The news was reported on the main national website of state news agency NNT, following one of the tourists, Phet Yotsawat, posting details of the experience on the Phuket Review Facebook group online on Monday (Apr 18).
Mr Phet explained that he and his friends were walking through Phuket Town looking for a nice place to have something to eat when they walked past the tuk-tuk driver, 54-year-old Suchart Nitiwaranurak.
Mr Suchart asked if they would like to be driven to the various main sightseeing and shopping areas for just B50.
The group were at first suspicious and pointed out that there were five of them, to which Mr Suchart agreed B100 would be enough to hire him for two hours to drive the group around town.
“This was very cheap and he sat and waited for us while we were walking around, shopping for souvenirs,” Mr Phet posted.
In total, the chauffeured sightseeing and shopping trip lasted three hours, from 1pm to 4pm.
Impressed with the service, Mr Phet and his friends gave Mr Suchart B300 for his time.
“Very worthwhile. Recommend [for] people who want to travel with a breakthrough [sic],” Mr Phet posted.
Mr Suchart could be found near “the fountain roundabout in the city 087-886-7527”, he added.
The post by Mr Phet attracted many comments by Thai people praising Mr Suchart for not taking advantage of tourists, a practice that Phuket’s public transport drivers have become notorious for among even Thai tourists.
Mr Suchart’s explanation for offering what in Phuket was a very cheap fare was simple: “I want many more tourists, Thai and foreign, to come to travel to Phuket so Phuket will return to be as good as it was before the pandemic.
“I took the group to Thalang Rd, Krabi Rd and Khao Rang and to some souvenir shops. I get a little money from the souvenir shop, so B50 to B100 is enough to charge as a fare.
“Do not charge too much. That gives us a bad name. If we take what we need to pay for petrol and food, and go home to support our family., tourists will come again,” he said.