This great land of Thailand has a flawed, corrupt and bizarre system that rules the roads on Phuket and clearly the elected leaders and employed police are weak and controlled by the rabble that provides transport - the tuk-tuks and mafia cartel that has power.
The whole structure is set to hurt and rip off tourists by design and that should be a concern to transport authorities unless they too are happy for tourists to be treated badly.
The tuk-tuks are part of a fare structure that is as expensive or even more costly than taxis in London and other western capitals. Other parts of Thailand do not rip off tourists. Bangkok has taxis with meters and they are used because they are worth it. The tuk-tuks here in Phuket are full of rude untrained Thais who have one aim: to rip off the tourist .
The structure of charging should be reviewed and the crooks taken out of the trade. Draw a circle around Patong from Jung Ceylon out and charge Bt50 for 2km, Bt100 for 3km, Bt150 4km, Bt200 for 5km, etc, then create an agreed fare. Of course, this won't happen as they get away with one or two rip-off jobs a day and ignore the fact that turnover and service would leave all better off. If these numskulls weren't in control of an important aspect of tourism Phuket would be more fun and people would enjoy the island far more.
Another simple and good thing to put in place would be colorful buses that go along the coast at regular times from Kata to Surin at a set price. But it's clear that solutions won't be found because of the corruption.
Tuk-tuk drivers should be professional and wear a uniform and learn some knowledge and skills when transporting tourists. Police and those overseeing transport laws need to know how stupid they look in the eyes of foreign visitors. It is amazing that this is so oblivious to the rot.
Letter from Stuart, Australia