SUNDAY, April 21, 2024
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Ayutthaya tuk-tuk drivers pulled up after video clip of bad behaviour goes viral

Ayutthaya tuk-tuk drivers pulled up after video clip of bad behaviour goes viral

Tuk-tuk drivers parked near the Ayutthaya railway station have been warned to stop harassing tourists after a recent clip went viral on social media.

The clip was posted by South Korean rapper Il Hong Min on his YouTube channel “Oppa Hong” on Saturday. The clip shows the YouTuber and his friend being pestered by a female tuk-tuk driver to buy a four-hour trip around the city for 1,200 baht.

When asked why her prices were higher than the Grab ride-hailing service, she claimed it was in line with the Tourist Police’s regulations.

In response to the viral clip, officials from relevant groups, including Ayutthaya’s transportation network and Tourist Police, arrived at the scene on Tuesday morning.

Ayutthaya tuk-tuk drivers pulled up after video clip of bad behaviour goes viral

When questioned, the tuk-tuk driver – 59-year-old Somjit – claimed the South Korean duo had asked her about a restaurant, so she offered to take them there and then to tourist attractions at 600 baht per person.

She claimed that she was not trying to cheat or hike the price for tourists, saying the price she quoted was in line with the law – 300 baht per hour for foreigners and 200 baht per hour for Thais.

“I want to apologise to the tourists for speaking badly,” she said, adding that her aim was to take them sightseeing after they had eaten.

Ayutthaya tuk-tuk drivers pulled up after video clip of bad behaviour goes viral

Another tuk-tuk driver operating at the stand, Suphat Panthong, 48, said tourists could check the fare sheet provided by the Tourist Police and could even go to the authorities if they happen to forget their belongings in a tuk-tuk. He also apologised on behalf of Somjit, saying it was a misunderstanding.

Ayutthaya tuk-tuk drivers pulled up after video clip of bad behaviour goes viral

However, Kannika Rerkukosa, chief of Ayutthaya’s transportation network, said Somjit’s remarks on the video clip sounded like she was forcing tourists to use her services.

“It depends on each person’s preference on whether they want to take a tuk-tuk, so drivers should not be harassing them to take a four-hour ride,” she said.

She added that Somjit and other tuk-tuk drivers will be summoned to the Ayutthaya Provincial Land Transport Office to be given instructions to stop bothering foreigners.

She said that though the tuk-tuk fees were in line with the law, the list should be made more clearly visible to tourists. She also warned all tuk-tuk drivers to follow the rules and regulations, because cheating or overcharging tourists will only affect the tourism industry.

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