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These protesting illegal Phuket tuk-tuks now have yellow roofs and a legal life

Yellow Top Tuk-Tuks To Charge 30 Baht

Wednesday, July 29, 2015
PHUKET: A breakaway group of 87 Phuket tuk-tuks will be permitted to charge only a 30 baht fare to carry customers around a carefully designated zone in Phuket City, a meeting heard today.

The 87 tuk-tuks, until recently operating illegally, have been fitted with distinctive yellow tops to make their identities plain to law enforcement officers and passengers.

Governor Nisit Jansomwong told a meeting of top island officials today that fares would not be negotiable.

''The fare is set at 30 baht per passenger,'' the governor said at Phuket Provincial Hall. ''It is not possible for higher fares to be negotiated.''

Any driver found breaching the 30-baht per passenger rule would be fined 5000 baht for a first offence and then lose their right to operate for a second offence, Governor Nisit said.

The 87 tuk-tuk drivers were caught out when the announcement was made last year that there would be no more tuk-tuks on the holiday island.

In a compromise solution, the tuk-tuk drivers - who previously faced the wrath of legal tuk-tuk drivers mostly operating in Patong, Karon and along Phuket's west coast. - now must make the revolutionary idea work in a limited zone centring on Old Phuket Town on the other side of the holiday island.

It's not known whether the views of the motorcycle taxi riders who operate around Phuket City have been canvassed about the new yellow-top tuk-tuks.


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Why 30 Bath in Phuket when in Pattaya are 10 Bath?

Posted by Bjorn Ronningen on July 29, 2015 15:31

Editor Comment:

Goodness, Bjorn. Most people would view this move as a step in the right direction. Unless I am mistaken, the Pattaya 10 baht service is along a set route. The Phuket service is more wide-ranging. We see this as a positive move. So will most people - especially the residents. Now some people can even put their kids into a covered vehicle to go to school in the rain.


This may be the first time that I can recall that I actually agree with a compromise here.

Posted by GiantFan on July 29, 2015 15:36


Good move. Now bring them to Patong & Karon/Kata.

Posted by jimbo34 on July 29, 2015 16:44


There is not enough customers to carry around Old Town by 87 tuktuks, be it high , shoulder or green season.

It is destined to be marketing failure the same way as 2.5 hrs 120 THB bus from the airport to Patong via Tesco Bypass, that is running at least hourly, so 150THB minibus 1.5-2hrs departure immediately always better option.

I wonder whether it is intentional misdesign to show only later that this model doesn't work as no demand, and then leave these 87 tuktuks alone to work as usually.

Posted by Sue on July 29, 2015 17:01


Bjorn: you are confusing the 'song taews' of Pattaya (& Chiang Mai & Korat) which are a step on, pay 10 baht to get off, service; not tuk tuks.

Posted by Logic on July 29, 2015 17:02


Will they run along set routes, like buses, or can you ask them to take you to a specific place? If they are to run along pre-ordained routes, where can we get a route map??

Posted by TC on July 29, 2015 17:21

Editor Comment:

Yellow-top movements are limited within Phuket City so we'll find out the boundaries. Essentially, they go where passengers ask them to go, within reason. We'd guess they'd be popular for journeys to school, that kind of thing.


and does anyone really think the average tourist will understand this?...the drivers will be sly enough to take advantage of the naivity

Posted by sky on July 29, 2015 17:23

Editor Comment:

It's more for residents than tourists. The people who have never been able to afford tuk-tuks or taxis.


Logic@ Yes i think the best to have 'song taews' like Pattaya & Chiang Mai & Korat in Phuket, what not ?
Whay to pay 400 Bath from Kata to Karon.

Posted by Bjorn Ronningen on July 29, 2015 17:29


very good , hope this will apply elsewhere and don t forget that Patong to Phuket town with a songthaew is 50 baths

Posted by Anonymous on July 29, 2015 17:53


The 'recently illegal' tuk-tuks are continuing to operate 'illegally' all along Karon Beach, resplendent in their yellow tops and white plates. About seven are operating there now and we're awaiting the arrival of the remaining 81.

Posted by jonas on July 29, 2015 18:01

Editor Comment:

First offence, 5000 baht. Second offence, you lose your livelihood.


This is good news. I hope it works for the tuk tuk drivers and passengers alike

Posted by Paul on July 29, 2015 18:27


Ok 30 baht - tip me how much?

Posted by Tipini on July 29, 2015 19:06


Please please may I ask all contributors to the comments section, when speaking about the Thai money it is called the BAHT. Sound of Baat, not bl---y baths. Baths are what you take when you want to soak and get clean.
Sue don't comment please.

Posted by Anno on July 29, 2015 19:37


There are also fines for illegal parking, dangerous driving, running red lights, speeding etc - but these are rarely (if ever) enforced. It's all well and good to have 5,000 baht (not bath!) fine for first offence and loss of license for second offence - but ONLY if it's enforced

With such lax enforcement of other taxi and traffic rules, this has the possibility of being more harsh words and no action. I hope it won't be, but as it has been said before, the definition of madness is doing the same action over and over again, but expecting a different outcome.

Posted by Discover Thainess on July 29, 2015 21:35

Editor Comment:

If six taxi drivers have been pinged for doctoring meters, that's a sign that enforcement is being strengthened on regulations governing taxis. There is no blue-sky solution. But all the movement recently has indicated that authorities are on-board and enforcement is improving. Overnight changes - like the beach clearances - seldom happen.


will they be waiting until they get a full load of paying passengers, or will they transport just one person with no problem ?

Posted by mike on July 29, 2015 22:24

Editor Comment:

Maybe you should ask a tuk-tuk driver, mike. But they are clearly not buses.


But 87 tuk tuks will "hopefully" not be all on road at the same time. And even if they are, morning rush hour getting kids to school or parents to work or grandma to the shop? Evening the opposite and nighttime home from restaurants or pubs. Not too many. Just right.

Posted by GiantFan on July 29, 2015 22:26

Editor Comment:

It's a bold move but it is worth remembering that previous attempts to keep some tuk-tuks operating in Phuket City, away from the west coast, have failed. The yellow-top designation makes enforcement easier, provided there is enforcement.



sorry,,it's not yr business, whether I'm commenting or not.

Still you jumped on A SINGLE person above, who indeed in 2 posts has romanized Thai national currency as "Bath", and also has unnecessarily applied plural form.

But who the fXXk is worrying how the THB is being romanized..?

Having nothing to say on substance, you have resorted to a pettifogging, piddling, the least important argument.
Besides all that while plainly spotting that the person's written English for the most part may have to be improved.

Nevertheless the person has revealed a number of suggestions on the gist of the discussion,well worth discussing.

You'd better address them, if you have anything of value to share on the topic.

Posted by Sue on July 29, 2015 22:41


Oh yes, they are just allowed in Phuket City, but I have seen at least one of them in Karon tonight. I cannot guarantee he was carrying passengers, but watch out for these. As long as they stick to the rules, it is a giant step forward.

Posted by Beer Chang on July 29, 2015 23:22

Editor Comment:

Yellow-top tuk-tuk drivers probably have homes. The rules don't restrict where they live.


Ha! Anno you beat me to it! Good man!
BTW it's 'baht' - lower case. For some crazy reason the French insist on 'bath'. I really wonder why...

Posted by Sam wilko on July 30, 2015 07:43


Phuket Town already has reasonably priced tuk-tuks for locals + pink buses and a soon to become tram system. Now 30 Bt tuk-tuks.
Just another evasion from the real issue which is reasonably priced inter-beach public transport of which there is none and probably never will be

Posted by Sir Burr on July 30, 2015 08:48

Editor Comment:

Sir Burr, constant criticism of progress is a hindrance to change. Let it go, please.



You say"constant criticism of progress is a hindrance to change".

Not from me it isn't. I'm a foreigner and totally powerless. Positive, or negative will not affect the outcome. Only Thais can effect change and so far, they are failing miserably.

Posted by Sir Burr on July 30, 2015 14:02


In Nakhon Si a meter taxi is 30 baht for the first 2km's then 4 baht a km after that. A city pick up has a 20 baht surcharge and an airport run 50 baht.

The Airport is about 12-14 km's from city so about 70 baht + 50 baht makes an airport run about 120 baht. Even with a good 80 baht tip your still only at 200 baht which is what tuk tuks in Patong want for a 500 metre ride or 400 baht from Patong to Karon.

However, even in Nakhon a meter taxi can only drop you at the airport. There is a cartel that uses private cars that take you into town- for 300 baht which is over double the price of a meter taxi.

Posted by Arun Muruga on July 30, 2015 17:18


Sir Burr,

These damn Thais! Why can't they just do what us farang tell them to do? Silly Rabbits...

Posted by matt on July 30, 2015 18:27


I hope the situation is revisited soon to see how it really works out.

Posted by mike on July 31, 2015 22:00


Arun Murunga,

how much normally one should pay taxi from Nakon Si airport, or bus station to Khanom, please?

Posted by Sue on August 1, 2015 22:52


Just a thought. Aren't you better off getting to Surat Thani and then getting a cab?

Posted by MoW on August 2, 2015 07:00


Question, Phuketwan: Wasn't the deal, this yeloow roofed TukTuk's have only a license, in Phuket toen, on 30 Baht/person base? How comes, that minimum one of it is driving in the evening/night in Kata around, on 200, 300, xxx Baht base? Like all the others? Isn't that enough a 5000 baht fine

Posted by Bystander on February 27, 2016 22:42

Friday December 8, 2023
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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