The Story of the Tuk Tuk

One of the highlights and best-known attractions of Thailand are the three-wheeled Tuk Tuk taxis. But the question is, when did this transportation become a must for all tourists?

Tuk Tuks were actually originally developed by Japan. They are a modern-day version of the rickshaw, which is a carriage with two to three wheels that were once pulled by one to two people. In Thai, a rickshaw is called samlor which literally means three wheels. The name of Tuk Tuks, however, is thought to come from the noise that the original engines would make as they sped through the streets of Bangkok and other cities in Thailand and Japan.

Although Tuk Tuks are one of the highlights in Bangkok for tourists, it does not mean they are the only form of transportation. In fact, it is a popular form of transportation among locals also. In fact, Tuk Tuks are often shared between locals who are going on routine travels, such as to various market areas.

Tuk Tuks also vary depending on the region in which they are found. They may look more like cars in Bangkok as they have been modernized alongside the city,

but in other areas of Thailand they look like upgraded three-wheeled motorbikes, sometimes with benches that can accommodate a greater amount of passengers. There also is some consensus in color choice depending on the region of Thailand that the Tuk Tuk operates in.

Tuk Tuks, unfortunately, do contribute quite a bit to air pollution, but there are talks in Thailand of slowly transitioning to electric Tuk Tuks. Indeed, there are many opportunities to rent electric scooters in Bangkok and other cities around Thailand.

As this form of transportation has evolved from a manually-pulled cart to one of the main forms of automatic transportation in Thailand, anything is possible!

We are confident many if not all of our Executive MBA students will enjoy a Tuk Tuk ride during their stay in Bangkok.