Tuk tuk tango: Phuket driver fined for tourist’s dance debacle

A tuk tuk driver in Phuket’s bustling Patong district found himself on the wrong side of the law recently when he was slapped with a fine. The tuk tuk driver’s offence? Allowing a tourist to dance atop his vehicle while it was caught in the snarl of traffic on Patong Beach Road. The incident, captured in a video which quickly circulated on social media, led to the driver, Yongyut Hasan, facing punitive action.

The amount of the fine wasn’t disclosed by the police, but they emphasised that it served as a stern warning to other tuk tuk drivers. The message was clear: indulging in such dangerous antics won’t be tolerated. Tourists were also cautioned against engaging in similar risky behaviour.

Yongyut Hasan, the tuk tuk driver, recounted his version of the events to the press yesterday, February 11. He explained that he had picked up the tourists from Kata and was on his way to Bangla Road. During the journey, the tourists requested to play their music through Bluetooth, with one of them standing at the back of the moving tuk tuk. Yongyut urged the tourist to resume his seat inside the vehicle.

The situation escalated when the tuk tuk got ensnared in traffic on Thaweewong Road. Seizing the opportunity, one of the tourists clambered onto the roof of the tuk tuk and began to dance. Once again, Yongyut instructed the tourist to descend and return to his seat inside the vehicle. The tourist complied, but only momentarily.

As soon as the tuk tuk was immobilised by traffic again, the tourist climbed back atop the vehicle and resumed his rooftop dance. A visibly upset Yongyut reprimanded the tourist who apologetically returned to his seat. By this time, they had reached their destination near Bangla Road but not before the entire episode had been recorded and shared on social media much to Yongyut’s frustration.

“I wanted to ask the police what I was supposed to do after I had already warned the tourist. Sometimes we warn them and they don’t listen. They don’t care. They assume they hired us.”

Tuk tuk tango: Phuket driver fined for tourist's dance debacle | News by Thaiger
Pictures courtesy of Phuket news

He went on to highlight the respect and affection drivers have for their tuk tuks, which are their livelihoods.

“No one wants tourists to ride on the back and bounce the car or climb onto the roof. The tuk tuk is our livelihood. Every driver loves his or her car. No one will let a passenger go up and dance on the roof causing damage. It’s not worth the cost.”

Yongyut urged people to think carefully before passing judgement on situations based on short clips or posts on social media.

Tuk tuk tango: Phuket driver fined for tourist's dance debacle | News by Thaiger

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