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What's wtih these Tuk Tuk drivers?

Kuala Lumpur...
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What's wtih these Tuk Tuk drivers?

Any idea why the cost of transport is so high in Phuket?

I had a excellent lobster thermidor dinner at Kata the other day and it cost me 430B.

A Chang Beer cost 60B

I had a 1 hour foot massage, a 1 hour back massage, plus a pedicure and it cost me 600B

However, a short tuk tuk ride from Karon to Patong beach (and back) costs 600B.

Thats 10 bottles of beer, or a lobster dinner with beer and desert or a 2 hour long massage.

Sometimes I just can't bring myself to pay these exorbitant rates for transport. I;d rather walk, or simply stay and relax in the hotel.

Any idea why transport in Phuket is so expensive for tourists?

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1. Re: What's wtih these Tuk Tuk drivers?

most short tuk tuk trips are around 300thb so 600thb sounds right

melbourne australia
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2. Re: What's wtih these Tuk Tuk drivers?

What's the alternative ? A public bus into Phuket town, then another public bus to Patong ? They know they have you over a barrel.

I also found Karon drivers would not shift on prices, even if you walked away. They have obviously got together at some stage and decided on minimum pricing, realising most people will have little choice but to accept. Kata and Patong were not so bad.

You will always pay a premium for short trips. For 700 baht with a Karon driver (and getting that was a struggle !) we got half a day of shopping to all the main centres in Phuket Town and surrounds like jewellery, pewter and other shops. They get kick-backs from where you visit, so 700 is high IMO.

Same thing with a Patong driver was only 400 baht.

We sort of got around the problem of overpriced transport by calling the driver we had pick us up from the airport. It was still 200 baht one way, from Kata to Karon, or Karon to Patong, but that was in a proper car.

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3. Re: What's wtih these Tuk Tuk drivers?

Unfortunately that's the way it is, as Wildo says if you are there a while can pay to get a car+driver to take you place to place.

It is a great pity there are not the songthaews doing routes like in many other places, Patong to Karon distance in Hua Hin area costs 10 baht per person , same Jomtien Beach to Pattaya ( and kids go 'free' ). They make good money too, every time somone hops on and off that's B 10, 8 in the back is B 80, and they go along routes picking up dropping off all the time, that mounts up in a day !

Great pity, it must deter people from trying out othe beaches a lot.

Don't hold your breath though for any changes :)

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4. Re: What's wtih these Tuk Tuk drivers?

They know they have a monopoly and the Karon drivers act as a concert. They have fixed prices and will not budge.

If only they had a bus route to Patong!!

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5. Re: What's wtih these Tuk Tuk drivers?

We have just returned from Phuket and thought the price of Tuk Tuks was excessive too.

It makes hiring a car for 2000 baht per day very attractive.

Even better when 2 couples share the cost and it,s there when you choose to use it.

I think more people will use hire cars if the tuk tuk

drivers continue to be inflexible on pricing.

Perth, Western...
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6. Re: What's wtih these Tuk Tuk drivers?

600 baht is excessive. You probably could have got a private driver to take you there and back for that price, perhaps even less.

We don't know how the system works for Tuk Tuk drivers, I'd say that because tourist numbers are down, the typical Thai mentality prevails, which is; less business means you must raise your price. I heard from Nuch (Mai's wife) last night who was saying they have lots of bookings, but that they have some friends who work as tuk tuk or taxi drivers at Beach Road, Patong, who are making 200 baht for the night. You have got to remember that these guys do not own their vehicles and are charged exorbitant amounts by the owners for use, so most of what they earn does not go to them.

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7. Re: What's wtih these Tuk Tuk drivers?

So so true Athena..!!!...More songthaews on the road would keep the tuk tuks honest at least....

In 2006,I paid 100 baht for a tuk tuk to take me from Patong to Kalim for surfing...The very next year,same month(2007)I asked the same driver(we recognised each other)to take me back to my Patong hotel from Kalim...He replied 250 baht..!!...What...??...Needless to say,Kalim to Patong is not that far to walk and it's good exercise...

I always go via scooter taxi now or rent my own scooter...I am an experienced motorcyclist by the way...

Tho' sometimes during low season,you can score a good deal...We,after much negotiation,commissioned a tuk tuk to take us from Patong to Phuket town wait 2 hours while we shopped,then returned us to Patong for 500 baht...Circa 2007..We won't score that deal ever again...!!

The drivers comment..."Well it beats staying here doing nothing and 500 baht is something..!!"...

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8. Re: What's wtih these Tuk Tuk drivers?

Cheaper to rent a car sometimes - if you want to really explore the island your own car is a must. If you can ride a bike, rent one - normally only about 250 Baht per day.

Kailua-Kona, Hawaii
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9. Re: What's wtih these Tuk Tuk drivers?

It is frustrating for me to and most expats to know that the tourist will be harrased by the Tuk Tuk and transport thugs.

I don't know if helps but it can't hurt, but perhaps all these complaints should be directed to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, here is their email

Email Address : webmaster@mots.go.th

From their website:

To make a complaint regarding Tourism Service Standard, Tourist Attraction Service Standard, Tour Operator and Guide Standard, Tourism Service, Tourist Facility and Safety.

Please contact :

The Office of Tourism Development, Ministry of Tourism and Sports

Address : National Stadium, Rama 1 Road Bangkok 10330 Thailand

Tel : +66 2 219 4010

Fax : +66 2 216 6906

Email Address : webmaster@mots.go.th

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10. Re: What's wtih these Tuk Tuk drivers?

The cost of tuk-tuks on Phuket's beaches are getting a lot of attention lately. Instead of contacting the tourism board perhaps it's better to contact to Phuket governor instead. It's his job to involved.