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Assualted Over Parking Spot

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Parking may be at a premium in Phuket but this is crazy.

French tourists attacked for parking in 'wrong place'

PHUKET: Chalong Police are on the hunt for a man presumed to be a ‘tuk-tuk / taxi driver’ who allegedly set upon a French family with a beach umbrella in the Kata area of Phuket on Saturday evening.

The family, an elderly couple on holiday with their 44-year old son, his wife and their three children, aged 14 months, seven and nine, claim they were attacked when they parked their rented car along the Kata Beach road.

The family claims they were confronted by a man outside the Karon Municipality offices, at the southern end of Kata Beach.

He was aggressive and told them to move the vehicle, the family said.

After checking the area for no-parking signs, and seeing none, the family refused to move their car and began unloading their beach items.

Moments later, the man returned and assaulted them with the shaft of a beach umbrella, breaking the 44-year-old man’s arm. The 68-year-old father also sustained numerous bruises in the attack.

Many people saw the incident, which occurred at about 5pm, but no-one went to the family’s aid, the victims claimed.

The family escaped in their car, stopping at the Kata Palm Resort to recover from their ordeal. Staff at the resort alerted paramedics.

The family reported the attack to police on Sunday. Today, Chalong police invited the victims to study police file photos of known criminals in the area of the attack.

The victims have apparently identified their attacker and police are believed to be tracking him down.

Phuket's public transport shortcomings have been been the subject of bitter complaints from local residents and foreign tourists for at least a decade.

The complaints have intensified sharply this month, to the point where public outrage could culminate in mob action by victims of the system.

Following publication of a story by the Phuket Gazette on Dec 12, in which taxi drivers were alleged to have threatened and verbally abused staff and tour company representatives at the four-star Centara Karon Resort, the Gazette Online's Phuket Forum saw the first in what has turned out to be several hundred complaints from angry local residents and foreign tourists.

http://www.phuketgaz...ail.asp?id=8171

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I have learned to simply find somewhere else to park if someone is making an issue of it, even if they are rude and aggressive. That is one kind of battle that I think is not worth fighting. Even if I ignore someone going ballistic over the spot where I wanted to park, I would be concerned that I would come back later only to find the paint keyed, the tires slashed, or worse.

I always carry a mobile phone that has a camera function. I would try to get a photo of the person if I could or a photo of his license plate. I also keep the police telephone number ready on speed dial.

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Is the fact these people are French family relevant? This is not a trick question. Maybe the suggestion is that the French, are more likely than others to be involved in this type of altercation?

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Is the fact these people are French family relevant? This is not a trick question. Maybe the suggestion is that the French, are more likely than others to be involved in this type of altercation?

Consider this recipe: one parking space, peak season, one French family, one Tuk-Tuk driver, throw in a dash of noon day tropical sun. You have a volatile mix if there ever was one. Great recipe for fisticuffs.

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I recall an incident in Chicago many years ago. There had been a big snowstorm. A man's car was parked in front of his house and snowed in. He had to go to the pharmacy, so he shoveled the snow to get his car out. He placed 2 chairs and a ladder in the space to save it for when he returned. When he got home a short time later there was another guy just parking his car in the space after removing the chairs and ladder. The first guy told him that was his space and he had worked hard to clear it. The second guy told him it was a public street and he had no right to reserve the space. The first guy didn't argue. He just went and got his garden hose and ran water all over the guy's car until it was encased in ice. The guy tried to sue him, but to no avail since the guy had not touched or damaged his car. People do get crazy over parking spaces.

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Tuk tuk and baht bus drivers are way beyond control here.

Wish we had baht buses here on Phuket Island.

I could tell you so many stories about my experiences trying to park in Patong. Initially i held my ground, but after numerous flat tyres and other vandalism, even had a gun pointed at me, I just avoid these thugs and get on with my life.

I tell everyone I know & meet not to take a Tuk Tuk, better rent a car, or even take the very limited bus service. The only way these guys will learn some manners is to hit them in the pocket. But that will take years, maybe never.

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I tell everyone I know & meet not to take a Tuk Tuk, better rent a car, or even take the very limited bus service.

What about motorbike taxis? Does Phuket have them? Do they charge reasonable prices?

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If they don't have motorbike taxis, I think Pattaya has a couple hundred extra taxi guys we could send them.

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What about motorbike taxis? Does Phuket have them? Do they charge reasonable prices?

Patong has motor bike taxis, cheapest ride would be 40 baht, but they ask 60 baht even for less than 1 km. I once took a motor bike into Phuket town about 6 years ago, cost me 100 baht for less than 8 km, and I had to bargain hard to even get that price. The Tuk Tuks won't allow mo-bike taxis in Karon and Kata beaches. Often a group of tourists are given price of 100 baht in Tuk Tuk for less than 1 km along Patong beach front, but when they arrive the price is per person resulting in 600 baht (for 6 people) for a 5 minute ride. Scandelous ... :(

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Patong has motor bike taxis, cheapest ride would be 40 baht, but they ask 60 baht even for less than 1 km. I once took a motor bike into Phuket town about 6 years ago, cost me 100 baht for less than 8 km, and I had to bargain hard to even get that price. The Tuk Tuks won't allow mo-bike taxis in Karon and Kata beaches. Often a group of tourists are given price of 100 baht in Tuk Tuk for less than 1 km along Patong beach front, but when they arrive the price is per person resulting in 600 baht (for 6 people) for a 5 minute ride. Scandelous ... :(

And tourists are accepting and putting up with this? I cannot speak for others, but I usually make it a point not to travel to a place where I know I will be ripped off. I was never a great fan of Phuket, but after reading about these rip-offs Phuket will have to do without my presence. I will not go there again until I start seeing news and posts that the city is cleaning up this outrageous treatment of tourists. Even then, I don't know what Phuket has to offer that you can't find in other Thai cities.

Actually 100 baht for an 8km ride on a motorbike taxi does seem reasonable to me. That is on par with prices in other large Thai cities, but I would not ride in a Tuk-Tuk in Phuket under any circumstances. The tuk-tuks are charging per-person prices? I've never heard of anything like that in Thailand. The fare is supposed to be for the ride no matter how many persons are occupying the tuk-tuk.

As I said, I won't got to Phuket again in the foreseeable future. I don't really like it there to start with. They'll have to find someone else to rip off.

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Even then, I don't know what Phuket has to offer that you can't find in other Thai cities.

Beautiful beaches (but not Patong Beach), lovely sand, clear blue ocean water, a good variety of scenery in less than an hour's drive,plenty of recreational facilities. Now we have direct flights to many places in Thailand and other countries. Phuket Island has a lot to offer, unfortuntely a good public road transportation system in not on offer, that's why the savvy resident or tourist rents a car or motor bike or just walks.

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I walk.

In which Phuket beach towns could I live?

Quite honestly Patong is getting too big. I'm thinking of moving to Karon or Kata beach areas, but quality rentals are expensive and hard to find. Chalong area has some very affordable nice rentals, and a good range of affordable eateries, but it does not have a nice beach.

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Beautiful beaches (but not Patong Beach), lovely sand, clear blue ocean water, a good variety of scenery in less than an hour's drive,plenty of recreational facilities.

I'm sure you are right, but many Thai cities offer the same. Even from Pattaya, just minutes south of the city, between Pattaya and Sattahip, there are several beaches that rival the beauty of Phuket.

Based on your user name I think you are a probably fan and staunch supporter of Phuket and I am not trying to put down Phuket itself. It's the rip-offs and shabby treatment of tourists that I'm putting down and Phuket needs to get its act together about it. If I was a traveler on holiday in Phuket and was subjected to these kinds of rip-offs and attitudes, that would be the last time I would ever be in Phuket.

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Phuket and the surrounding areas are beautiful. Too bad the transportation situation is not better. Rent a car or motorbike and enjoy the island.

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I'm sure you are right, but many Thai cities offer the same. Even from Pattaya, just minutes south of the city, between Pattaya and Sattahip, there are several beaches that rival the beauty of Phuket.

Based on your user name I think you are a probably fan and staunch supporter of Phuket and I am not trying to put down Phuket itself. It's the rip-offs and shabby treatment of tourists that I'm putting down and Phuket needs to get its act together about it. If I was a traveler on holiday in Phuket and was subjected to these kinds of rip-offs and attitudes, that would be the last time I would ever be in Phuket.

Over many years I have checked out other areas of Thailand such as Hau Hin/Cha-am, Pattaya, Chang Mai, with a view to living there. All places have a compromise, and I still like Phuket for it's infrastructure, scenic variety, and there are still low cost options if you look about. Take Patong, these days we have a world class Mall, Jungcyelon, with multi screen cinema, the ocean on the doorstep, and all the amenities of modern living. I know many visitors will knock Patong with too expensive, too seedy, bad service, blah blah.. But if you live here you can avoid all those negatives. I've never ever used a Tuk Tuk, I prefer my motor bike, or even the public bus into Phuket Town, if necessary I rent a car. No problems for me... :D

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I've never ever used a Tuk Tuk, I prefer my motor bike, or even the public bus into Phuket Town, if necessary I rent a car. No problems for me... :D

Phuket does offer everything you say it does, and more, but that is not my problem about going to Phuket. Several cities in Thailand also offer all you cite. The problem is the public transportation problem. That problem is easy for you to overcome, being a resident. You said it yourself. My interpretation of what you are saying is that you have to rent a motorbike or car, as a tourist, in order to avoid being ripped off by tuk-tuks. Is my interpretation incorrect?

That is precisely the point I'm trying to make. As a tourist, why would I want to go to a destination that is so rampant with public transportation rip-offs that I would have to rent my own vehicle to avoid the problem, especially when Phuket is not the only city that offers what Phuket has to offer? And based upon the article that began this thread, even if I want to go to the added expense of renting a car I will still have to be very careful about where I try to park if I want to avoid incidents ranging from verbal abuse to being physically attacked. Knowing that those possibilities are not only real possibilities, but are quite likely to occur, then until Phuket gets serious and starts doing something substantial about it, in all honesty I really cannot think of a good reason to go to Phuket at all.

I don't think I am alone in that opinion. Defending the positive aspects of Phuket is not enough to override the feeling of preferring to go elsewhere.

A long time ago I had a boss who said, and I think he was right, "It takes at least 10 'atta boys' to counteract 1 'awwww shit.'" That's how I see the problem in Phuket. As long as the city continues to tolerate this problem, tourists and potential tourists are going to be alienated.

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My interpretation of what you are saying is that you have to rent a motorbike or car, as a tourist, in order to avoid being ripped off by tuk-tuks. Is my interpretation incorrect?

No, you are correct. In no way am I trying to minimise this problem. I am only trying to offer solution to this forum's readers. Another good solution is to obtain the mobile phone number of an honest driver by recommendation or personal experience. There are a few honest private taxi drivers, even Tuk tuk driver, who prefer not to be involved by the 'mob' mentality of the others.

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That is precisely the point I'm trying to make. As a tourist, why would I want to go to a destination that is so rampant with public transportation rip-offs that I would have to rent my own vehicle to avoid the problem, especially when Phuket is not the only city that offers what Phuket has to offer?

Makes Samui look better and better. But flights are expensive cause Bangkok Air is like the Phuket taxi mafia.

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