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Taxi/Transport Mafia at it again

Brisbane, Australia
Destination Expert
for Phuket
Level Contributor
2,066 posts
81 reviews
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Taxi/Transport Mafia at it again

Hi all,

We have just returned from an amazing 3 week cruise from Australia to Singapore via Bali, KL, Penang, Langkawi and Phuket, we had a fantastic time and all the countries and Islands we visited and they ran shuttle bus services for a small fee into the local town for those not doing organised tours. This was a great way to get around and all was good till we got to Phuket, now we are Phuket junkies with 12 or so trips there so we know the place very well. We spoke to many passengers about how good Phuket was and we gave the place a huge wrap as we always do. We told many people it’s very easy to get around once your in Patong or Phuket town the transport was easy and reasonably cheap.

Well I was disgusted when we arrived in Phuket as an announcement came over the PA on the ship that due to Local regulations there will be no shuttle bus but plenty of taxis! What they failed to mention was that the Taxi Mafia would not allow it!!!

Now those drivers allowed inside the gates of the deep sea port ( the Taxi Mafia) wanted ridiculous prices to take us to Patong, I approached a couple of drivers and they wanted 2500Baht for a one way trip!!! So we walked outside the gates around one Kilometre from the ship and there were hundreds of drivers waiting there. I did as I usually do and walked past the many shouting at me for business and walked up to an older Thai man and said how much to Patong. He led me away from the others and we negotiated a price away from their ears of 800Baht. As we walked towards his van he paid some money to someone, turns out it was a Mafia boss, I asked how much it cost him and he said 200 Baht. We have local knowledge and know the prices but I cam only imagine just how many passengers were ripped off, the ship was full with 2300 pax so at a guess 1/3 would do there own thing! I wonder how many would not venture out due to the price?

When ever will the authorities and these standover people learn that more and more people will come to Phuket, or return there if these actions are stopped. I know this debate comes up many times on this forum, I for one have entered into this discussion many times but unfortunately I guess many of us are used to it so we put up with it.

I am sure this also turns many, many people away. Many of the people on the ship were also disgusted with the prices and said they would never return.

Why should we accept this!

When will they wake up and realize this will eventually destroy tourism on an island that we are so passionate about!!!

Cheers, Pete

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
38,924 posts
95 reviews
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1. Re: Taxi/Transport Mafia at it again

What chance have "ordinary" passengers got when sailors from a US Navy ship on shore lave are unable to board min-buses they had booked because of "local regulations" and had to agree other forms of transport more agreeable to the "locals"?

Aonang, Krabi
Destination Expert
for Krabi Town
Level Contributor
1,869 posts
44 reviews
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2. Re: Taxi/Transport Mafia at it again

Disgusting. Lazy, greedy pigs.

No really, they are lovely people...NOT!

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
38,924 posts
95 reviews
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3. Re: Taxi/Transport Mafia at it again

You may say that, I couldn't possibly comment! ;-)

South Australia...
Destination Expert
for Phuket, Ko Lanta
Level Contributor
8,833 posts
410 reviews
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4. Re: Taxi/Transport Mafia at it again

Sounds like absolutely nothing has changed. Daj was telling us about this, how they have to pay the TM to wait down the road to pick up people who have already booked them.

Cathy

Phuket, Thailand
Destination Expert
for Phuket, Kata Beach, Karon
Level Contributor
3,915 posts
15 reviews
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5. Re: Taxi/Transport Mafia at it again

It is such a pity that the authorities dont do anything about this. Their prices are extortionate!

Brisbane
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3,790 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: Taxi/Transport Mafia at it again

Unfortunately the corruption extends so far up the line that nothing will change.

Gold Coast
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5,437 posts
34 reviews
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7. Re: Taxi/Transport Mafia at it again

The problem is that because they jack up their prices the ' other ' drivers keep their prices just below the mafia but still flogging the tourists.

Poulton Le Fylde...
Destination Expert
for Khao Lak, Khao Sok National Park
Level Contributor
38,924 posts
95 reviews
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8. Re: Taxi/Transport Mafia at it again

No worries. There's a special task force from Bangkok sent into to sort out corruption and other urgent matters like arresting an Irishman for overstaying his visa by 3 days - see phuketwan.com/tourism/…

South Australia...
Destination Expert
for Phuket, Ko Lanta
Level Contributor
8,833 posts
410 reviews
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9. Re: Taxi/Transport Mafia at it again

Lol, haven't seen any of them around the place yet :)

London, United...
Destination Expert
for Thailand
Level Contributor
8,752 posts
156 reviews
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10. Re: Taxi/Transport Mafia at it again

Sadly corruption and 'mafia' will never be tackled at street level until it is first tackled at senior government level, after all the graft runs all the way to the top........................or do Thai polititions and senior police officers really make so much money as they seem to accumulate?