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British Ambassador Mark Kent talks with Phuket VG Dr Sommai today

Clean Up Patong And Arrest Expat Lawbreakers, Say Envoys

Monday, January 7, 2013
PHUKET: The British Ambassador, Mark Kent, suggested today that the jet-ski insurance system on Phuket could be improved to reduce payouts by tourists when things go wrong.

He said that if there was damage ''or there is alleged to be damage,'' Phuket customers had to pay out extra to cover up to five days of the jet-ski being out of the water for repairs.

In some cases this could amount to $1000, he said.

He said the alternative would be to increase the rate charged to cover the cost of insurance for the days lost by the operator.

Vice Governor Dr Sommai Preechasin met with Ambassador Kent at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City today.

Phuket's British honorary consul, Martin Carpenter, suggested that with 286 jet-skis on Phuket, it was probably time to cap the number.

Mr Carpenter said that while there was supposed to be a limit on the beaches where jet-skis were used, there had been consistent reports of jet-skis operating at other beaches illegally.

He also said there appeared to be ''a total oversupply'' of taxis and tuk-tuks in Patong, where the vehicles occupied all space along the beach road between Soi Bangla and the Holiday Inn Resort.

''One would hope that a ceiling can be put in place that limits the number of tuk-tuks and taxis on a small island like Phuket,'' he said.

He added that pedestrians often had problems walking along the footpath in beach road and were sometimes so confused that they stepped onto the road, creating ''another accident waiting to happen.''

Diplomatically, he blamed the large number of tuk-tuks and taxis on ''a slight lack of governance and discipline.''

It happened on Phuket but not in Bangkok or Pattaya, he said. ''Nobody in the Patong area seems prepared to work for a change,'' he said.

Dr Sommai said that off-street parking would be ideal but the price of land in Patong was extremely high.

''We have to coordinate with the local authorities,'' she said.

A ceiling would help, Mr Carpenter said.

Mr Kent said he was pleased to see more people wearing good quality motorcycle helmets on Phuket but that insurance of motorcycles was an issue.

Mr Carpenter raised the issue of slow lorises and other creatures being used by photo touts in Patong's Soi Bangla walking street at night.

''Although there are times when the animals are taken away, they do seem to reappear very quickly,'' he said.

On December 30-31, Mr Carpenter said, ''I counted at least six slow lorises. They are there every night.

''Let's be frank, they are only not there when someone does an official walk-through.''

Mr Carpenter also said there appeared to be a large number of foreigners openly working as touts in Soi Bangla in contrast to other foreigners who started legitimate businesses and operated legally on Phuket.

''It helps to create social problems with all sorts of nationalities working on the street,'' he said. ''It's there, and it's in the face of the tourists.

''Sometimes the tourists look at it and go 'We won't come back again, it's just too much.'''

Mr Kent said exploitation of animals was ultimately harmful and possibly dangerous for tourists from disease or scratches and bites.

''We would very much support any action you might take against foreigners who are breaking the law,'' Mr Kent said. ''And that includes British nationals.

''If you have British people who are breaking the law, you are absolutely right to take whatever action is required.

''We do not support British people coming here and breaking the law.''

Comments

Comments have been disabled for this article.

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The only action Police take when someone breaks the law, is to say - We don't have authority to do anything about it, it comes under department XYZ.
Or in the case of illegal/copied consumer products - We can't do anything about it unless we have authority from Bangkok department XYZ.

The ONLY thing the Police seem to have authority to do in Phuket is take money from people who don't wear helmets.

Posted by Tbs on January 7, 2013 12:36

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I take exception to Martin's remarks- there was actually ONE free parking space along the Beach Road on Saturday, 555!! Hire car guys must have missed it.

Posted by Mister Ree on January 7, 2013 13:52

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''Nobody in the Patong area seems prepared to work for a change,''

Of course, no one wanna work for THE change.

Posted by Anonymous on January 7, 2013 15:29

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@TBS: Because this ($) make no headache pain !

Posted by ratatoee on January 7, 2013 15:36

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All good points that have been brought up over and over by various representatives from overseas over the years.

Something that is overlooked is that a licence is required to operate a jet-ski in Thailand but I'm sure the vast majority of the people that rent them don't know or have one either. I'm sure that is why they don't have proper insurance.

With all the cars parked at the side of the roads most cars, mini buses and tour buses have to double park to let off and collect passengers bringing roads to near stand still. I'm sure many would be lucky to get a fare daily, even in high season!

Posted by Ty on January 7, 2013 16:01

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Lots of foreign touts on Bangla Rd. giving away vouchers for a certain disco's Happy Hour. Some of the same crowd that gave away vouchers for Factory (now closed) and the beach road Rock City (also closed).

Posted by GiantFan on January 9, 2013 12:43


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