Phuket Taxi and Transfers

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Thread: Welcome to Phuket...The Ripoff Begins At the Front Door

  1. #1
    Platinum Pinot's Avatar
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    Welcome to Phuket...The Ripoff Begins At the Front Door

    The scene walking out of the Phuket airport after our flight on Wednesday night at 11:30 PM was chaotic. My girl and I were slowed and asked by at least 10 different touts "Where are you going?" We were trying to make it down to the metered taxis, 100 meters away from the exit. My girl (a polite Thai woman) said at one point, "Kamala." This one aggressive tout said, "I charge you 700 baht," and kept insisting a metered taxi would charge us 750 baht. He kept up the aggressive demeanor and insisting we would be paying more all the way to the metered stand. The metered taxis were standing there passively. I walked to the stand and told them I wanted to go to Kamala. The price was 400 baht.

    When we got into the taxi the driver told us this goes on all the time. The metered taxi driver said if they say anything to a customer, they are intimidated by the other taxi drivers. "We know your number. We will get you." They can do nothing except wait for customers to brave the confusion and intimidation of the touts to provide the best service available.

    This is a ridiculous situation! For many Phuket visitors this is their first exposure to the Land of Smiles. To be harassed and intimidated as they exit the airport and to be immediately ripped off by these taxi drivers in the confusion is a black eye for Phuket. I know of no other place in the world this is allowed to occur including Thailand. Leaving the Chiang Mai airport for instance, there is one taxi desk in which your assigned a reasonably priced taxi. No one spoke to us and I didn't see any of this "tout nonsense".

    Only at Phuket International Airport are the inmates running the asylum. The situation has grown far worse than it ever has been before. They tried to fix it by making the metered taxis the way to get out of the airport but that made the situation worse. And the bottom line is...no one is going to do anything about it anytime soon.

    Getting a taxi at Phuket International Airport. Welcome to Thailand...give me 300 baht.

  2. #2
    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    I fob them off with a "500 baht!" retort and keep walking/pushing trolley straight at them ... they give up pretty quick.
    400 to Kamala by meter was good value for Phuket ... ours from CNX to BWT was 150 Bt, including tip!
    Cheers, Rob.
    Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting: holy s.h.i.t what a ride!

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Moo Uaon's Avatar
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    Welcome to tourist town
    FACE YOUR FEARS LIVE YOUR DREAMS

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    Organic AI Quarky's Avatar
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    Though after Cairo, I find Taxi and Tuk Tuk touts in Phuket a walk in the park. At least they don't wrestle you to the ground and try to insert things in you... 555
    My only experience was in a pie making factory managing the gravy team


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    Foundation Member Uber Star quiksilva's Avatar
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    Last time' actually last two times the metred taxi used a 'x baht(was slightly above the metred rate standard) minimum'. Don't know if he used that on my TG knowing I'd just pay. Previously when alone it was as per the metre...
    Should I be persistent about the metre this time around?

  6. #6
    Platinum Mick's Avatar
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    Touts anywhere..... I just look through them, don't even acknowledge them, pretend they don't exist. It seems to work, I don't get bothered much, these days. Some who do, don't like it; c'est la vie.
    Last edited by Mick; 19th November 2012 at 09:03.

  7. #7
    Foundation Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน G4orce's Avatar
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    Cant Stand Touts but I do as Mick does, just walk through them. Every time I have used a Taxi from Phuket Airport they will not turn the meter on, it is always a set price, One guy even kicked us out for asking for a meter. Is there any reason for that? As a rule I prefer a meter (as most would here) but I can never get one from HKT Airport.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Dupree's Avatar
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    How do you get to the metered cabs?

    And how much cost to Patong?
    I just girl in bar. Buy me one dink?....

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    Platinum Pinot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiksilva View Post
    Last time' actually last two times the metred taxi used a 'x baht(was slightly above the metred rate standard) minimum'. Don't know if he used that on my TG knowing I'd just pay. Previously when alone it was as per the metre...
    Should I be persistent about the metre this time around?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dupree View Post
    How do you get to the metered cabs?

    And how much cost to Patong?
    Walk out the Exit (the assault begins) turn right and walk 100 meters to a little stand (has a sign on it. They have a rate schedule posted and will give you a piece of paper stating what that rate is. It's a flat rate and don't use the meter. I'd guess it's 450 to Patong.

    I was pissed and tweeted about what happened that night. The Phuket Gazette wrote me asking for details. That's the only way anything will get done about it...publicize the mess.

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    I also look thru touts and have no problem with them , tho this doesnt diminish the negativity of the newby tourist experience.

    The simple fact is that there are rules regarding touts all over , Bangla included.
    But they are not policed.
    Wherever this is the case in Phuket , its because some very rich and powerful people actually stand to benefit from the mayhem.
    Having someone like the Deputy Mayor of you know where investigate transport issues whilst receiving 20k per TTuk per month makes the issue just laughable.
    The meter taxis werent introduced by benevolent overseers to 'fix' any problem...they were muscled in by a competing and very powerful local identity , and in an attempt to avoid all out war , he conceeded to NOT pickup customers going TO the airport .

  11. #11
    ประเทศไทยเพื่อน Founding Member Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Changone's Avatar
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    The game begins at the airport, continues downtown, all the way along Bangla road and then onto the beach from what I know. I suggest that you check the direction and strength of the prevailing wind before p***ing into it.
    Just don't buy too many new suits and timeshare condos before you get your first beer.
    And where the hell was Biggles.....?....when you needed him last Saturday....?

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    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน justcruzing1's Avatar
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    I have posted on this before, when I went 18mnths ago i had learnt about where to go to get the metred cabs, was attacked by touts inside the terminal even before getting my bags.
    I'm like Mick and Chob, I just square my back and sholders, look straight thru them, a bit military sort of attitude. They soon back off.

    I got a metered cab it was 450bt shown at the counter, the meter was on and even with a bit of getting lost trying to find the motel the meter said 435bt I gave 500.

    he was a nice guy and spoke staggered English, he pointed out a few things as we went past them etc.
    I said to him to give me his number and I would call him when i was leaving, he told me he was not allowed into the town other than to drop off can not come in to pick up or his house will be burnt down.

    Now tak about getting out...... get quote from motel...1200bt, um I'll do some shopping first thanks. Cab on the street..."950 but i do special for you 750" I had a card with a number for a private car 500bt so called him and 20mins he was there and off we went. He was an older guy, he and his wife drive, he spoke good English and he was a top guy.

    Earlier this year i gave my mate in pattaya his number, my mate and his wife was on holidays staying down near Phukett, they charged 700bt to come from Patong, picked them up and took to the airport, my mate and his wife we very very impressed.
    "Of course you love me darling, I handsome man 55555"

  13. #13
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Zablive's Avatar
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    I'm sure Pinot that venting here helped you feel a bit better.
    However - you need to complain to the appropriate authorities (T.A.T, Airport Management) and every Publication - Phuket Gazette (They have a Q&A section that gets answers) etc.

    Too often falangs just say it wont do any good, why bother - but - the new Governor has taken on Airport touts as a clean-up project. Write politely to him or get your fiancee to do so.
    I don't think any of these "authorities" are reading TD Forum!
    Last edited by Zablive; 19th November 2012 at 17:08.

  14. #14
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    The lady boss of Roxannes ( you know who I mean Zab) says her NST family members ( "two man just come from monkey house for kill man") are rough mafia , and have recently infiltrated the airport mafia.
    In what capacity Im not sure...

  15. #15
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Zablive's Avatar
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    ^^^^
    Comprende!
    I hope the Guv has recruited them to clean up "the rubbish" - maybe I've been here too long coz that's a Thai solution ...
    There are rumours of Mai Khao (sp) (local) airport drivers flexing their muscles against the Patong Mayor & Son's taxi/tuk tuk co-op.
    Sort of a "Our Village" thing - a bit like the Deep Sea Port taxis/vans.
    The locals want more licences.
    Last edited by Zablive; 19th November 2012 at 17:27.

  16. #16
    Foundation Member Uber Star quiksilva's Avatar
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    I also used my metred taxi driver to take me back to the airport.
    Took me via some British school instead of the usual way?
    Chob do you know why he would have gone this way (had a lowered car so had to go slowly over the bumpy road, so i don't think it was faster?)?

  17. #17
    Frequent Flyer kaptainrob's Avatar
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    Departing from Summer Breeze Hotel (Patong) I've always used a metered taxi to the airport but whilst in Kamala we used a local limo driver which was around the same @ ~450 Bt. He will do pick-ups too. Chob has the number or I can post here if anyone wants it.
    Cheers, Rob.
    Lifes journey is not to arrive at the grave safely in a well-preserved body, but to skid in sideways totally worn out, shouting: holy s.h.i.t what a ride!

  18. #18
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quiksilva View Post
    I also used my metred taxi driver to take me back to the airport.
    Took me via some British school instead of the usual way?
    Chob do you know why he would have gone this way (had a lowered car so had to go slowly over the bumpy road, so i don't think it was faster?)?
    No , not sure.
    After all my time here I was only 2 weeks back shown a 'short cut' to the airport.
    This involved a left turn on a sweeping bend about 5 ks south of Talang ( its now signposted as such...just once 555) and a myriad of turns across flood plains with meandering buffaloes and tiny settlements. The road eventually emerged at the Nai Thong turn-off for the coast road.
    It saved time , but I dont recall an International/British School.
    I got a bit lost coming back.

  19. #19
    Foundation Member Uber Star quiksilva's Avatar
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    I was slightly worried - was loading my maps but can't pinpoint anything at the moment.
    Should have asked a long time ago.

    British International School, Phuket - Google Maps

    Seems a bit out of the way though ? Was a long windy road.

  20. #20
    Uber Star Soi wanderer Thai Dreamer ผู้เพ้อฝัน Chob's Avatar
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    Nah , its a different road Quicky.
    Your bloke had you out near Boat Lagoon and the big Toyota dealer.... not the quickest way to the airport .
    Did he go thru the golf course road at Loch Palm to get there?

    I was shown to drop off left onto the Baan Reang road where it says 4030 to the left of where it says THALANG further up 402.
    Then follow the squiggly line till it joins 4031 thru to the airport.
    ( Tho 4031 by itself is a good short cut)

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