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Suddenly service is back in fashion in Kata Karon

Phuket Tuk-Tuk Drivers Learning How to be Liked

Tuesday, August 25, 2009
TUK-TUK drivers, beach boys, masseuses, souvenir shop owners and vendors from Phuket's Karon beach gathered last week to begin a course in politeness and service.

In the audience alongside them were jet-ski operators, longtail boat owners and resort workers.

Television talkshow celebrity Dr Abhichat Damdee told the 300 who gathered at Tessaban Karon: ''Making a big sale is not as important as making sure the customers come back.''

Learning what tourists expect and caring for the environment were two essentials, he said, noting that the motto for Phuket should be: ''Sea, sun, sand, service, smile, no sex.''

Asked later why security was not on the list, Dr Abhichat said: ''There isn't anywhere in the world where security can be guaranteed these days.''

He asked everyone: ''Do you make money from the rubber tree? Do you make money from the farms?''

The chorus was ''No, we make money from the tourists.''

''Well,'' Dr Abhichat said, ''during the high season you will be busy so the low season is a good time to learn how to do your jobs better.''

The session lasted for almost three hours. The tessaban has undertaken to teach English to locals involved with tourism at no cost.

''If the tourist isn't happy, where will your income come from?'' Dr Abhichat said. ''Phuket has very good resorts, good beaches.

''In Cambodia, all you see is temples.

''Phuket has water sports, the Big Buddha, mountains, waterfalls, diving . . . there is plenty of choice, plenty to do here. Everybody wants to have a good time on holidays.

''The gold is in your hands. How do you protect it?

''Some places would envy everything you have on Phuket. You should be proud, and you should protect it properly.''

More sessions are planned.

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Comments have been disabled for this article.


Meanwhile in Patong, Nepali tailors were receiving video training on how if they each harass 1000 tourists per day they might each get one sale.

Posted by Philip on August 25, 2009 08:52


It will be a hard job to turn the Tuk Tuk thugs into polite people while they are grossly over charging every tourist. As usual the authorities have no idea what is putting off the tourists coming back to Phuket

Peter J Notley

Posted by peter Notley on August 25, 2009 11:50


Its a great idea for Dr Abhichat Damdee and the Tessaban of Karon to try to do this..but really.? If they just go up behind the Temple of Karon Beach they will find most of these people own property and land there, and they are quite wealthy.. So they have the attitude of if the tourists aren't happy don't worry their is always more coming . . .

Posted by Marc Husted on August 25, 2009 18:55


As stated above like the televistion guy said " where do you make your money " what was the cry " fron the tourist" will it change not a chance all we are is cash anyway any how. No police high ranking police present no tourist ministers what was the point. Why were the correct answers not directed at the tuk tuk opps and all the other scammers good job we are not as taken in as the locals, as a further warning to the tourism bosses it was reported here on the BBC morning news that thailand is now the most dangerouse place for British tourists to travel too when a warning from Simon Calder who is the main travel reporter for the beeb talks everyone listens.So im afraid all the daft and stupid ideas they come up with will not save you its too late. Phukets greed and curruption has cost you now and in the future.

Posted by Billy Dle on August 26, 2009 01:16


All these comments should be sent to the Governor of Phuket and the authorities. I don't think they are really aware of the continuing problems concerning tuk tuks and all the other scams that abound on Phuket, mainly because they never encounter such problems personally. Its a crying shame to see Phuket going downhill, and to hear the very negative stories told by people returning from their ''dream'' holiday.

Posted by elizabeth on August 29, 2009 22:36


1. Get rid of the taxi/tuk tuk monopoly:
In Bangkok 25km taxi is about 150 baht, here in phuket it'd be 10 times that. How can you like someone openly robbing you?

2. Stop the hard sell. If someone wants something they'll ask for it. For the millionth time, no I don't want a....[tuk tuk, taxi, massage etc...]

3. Tell them to stop that 'Hello my friend...' line. As soon as I hear that I know the con is starting.

Posted by Anonymous on September 4, 2009 14:00


What on earth are you dribbling on about Billy Dle?

Posted by Sam on March 5, 2010 16:07

Sunday June 23, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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