Phuket, Thailand is a popular tourist destination known for its beautiful beaches and vibrant nightlife, however, the taxi culture in Phuket has been a source of concern for many visitors.
- Overcharging: One of the most common complaints about taxi culture in Phuket is that taxi drivers frequently overcharge tourists, either by using rigged meters or by quoting excessive flat rates. It is best to agree on the fare before getting into the taxi and if possible, try to get an estimate from a local or use a ride-hailing app.
- Refusing to use the meter: Some taxi drivers in Phuket will refuse to use the meter and instead will try to negotiate a higher flat rate with tourists. It is important to insist on using the meter or agree on the fare before getting into the taxi.
- Lack of knowledge of destinations: Some taxi drivers in Phuket may not be familiar with the destinations that tourists want to go to, and may take them on a longer or more circuitous route in order to increase the fare. It is advisable to have the address written down in Thai or use a GPS to track the route.
- Unsafe driving: Some taxi drivers in Phuket are known for engaging in reckless or dangerous driving practices, which can put passengers at risk. It is important to choose a reputable taxi company and to speak up if the driver is engaging in unsafe behavior.
- Touts and Scams: Taxis in Phuket may not always be legitimate. Touts and scammers may pose as taxi drivers and try to overcharge tourists or take them to fake destinations. It’s best to avoid unlicensed taxi and use a reputable taxi company or ride-hailing app instead.
It’s worth noting that not all taxi drivers in Phuket engage in these practices, and many are honest and reliable. However, it’s important to be aware of these issues and to take precautions when using taxis in Phuket to ensure a safe and enjoyable visit.
In conclusion, the taxi culture in Phuket, Thailand has been a source of concern for many visitors due to issues such as overcharging, refusing to use the meter, lack of knowledge of destinations, unsafe driving, and touts and scams. To ensure a safe and enjoyable visit, it’s important to be aware of these issues and take precautions when using taxis in Phuket.
It is recommended to:
- Agree on the fare before getting into the taxi
- Insist on using the meter
- Have the address written down in Thai or use a GPS to track the route
- Choose a reputable taxi company or use a ride-hailing app
- Speak up if the driver is engaging in unsafe behavior
- Avoid unlicensed taxi and touts
By following these recommendations, visitors can ensure that they have a safe and enjoyable experience when using taxis in Phuket.