Time honored and ubiquitous in much of the world, the three-wheeled ‘auto rickshaw’, aka tuk tuk, is the modern incarnation of the rickshaw. It is a common form of inexpensive, urban transport, especially in tropical climates, including many developing countries. It is used by everyone from business men to school girls to tourists.

Especially popular in Southeast Asia, there are many tuk tuk variations and designs. The most common type is characterized by a sheet-metal body or open frame resting on three wheels, a canvas roof with drop-down side curtains, a small cabin at the front for the driver (sometimes known as an auto-wallah) with handlebar controls, and a cargo, passenger, or dual purpose space at the rear.

The predecessor of the tuk tuk is the original rickshaw invented in Japan about 1869, according to author Hanchao Lu in Beyond the Neon Lights: Everyday Shanghai in the Early Twentieth Century. Until 1868, vehicles with wheels were banned in Japan during the Tokugawa period (1603–1868).

For many young men from the country who migrated to large Asian cities, their first job was as a rickshaw runner, which was once called the “the deadliest occupation in the East.”

Anyone who has been a passenger in a tuk tuk in a bustling city like Bangkok can attest that it is a thrilling, sometimes seemingly death-defying, experience as the driver darts in and out of traffic along congested streets, among swarms of shoppers and school kids.

Now, you’re the driver! That’s right – in Bangkok, we offer you an experience like no other. Take tuk tuk lessons assisted by your guide as well as by a qualified driving instructor. After learning about the theory part, you will get to the most exhilarating part of the experience – actually driving one of these unique vehicles on your own. Needless to say, you will be rewarded with your Tuk-Tuk Driving License when you finish your drive.

Take a chance and go on a tuk tuk toot during our President’s Pick: Incredible Indochina.

Big Five

From: Big Five Travel

About the Author: About the Author: Big Five's overriding mission is to turn dreams into reality. We offer customized luxury travel for individuals and small groups. Our luxury journeys are tailor-made to meet the discriminating tastes of our guests to any of our exotic and exciting destinations in Africa, Asia, Orient, Latin America and South Pacific.

Find me online: