posted by Rex December 30, 2009 12:31:29PM

Reply

0    0

93

Every year we read about problems with tuk-tuk drivers. Have you tried to park your car somewhere in Patong lately? I don't think Phuket needs the tuk-tuks anymore. Maybe make a movie like the youtube job that solved the jet-ski problem about a month ago.

Posted by Marc

Marc, the jet-ski problem is not solved. They are illegal. Period. They had a law passed against them but they are tolerated for reasons we can only imagine. They are tolerated even though they are a hazard and pose a great danger to the public. It seems that greed rules here in Phuket, sadly.

Posted by Steve December 30, 2009 01:05:44PM

Reply

0    0

94

I would love to see the tuk-tuks gone for good. I have had problems with them myself and they are a definitely a turnoff for tourists, which the island depends on. They are unsafe for tourists too – no seat belts and I know everyone has seen how fast they drive in places where you should be using great caution.

The police need to start doing their jobs and enforce the laws which are ignored by everyone. If they would, Phuket could become a safer place.

I live in Rawai and I hear an ambulance on an average of 3 times a day. Does that tell you how dangerous Phuket's roads are?

And it's all happening because no one is held accountable.

Posted by Steve December 30, 2009 01:14:53PM

Reply

0    0

96

Patong doesn't need tuk-tuks. Ditch them.

Posted by ceedee December 30, 2009 02:46:27PM

Reply

0    0

98

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Big D. What does the "D" stand for? I can only guess.

Posted by jj

What a fabulous bunch of sniveling! Again, I am heartbroken for the French family and hope they recover quickly. Folks must be kidding if they don't think these tuk-tuk drivers pay for their parking "spots".

You are so savvy, you must be aware that though it may not be an official entity, the kids on the beach selling sarongs, etc pay a "tax" to do so. Perhaps the drivers are sometimes aggressive because they are fighting to make a living like everyone else?

It looks to me like too many tuk-tuks, not enough fares. That would certainly cause stress when it's hard to buy rice. The main complaint I have heard over the years is that ya don't like the the fare. Right boys; jump on your scooters and drive drunk as usual.

Oh, and my name? It's Big Doretta to you.

Posted by Big D December 30, 2009 03:32:23PM

Reply

0    0

99

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Ridiculous comment from you.... why should they move? Who was breaking the Thai laws here anyway? I should know; I had a business at this location and know how nasty this tuk-tuk gang is.

Posted by Roberto December 30, 2009 03:55:22PM

Reply

0    0

100

Isn't this getting a little tiresome? Once again... over and over... we get yet another story about an aggressive tuk-tuk driver getting away with totally unacceptable behavior.

Posted by sky

About as tiresome as attitudes such as yours, which seems to intimate some kind of acceptance of occurrences such as this as inevitable for tourists in Phuket.

We (resident expats) have very little ability to comment or exert any influence over what goes on here. One of the very few ways we have of participating is in forums such as this. Hopefully, if the numbers are such that they're going to be meaningful, maybe (and a very big maybe) our views will be taken to a level where constructive action can be taken.

Perhaps I've misinterpreted your post, and you're not as accepting of this as you appear?

Posted by pag

Actually, the Gazette failed to print my entire comment. I wrote to them about this issue and tried to get an answer as to why my entire comment was not printed. I support you 100% and feel that something needs to be done.

Posted by sky December 30, 2009 03:58:25PM

Reply

0    0

101

Isn't this getting a little tiresome? Once again... over and over... we get yet another story about an aggressive tuk-tuk driver getting away with totally unacceptable behavior.

Posted by sky

About as tiresome as attitudes such as yours, which seems to intimate some kind of acceptance of occurrences such as this as inevitable for tourists in Phuket.

We (resident expats) have very little ability to comment or exert any influence over what goes on here. One of the very few ways we have of participating is in forums such as this. Hopefully, if the numbers are such that they're going to be meaningful, maybe (and a very big maybe) our views will be taken to a level where constructive action can be taken.

Perhaps I've misinterpreted your post, and you're not as accepting of this as you appear?

Posted by pag

Actually, the Gazette failed to print my entire comment. I wrote to them about this issue and tried to get an answer as to why my entire comment was not printed. I support you 100% and feel that something needs to be done.

Posted by sky

See the 'Gazette Forum House Rules' presented for your inspection and acknowledgment each and every time you post a comment. These are there for your and our protection from violations of Thai law. We trust you will understand the need for this and hope you will continue to make contributions to the forurm.

Posted by Editor, Gazette Online December 30, 2009 04:08:24PM

Reply

0    0

102

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Why should they have to move their car? If there's no legal post designating it as a either a no-parking area or a reserved parking area, then there is no legal reason people can't use the available spots. And if someone does park in an illegal spot the only one whose business it is to make you move is a police officer.

Posted by John December 30, 2009 04:10:18PM

Reply

0    0

104

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

What does Big D stand for? Big Dumb! Illegally parked or not, nobody deserves this kind of treatment.

Posted by ThaiFlyGuy December 30, 2009 04:51:36PM

Reply

0    0

105

No public transport option between the two most popular and visited beaches in South East Asia (Patong and Karon). NICE! Pattaya seems to have gotten it right.

Posted by Tip December 30, 2009 05:00:02PM

Reply

0    0

106

The tuk-tuks are the scourge of Phuket. Kick them out. They are destroying this Island. The government needs to replace them metered taxis.

Posted by Sean Healey

I agree with Sean H. Just kick them out and a lot of tourists will come back to Phuket. It's enough to keep 20% of the tuk-tuks IF that 20% has meters.

Posted by Tomas

I agree. Keep 20% of the tuk-tuks. Maybe the same can be done with some of the street thieves in Patong, i.e., reduce the fleet by about 80%.

Posted by Antz Pantz December 30, 2009 05:20:02PM

Reply

0    0

107

Two things must be done:

– 1: As the tuk-tuks are unsafe, uninsured and unlicensed, they must be banished from the island, or crushed as they do with unsafe and/or illegal vehicles in Germany and the USA, for insance.

–.2: Foreigners, tourists and expats alike should act in solidarity, boycotting the tuk-tuks and wildcat limos, and offering car pooling and free rides to hitchhikers, as happened to me several times in the 3 years I spent on Phuket (thanks folks). Maybe the Gazette should offer free stickers to us to identify drivers and riders as reliable car poolers.

Posted by Dr Wezzi December 30, 2009 06:15:00PM

Reply

0    0

108

I don't know of anyone to contact when you run into problems with tuk-tuk drivers. There must be a huge number of unreported incidents. People are scared of tuk-tuk gangs who carry weapons and threaten tourists. All the business owners on Phuket should get together and sign a petition.

The businesses are losing out here when tourists are staying away and going to other "no hassle" destinations. The bars, restaurants and hotels are short of customers because of the tuk tuk gangs. So passengers of the tuk-tuks are not the only victims.

This problem is getting far worse now and is really endangering Phuket's reputation. Tuk-tuks thrive on the fact that visiting families have to use them, but I know so many families who will not come again.

Business owners: Act NOW or lose out!

Posted by sateeb December 31, 2009 02:59:35AM

Reply

0    0

109

In my opinion, I think that they should have just moved their car. Why make things difficult, and make people upset? Foreign tourists think they can walk around and disrespect the Thai people. What a shame. I have seen these types of situations so many times. Have some respect, people. The Thai people know what is going on.

Posted by Brad

In think you are really wrong. The drivers are not respectful of other people and they are not respectful of the law. They only try to apply their rules, disregarding Thai people as well tourists. Maybe more Thai people than you think are annoyed with these drivers. Do you see a lot of Thais riding as passengers in the tuk-tuks?

The government has to take very strong measures against these gangs. As first their aggressions was just verbal, but now physical assaults are more and more common. What comes next?

In some of comments here I note that foreigners are sometimes not polite with Thai people. That's really true, but if people in the tourism business here try to rip off foreigners, then it's to be expected that some of those tourists will not take kindly to it.

Posted by yoba2390 December 31, 2009 02:20:54PM

Reply

0    0

111

Most of the black taxi and tuk-tuk drivers are gang members. They take over most of the parking spaces along the public beach roads.

A month ago, I wanted to go to watch the international beach volleyball tournament in Karon. I had to drive my car around the area for almost 45 minutes, looking for a place to park. All the spaces were taken by the tuk-tuks and taxis. I finally sported an empty space along the beach road and parked my car. When I got out of it, two guys made me clearly understand that I could not park there as this was a space reserved for taxis.

I asked them, "How is it that there are no signs along the road?" They told me that it was their parking place and that they "use it every day"!

I didn't want to argue with them, so I left the place.

Posted by Alan Skipp

Ha, ha, hah... exactly the same thing happened to me at the same event. I ended up parking in front of the Buffalo Steak house in the little cul-de-sac near the circle. Wasn't it a year or so ago that a tuk-tuk driver slapped a tourist? Won't be long till someone is killed.

As to why didn't the French TOURISTS move? Why should they? They were on a public road, with no 'no-parking' signs.

Posted by Richard December 31, 2009 04:13:15PM

Reply

0    0

113

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Are the local people "public officers"? Looks like we tourists must now respect the law and the directions of Police and Public Officers only.

Posted by John Score January 1, 2010 12:49:40PM

Reply

0    0

114

Is there a webmaster out there who can organize a website that we can all contribute our stories to? That way, we could publicize the website on all the travel sites to make sure the word is always out there. We need to exert pressure for change before it's too late.

I am a local business owner who is sick of long-time, regular customers now not returning to Phuket, mainly because of the tuk-tuks and lack of alternative transport. I know there is cost involved, but I would happily contribute to the costs via a donation option on the site. And I'm convinced many locals would too.

Posted by selfhelp

Yes. www.bangkokscams.com covers Phuket too. Saw a tuk-tuk with 9 people in it yesterday! Last night they were parked 3 abreast outside the Taipan in Patong, causing a right traffic snarl-up.

Posted by Rex January 1, 2010 01:01:33PM

Reply

0    0

115

What a joke. Stop taking a hundred years to fix the problems that are so bad on the island. Phuket is going to be a place in the future where people are just not going to visit. Then let's see what these tuk-tuk guys do.

Whenever I go to Patong I cannot park my car. You have guys blocking spaces for their own selfish needs. The police should tell them to move on and let Phuket's guests (tourists) have the spots. After all, we are the ones spending money and creating the jobs.

Sort it out or there will be no jobs for the kids of Phuket.

Posted by vee

Well, the Police do tell the tuk-tuks to move, at least along Bangla Road during the day. If you want a great laugh, sit anywhere near MacDonalds on Bangla Rd. The police will come along and blow their whistles for the tuk-tuks to move. As soon as the police leave the area, the tuk-tuks roll back into position.

The police will ticket you and me for parking our vehicles in the same spots, but not the tuk-tuks. They also allow the motorbike taxis to park in the red/white areas on Bangla because the motorbikes have their own home-made taxi signs posted.

Posted by Dive Doc January 1, 2010 01:40:45PM

Reply

0    0

116

There needs to be a limit on the numbers of tuk-uks. In 1991 they drove around the circuit and 10 baht (5 for locals) got you anywhere on the route. Now they just take up parking spaces and charge more per km than expensive, proper taxis in many major cities.

I had one try to run me off the road in Patong on my motorcycle a few years back. I've avoided them like the plague ever since.

Posted by Driver January 1, 2010 01:53:31PM

Reply

0    0

117

It's simple; just avoid them and tell all your friends not to use them! Sooner or later they will have no income... end of that.

Posted by steve January 2, 2010 12:39:20PM

Reply

0    0

118

There must be someone high up making a lot of money out of tuk-tuks. That's why the problem never gets fixed. They charge about 5 times more than the taxis in Bangkok. Why WOULDN'T they fight to keep it going! The only safe place to park in Patong is Jungceylon. So far the tuk-tuks haven't moved in there YET!

Posted by Derek January 2, 2010 04:48:22PM

Reply

0    0

119

I haven't hired a tuk-tuk for 2 years since my last terrifying experience. My girlfriend and I thought we were going to die as our driver went full speed on the sharp turns over the mountain into Patong. We were screaming "Slow down!", but he didn't care and didn't slow down. When we finally got out I got a look at his eyes and could see that he was stoned on something. Never again. I can't even sit up in those little tuk-tuks anyway. Why would I want to spend top dollar for a sub-standard service where I can't even sit properly in those things?

Posted by Shawn S January 5, 2010 07:08:45AM

Reply

0    0

120

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Own a tuk-tuk, eh?

Posted by Walker January 6, 2010 04:37:26PM

Reply

0    0

121

Well, I'm not from Phuket but live on Koh Lanta island. On New Year's eve, I got assaulted by 3 tuk-tuk drivers. They were drunk and possibly on Yaba as well. I was trying to help some friends, including a Thai girl that was abused by them. In response, they attacked me. I defended myself, and for that got stabbed twice.

A friend took me to his bungalow nearby and after a few minutes the bungalow was surrounded with young Thai guys throwing bottles of beer, wooden sticks and anything else they could find to reach me. Fortunately, I was in the bathroom with the door locked and my friends calmed them down.

Posted by Lolo January 9, 2010 03:37:26PM

Reply

0    0

121

Well, I'm not from Phuket but live on Koh Lanta island. On New Year's eve, I got assaulted by 3 tuk-tuk drivers. They were drunk and possibly on Yaba as well. I was trying to help some friends, including a Thai girl that was abused by them. In response, they attacked me. I defended myself, and for that got stabbed twice.

A friend took me to his bungalow nearby and after a few minutes the bungalow was surrounded with young Thai guys throwing bottles of beer, wooden sticks and anything else they could find to reach me. Fortunately, I was in the bathroom with the door locked and my friends calmed them down.

Posted by Lolo January 9, 2010 03:37:26PM

Reply

0    0

120

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Own a tuk-tuk, eh?

Posted by Walker January 6, 2010 04:37:26PM

Reply

0    0

119

I haven't hired a tuk-tuk for 2 years since my last terrifying experience. My girlfriend and I thought we were going to die as our driver went full speed on the sharp turns over the mountain into Patong. We were screaming "Slow down!", but he didn't care and didn't slow down. When we finally got out I got a look at his eyes and could see that he was stoned on something. Never again. I can't even sit up in those little tuk-tuks anyway. Why would I want to spend top dollar for a sub-standard service where I can't even sit properly in those things?

Posted by Shawn S January 5, 2010 07:08:45AM

Reply

0    0

118

There must be someone high up making a lot of money out of tuk-tuks. That's why the problem never gets fixed. They charge about 5 times more than the taxis in Bangkok. Why WOULDN'T they fight to keep it going! The only safe place to park in Patong is Jungceylon. So far the tuk-tuks haven't moved in there YET!

Posted by Derek January 2, 2010 04:48:22PM

Reply

0    0

117

It's simple; just avoid them and tell all your friends not to use them! Sooner or later they will have no income... end of that.

Posted by steve January 2, 2010 12:39:20PM

Reply

0    0

116

There needs to be a limit on the numbers of tuk-uks. In 1991 they drove around the circuit and 10 baht (5 for locals) got you anywhere on the route. Now they just take up parking spaces and charge more per km than expensive, proper taxis in many major cities.

I had one try to run me off the road in Patong on my motorcycle a few years back. I've avoided them like the plague ever since.

Posted by Driver January 1, 2010 01:53:31PM

Reply

0    0

115

What a joke. Stop taking a hundred years to fix the problems that are so bad on the island. Phuket is going to be a place in the future where people are just not going to visit. Then let's see what these tuk-tuk guys do.

Whenever I go to Patong I cannot park my car. You have guys blocking spaces for their own selfish needs. The police should tell them to move on and let Phuket's guests (tourists) have the spots. After all, we are the ones spending money and creating the jobs.

Sort it out or there will be no jobs for the kids of Phuket.

Posted by vee

Well, the Police do tell the tuk-tuks to move, at least along Bangla Road during the day. If you want a great laugh, sit anywhere near MacDonalds on Bangla Rd. The police will come along and blow their whistles for the tuk-tuks to move. As soon as the police leave the area, the tuk-tuks roll back into position.

The police will ticket you and me for parking our vehicles in the same spots, but not the tuk-tuks. They also allow the motorbike taxis to park in the red/white areas on Bangla because the motorbikes have their own home-made taxi signs posted.

Posted by Dive Doc January 1, 2010 01:40:45PM

Reply

0    0

114

Is there a webmaster out there who can organize a website that we can all contribute our stories to? That way, we could publicize the website on all the travel sites to make sure the word is always out there. We need to exert pressure for change before it's too late.

I am a local business owner who is sick of long-time, regular customers now not returning to Phuket, mainly because of the tuk-tuks and lack of alternative transport. I know there is cost involved, but I would happily contribute to the costs via a donation option on the site. And I'm convinced many locals would too.

Posted by selfhelp

Yes. www.bangkokscams.com covers Phuket too. Saw a tuk-tuk with 9 people in it yesterday! Last night they were parked 3 abreast outside the Taipan in Patong, causing a right traffic snarl-up.

Posted by Rex January 1, 2010 01:01:33PM

Reply

0    0

113

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Are the local people "public officers"? Looks like we tourists must now respect the law and the directions of Police and Public Officers only.

Posted by John Score January 1, 2010 12:49:40PM

Reply

0    0

111

Most of the black taxi and tuk-tuk drivers are gang members. They take over most of the parking spaces along the public beach roads.

A month ago, I wanted to go to watch the international beach volleyball tournament in Karon. I had to drive my car around the area for almost 45 minutes, looking for a place to park. All the spaces were taken by the tuk-tuks and taxis. I finally sported an empty space along the beach road and parked my car. When I got out of it, two guys made me clearly understand that I could not park there as this was a space reserved for taxis.

I asked them, "How is it that there are no signs along the road?" They told me that it was their parking place and that they "use it every day"!

I didn't want to argue with them, so I left the place.

Posted by Alan Skipp

Ha, ha, hah... exactly the same thing happened to me at the same event. I ended up parking in front of the Buffalo Steak house in the little cul-de-sac near the circle. Wasn't it a year or so ago that a tuk-tuk driver slapped a tourist? Won't be long till someone is killed.

As to why didn't the French TOURISTS move? Why should they? They were on a public road, with no 'no-parking' signs.

Posted by Richard December 31, 2009 04:13:15PM

Reply

0    0

109

In my opinion, I think that they should have just moved their car. Why make things difficult, and make people upset? Foreign tourists think they can walk around and disrespect the Thai people. What a shame. I have seen these types of situations so many times. Have some respect, people. The Thai people know what is going on.

Posted by Brad

In think you are really wrong. The drivers are not respectful of other people and they are not respectful of the law. They only try to apply their rules, disregarding Thai people as well tourists. Maybe more Thai people than you think are annoyed with these drivers. Do you see a lot of Thais riding as passengers in the tuk-tuks?

The government has to take very strong measures against these gangs. As first their aggressions was just verbal, but now physical assaults are more and more common. What comes next?

In some of comments here I note that foreigners are sometimes not polite with Thai people. That's really true, but if people in the tourism business here try to rip off foreigners, then it's to be expected that some of those tourists will not take kindly to it.

Posted by yoba2390 December 31, 2009 02:20:54PM

Reply

0    0

108

I don't know of anyone to contact when you run into problems with tuk-tuk drivers. There must be a huge number of unreported incidents. People are scared of tuk-tuk gangs who carry weapons and threaten tourists. All the business owners on Phuket should get together and sign a petition.

The businesses are losing out here when tourists are staying away and going to other "no hassle" destinations. The bars, restaurants and hotels are short of customers because of the tuk tuk gangs. So passengers of the tuk-tuks are not the only victims.

This problem is getting far worse now and is really endangering Phuket's reputation. Tuk-tuks thrive on the fact that visiting families have to use them, but I know so many families who will not come again.

Business owners: Act NOW or lose out!

Posted by sateeb December 31, 2009 02:59:35AM

Reply

0    0

107

Two things must be done:

– 1: As the tuk-tuks are unsafe, uninsured and unlicensed, they must be banished from the island, or crushed as they do with unsafe and/or illegal vehicles in Germany and the USA, for insance.

–.2: Foreigners, tourists and expats alike should act in solidarity, boycotting the tuk-tuks and wildcat limos, and offering car pooling and free rides to hitchhikers, as happened to me several times in the 3 years I spent on Phuket (thanks folks). Maybe the Gazette should offer free stickers to us to identify drivers and riders as reliable car poolers.

Posted by Dr Wezzi December 30, 2009 06:15:00PM

Reply

0    0

106

The tuk-tuks are the scourge of Phuket. Kick them out. They are destroying this Island. The government needs to replace them metered taxis.

Posted by Sean Healey

I agree with Sean H. Just kick them out and a lot of tourists will come back to Phuket. It's enough to keep 20% of the tuk-tuks IF that 20% has meters.

Posted by Tomas

I agree. Keep 20% of the tuk-tuks. Maybe the same can be done with some of the street thieves in Patong, i.e., reduce the fleet by about 80%.

Posted by Antz Pantz December 30, 2009 05:20:02PM

Reply

0    0

105

No public transport option between the two most popular and visited beaches in South East Asia (Patong and Karon). NICE! Pattaya seems to have gotten it right.

Posted by Tip December 30, 2009 05:00:02PM

Reply

0    0

104

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

What does Big D stand for? Big Dumb! Illegally parked or not, nobody deserves this kind of treatment.

Posted by ThaiFlyGuy December 30, 2009 04:51:36PM

Reply

0    0

102

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Why should they have to move their car? If there's no legal post designating it as a either a no-parking area or a reserved parking area, then there is no legal reason people can't use the available spots. And if someone does park in an illegal spot the only one whose business it is to make you move is a police officer.

Posted by John December 30, 2009 04:10:18PM

Reply

0    0

101

Isn't this getting a little tiresome? Once again... over and over... we get yet another story about an aggressive tuk-tuk driver getting away with totally unacceptable behavior.

Posted by sky

About as tiresome as attitudes such as yours, which seems to intimate some kind of acceptance of occurrences such as this as inevitable for tourists in Phuket.

We (resident expats) have very little ability to comment or exert any influence over what goes on here. One of the very few ways we have of participating is in forums such as this. Hopefully, if the numbers are such that they're going to be meaningful, maybe (and a very big maybe) our views will be taken to a level where constructive action can be taken.

Perhaps I've misinterpreted your post, and you're not as accepting of this as you appear?

Posted by pag

Actually, the Gazette failed to print my entire comment. I wrote to them about this issue and tried to get an answer as to why my entire comment was not printed. I support you 100% and feel that something needs to be done.

Posted by sky

See the 'Gazette Forum House Rules' presented for your inspection and acknowledgment each and every time you post a comment. These are there for your and our protection from violations of Thai law. We trust you will understand the need for this and hope you will continue to make contributions to the forurm.

Posted by Editor, Gazette Online December 30, 2009 04:08:24PM

Reply

0    0

100

Isn't this getting a little tiresome? Once again... over and over... we get yet another story about an aggressive tuk-tuk driver getting away with totally unacceptable behavior.

Posted by sky

About as tiresome as attitudes such as yours, which seems to intimate some kind of acceptance of occurrences such as this as inevitable for tourists in Phuket.

We (resident expats) have very little ability to comment or exert any influence over what goes on here. One of the very few ways we have of participating is in forums such as this. Hopefully, if the numbers are such that they're going to be meaningful, maybe (and a very big maybe) our views will be taken to a level where constructive action can be taken.

Perhaps I've misinterpreted your post, and you're not as accepting of this as you appear?

Posted by pag

Actually, the Gazette failed to print my entire comment. I wrote to them about this issue and tried to get an answer as to why my entire comment was not printed. I support you 100% and feel that something needs to be done.

Posted by sky December 30, 2009 03:58:25PM

Reply

0    0

99

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Ridiculous comment from you.... why should they move? Who was breaking the Thai laws here anyway? I should know; I had a business at this location and know how nasty this tuk-tuk gang is.

Posted by Roberto December 30, 2009 03:55:22PM

Reply

0    0

98

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Big D. What does the "D" stand for? I can only guess.

Posted by jj

What a fabulous bunch of sniveling! Again, I am heartbroken for the French family and hope they recover quickly. Folks must be kidding if they don't think these tuk-tuk drivers pay for their parking "spots".

You are so savvy, you must be aware that though it may not be an official entity, the kids on the beach selling sarongs, etc pay a "tax" to do so. Perhaps the drivers are sometimes aggressive because they are fighting to make a living like everyone else?

It looks to me like too many tuk-tuks, not enough fares. That would certainly cause stress when it's hard to buy rice. The main complaint I have heard over the years is that ya don't like the the fare. Right boys; jump on your scooters and drive drunk as usual.

Oh, and my name? It's Big Doretta to you.

Posted by Big D December 30, 2009 03:32:23PM

Reply

0    0

96

Patong doesn't need tuk-tuks. Ditch them.

Posted by ceedee December 30, 2009 02:46:27PM

Reply

0    0

94

I would love to see the tuk-tuks gone for good. I have had problems with them myself and they are a definitely a turnoff for tourists, which the island depends on. They are unsafe for tourists too – no seat belts and I know everyone has seen how fast they drive in places where you should be using great caution.

The police need to start doing their jobs and enforce the laws which are ignored by everyone. If they would, Phuket could become a safer place.

I live in Rawai and I hear an ambulance on an average of 3 times a day. Does that tell you how dangerous Phuket's roads are?

And it's all happening because no one is held accountable.

Posted by Steve December 30, 2009 01:14:53PM

Reply

0    0

93

Every year we read about problems with tuk-tuk drivers. Have you tried to park your car somewhere in Patong lately? I don't think Phuket needs the tuk-tuks anymore. Maybe make a movie like the youtube job that solved the jet-ski problem about a month ago.

Posted by Marc

Marc, the jet-ski problem is not solved. They are illegal. Period. They had a law passed against them but they are tolerated for reasons we can only imagine. They are tolerated even though they are a hazard and pose a great danger to the public. It seems that greed rules here in Phuket, sadly.

Posted by Steve December 30, 2009 01:05:44PM

Reply

0    0

91

Last night along the beach road in Patong there were 75 (seventy five) tuk-tuks parked between the Holiday Inn and Soi Bangla alone!

Posted by Rex December 30, 2009 12:31:29PM

Reply

0    0

90

This situation has happened to most of us who drive and have lived here for awhile. The tuk-tuk drivers are always aggressive and unreasonable. I no longer bother driving to Karon or Kata as I know it is impossible to park.

We and the local authorities need the help of the national government in Bangkok. The tuk-tuk tyrants in Phuket are a NATIONAL problem requiring a national solution.

Posted by Idler December 30, 2009 11:32:37AM

Reply

0    0

89

I parked my car in front of Carrefour for about 10 minutes on Christmas day. When I came out, the tuk-tuk drivers had stuck broken glass, large nails and a big piece of cement under my car so that when I pulled out it would damage my tires and undercarriage. I too, apparently, was parked in a tuk-tuk haven, which was of course unmarked.

The tuk-tuks are dangerous, and it is shocking that the government seems unable to replace them with a legal transportation system.

Posted by Pat H

Well that would explain why I experienced so many punctures during my last visit to Phuket. I had 3 punctures on my car and 2 on my motorbike in less than 4 weeks, with nails firmly embedded in my tyres on each and every occasion!

There were also several scrapes on the side of my car which I could not explain.

This was a new experience for me. I can only assume that the tuk-tuk gangs resent seeing foreigners with their own transport, as so many of us have learned to avoid them!

Mmmm - deliberate sabotage! That never actually crossed my mind till I read the above article. More reason for the police to get out on the streets and protect the public.

Posted by Laffinmahedoff December 30, 2009 11:25:01AM

Reply

0    0

88

Because of the tuk-tuk mafia I stopped going to Phuket years ago. Continuously reading disgraceful reports like this confirms my decision. So long as the tuk-tuk  boys are in control there is no way that I will ever return to Phuket again. I am not alone here; many tourists that I have met elsewhere in Thailand say the same thing. "Phuket? Never again!" They are all visitors who love Thailand, but because of a small group of tyrants they will never spend another penny in Phuket.

They and I go to great length to tell others to stay away and enjoy the other places in Thailand. Someday, probably when it is too late, the TAT will begin to get the picture.

Posted by Anders Svenson December 30, 2009 11:17:57AM

Reply

0    0

86

The behaviour of the tuk-tuk drivers has worsened over the years and is now untenable. It is probably my biggest negative in visiting Phuket. I feel there is a simple answer.

If you go to Bangkok they have an excellent, cheap and reliable service by using metered taxis. If I were among the senior authorities responsible for maintaining law and order in Phuket, I think I would feel a bit embarrassed at not being able to deal with this problem. Mark Mclean.

Posted by Mark McLean December 30, 2009 10:47:08AM

Reply

0    0

85

@captain Jack: "If the police on Phuket actually have power, they would deal with the alleged attacker in accordance with the law and make an example of him."

The police have the power, but apparently not the will, to address this problem.

Posted by Somrak December 30, 2009 10:37:55AM

Reply

0    0

84

I have spent many holidays and dollars in Phuket and Thailand, and now all I can say is go to Vietnam, Cambodia, Malaysia – anywhere but Thailand. I have fallen out of love with the place due to the habit of seeing the foreigner as not much more than something to milk. A pity to see this country turn out like this.

Posted by Gary Markham December 30, 2009 10:31:44AM

Reply

0    0

82

Is there a webmaster out there who can organize a website that we can all contribute our stories to? That way, we could publicize the website on all the travel sites to make sure the word is always out there. We need to exert pressure for change before it's too late.

I am a local business owner who is sick of long-time, regular customers now not returning to Phuket, mainly because of the tuk-tuks and lack of alternative transport. I know there is cost involved, but I would happily contribute to the costs via a donation option on the site. And I'm convinced many locals would too.

Posted by selfhelp December 30, 2009 10:22:29AM

Reply

0    0

81

The comments made here are proof of what is really happening.

Posted by Tired December 30, 2009 10:17:57AM

Reply

0    0

80

All tourists and residents should be able to call a hotline number to the tourist police at any time to help sort out these incidents before they get out of hand. There should be a sign at the airport or a leaflet informing all incoming visitors that there is someone to help in times of trouble. Allocated areas for tuk-tuk and taxis which are clearly marked would put an end to a lot of this trouble and make it easier for people who use them.

Posted by Steve G December 30, 2009 10:18:43AM

Reply

0    0

78

"You no park here or I scratch your car." I've heard it so many times. Time to do something.

Posted by Hajo von Keller December 30, 2009 09:59:00AM

Reply

0    0

77

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

This comment beggars belief. This was an innocent family going to the beach who were attacked for parking their car. I could go to greater lengths replying to Big D, but the Gazette is a family newspaper and I think Mr D's comment isn't worth going into any more detail about – except to suggest, perhaps, that his views might be different if he had been among the victims of the attack.

Posted by frequent_traveller December 30, 2009 09:38:24AM

Reply

0    0

75

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Big D. What does the "D" stand for? I can only guess.

Posted by jj December 30, 2009 08:48:09AM

Reply

0    0

73

The tuk-tuks do not own the roads. Have you ever tried finding a parking space in Kata or Karon when the place is full of tuk tuks and taxis? This is a family with young children just wanting to go to the beach for the day. They should have been allowed to to park on the beach road.

Posted by clickblade December 30, 2009 08:05:47AM

Reply

0    0

72

The behavior of the guy who attached this family is way out of order. I hope he has his day in court. It would be good to see justice. However, we must look at the cause of this problem, too.

20 years ago, tuk-tuks and old cabs, etc, were all the transport there was in Phuket. These people have all seen their livings disappear due to the "rich resort" owners and many others getting their own vans, cars, etc, to squeeze more $$ out of "the trade".

Due to their powerful influence with some of the local authorities, the tuk-tuks do get some special rights. While I do not condone any violent behavior, I can also see how these guys are fighting for their very living now.

Same story in Bangkok. Tuk-tuks have disappeared from many areas, due to competition from taxis.

The tuk-tuks in Phuket would do much better with cheap fares and good service – not this kind of action!

Posted by newtronbom December 30, 2009 07:52:43AM

Reply

0    0

71

You people did not print my entire comment.... and maybe you are afraid to. What I want to know is... who is protecting these tuk-tuk drivers? Obviously someone is. That's why this insanity continues to happen.

Posted by Sky December 30, 2009 07:28:25AM

Reply

0    0

70

I was similarly accosted by tuk-tuk drivers in Karon for allegedly parking in 'their' parking space – a clear, totally unmarked and unsigned area of road.

I did approach the police (at sergeant level) and was politely told they had "no power whatsoever" over the tuk-tuks. This is no longer an island issue. This is a stain on the character of Thailand. It is starting to have a huge impact on tourism.

Just as the Bangkok authorities cleaned up Pattaya some years back, they should now send a sizeable force of police (backed up by the army if necessary) to rid Phuket of its rot. "

Who is the leader of the tuk-tuks? "Cut the head off the snake and the snake dies." We (tourists and residents alike) need real action before someone gets seriously injured or killed.

Posted by Laffinmahedoff December 30, 2009 07:23:42AM

Reply

0    0

69

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

If they were parked in a public parking area why should they move their car? Only because the yobbish tuk-tuk drivers would probably damage their car. I am a resident of Patong and am frequently asked to move my car from a public parking area by tuk-tuk drivers. I do so now because on one occasion my number plate was ripped off after I refused to move.

Posted by sam December 30, 2009 06:53:20AM

Reply

0    0

68

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Are you suggesting that the tuk tuk gangs are entitled to take on the role of the police and local authorities? You are one disillusioned person, perhaps a tuk-tuk driver yourself?

The TAT is working hard to promote tourism to Thailand and this is just another kick in the teeth for Phuket and a poor defenseless family on holiday. Rest assured this act of pointless violence will be reported far and wide across the world via the internet.

No tourists on Phuket equates to no future for Phuket. Long live the internet and You-Tube. I hope this will be the undoing of the tuk-tuks. Nobody wants them.

Posted by Snapper December 30, 2009 06:30:07AM

Reply

0    0

67

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

So he told them to move. Maybe they refused. It doesn't give anyone the right to attack them. They should have called the police immediately, like they ultimately.

Posted by gerard December 30, 2009 05:50:59AM

Reply

0    0

66

I cannot recommend Phuket. I was recently in NY City and hired a taxi driver on a slow day to drive me around for an hour to see the sites. Cost: $25. Even Tokyo has cheaper public transportation.

What a disappointment to arrive in Phuket and discover that you cannot afford to see any of the sites in the brochure unless you pay the highest public transportation charges in the world to ride in a 1930s-era, open-bed, smog-belching truck with bench seats and no seat belts.

I won't return to Phuket since it has unacceptable (by even the lowest standards) transportation.

Posted by A Joy December 30, 2009 05:43:36AM

Reply

0    0

64

Same old story. I, along with many others, complained about these untouchable tuk-tuk drivers and their death machines many, many years ago. It seems to me, and apparently everyone else, that they have been getting worse every year, with more and more complaints now than ever.

What has the TAT done about it? Same as ever other year. NOTHING. As for Big D, his comment beggars belief. This was an innocent family going to the beach who were attacked for parking their car.

I could go to greater lengths replying to Big D, but the Gazette is a family newspaper and I think Mr D's comment isn't worth going into any more detail about – except to suggest, perhaps, that his views might be different if he had been among the victims of the attack.

Posted by frequent_traveller December 30, 2009 04:42:30AM

Reply

0    0

63

The tuk-tuk drivers pay a fee to be able to park where they do. They should put up official signs as well. Tourists: "Don't add to the problem. Rent a car, take a bus. But by all means do not patronize any tuk-tuk driver or unmarked (black) taxi driver.

Avoid them, at all costs!

Posted by Somchai at Modern Zen December 30, 2009 04:07:16AM

Reply

0    0

62

The tuk-tuks are the scourge of Phuket. Kick them out. They are destroying this Island. The government needs to replace them metered taxis.

Posted by Sean Healey

I agree with Sean H. Just kick them out and a lot of tourists will come back to Phuket. It's enough to keep 20% of the tuk-tuks IF that 20% has meters.

Posted by Tomas December 30, 2009 01:53:51AM

Reply

0    0

61

I go to Thailand 4-5 times a year. I avoid tuk-tuks in all cities. This is not a Phuket problem, but a Thailand problem.

In Bangkok I was once on business with two American female colleagues and the tuk-tuk driver, instead of taking us to the hotel dropped us at a deserted street by the Chao Praya river at 1:30am. What if the ladies had been by themselves?

I knew the area and walked to the closest hotel and took a cab back to our hotel. 5 miles out of the way.

Yank out ALL the licenses and regulate the drivers. It seems like the drivers are TOTALLY INDEPENDENT. No meters, no manners, no regulators!

Better do something or this is going to get worse.

Posted by akram yunas December 30, 2009 01:32:34AM

Reply

0    0

60

Isn't this getting a little tiresome? Once again... over and over... we get yet another story about an aggressive tuk-tuk driver getting away with totally unacceptable behavior.

Posted by sky

About as tiresome as attitudes such as yours, which seems to intimate some kind of acceptance of occurrences such as this as inevitable for tourists in Phuket.

We (resident expats) have very little ability to comment or exert any influence over what goes on here. One of the very few ways we have of participating is in forums such as this. Hopefully, if the numbers are such that they're going to be meaningful, maybe (and a very big maybe) our views will be taken to a level where constructive action can be taken.

Perhaps I've misinterpreted your post, and you're not as accepting of this as you appear?

Posted by pag December 29, 2009 11:22:04PM

Reply

0    0

58

The real problem, as far as I understand it, is that law enforcement is not willing to get involved in this. As long as that's the case, they won't.

Posted by peter December 29, 2009 10:11:16PM

Reply

0    0

57

Are not the tuk-tuks and taxis in Phuket here to serve the tourists? They better get their head out because if this kind of crap keeps up, who would want to visit a place like that? I know just by reading what's happening there that my family and I will NOT. There's other places in this world where the locals appreciate a tourist coming in and spending their money.

Posted by Mr. Don December 29, 2009 09:52:16PM

Reply

0    0

54

When is the Thai government going to do something about the tuk-tuks? If the public is so scared that they do not even help when they see a tourist being attacked, things are pretty bad!

This year we do not have many tourists. Of course the economy and the Thai political situation have contributed to the thin tourism picture, but these would not be the only deterrents in the eyes of potential visitors. It's not unreasonable to assume that the tuk-tuks have also had a very negative impact on Phuket's image.

When speak about tuk-tuks, we have to remember that it's not ALL tuk-tuk drivers who are culpable. So don't the good drivers do something to help? That way, the tendency to blame everyone driving one of the red menaces might be set back a bit.

Posted by Farang In Kata

Sorry to inform you, but ANY tuk-tuk driver in Phuket MUST belong to an organisation that is being run in every way like an organised crime syndicate. So, yes – all tuk-tuk drivers are members of that organisation, which means.... Well, I think the conclusion is obvious.

Posted by christos December 29, 2009 09:17:42PM

Reply

0    0

53

I was attacked in the parking near the Club Med 2 years ago. I was with my mother my wife (Thai) and my daughter, looking for a place to park. If I hadn't run away, I think they would have killed me and my wife.

I really believe that the authroities can't, in fact, do anything. The problem is almost beyond solution.

Posted by godzi December 29, 2009 09:06:37PM

Reply

0    0

52

I have been boycotting the tuk-tuks and the businesses who advertise on them for 15 years. Join me!

Posted by Mr. Sotu December 29, 2009 09:03:05PM

Reply

0    0

51

Are there restrictions on members of the public parking along Beach Rd? 15 years ago, you could park anywhere around Patong. I tried to park outside Starbucks the other day and was told to move on by a tuk-tuk driver.There aren't too many parking spaces along Beach Rd.

Posted by Richard December 29, 2009 08:56:33PM

Reply

0    0

50

Another tuk-tuk driver scam from this area is letting the air out of your tires, then trying to charge double fares to take you to and from the local tire shop. Amazing how helpful they get when you change your own tires! 95% of the tuk-tuk drivers are good working people. The rest are....

Posted by Mick December 29, 2009 08:48:54PM

Reply

0    0

49

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Why should they listen or respect people who illegally block all the parking space on popular spots in Phuket when all you are trying to do is park your vehicle in a parking lot where there are no signs saying parking is not allowed?

Posted by jm December 29, 2009 08:47:46PM

Reply

0    0

48

I have lived here for over 5 years and seen many things happen in Phuket, a lot of which are not for the good of Phuket. Reading the Phuket Gazette I see honest reporting of negative actions by individuals and gangs, whether it be government land encroachment, traffic "accidents", muggings, murders, etc. But nothing has got people as riled up as the behavior of the tuk-tuk drivers and now this incident with the French tourists.

Tourists are the life blood of Phuket. What is the mentality of these people, who I hope are still in the minority of the tuk-tuk drivers. But whatever the reasons for their behavior, there is NO excuse for it and it has to be stopped NOW, before it really IS too late.

Posted by Tommy Tucker December 29, 2009 08:46:44PM

Reply

0    0

47

What a joke. Stop taking a hundred years to fix the problems that are so bad on the island. Phuket is going to be a place in the future where people are just not going to visit. Then let's see what these tuk-tuk guys do.

Whenever I go to Patong I cannot park my car. You have guys blocking spaces for their own selfish needs. The police should tell them to move on and let Phuket's guests (tourists) have the spots. After all, we are the ones spending money and creating the jobs.

Sort it out or there will be no jobs for the kids of Phuket.

Posted by vee December 29, 2009 08:42:49PM

Reply

0    0

46

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

Best laugh I've had all day. "Requests or directions" – when's the last time you attempted to have a civil conversation with these guys? When did you last park in a spot you have every right to be in, only to return and find your paintwork scratched and your tires slashed? When going to the beach where do you recommend I park? Central Festival?

Posted by Mister Ree December 29, 2009 08:32:33PM

Reply

0    0

44

Dear Powers That Be: Please stop looking the other way and uphold the law. If you are worried about upholding the law, then you are not doing your job.

Posted by Eddy December 29, 2009 08:21:17PM

Reply

0    0

42

Tuk-tuk drivers are destroying Phuket. They are extortionate in the prices they charge, yet some people still use them. Paying their high prices only encourages them. Motorbike taxis are getting just as bad now. I recently took a motorbike taxi from Soi Sansabai to Soi Banzaan in Patong and back again. For a round trip I expected 60 baht, but should have checked before, My mistake. He charged me 200 baht which I had to pay or risk a kicking from the other drivers who were gathered at the entrance to Soi Sansabai.

Phuket really needs to sort out the tuk-tuk and taxi problems. Pattaya has a great system which could work here too. I now refuse to take tuk-tuks or motorbikes. The exercise is great.

Posted by sateeb December 30, 2009 06:30:59PM

Reply

0    0

40

Is there anyone in charge of this island, or do the tuk-tuk drivers run the show here? They overcharge, steal public parking space, and beat up elderly visitors. What's next? Do they have to kill someone? Have the authorities lost control completely? Phuket is best not visited until the transport issue is resolved.

Posted by Robbie Einhorn December 29, 2009 08:01:34PM

Reply

0    0

39

In my opinion, I think that they should have just moved their car. Why make things difficult, and make people upset? Foreign tourists think they can walk around and disrespect the Thai people. What a shame. I have seen these types of situations so many times. Have some respect, people. The Thai people know what is going on.

Posted by Brad December 29, 2009 07:58:13PM

Reply

0    0

38

I used to be a regular visitor to Patong, sometimes 3 times a year, but no more. The corruption, double pricing, tuk-tuk and jet-ski scams put an end to that. Patong is now known for what it is, a money-chasing free-for-all, and it is this that has turned people away from visiting.

Posted by british bill December 29, 2009 06:59:11PM

Reply

0    0

37

Avoid these people. They are violent. Just avoid them. Trying to impose the rule of law only invites violence. Tape to the dashboard of your car, where you can see it at all times, a sign reading, "Is it worth it?" Always ask yourself, "Is it worth it?" before you speak or act.

If you do that, and always think "No", then life can be pretty good here.

Problems like the tuk-tuks are not for foreigners to solve. They are for the Thais. Don't involve yourself in this nonesense – or anything else that is not worth it.

Posted by laosuwan December 29, 2009 06:55:55PM

Reply

0    0

36

Now that our lives are in jeopardy, every responsible government should warn against any travel to the island. Same for travel agents and airlines. The lines defining reasonable personal behavior and public safety were crossed a long time ago.

Posted by slh December 29, 2009 06:25:39PM

Reply

0    0

34

AGAIN AND AGAIN! And the authorities do nothing! And maybe nothing will be done. What authority do the authorities have to allow the tuk-tuks to park in the public's (taxpayers') spaces?

Posted by cubitus999 December 29, 2009 06:20:12PM

Reply

0    0

33

I agree with all on the fact that the tuk-tuk drivers think they are above the law! It's time to let them know they are destroying Phuket's reputation. Boycott them. Get a campaign going to let all tourists and residents to avoid them. Eventually, maybe the message will get across that we will not be intimidated by these people.

Posted by Bev December 29, 2009 06:03:46PM

Reply

0    0

32

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

What part of this is it that you not understand? Tuk-tuks do not own roads. And why is this tiring you? What about respect FOR tourists? Tuk-tuk are the voice of the law? Please save me if the status quo is as good as it gets.

Posted by d daly December 29, 2009 05:59:34PM

Reply

0    0

31

The tuk-tuks are the scourge of Phuket. Kick them out. They are destroying this Island. The government needs to replace them metered taxis.

Posted by Sean Healey December 29, 2009 05:56:16PM

Reply

0    0

26

This is outrageous. It really must take a twisted mind to attack others in that way – especially elderly people! The tuk-tuk drivers are really destroying tourism and are jeopardizing the income and living conditions of the honest and decent majority of the people in Phuket.

Phuket is about to become to Thailand, what Sicily is to Italy.

Posted by Singha December 29, 2009 05:28:58PM

Reply

0    0

25

When is the Thai government going to do something about the tuk-tuks? If the public is so scared that they do not even help when they see a tourist being attacked, things are pretty bad!

This year we do not have many tourists. Of course the economy and the Thai political situation have contributed to the thin tourism picture, but these would not be the only deterrents in the eyes of potential visitors. It's not unreasonable to assume that the tuk-tuks have also had a very negative impact on Phuket's image.

When speak about tuk-tuks, we have to remember that it's not ALL tuk-tuk drivers who are culpable. So don't the good drivers do something to help? That way, the tendency to blame everyone driving one of the red menaces might be set back a bit.

Posted by Farang In Kata December 29, 2009 05:16:47PM

Reply

0    0

24

I parked my car in front of Carrefour for about 10 minutes on Christmas day. When I came out, the tuk-tuk drivers had stuck broken glass, large nails and a big piece of cement under my car so that when I pulled out it would damage my tires and undercarriage. I too, apparently, was parked in a tuk-tuk haven, which was of course unmarked.

The tuk-tuks are dangerous, and it is shocking that the government seems unable to replace them with a legal transportation system.

Posted by Pat H December 29, 2009 05:06:25PM

Reply

0    0

23

OK, the government has solved the jet-ski problem. Now it's time to solve it's close cousin, the tuk-tuk disgrace. Leave it too late and you can say goodbye to tourism in 2010!

Posted by Al Capone December 29, 2009 04:58:10PM

Reply

0    0

22

Isn't this getting a little tiresome? Once again... over and over... we get yet another story about an aggressive tuk-tuk driver getting away with totally unacceptable behavior.

Posted by sky

He hasn't gotten away with anything yet, so far as we can see.

Posted by Editor, Gazette Online December 29, 2009 04:56:39PM

Reply

0    0

21

Isn't this getting a little tiresome? Once again... over and over... we get yet another story about an aggressive tuk-tuk driver getting away with totally unacceptable behavior.

Posted by sky December 29, 2009 04:48:23PM

Reply

0    0

20

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

What an absolutely ridiculous comment. Since when did tuk-tuk drivers assume the mantle of policing?  (We all know that they already think they're above the law.) As for 'respecting the requests', how does a tourist 'respect' an assailant with a beach umbrella in hand  weapon with the obvious intent of striking him?

I'm sure that most 'local people' would be aghast at this kind of behaviour.

Posted by pag December 29, 2009 04:35:39PM

Reply

0    0

19

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

These are legitimate public parking places that tuk-tuk drivers claim for themselves and intimidate people from using. Good on these tourists for standing up to whomever did this.

Posted by Terry

I agree, and I hope that they will end up as the heroes who FINALLY save Phuket from the transport gangs!

Posted by Sven Nygaard December 29, 2009 04:34:55PM

Reply

0    0

18

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D-

These are legitimate public parking places that tuk-tuk drivers claim for themselves and intimidate people from using. Good on these tourists for standing up to whomever did this.

Posted by Terry December 29, 2009 04:28:55PM

Reply

0    0

16

Too many tuk-tuks everywhere. It's impossible to find a parking space in the streets of Patong Beach and in many other areas of Phuket because the arrogance of tuk-tuk drivers is out control! They seem to think they are untouchable.

Posted by angelo December 29, 2009 04:24:03PM

Reply

0    0

15

Another fine example of who is running the pubic transport show in Phuket. It's the tuk-tuk gangs who rule the streets and the authorities are too afraid to do something about it.

If no action is taken, expats will continue to move to Malaysia as they are doing already right now. Tourists will surely follow.

I am sick of the tuk-tuks' agressive behaviour. Sometimes they get involved in gang-violence. I hope something is going to be done very soon. They are just destroying Phuket's image.

Posted by Manu Alders December 29, 2009 04:18:39PM

Reply

0    0

13

This is the sort of behavior that has given tuk-tuks their deserved bad reputation. Surely the authorities must now come down hard on these people. Boycott all tuk-tuks until there is change.

Posted by Tony McGill December 29, 2009 04:12:31PM

Reply

0    0

12

Most of the black taxi and tuk-tuk drivers are gang members. They take over most of the parking spaces along the public beach roads.

A month ago, I wanted to go to watch the international beach volleyball tournament in Karon. I had to drive my car around the area for almost 45 minutes, looking for a place to park. All the spaces were taken by the tuk-tuks and taxis. I finally sported an empty space along the beach road and parked my car. When I got out of it, two guys made me clearly understand that I could not park there as this was a space reserved for taxis.

I asked them, "How is it that there are no signs along the road?" They told me that it was their parking place and that they "use it every day"!

I didn't want to argue with them, so I left the place.

Posted by Alan Skipp December 29, 2009 04:07:39PM

Reply

0    0

11

What will it take for the powers that be, who control this island, to realize that whatever income is generated by the tuk-uk cartels is not enough to offset the customer dissatisfaction and loss of visitors who don't return to the island.

This kind of lawlessness and outright 'we are above the law' arrogance has to have a limit.

Posted by LivinLOS December 29, 2009 03:57:51PM

Reply

0    0

10

I repeat myself over and over, and I see no change. It's poor policing that allows this. Tuk-tuk drivers seem to be immune from daily policing, while the police are out arresting bikers without helmets, etc. Until the government sorts out the police force, tourists will continue to be in the hands of the public transport gangs.

Posted by Dave Lombardi December 29, 2009 03:56:52PM

Reply

0    0

9

Why didn't they just move their car? I am so sad for them, but I am tired of visitors who refuse to listen to and respect the requests and/or directions of local people, who actually do know what is going on.

Posted by Big D- December 29, 2009 03:54:48PM

Reply

0    1

8

This story is a very good example of why in earlier discussions we've see so much negativity in the public's attitude toward tuk-tuks! We all need to say "NO" to tuk-tuks.

Posted by Alexey December 29, 2009 03:50:40PM

Reply

0    0

7

If the police on Phuket actually have power, they would deal with the alleged attacker in accordance with the law and make an example of him. After all, this is exactly the kind of aggressive tourist bashing that everyone agrees is destroying Phuket's once shimmering image.

Unfortunately, the police appear impotent while the tuk-tuk drivers rule the roost. If the individual said to be the attacker IS the attacker, then it would be refreshing to see a photo of him in the press.

Imagine what would have happened if things were the other way around, i.e., if the tourist had attacked him. Swift action guaranteed.

Posted by Captain Jack December 29, 2009 03:46:50PM

Reply

0    0

6

Someone should suggest that the tuk-tuk gangs should find this attacker and turn him in to the Police! That would really help the police find the suspect. But it won't happen. Meanwhile, it's another bad story for Phuket and the invincibility of the tuk-tuk people.

Posted by No Name December 29, 2009 03:31:34PM

Reply

0    0

5

Every year we read about problems with tuk-tuk drivers. Have you tried to park your car somewhere in Patong lately? I don't think Phuket needs the tuk-tuks anymore. Maybe make a movie like the youtube job that solved the jet-ski problem about a month ago.

Posted by Marc December 29, 2009 03:26:41PM

Reply

0    0

4

Think of how this will reflect on Phuket when the poor French Tourists return home. Another "black mark" against the tuk-tuks. I hope this has been reported to the French Embassy.

Posted by Michael G Finn December 29, 2009 03:16:44PM

Reply

0    0

3

Absolutey NO justification for not solving a problem like this!

Posted by moskito December 29, 2009 03:10:56PM

Reply

0    0

Right push panel.

Close
© 2017 The Phuket Gazette Co Ltd | Desktop Version