Apr 262011

Our trip back to the mainland was characterized by bright blue skies and glassy-calm waters, though I personally barely noticed – for me, it was yet another journey spent recuperating from the previous evening’s (Christmas) festivities 🙂

Our route to Phuket took us first to the docks by taxi, then to Surat Thani by boat and finally to Patong by minibus. It was one combination ticket, meant to get us there no later than 7:30pm.

Or so we were told.

Only an hour into the ride we were taken to an unexpected “rest stop.” Here, the driver informed us that we’d have to pay 300 more baht to get all the way to our destination. It was the typical shameless scam, meant to illegitimately separate tourists from their money.

But to be fair, at least they gave us an option. If we didn’t pay, the bus would still take us to Phuket Town – on another part of the island – but from there a taxi to Patong would’ve likely cost more than 300 anyway. By paying, they told us, we could skip Phuket Town entirely and take a direct route straight to Patong.

So in favor of saving time, we paid. Low and behold, they took us to Phuket Town anyway – to a travel agency to “reconfirm our destination.” Which meant demanding more money for the ride there.

At this point I’d had enough. I got pretty pissed, told them I was done f*cking around, and they’d better take us straight to Patong immediately. They did, and we arrived at midnight.

Dishonest jerks.

But on the plus side, at least it felt nice to get back to civilization. After more than a week on Ko Phangan I’d almost lost sight of how “out there” it really was; here, there were big roads, fast food, 3G internet, and all the modern conveniences of Bangkok. Although it’s an Island, Phuket is enormous – and one of Thailand’s top destinations, linked to the mainland by bridge rather than boat. So while I may’ve been expecting just another isolated Thai Island, I soon learned that Phuket is nothing of the sort…

  11 Responses to “Just 300 More”

  1. That’s obnoxious how they ripped you off. Reminds me of of our trip to and from Morro Sao Paulo.

  2. Ah yeah, totally forgot about that!

  3. Someone’s on his VPN. Oh wait, so am I 😉

  4. btw, the reconfirming action is also done with thais – just to let you know that it’s that common 🙂

  5. Well, it wasn’t the reconfirming – it was the fact that we’d specifically paid extra to avoid going to Patong Town entirely, yet they took our money and drove us there anyway – then tried to hit us up for even MORE money! 😛

  6. They pulled this scam on me too when I was there. My bus ride from Suri-Thani, pulled over on the out skirts of Phuket town and tried to extort 300B from me. I’d been warned about the vans from Suri, but not the buses pulling this crap. I made them off load my bag, and walked into the outskirts (less than a kilometer), where a very kind Muslim woman pointed me to a local bus stop. That got me (for 45B) to the International Hostel in downtown, they in turn pointed me to a bus into Patong (65 B).

    • Wow, so shameless of them 🙁 Kudos for not letting them get away with it though! I probably would’ve just ended up paying & being pissed off for the rest of the day…

    • Hey thanks for replying Justin! Hope you begin posting you travels again soon (or as soon as you travel that is).

    • I’m still traveling – in Taiwan now. I’m like 8 countries behind on writing already, haha…I think I have to *stop* traveling if I ever want to have a shot at catching up!

    • only 8 the man says…..sheesh

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