Here are the official rates for tuk-tuks in Phuket that you are not allowed to complain about
B200 for 1km? That’s normal, say authorities in response to video rant about the taxi mafia that went viral.
Jack “Dekfarang” Brown is a local internet personality known for his good looks and accented Thai. From Phuket, he posted a video on Jun 18, where he (rather calmly and politely) noted that B200 for a 1km ride in a tuk-tuk was a tad expensive. (He was going from Kata Beach to his hotel.)
The video went viral—it’s at 250,000 views now—and, yesterday, Phuket’s authorities stepped in to crack down on the taxi mafia and host a press conference where Mr. Brown was able to explain he’d been mistaken in his criticism.
Choice quotes from the Khaosod English article:
"'It is the maximum rate which can be bargained down,' said an unidentified official from the Phuket Land Transport Office after explaining the fare was approved by provincial authorities."
"Phuket Gov. Chamroen Tipayapongtada on Monday said the fare Brown paid was approved in 2013 and therefore not illegal and not something that should be complained about."
So what are these 2013 rates? The answer is on Phuketwan.com:
Rates above are maximum fares. They can be negotiated down—but not up. Any passengers having problems should call 1584.
As you can see, the cheapest fare is B200, from Kata to Karon (a 2.8km ride). By way of comparison, 3km in a taxi in Bangkok would cost you B53 baht, with air-con included.
One of the Phuket authorities’ key points is that tourists are meant to know that they can negotiate these prices down. Jack Brown even had to apologize for not being aware of this.
So now you know. You are getting screwed in Phuket, but it’s perfectly legal, and really, it’s down to your own pathetic negotiation skills.