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New transfer markings are required for all legitimate Phuket taxis

Phuket Taxis Gain a Big Tick: 'Phantom' Fares Still Too High

Tuesday, October 16, 2012
PHUKET: A police team from outside Phuket is likely to make a surprise visit soon to crack down on illegal taxis now that the deadline for conversion to registered taxis has passed.

A meeting yesterday chaired by Vice Governor Jamleran Tipayapongtada noted the move and endorsed the latest schedule of fares.

Phuket's honorary consuls almost unanimously found fault with the fares when they met with former Phuket Governor Tri Augkradacha last month, highlighting especially the differences in cost to passengers going to and from Phuket airport.

Fares going to Phuket airport are often much higher than those going from the airport to the same part of Phuket.

Registration has not solved all the issues. It was apparent yesterday that 136 taxis had registered for the Mook Andaman group at Phuket International Airport.

However, the airport's General Manager, Wing Commander Prathuang Somkhom, noted that there is only room for 50 more registered taxis.

The members of the Transportation Committee of the Senate are due to visit Phuket on Friday to sort that one out.

Representatives of the taxis groups, mayors and local authorities appeared in agreement yesterday at Phuket Provincial Hall in Phuket City that the issue of illegal taxis had been mostly resolved.

Having a specific number for tourists to call to either book a taxi or to complain about the high fare - they can simply dial 1584 - also creates the basis for a better system in future.

The greatest injustice, however, still persists. Tourists have to pay for a trip they don't take, for the taxi to return to its home base once it has dropped them off.

As long as the taxis make that empty trip at the tourists' expense - because of long-standing Phuket territorial traditions - with tourists paying for a phantom trip, complaints are likely to continue.

However, as the honorary consuls were keen to point out when they last met, Phuket Land Transport Office Director Terayoot Prasertphol and his deputies appear to have finally managed to apply commonsense and order where there was once chaos and confusion.

The Phuket taxi fares that met with approval yesterday include the following:


Phuket Airport to Koh Sireh: 600 baht
Phuket Airport to Deep Sea Port: 750 baht
Phuket Airport to Chalong: 650 baht
Phuket Airport to Karon: 750 baht
Phuket Airport to Surin: 550 baht
Phuket Airport to Kamala: 600 baht


Karon to Patong: 400 baht
Karon to Phuket City: 550 baht
Karon to Phuket Airport: 1000 baht
Karon to Deep Sea Port: 700 baht
Karon to New Bus Station: 600 baht
Karon to Surin beach: 700 baht


Kamala to Patong: 400 baht
Kamala to Karon: 600 baht
Kamala to Rawai: 900 baht
Kamala to Phuket Airport: 700 baht
Kamala to Phuket City: 700 baht
Kamala to Cape Panwa: 900 baht


Patong to Kamala: 400 baht
Patong to Karon: 400 baht
Patong to Kata: 500 baht
Patong to Phuket Airport: 800 baht
Patong to Laguna: 600 baht
Patong tp Cape Promthep: 700 baht


Rawai to Deep Sea Port: 750 baht
Rawai to Cape Panwa: 800 baht
Rawai to Chalong Bay: 350 baht
Rawai to Kata: 400 baht
Rawai to Patong: 700 baht
Rawai to Surin: 900 baht
Rawai to Phuket Airport: 1000 baht
Rawai to Phuket City: 500 baht
Rawai to New bus Station: 600 baht

A check on the board at a Surin beach taxi and tuk-tuk rank - not part of the latest agreement - showed the following fares:


Surin to Phuket Airport: 700 baht
Surin to Kamala: 300 baht
Surin to JW Marriott: 900 baht
Surin to FantaSea (Kamala): 300 baht
Surin to Laguna: 400 baht
Surin to Mission Hills: 700 baht
Surin to Karon: 700 baht
Surin to Kata: 800 baht
Surin to Phuket City: 600 baht
Surin to Cape Promthep: 1200 baht
Surin to Cape Panwa: 1100 baht
Surin to Khao Lak: 2500 baht
Surin to Krabi: 3500 baht


Comments have been disabled for this article.


Another rip off. Why is airport to Patong not mentioned?

Posted by Mick.s on October 16, 2012 18:56


The fact that you mention a team from outside Phuket is going to make a surprise visit soon....obviously doesn't make it much of a surprise anymore.

Posted by sky on October 16, 2012 20:55


So why exactly is a taxi ride to or from the airport 800B, but a ride in a Bangkok metered taxi for the same distance is 190B? Phuket is the only place in Thailand where the transport system is specifically priced for the tourists, and specifically designed to be able to take advantage of tourists' lack of knowledge of distances. And locals have no way to get around if they need public transport. This price fixing and complete lack of reasonably priced transport is destroying this island in so many ways. Very sad.

Posted by NomadJoe on October 16, 2012 20:56


There should be no need for these fares if the taxis have meters.
Problem is, they don't seem to have them any more - where have they gone?
I just got a taxi from the airport to Chalong, it used to be (by the meter) 330 Baht plus 100 for the airport tax, so, 430 Baht plus a tip. Today I went to the kiosk and was told "500 Baht". In the taxi, no meter. This is the norm now, it seems.
Yesterday, in Bangkok, I took a taxi trip which lasted about 30 minutes, due to traffic, and it cost me 113 Baht - on a meter, and the cabbie was quite happy with a 10 Baht tip!
Phuket pricing is scandalous.
It is all very well to note that tourist numbers are rising here, the fact is, though, that these are mainly Chinese, and they don't use this type of transport. The taxi business is cutting its own throat.
Som nom nah, me thinks.

Posted by Peter on October 16, 2012 21:08


"Phuket Airport to Chalong: 650 baht"

use to be 390thb one year ago when meter-taxi used the meter, now the refuse to use and use flatprice instead

And the black taxis start harass you inside and no parking outside, next time someone should video this guys that are illeigal that are inside the airport and put on youtube..

Posted by Kruger S on October 16, 2012 22:28


Why are these taxis not using LPG which is about 12 baht pre litre. Every vehicle can do 10km/l at least. Which translates from Phuket town to the airport 30 baht. Sure they have to make a profit, multiply it by 5 - 150 baht is more than reasonable with about 100 baht profit after wear/tear... easy.

Posted by Tbs on October 16, 2012 23:56


Can only say, "Peng mak mak!"

Posted by Alfred on October 17, 2012 01:53


what was the big tick for??

Posted by another Steve on October 17, 2012 06:42


To get away from the airport taxis and their fares and bad attitudes, I have recently used the meter taxis. At least they are a bit cheaper, even if they don't use their meters.(airport/Patong 500bt.) However, their drivers can be as mad as the rest. My daughter commented that she had never been more scared in her life by that meter taxi ride from airport to Patong.
Last week, with time to spare, I used the bus from Patong to Big C, 25bt, and picked up the Orange bus at Big C to the airport-90bt. (airportbus It took 2 hours all told, but felt hugely satisfying.
At the weekend, I am going to use a pre-booked taxi service. More expensive, but hopefully better and safer. (
The taxi zonal system is the cause of high fares and disputes.

Posted by Ga on October 17, 2012 09:11


If they want t find the illegal Taxis tell them to head to Karon Beach Road, the yellow bays are still full of them all day, every day.

Posted by phuket madness on October 17, 2012 10:29


Good win for the mafia. The ridiculous prices have been given a blessing by those in charge. Local people cannot afford these prices and Tourists will not be encouraged to visit other parts of Phuket and in turn spend tourist dollars in these areas.

Posted by chaseone on October 17, 2012 11:17


The impression given by your article that the licensing of illegal hire cars is well advanced and that it is being fully implemented is quite wrong.

Yesterday I checked along Karon Beach Road between the Karon Circle and the slope up to Kata. As you know all the curb space along Karon Beach is owned by a cartel. They are making only token gestures towards implementing the licensing requirements.

There were 95 vehicles standing for hire under cartel protection on this 3km length of road. 18 were tuk-tuks, of which 3 had white plates (private cars) and are ineligible for ''legalisation''. Fifteen were minibuses of which 9 had white plates. They are also ineligible for legalisation.

Not one of the 62 saloon cars complied with the new regulations. Not one had green plates (except 3 original old green plated cars). None had the licence number painted on the rear sides. Cars under cartel protection are not painting the drivers name on the front doors as required. Instead they are displaying the logo and name of the cartel, and in letters much smaller than required.

Most of the 62 cars have made no attempt to comply with any part of the new regulations. A few cars have the drivers name written on the door, some in felt pen.

This poorly devised scheme is already unenforceable. Soon it will disappear and be forgotten.

Posted by Jason on October 17, 2012 18:47

Editor Comment:

The article reports what's been said at this week's meeting and at past meetings. The green plates are subject to delays because of the production problems being experienced with all number plates. What you see in Karon may well be an accurate indication of reaction there but it's unfair to jump to conclusions about the entire project two days after the passing of the registration deadline based on what you've seen at just one site. Good for you, though, to check. Karon was supposed to be the model for a call centre last year, but a centre wasn't wanted by the drivers. Definitely a tough nut to crack but no point in predicting negative outcomes until the current strategy runs its course.


Ed your readers are now doing the reporting!. I have no problem in predicting a negative outcome, based on all the known facts and track record.

Posted by stu on October 17, 2012 19:34

Editor Comment:

You have no problem in predicting a negative outcome, stu, because it's so easy even you can do it. Doomsayers - or in Phuket's case, doomstayers - are a dime a dozen. Fresh ideas? Too hard.


taxi mafia has won, this pricing is a huge scandal ! and everybody knows there is no alternative as public transport is almost nonexistent.

Posted by Anonymous on October 17, 2012 20:20


On 19th October, the vice-governor announced that all illegal taxi vehicles that have registered for green plates must, by November 1st, carry yellow stickers with the driver???s name in Thai and English on the front doors; the Transport Department hotline number 1584 on the rear door, the vehicle number code and the operating base at the rear.

The following week a team from Bangkok undertook a well-publicised ''crackdown'' on illegal taxis that had not registered for green plates.

Now the enforcers have returned to Bangkok, the deadline has passed, and the streets are again full of private cars operating as illegal taxis with no attempt to comply.

A check along the 3km length of Karon Beach Road between Karon Circle and the slope up to Kata yesterday showed that 83 vehicles were offered for hire under the protection of the monopoly KT cartel.

Of these, 30 had legal yellow (25 tuk-tuks, 3 minibuses, 1 pickup) or green plates (1 old saloon car). Two cars carried new green plates but had no yellow stickers.

If ''compliance'' is minimally defined as having the two yellow stickers (assuming the green plates and vehicle number code will come later) then only 2 cars out of 53 were compliant.

Of the non-compliant vehicles, 11 vehicles were of types not eligible for the ''green plates'' scheme (4 white-plate tuk-tuks and 8 minibuses).

Of 38 white-plate saloon cars, 24 had no markings, 14 carried only the hotline number sticker.

None of the 14 driver encampments on the Beach Road had fares displayed as required.

With minimal compliance, this poorly conceived scheme is already unenforceable against a powerful cartel. Soon it will disappear and be forgotten.

Posted by Jason on November 2, 2012 21:55

Editor Comment:

Phuket comes with constant pressure, not in overnight triumphs.

But thanks for the update. We wish more readers supplied real information.

Monday June 17, 2024
Horizon Karon Beach Resort & Spa


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