Driving and crime in Phukey

Dec 10th, 2010, 02:18 PM
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Driving and crime in Phukey

My wife was jsut told by someone thta we should never go touring alone in Phuket, never drive there ourselves, and be aware that there is a lot of crime in Phuket against tourists.

I plan to drive myself everwhere and have not heard of these problems. Can some of you experienced travellers help me calm my wife? Thanks.

David J
davidjac is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 02:19 PM
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obviously that should be Phuket
davidjac is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 02:26 PM
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Plenty of travelers who post here on Fodors have driven themselves around Phuket without problems. "a lot of crime against tourists"? The crime rate in Thailand is certainly far less than in the US. While crime is a possibility anywhere, I can't remember anyone posting here about being a victim of crime in Phuket.
Kathie is online now  
Dec 10th, 2010, 06:52 PM
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Like any place that attracts a lot of tourists, there are a fair number of people in Phuket looking to take advantage of them. Most of this kind of crime is of the scamming or rip-off variety. Out-and-out theft is still rare. Violence is usually the result of confrontation. I believe Phuket is no more dangerous than most places.

Driving anywhere in Thailand is risky, since so many Thais have little regard for the rules of the road. The accident rate in places like Phuket is quite high, and because there are no emergency services, so is the death rate from accidents. Of course, as Kathie says, lots of people have driven there without problems, so if you're want to take the risk, you're not (too) crazy.

For me, the real question is, where are you going to drive to? If you're staying on Phuket and are thinking a car would be useful for going out to dinner, etc. you might find that a car is more of an inconvenience, since most restaurants don't have parking.
MichaelBKK is offline  
Dec 10th, 2010, 11:15 PM
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On a world scale, Thailand in general would have to be pretty low risk for tourists and the types of crime they might experience.

Locations like Phuket (I think I prefer "Phukey") attraction people and money and so attract crime.
In certain South america countries you are advised to drive with the windows up as drive-by snatches are common and ruthless - fingers may be removed for a ring etc. THailand has not adopted these methods yet

In Thailand we heard on Fodors of someone who had a necklace stolen by drive-by whilst on a SONG TEAW - which is pretty rare by all accounts..

Driving in thailand is actually rather pleasant if you are a competent driver and I've driven all over the country for nearly 10 years- North South East and West and have never been or felt threatened.

I might suggest there is another possible motive for the advice you were given - jealousy - some people can't bear the thought of someone going where they have gone or would like to go again, so they make up the most plausible horror stories they can think of to put the wind up you of course make themselves look all the more world wary and travel savvy.

I'm sure there are areas in your home country that you would think twice before driving through, well in Thailand those places are few and far between.
khunwilko is offline  
Dec 11th, 2010, 06:47 AM
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your wife has been misinformed... driving is very easy and no problem...

i have been there several times, most recently last month, and saw no crime at all...

staying clear of patong would reduce your chance of any crime should any seek you out..
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 11th, 2010, 07:52 AM
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Thansk for all the help. We are staying at the JW Marriott which is in the north of Phuket which is far from anything elses inclduing restaurants.

David J
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Dec 11th, 2010, 10:17 AM
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We have rented a car on Phuket on several occasions and had no problems at all. We too will be staying at the JW Marriott in January (for 2 weeks) and have rented a car for 3 days of each week. We will use it to get from the airport to The Phuket Beach Club (JW) and the following day to load up on groceries as we will be staying in the villas with a full kitchen. We also like to be able to go off the "compound " for restaurants in other villages and will do so agin this time. We will NOT be going to Patong though as it is not at all my cup of tea.

With regard to crime on Phuket, I do recall a rape and murder of a British woman some 3 or 4 years ago. This drew lots of press especially in the British Papers. They caught the fellow and he was tried, found guilty and put to death in very short order.

I also signed up for a free subscription to the Phuket Gazetter (it's online) and I rarely read of anything that would lead me to believe that I was going to a high crime area. It's more along the range of scams than violent crime, and, if a Farang is involved in a motor accident, it can become pretty dicey unless the foreigner is prepared to pay out big Bhat amounts on the spot for "injuries".
SueHuml is offline  
Dec 11th, 2010, 07:26 PM
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at the marriott you are very removed so forget about any crime....

btw, its a fantastic place... i had lunch there one day last month...
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 11th, 2010, 10:22 PM
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The only "crimes" that you are likey to encounter at the Marriott are the prices they charge for food and drink!!!! (Sorry Bob, but I couldn't resist)

It is very safe in Phuket and the driving there is nothing to be too apprehensive about. You will have a great time.
shanek is offline  
Dec 12th, 2010, 05:08 AM
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shane is right... the deli is a great place for something quick, but you pay for it...

the restaurant where breakfast is held is affordable, but not cheap, the rest of the day..

it is a resort after all..

the two new adajacent hotels may have good food values, but i am not sure of this
rhkkmk is offline  
Dec 12th, 2010, 11:18 AM
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You're better off just taking a taxi or minivan. If you get into an auto-cation you'll really regret it, I promise you.
Mango7 is offline  
Dec 12th, 2010, 02:17 PM
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In case you don't know, Thailand have right hand drive cars, the same as the UK and I would imagine you would only get a manual car when renting.

May not be an issue in both cases, just FYI
Geordie is online now  
Dec 12th, 2010, 09:16 PM
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I'm wondering whether your wife's informants have actually been to Phuket, Davidjac. With the greatest respect, it sounds remarkably like the scare mongering so common amongst people who are uncomfortable with Asian/South American/European/ fill-in-the blank/ destinations they haven't visited. And it's a long list for some of these people.

I went to Caracas last year and two acquaintances assured me I was foolish/taking great risks/likely to be robbed/attacked/worse .... "Oh yes, and what happened to you when were you there last?" Oh well, Fred's 3rd cousin's 4th husband's 2nd mistress's gardener heard of someone ... Quite! End of conversation.

For the record, I stayed with a friend, had a wonderful time and loved every minute of it. And kept my wits about me.

It's a little while since I was in Thailand, but when I have been there, I've seen little to alarm me more than anywhere else I've been. Of course, it's always a little disconcerting when we don't speak the local language. A sideways glance or a laugh can be construed negatively, irrespective of whether it's anything to do with us, when we don't know what's being said.

If you're aware & careful at home and don't put yourself into potentially dodgy situations, and repeat that behaviour else where, you're unlikely to strike trouble, IMHO. Stupidity invites trouble, no matter where you are. Of course, things can & do happen.

I was mugged in my car outside my own office in broad daylight - and that's the only real trouble I've had in 40+ years of trotting around the world, mostly solo. It was momentary inattention on my part that allowed it to happen.

I wasn't hurt, but the thief is probably dead now, with the proceeds of my $500 or someone else's in his veins. Imagine being so hooked on drugs that you'd need to rob a middle aged woman in her own car, in daylight & in the middle of Sydney's CBD, at knife point, to subsidise your habit. Poor stupid idiot. I digress. Sorry.

I can and have driven in Thailand, but prefer just to take taxis for local trips and a good driver/guide for day trips.
Contrary to some other opinions, I think they're great drivers. I certainly wouldn't be able to navigate the traffic they do with as few accidents as appear to occur.
Bokhara2 is offline  
Dec 19th, 2010, 06:37 PM
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"auto-cation" - like it1 This is presumably an argument involving automobiles?
khunwilko is offline  
Dec 19th, 2010, 06:54 PM
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Yes, KW

btw, sorry for the harsh words years ago that u have probably forgotten about!
Mango7 is offline  
Dec 22nd, 2010, 08:30 AM
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We decided to use a car with driver for the one day we want to tour the island and taxis for destination specific trips (only 3 of these)

I will file a trip report upon my return Thanks for all the help.

David J
davidjac is offline  
Dec 24th, 2010, 06:18 AM
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Some thoughts about being driven.

The driver is likely to be familiar with the region and driving therein....so that's good.

however I soon realised that the standards of "professional drivers" leaves a lot to be desired.

My attitude now is .........
"why leave the driving to someone who is clearly not as good as it as me?"
khunwilko is offline  
Dec 24th, 2010, 09:27 AM
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Good idea, Dave. Just make sure the driver doesnt back up over a cliff (almost happened!)
Mango7 is offline  

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