Chiangrai Times – The Island of Phuket is one of Southeast Asia’s premier vacation spots, with an average of over 3 million visitors each year. Tourists come to Phuket to enjoy the exotic tropical beaches, the authentic Thai cuisine, and the beautiful weather. Over the years Phuket has transformed from a quiet little Island resort town catering to a small amount of backpackers and sex tourists, to a world renowned travel destination. The enormous growth in the local tourism industry has resulted in a big business, with millions of tourist dollars up for grabs.
The Island has been growing at an amazing rate, with new exclusive 5 star resorts and enormous mega shopping centers popping up all over the place. The only thing that seems to be holding Phuket back is the lack of affordable transportation, and the constant reports of violence and corruption affecting tourists. Many tourists are now wondering if Phuket is a safe place to travel to, especially those who are traveling with their family. I wouldn’t go as far as to say that people should be afraid to visit Phuket, however I think that people need to be aware of the dangers. The fact is that with all the money at stake, the government and local media often do their best to downplay, or even cover up incidents involving violence against tourists.
Many of the high profile incidents of violence against foreigners are associated with tuk tuk drivers. The local taxi mafia is ruthless in Phuket; disputes over fares often result in violent beatings, with dozens of taxi drivers beating on 1 or 2 tourists. There have also been several reports of female tourists being raped by drivers when they have taken a taxi back to their hotel after a night out in Patong Beach. The police are well aware of these incidents yet they seem to do nothing about it.
Another well documented problem in Phuket is the legendary “jet-ski scam“. This involves rental jet-skis that somehow sustain mysterious damage after a short rental, and then hundreds or thousands of dollars are demanded as compensation. Often the police will work with the jet-ski operators to extort money from tourists. The problem has attracted so much attention that the Australian Department Of Foreign Affairs has recently produced video warning travellers about Phuket’s jet-ski scams.
There are also serious concerns about the amount of mysterious deaths that are reported in Phuket, it seems that at least once per week there is a report of some bizarre suicide or accidental death. Nobody knows for sure how many murders are covered up and made to look like accidents, but most residents believe it is common practice. These types of crimes are more often involving expats, however in some cases robbery is the suspected motive.
The reality is that Phuket is a dangerous place, and unless you are aware of the potential dangers then you could be at serious risk. Anyone that tells you that there is nothing to worry about is doing you a huge disservice. You can have a safe holiday in Phuket if you avoid tuk tuks and jet-skis, and be careful when you go out at night. Most of the people that end up getting in trouble in Thailand have put themselves in a bad situation because they have been careless. Most likely they didn’t realize the risks, perhaps they had spoken to somebody like Jamie Monk, and when he told them “Phuket is safe, what are you worried about?” they decided to let their guard down. Don’t make that same mistake! – Read full article By Jesse Schule TravelinAsia
We searched Google News and found these articles in Minutes about recent Tourist Attacks in Phuket!
British Tourist Reports Phuket Stab Attack – June 2012
Phuket Thailand Is Not Safe, The Media Is Lying To You – February 2012
Three Women Tourists Attacked – March 2012
25 expat deaths in Phuket in 3 months – February 2012
Phuket Pub Bar Attack – January 2012
Aussie Tourists Warn of Phuket ‘Planned’ Attacks – January 2012
Tourist’s Thumb Severed by Laughing Attackers – March 2012
Tourist stabbed by gang of boys – December 2011
4 Australians attacked and knifed by 15 Thai tuk tuk drivers – December 2011
Phuket taxi wars take tourism to the brink – September 2011
Golf Club Attack on Phuket Tourist October 2011
Phuket Expat Attacked After Chalong Crash – June 2011