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Parking restrictions will limit the number of tuk-tuks on Patong's streets

Patong to Clear Taxis, Tuk-Tuks From Streets

Wednesday, July 2, 2014
PHUKET: The remarkable reformation of Phuket continued yesterday in Patong, where taxi and tuk-tuk drivers face new get-tough police enforcement and where resorts are being asked to ''take in a taxi driver.''

Among the potential highlights of the ''new'' Patong:

.. 100 percent law enforcement by police

.. a no-parking regimen that will clear the streets of tuk-tuks and taxis

.. a free tuk-tuk loop of the one-way system

That's the plan to free up space for traffic flow and parking in Patong's cluttered streets, where there will be no parking for perhaps two months as police break the grip of the taxi and tuk-tuk drivers.

At least, that's the plan. A resort manager at the summit yesterday at Patong's municipal offices said he had noticed that while the illegal taxi shacks had been demolished, drivers were back sitting in the same spots in plastic chairs under umbrellas.

''So the issue is not resolved,'' said the manager, who preferred to remain anonymous. Another resort manager - one of about 40 at the meeting - also had an important point to make.

''The taxi drivers are not all that worried about their fares,'' he said. ''Most of them make the bulk of their income by getting high commissions from places that pay them to bring tourists.''

A third manager called for the tuk-tuks to be used quickly in a free ride around the Patong one-way loop with a free ''city tour'' to Phuket Town suggested as another worthwhile option.

Chairing the meeting, the Director of Kathu district, Saiyan Chanawong, called on Patong's 120 resort to consider ''taking in some taxi drivers'' and absorbing them as part of the staff.

''That would help to clear Patong's roads,'' he said. ''We are going ahead with a plan to structure a call centre so resorts can order up taxis or tuk-tuks as they are required. But we need a large holding area and they are rare around Patong.''

He said council officials were looking at parking space near Tritrang beach, south of Patong, but the area might not be large enough.

''All the illegal queues around Patong have been demolished now,'' he said. ''Fortunately, so far no charges have been laid, the way they did in Kata-Karon [where more than 110 drivers and council officials face charges.]''

The aim is to have just two taxis or tuk-tuks at each of several parking spots in Patong - and illegal parking will be completely outlawed. The call centre will supply all resorts.

The new ''road map'' for Patong will be implemented by July 15, he said.

He added that he will also implement the clearances of foreshore businesses at Patong and Kamala beaches, which both come under the control of Kathu district.

''We have two months, three at most to implement the changes peacefully,'' he said. ''If the drivers and vendors choose not to abide by the new arrangements, the Army will sort them out. It's that simple.''

The chief of traffic at Kathu Police Station, Lieutenant Eakkarat Paidong, said Patong currently had 400 tuk-tuks and 500 legal taxis, plus illegal ''black'' vehicles.

''Now we have a new plan, parking and holding,'' he said. ''If resorts can take in taxi drivers, that will help.

''As part of the plan, all of Patong's streets are to be painted with red and white no parking stripes. That will be the case for at least two months. Yes, even the car hire vehicles will be forced off beach road.

''Then, when we have restored an orderly traffic flow, we will mark a small number of parking spots in black and white.''

The Superintendent of Kathu Police, Colonel Jirapat Palchanaphan, said: ''From now on there will be 100 percent enforcement of the law throughout Patong. No exceptions.''


Comments have been disabled for this article.


I loved the key phrase here 'At least, that's the plan'. Any military man knows that no plan survives the first contact

Bearing in mind we have (in theory) had the tuk tuks, rentals and taxis cleared from the streets in January (and on numerous other occasions the proof will be in the pudding.

If there is to be NO street parking though I wonder where I am supposed to park my car if I choose to visit Patong in the next 2 months- mind you it gives me yet another reason not to bother.

Posted by Mister Ree on July 2, 2014 09:26


@ airport samesame ! Yesterday they charged 750 bath to go Kamala. And why are there no minibuses stoping @ kamala,surin, bangtao... We who living her know, do u?

Posted by Xettan on July 2, 2014 11:03


It's like Christmas. I love it.

Posted by NomadJoe on July 2, 2014 11:40


They should check out that huge plot of land on Soi Ratchapathanuson. Just up from the Patong Municipal Office.

The owner fenced it in a few years ago. I have a hard to judging Rai, but maybe 10 rai.

The "word" was that it was fenced off to stop encroachment as the Patong Tunnel elevated highway was going in that area.

Somebody is holding on to it still hoping. Rent it out while you wait and make a few baht. It's already leveled and has a fence surrounding it. A few som tam shacks and you will be set.

Posted by GiantFan on July 2, 2014 12:08


@ Mister Ree; Talk about s#!* colored glasses. I think it's clear they are talking about clearing the illegally parked tuk tuks and taxis, and giving the legal spaces back to the people. But hey, never let the facts get in the way of your relentless obsession with bashing Phuket.

Posted by NomadJoe on July 2, 2014 12:08


Getting the police to do their job DAILY , and 'police' parking and not 'selling' or taking graft for not enforcing the rules on each spot is the REAL challenge.
Clear signage and markings would help.

Posted by Chob on July 2, 2014 13:18


Building many towers for car-parks would be the best solution for Patong and make compulsory all new buildings to have compulsory 4-5 floors to be for parking the cars as it is done in Singapore.

Posted by Whistle-Blower on July 2, 2014 13:27


After years of having hotel guest harassed, beaten, pulled out of cars, practically kidnapped and ripped off, the GM's are now supposed to employ these people, thus representing the hotel? Sure let a few be on standby but hire them? Well at least then they might have to pay taxes. But highly unlikely as they have created nothing but havoc and are certainly single-handedly responsible for at least some drop in the amount of tourist visiting Phuket.
Pitty they can't read the English press , Trip Advisor and other forums to see really see the disservice they have done to tourism and the dominion effect that has on everyone working in it.

Posted by Vfaye on July 2, 2014 14:19



I would say the article isnt clear, it does state:

"As part of the plan, all of Patong's streets are to be painted with red and white no parking stripes."

That suggests that there is no parking for ANYONE: Taxis, rentals or private cars.

I dont think its about anyone bashing Phuket, but I dont know where I am going to park either....

Posted by Amazing Thailand on July 2, 2014 14:29


I don't know Patong very well. Is there ANY public land any more? I keep thinking that a big parking structure should be built somewhere there and run by the city. Fro those who can afford it, using Junk Ceylon or another private parking area is fine and no big deal. But for those who can't and live and/ or work in the area, public parking garages would lead to a lot less driving around and provide taxis a place to set up shop.

Posted by Anonymous on July 2, 2014 14:45

Editor Comment:

Get on your bicycle, anonymous. Make it easy.


Even though the shacks are demolished the resort manager is correct that the drivers are in the same spots. Just cruise the Surin area. Where is the follow up by local police?

Posted by graham on July 2, 2014 16:48

Editor Comment:

Give Major General Paveen a call, graham. No point sounding off here.


these crooks have obstructed resorts & harassed & intimidated any customer leaving do you think they will want them on actually on their premises ,should be able to get there own customer courtesy veh and employ whom they like not some quick buck artist with bad habits.

Posted by slickmelb on July 2, 2014 17:16


Ha ha ha Jack and his exteneded family are back. Without breaking this mafia clan, you are barking up the wrong tree.
When we see charges and long prison terms I,ll believe it. Only recently I was threatened with a pistol for trying t park in a "public" parking area. So lets see some proper action not just hot ars.. air. Yes Jacks back.

Posted by Graham on July 2, 2014 18:39


We don't know Jack ( squat ) about the future, but if the Army keeps up the good work, almost everyone will be Jacked-up..and Jack may end up with egg on his face,looking more like a Dick,or perhaps Richard..

Posted by farang888 on July 3, 2014 07:38


Looks like some real progress. Agree with a few others that expecting the resorts to "take in" the taxi-driving crooks that have threatened and attacked guests for years is ridiculous.

Posted by David on July 8, 2014 11:12


Does anyone know the rules on a Tuk Tuk? I read some where at a Tuk Tuk can not have a rear entrance, the entrance most be on one of the side, this is because of the many falling out of the Tuk Tuk whit entrance back.

Posted by Bjorn Ronningen on July 12, 2014 06:44

Editor Comment:

Side-entrance tuk-tuks were supposed to operate in Phuket City but they've all mostly followed the money to the west coast.


Side entrance tuktuks are the old style, new tuktuks are required to have their entrance at the back.

Posted by stevenl on July 12, 2014 10:05

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