Individual passengers are being charged up to 2000 baht for the trip from Phuket International Airport to Patong while groups have to pay as much as 4000 baht for a minivan.
Phuket Land Transport Office specialist Jaturong Keawkasi says the rip-offs occur because many charter flights are now arriving from China in the early hours of the morning. The official taxi booking desk is closed between 1am and 7.30am.
''Airports of Thailand [the Phuket airport's managers] should look at a 24-hour system,'' he said.
Chinese Vice-Consul Qin Jian added today that many Chinese tourists were still being asked to pay between 50 baht and 200 baht extra to avoid queues on arrival at Phuket.
''The tour guides tell the tourists to put the money in their passports when they arrive at Immigration,'' the vice-consul said today.
''I've suggested that the arriving tourists take photographs or video with their smartphones, but photography is banned in the Phuket arrivals hall.''
Problems with jet-ski and motorcycle ''damage'' scams seemed to have disappeared for now, the vice-consul said.
''Phuket is by no means the worst place in Thailand for motorcycle hiring scams. That 'honor' goes to Koh Tao.''
Koh Tao in Surat Thani was voted in as No. 8 among the world's best islands by readers of Tripadvisor just last month.
''We are aware of the problems with extortionate fares from the airport on Phuket,'' said the vice-consul. ''Most people pay up and do not realise until later that they have been ripped off.''
Tourists who do not come on packages are the ones most vulnerable.
''My advice to tourists visiting Phuket is to not hire a car or a motorcycle, or a jet-ski,'' he said.
However, some problems are diminishing. ''There was a spate of thefts from locked safes in resorts,'' he said. ''That appears to have come to an end. Perhaps the thieves have moved on.''
Phuket remained an appealing destination for tourists from China, he said, with about 500,000 visiting the island last year and more than that number expected to come this year.