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Phuripat Theerakulpisut, Chief of Phuket's Marine Office 5

Phuket Jet-Skis and the Seven Year Ditch

Monday, December 20, 2010
The Phuketwan team turn up 'The Heat' in the regular hot issues interview.

The Person

Softly spoken but capable of wielding a big stick, Phuripat Theerakulpisut was on Phuket when a Governor announced the solution to the jet-ski problem: phase them out. Khun Phuripat, once captain of a merchant ship that visited 40 countries, recently returned to Phuket as Chief of Marine Office 5, overseeing registration of the jet-skis. And just in time for the jet-ski deadline, seven years on.

Boats and Yachts

Big ships still come to Phuket, mostly tankers for PTT. Phuket also exports rubber liquid. Then there are cruise ships, and US warships As a sailing hub, everything is here on Phuket. Nowadays we have some problems with the environment but we have to develop as well. I explain to so many groups that the activities of marinas do not destroy the environment. If Phuket wants to be the marina hub, you will have to build some more. There is one planned for Phang Nga but I think it does not yet have an Environmental Impact Assessment. Regulations can be a problem for yachts in the region. Many authorities require documents. Nowadays we try to work together with Customs and others to provide a one-stop service. It's not easy. For security and safety, we have to have checks.

Gentle Jet-Ski Talk

Jet-skis have to register but we have so many problems. The law is 100 percent. I try to talk with the leaders of the jet-ski group in gentle language, do not make any problems. If I get no trouble, you get no trouble. We have to look at both sides. Sometimes tourists do not always tell the whole story. If you know the deep story, you will know what is going on. Some tourists are good, some not so good. There are many jet-ski groups, Bang Tao, Patong, I talk with them already. I want to inform them that it is their occupation, I want to keep their occupation for them and their families.

Jet-Ski Fast Forward

It is up to the policy of the Phuket province. They have the order from a former governor that the jet-skis have to finish in March next year. No more jet-skis on Phuket. This order was by Governor Udomsak. Too many problems with the tourists on jet-skis, we had to negotiate with the jet-ski groups. They could not stop immediately. We talked at a meeting, 'What about a period to phase them out?' I was involved in those meetings. This is the order and I talked with the leader of the jet-ski groups. The order is still there. The plan now is I will try to talk to Governor Tri Augkaradacha to see whether we have to comply with this order or not. If we cannot comply with the law 100 percent, we have to meet. Under Governor Udomsak, they said at a meeting at that time that actually the jet-ski's life is about seven years. That is why the time was chosen.

Seven Years, Time's Up

When we work with people sometimes we have to talk in gentle language to help each other. If no problems, there will be no change. Before March I will ask the governor if he wants to stop the jet-skis. This is a good order, good for me to control them. Not easy, but it's possible. I think it's not easy, but we will make everything better. We can make a solution for the future so that they do not make any problems again. In my opinion, it's not a problem if they have good management.

Two Sides to The Coin

If someone is in trouble, jet-skis always help. The good thing is never carried in the media. The good thing is never offered. It's like a coin, there are always two sides. The main thing is proper management. Insurance is not covered by regulations so we cannot press them to comply. Actually jet-skis have to register for a licence from my office. Jet-skis sometimes register at other marine offices in other provinces. The nature of the jet-ski, we cannot comply with the law 100 percent because when someone wants to ride a jet-ski, they cannot get certification to ride. In the future I think, tourists will have to learn for 30 minutes or an hour how to ride jet-skis.

Jobs, Jobs, Jobs

It's a good occupation, that's why it's not easy. A jet-ski costs about 300,000 baht. When a jet-ski flips, the engine does not get damaged easy. I think damages claims should not happen. They made a story called 'Big Trouble' for the tv. I think that was not the real whole story. I looked on the television already: the tourists make trouble. The government tried to stop jet-skis by regulations a long time ago, but it's not easy. You remember sea walkers? The National Park Authority stopped them, but if you left them to stay for three years or five years, such things are harder to stop.

Diving for Dough

The diving business is 90 percent owned by foreigners. The diving market is worth a lot of money. The last period, we tried to take them to a better system, but we cannot. The foreigners mostly come by booking through the Internet. What does Thailand get? I talk to so many people. The natural resources will not stay forever, what is the balance? What about the business? What can Thailand gain? Nowadays, the big problem is that if you want to change any regulations, we have to study the whole thing, what is the solution? For me, Thailand should get something from the foreigners in the industry.

Safety in Boats

Nowadays we cannot say 100 percent but I think it's at 90 percent, better than in the past. People wear lifejackets always. There are few drownings. I pray every Wednesday that there will be no accidents. Licences, insurance, they are important.

Jet-Ski Deadline Nears

Instead of insurance, maybe a cooperative could be a good idea for jet-skis. It's not easy to talk about these topics. Next step, before March I will write a letter to the governor and ask him what he decides for the future. Nowadays, the number of jet-skis is not growing. But we have to decide whether they stop or not. The coin has two sides. If there is no problem, why stop them? But we cannot say the problems will not occur. Jet-ski income is not small money for them. Every activity, we cannot solve the problem by stopping them. How they are controlled is the key. Jet-ski are not only bad. If we just stopped and kicked them out, that would be easy. The hard part is how to keep them on our side, and follow regulations. If they will get kicked out, they will go to other occupations and maybe make trouble. Corruption begins when people are not earning enough. The existing problems can be solved by good management. Everything we have to solve together.

This article also appears in the current issue of The Phuket Post, along with a Guide to Phuket's Best Beaches. A beach is on the cover.
Phuket Jet-Ski Crash Victims' Ashes Flown Home
Exclusive As the ashes of a pair of holiday jet ski crash victims are flown home, it is revealed that Phuket's Governor is to be asked if he wishes to act to impose the seven year deadline on jet ski use.
Phuket Jet-Ski Crash Victims' Ashes Flown Home

Phuket's Uninsured Jet-Skis Outnumber Insured
Latest Two more deaths on a jetski at Patong are likely to intensify pressure to make Phuket's jetskis safe or get rid of them. Less than half the jetskis are insured, an investigation reveals.
Phuket's Uninsured Jet-Skis Outnumber Insured

Teen Survives Phuket Jet-Ski Deaths 'Replay'
Latest A teenager is believed to have been at the controls of a Phuket jetski when it crashed into a boat off a Phuket resort near Patong, where a couple died in a similar crash only 24 hours earlier.
Teen Survives Phuket Jet-Ski Deaths 'Replay'

Riled Phuket Tourist Pays Extra Jet-Ski Charge
UPDATE A Phuketwan journalist in Patong encounters JJ Naiman engaged in a mediation debate with a Russian tourist at Kathu Police Station. After a lengthy mediation, the tourist pays up.
Riled Phuket Tourist Pays Extra Jet-Ski Charge

Phuket Tuk-Tuks, Jet-Skis, Need Limits: Governor
Latest Jetskis and tuktuks were among the service groups that needed to improve to meet the needs of tourists on Phuket as a popular holiday island, the Phuket Governor said.
Phuket Tuk-Tuks, Jet-Skis, Need Limits: Governor


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Yay, more jetski nonsense for years to come, but let's deflect from that topic and discuss the diving industry being foreign controlled.
Looks like it would be the time for farangs to exit that industry before the witchhunt begins.

Posted by Glen on December 20, 2010 13:20

Editor Comment:

One person's witchhunt is another person's level paying field.


Editor: Level playing field? Since when? Note carefully how often Khun Phuripat says "What's in it for Thailand? What Does Thailand Get?" Ummm, obviously he's not taking into account that all these people live here and spend money here. Also the tourism the dive industry generates. Looks like Thailand gets more than enough.. but we are all aware that it's never enough.

Posted by Graham on December 20, 2010 13:29

Editor Comment:

Level paying field, not playing field, is what I wrote. Do ''all these people live here and spend money here?'' Really?


Phasing out the jetski's idea is right on time. I like how an illegal activity can be insured as well. TIT.

Posted by jingjo on December 20, 2010 13:41


"Do all these people live here and spend money here"

Yes, and pay taxes (personal, company, VAT, witholding) and social insurance.

"For me, Thailand should get something from the foreigners in the industry."

I manage a dive shop, live here and spend every satang I earn here.

The diving industry is NOT 90% foreign owned, how can it be? Foreigners are not allowed more than 49% of any company, and many of the very biggest dive companies are 100% Thai owned. the dive industry creates a huge income for Phuket, Phang Nga, Krabi provinces (Khao Lak, Similan islands, Phi Phi etc..)... and the reason there are so many foreigners involved is that there are not enough Thai people who can do the job, not enough qualified Thai instructors, this has been argued many times before with various officials who think the dive industry is some kind of Farang controlled mafia which does not contribute to Thailand.

Oh, but the jet skis... let's just talk to them gently.

Posted by Jamie on December 20, 2010 14:49


Sorry to add an extra comment...

Khun Phuripat mentions with regards to the dive industry "The last period, we tried to take them to a better system, but we cannot." .. meaning the local authorities here tried to squeeze the dive industry, but this was not possible, largely due to the fact, as I said, that many of the largest dive companies are 100% Thai owned, and some of them with owners who have more power than a local official. Still the myth seems to be there that diving is controlled by foreigners and Thailand is not getting it's share of the money.

Posted by Jamie on December 20, 2010 15:10


Dive industry 90% owed by foreigner owners, nice touch there. Where does these tourist stay where they come to dive with these 90% foreigner owed company. In a 90% foreigner owed hotel, where do they eat, who do they rent Tuk Tuk from and the list can be long. If these dive shops didn't start by foreigners but not for 90% then Phuket wouldn't have so much tourists. Divers dont affect the resources as much as the hotels and construction sites where all the mud/sediment go out to the sea, fishing fleet with huge nets over the reef do lot of damage. And by the way every Thai person on the Island are making money on the dive industry, some directly and some indirectly. Remove that industry and we will see what will happen to the Island

Posted by X expat on December 20, 2010 15:19


Look around you all Thai owned and operated dive businesses and you will see that they are in trouble because they employ only 1 or 2 foreign Instructors for teaching and Thai people to run the company.
The other way foreign owned and operated dive businesses employ only foreigners to staff the boat as well the office and many are running website with payment by PayPal to a foreign account.
Foreign owned and operated dive business can not have more than 3-4 work-permits per company so some large foreign operated dive operators need at least 10-30 foreigners to run properly their businesses and ask foreign Instructors to contact a lawyer or an accounting to set up with less than 30,000 Baht a Thai company with Thai proxy shareholders, Thai proxy Directors and 4 Thai proxy staff in order to get issued a work-permit. In fact they do not employ Thai people and most of those foreign Instructors, working as freelance, are penniless and do not have the 2 million Baht to secure the company asset.
They are just bloodsuckers in the corrupted Thai system.
With most of coral reefs which are dead, we may not expect so much divers for dive liveaboard trips for the 2-3 coming years so the Thai administration crackdown would be more than welcome to regulate those wrongdoers.
This year we will have the end of December until the end of February to make the yearly money or go bankrupt.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on December 20, 2010 15:34


I agree totally with you Jamie. I already give every satang to Thailand! Do they think we send all our money back to Europe?? It costs a fortune to run a dive centre and as a farang we have to pay farang prices, that are already way over the price things should be!!! I think Thailand is getting enough from us already! Especially as you say Jamie the reason why so many farang "manage" dive centers is because Thai's can not. We are also not to blame for environmental damage. What about the Thai run speed boats cluttering the reefs and shores with snorkelers and fishing? At least divers are conservation aware and try to limit their impact. I don't see the snorkeling organisers doing reef/beach clean ups

If the Thai goverments/officials/people actually helped us instead of making our lives and business difficult maybe there would be more collaboration between Thai & Farang business relationships.

This short sightedness really makes me angry!

Posted by Kaye on December 20, 2010 16:18


So we learn that it's actually illegal for a none-certified tourist to hire a jet ski, under Thai law.
We learn that many of the jet skis are now uninsured.
We learn that the life of a jet ski is about 7 years and all the operators were given 7 years notice that they were going to be retired. (A period of time unheard of in many jobs ! )

It would appear to me that the solution to the problem was found a long time ago. Enforce and uphold the law of this country. Or are the jet ski operators above the law?

The operators can hardly cry 'foul' when they have been given SEVEN years notice of an impending ban. Seven years to train for new jobs. Seven years to salt money away for the future. Seven years to find alternative employment. There are not many people in the world given that luxury, particularly when they are knowingly working illegally by hiring jet skis out to the unlicensed.

Stick to your guns, Mr Governor and ban these dangerous things. The law is on your side, and in this case, is not an ass.

Posted by Mr Man on December 20, 2010 17:04


The jet ski operators have had seven years to clean up their act, they have not done so, in fact, they are worse than ever, complaints just about every single day. They can not be managed, get rid of them.

Posted by Concerned on December 20, 2010 17:22


I just think this is more Comedy Gold from Thailand.

Will this country every grow up? Doubtful!

Posted by Tbs on December 20, 2010 19:39


"what does Thailand get from dive centers" ??

It would be comical if only it represents the real mindset and blindness of the man !! I mean does he think these dive companies are sending their profits out to swiss bank accounts ?? Divers come to Thailand and spend money, that money stays in the local economy, and the rules are already highly punitive to how many Thais must be employed per work permit, only minority shareholdings etc.

There's a reason foreigners are working in the dive industry here, because the provide a better service and even with all the unfair advantages can still eek a margin.

Posted by LivinLOS on December 20, 2010 19:53

Editor Comment:

So foreigners are not working here because there's a resistance to training Thais, the truth is it's simply because it's a job that Thais can't do? Well, that's good to know.


soo, if thais get to dominate the dive business, will there be extortion for "damaged" equipment?

Posted by Mikey on December 20, 2010 23:27

Editor Comment:

MIkey, that's a blatantly bigoted comment and we've let it appear just to show how small brains can be at the dim, dark end of the rainbow of expat viewpoints.


well, time will tell how it goes

Posted by Mikey on December 21, 2010 05:20

Editor Comment:

Yes, so your guesswork is pointless.


"So foreigners are not working here because there's a resistance to training Thais, the truth is it's simply because it's a job that Thais can't do? "

Where did I say that ?? Your just making That up to fit your view. I said "There's a reason foreigners are working in the dive industry here, because the provide a better service" and that's a fact. Its proven because as non Thais you face much higher costs and restrictions, and yet non Thais can still compete in the market ?? How is that possible if its not down to providing a superior service ??

You say resistance to training Thais.. Why should a Farang pay to train a man to take his job away. Did Thais pay to train the westerners ?? Are you saying Thailand is incapable of training its own people if it chose to ?? Of course not.

My initial comment was mostly how blinkered this guy is "what benefit does Thailand get" when in reality 99% of the money stays in Thailand.. 1000's of people come to Thailand and stay in the hotels eat in the restaurants, and generally holiday here at the same time.

Posted by LivinLOS on December 21, 2010 07:15

Editor Comment:

It was a rhetorical question, with a question mark at the end of the sentence. I don't have a viewpoint. What you are now implying is that the diving industry is in the grip of expats, and there's a reluctance to let go . . . which is, surely, the whole point.
No need for personal insults, especially without first-hand knowledge. Khun Phuripat's English is good. You could go along and talk to him. We did.


The fact is.. the Jetski owners (not the beach boy workers) are Patong families.. And Patong families = Patong voters and Patong voters = control of town.

Throw them a perk.. get one back.

"I want to inform them that it is their occupation, I want to keep their occupation for them and their families."

The same argument can be used for any other law breaker. Why not ?

Posted by LivinLOS on December 21, 2010 07:19

Editor Comment:

The jet-skis are regulated and overseen by appointed administrators, not elected local politicians. So much for your ''vote-buying'' contention. You're seeing shadows where there are none. Cut the expat paranoia, please. It's all about the jobs. And the administrators deserve support - any major change takes courage.


"there's a resistance to training Thais, the truth is it's simply because it's a job that Thais can't do?"

Ah, any Thai person can go ahead and do a divemaster or instructor course, and in fact there are a LOT of Thai instructors .. in Bangkok, teaching Thai people in Thai... the main problem we dive centers have found over the years is language. We get customers who speak English, German, French, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Japanese and so on... not enough Thai instructors around who can teach or look after customers in all the languages - even English... to TEACH diving in English, your language skills need to be very good, to explain everything and make sure the students are safely trained. Its a tricky one.... if you find a well educated Thai person who speaks good English and has the skills to train to be a dive instructor, they are likely to be rich, middle class and don't want to get a job as a dive instructor, they want a nice office job... and don't even think about answering this Editor with a "ooh, you're being nasty to Thais" comment - this is true, we have seen it over many years in the dive industry - diving jobs are seen as low class. Every Thai instructor in Phuket has a job, and there are plenty of good Thai instructors, but nowhere near enough, so the void, caused by the demand, is filled by foreigners. I know some Thai instructors who speak other languages too, English AND Chinese or Swedish or Russian - they are like gold dust and will never be out of a job!

Did you know Ed, that for several years in a row, the now defunct Dive Operators Club of Phuket offered free divemaster training for Thais? I think there were 10 per year, or was it more? Applicants had to first show decent English skills, and a certain level of education, since to pass the divemaster course you need to study some theory in Physics, Physiology and more... and what happened to most of the free trained Thai divemasters, they said thank you and headed back to their aircon office jobs in Bangkok.

If you want the number one reason why there are not enough local divemasters and instructors.. language. And that, sir, is not the fault of the dive industry. If you go to dive in Malaysia..... I went to Sipadan a few years back... all the dive staff were Malaysian. Language is the key.. and remember we're only talking English in this case - never mind German, Japanese, Russian etc....

Every dive shop here WANTS to have Thai dive staff, but there are not enough to go around.

My main worry with this interview, is that Khun Phuripat seems to worry more about squeezing dive shops than about dealing with illegal jet skis... because they are run by local (can I say M*fia?) people... and he considers (foreigners) dive shops to be an easy target. If he'd realise that every diver we book comes here and spends lots of money BECAUSE of the diving, he might understand. They come here to dive, specifically for the diving, and would not come otherwise.

Have a nice day y'all! Sun is shining, go make hay!

Posted by Jamie on December 21, 2010 09:29

Editor Comment:

Thanks, Jamie. Khun Phuripat was explaining his job to us in terms of issues so it would be pure guesswork to suggest he was more concerned about dive shops than jet-skis. The bulk of our questions were certainly about jet-skis. It may be, though, that he gets to hear more from critics of the industry than expats. Thai divers were being trained in a group of about 20 in Khao Lak after the tsunami, including English and computer lessons, but from all accounts the project lacked the support of other dive companies. There do seem to be barriers to entry, beyond the culture/class divide you mention. ''Mafia'' defines a group that commits torture and murder to achieve its ends, and its a gross exaggeration in the Phuket context that many people rightly find offensive.


ha ha ha.. You really believe Phukets 'elected officials' have no hand in influencing these choices.. Really ??

I personally know families in this biz, they know the clout they carry. All this is just more muddying the waters for the media to pick up. Same as the hints that no one believes JJ really acted like that, despite the fact that Jimmy is now loving his new found fame and telling everyone who he argues with to 'search him on the internet'.

Jetskis won't be banned.. We will keep reading of crashed and drownings, while the police are told not to enforce existing laws regarding the licensing of jet-ski users.

Posted by LivinLOS on December 21, 2010 09:51

Editor Comment:

As we've said, decisions about the jet-skis will be made by appointed administrators, not politicians.


@Graham @Jamie @X-expat @Kaye @LivinLOS @Mikey
Your comments are pure xenophobia and for you (Foreigners), Thais are poorly educated and are not able to run properly dive businesses because they do not understand foreigners. WRONG and WRONG again...
Sorry to say it, but most foreigners working in the dive industry in Thailand are economic migrants from their home countries looking for opportunities in Thailand as recession in Europe put them in precariousness at home.
Most of them are here because of the laxism in the Thai Administration, easy access to make businesses legally or illegally through bribes, plenty of fun with drug as well alcohol and girls.
In fact, those foreigners forgot that they are in Thailand and do not respect Thai laws at all.
We may hope that some influential Thai people will read Phuketwan and complain about foreigners' arrogant comments and ask to some civil servants to look the legitimacy of foreign owned and operated diving businesses in Thailand.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on December 21, 2010 09:52


Hi "Whistle-Blower" anonymous moaner - show me something I wrote that is Xenophobic please. Indeed, my last comment said that we WANT more Thai dive staff, yes! So how is that Xenophobic? There are simply not enough Thai instructors to go round, we WANT more! Clear?

Posted by Jamie on December 21, 2010 12:06


@ Whistle-Blower

Though you usually have valid and worthwhile points to make, this time you are totally off the mark.

I'll just tackle 2 of the biggest inaccuracies in your latest post. The rest is not worth commenting to me.

"foreign owned and operated dive businesses employ only foreigners to staff the boat"

Absolutely not true. The boat staff has to be 100% Thai by law. All the boat crews know each other. If there ever was even one foreigner working as a boat crew member, he would be immediately spotted.

Please tell me even one example of a foreigner working as boat crew here ?

"Foreign owned and operated dive business can not have more than 3-4 work-permits per company"

More assumptions without knowledge of the facts. A company can have as many work permits for foreigners it wishes, as long as it has Bt 2m capital and employs 4 Thais for every work permit issued.

A liveaboard boat generally costs about Bt 10m and add to that the dive gear inventory, support vehicles etc and you'll see that just about every dive center qualifies at least financially for 6 or more work permits.

Please explain to us how you came to the number of 3-4 work permits being the maximum ?

Posted by Chris on December 21, 2010 12:45


@Jamie...we WANT more Thai dive staff .....
Thai law stipulate clearly that a Thai company must have 51% of Thai shareholders with 2 Thai Directors for 1 foreign Director as well 4 Thai staffs for 1 work-permit.
In the case that Thai company own a dive boat, the Thai company must have at least 70% of Thai shareholders with 2 Thai Directors for 1 foreign Director as well 4 Thai staffs for 1 work-permit.
So the Thai society want Thai people at the helm of the Thai companies and foreigners as minor shareholders or as employees working under the management of Thais as we can see it in many companies in Thailand excepted in diving and boating industries.
Today many foreign owned dive companies use Thai nominees as proxy shareholders, directors and staff so on the papers they are correct but in case you scratch the documents you will find out that foreigners own 100% of dive companies.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on December 21, 2010 12:56


True, 2 Million Baht per work-permit but note that all companies above 5.2 million Baht pay much more yearly taxes so Foreign owned dive companies set up companies to have 3-5 work-permits per company and create additional companies to look small for the Thai administration to avoid controls by the Revenue Department control or the Labour department.
So, to go around the law, that foreign owned dive companies ask foreign Instructors, willing to work with them as freelance, to make their own Thai companies with the help of greedy lawyers or accounting offices but in fact they are breaking the law by cheating on official documents by declaring Thai nominees as shareholders, directors and staffs.
As the dive industry lacks good ethics to regulate itself, the best would be that Governors of Phang-Nga and Krabi with the help of civil servants organize a full investigation to control all companies in the dive industry.
Those who are right have nothing to fear.
It is not too late to do Christmas is at the end of the week.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on December 21, 2010 13:19


To the editor - "And the administrators deserve support - any major change takes courage."

I agree that the administrators deserve support but am interested as to why you think enforcing the law would take courage? Why would they have anything to fear?

Posted by Emubob on December 21, 2010 15:57

Editor Comment:

Nothing to do with fear. They are administrators in temporary postings on Phuket. It's simple to leave things unchanged. Plenty of others have.


personally, I have had way too many run-ins with jet-skis. I'll be teaching a dive course well within the designated area, and they still find ways to almost kill us with great regularity. asking the jet-ski guys on shore to advise the skiers to respect the divers only results in intimidation and threats. it's a separate issue from the rip-offs, these guys feel they own the beach. they are already laughing because former gov. Wichai Praisa-Ngop had them scared for a minute, but then he termed out. now they will readily tell you themselves that nothing will change, these are their beaches, and if you know what's good you'll shut up. sound familiar? how many times do I see these guys at the beach, and how many times do I see Phuripat Theerakulpisut there? it's an open dare for Phuripat Theerakulpisut to even show himself at the beach and see for himself how "things really are" vs. what's talked about in the media. it's nice that you focus on the issue, good on you, but it's going to take genuine change on this and the tuk-tuk issue before I budge in my opinion that it's all just talk. there's no way they will phase out jet skis even after a government order.

Posted by JingJing on December 23, 2010 05:42

Editor Comment:

You and Khun Phuripat must be close if you claim to know how much time he spends at the beaches. Do you expect him to walk around with a megaphone saying: ''Hi, I'm Khun Phuripat, and I'm here to help?'' Opinions are fine. Speculation about what authorities are doing or are not doing becomes unfair once you single out individuals. Most of us realised that dares don't work about the same time we learned the truth about Santa Claus. I double-dare you to spare us this ''no way things are ever going to change'' stuff. Find new jobs for the jet-ski operators, and your problems will disappear.


@ Jing Jing, Agree 100% with you re the "behavior" of these thugs on Patong Beach. They are a bigger problem than the jet-skis themselves. "This is our beach", "Do you know Muay Thai?". Same attitude as tuk tuks and taxis.

Posted by mike on December 23, 2010 09:45

Editor Comment:

Are all jet-ski operators, taxi drivers and tuk-tuk drivers thugs? I am sure they are not. Keep a grip on the facts, please. No point in this constant exaggeration.


@Editor, thugs 90%, 40%, 60% (Jetskis, taxis, tuk tuks) with percentages increasing yearly. Station one of your Thai staff on Patong Beach for a first hand look.

Posted by mike on December 23, 2010 12:17

Editor Comment:

We know what Patong beach looks like. And I still think your percentages are based on pure guesswork.


"The natural resources will not stay forever,.." - most worrying comment in the article.
"They ( THEY ) made a story called 'Big Trouble' for the tv. I think that was not the real whole story. I looked on the television already: the tourists make trouble."

Editor, so use of the term, "they" is acceptable now, or just when Thais use it?
And, I'm sure it was JJ brandishing the rifle.

Posted by Jim E on December 24, 2010 03:58

Editor Comment:

Jim, two good points.


"Editor Comment:
You lost me when you started talking about ''they.'' And there I was thinking that Thailand was filled with individuals, just like every other country. It's certainly discriminatory - and inclined to inflame more blame-filled rhetoric -"

Editor's own response on thread about Russian tour guides. So, Thais are allowed bias against Caucasians, aka
"farang" ( they) or have you realized " they " it is just a term denoting a group?

Posted by Jim on December 25, 2010 03:52

Editor Comment:

The word is not the problem, Jim, but its improper use can be, especially when the ''they'' becomes an entire nation. It's not possible to generalise to that extent. It's not always a sign of bias, but it can be a sign of lack of thought.


editor comment:

No, you are wrong!

the Editor

Posted by lek on January 29, 2011 20:04


I use to go to Phuket every year and lived in Phuket for 8 years. Now I would not go back there if you paid me. First I would have to argue with Phuket Tuk Tuk M****, then I would not be safe swimming for fear I would be killed by a Jet ski and I can tell you dozens of my friends are dodging Phuket and Pataya for more than one reason.

Posted by robert on February 1, 2011 20:50

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