If you’ve visited Thailand, there’s a good chance that at some point you’ve been in the back of a tuk-tuk. The iconic 3-wheelers are part of the Thailand travel experience. Sitting in the back seat as a passenger is one thing, but have you ever fancied the idea of jumping behind the wheel yourself? Well, now you have the chance to do just that thanks to The Tuk Tuk Club. With trips ranging from one day through to eleven days, The Tuk Tuk Club offers driving holidays with a difference. They will teach you how to safely drive a tuk-tuk before you embark on an epic adventure along the quiet back roads in the stunning surrounds of North Thailand. And if you like the idea of this, but would prefer to sit in the back and let somebody else do the driving for you, that option is available too.
On the road with The Tuk Tuk Club
The aim of The Tuk Tuk Club is to allow travellers to experience another side to Thailand beyond the beaches and busier tourist attractions. By taking the road less travelled, the trips arranged by The Tuk Tuk Club enable you to visit places off the beaten track and connect with local people and support responsible tourism.
The vibrant orange VIP tuk-tuks have been modified for extra comfort. You’ll still get the thrill of the ride with the breeze blowing through the open-sided vehicle, but with the bonus of some nifty additions. Extra leg room, comfortable leather seats and cool boxes all help make the journey even more enjoyable. Walkie talkies enable you to chat with people in the other tuk-tuks and if you like the sound of music while you’re driving, bluetooth speakers are there for you to play your favourite tracks.
Drive your own tuk-tuk
It’s not every day you have the opportunity to get behind the wheel of such an iconic vehicle. You’ll need to pass the tuk-tuk driving course first to ensure safety on the road, and after that you will join the tuk-tuk convoy with fellow adventurers to enjoy the beauty of North Thailand.
Chauffeur driven tuk-tuk
If you don’t have a driving license or would just prefer to take a back seat, The Tuk Tuk Club will provide a local guide to drive you. All you have to do is relax and soak up the scenery.
The North of Thailand delivers everything that makes Thailand a truly magical country. Amazing scenery, fascinating cultures, a huge variety of delicious food and, importantly, real warmth from the people living here and a genuine interest in visitors. It’s the Thailand that I fell in love with 30 years ago and a wonderful antidote to the hurly burly of city life. If you only have the time to visit one part of Thailand and want to get a glimpse into the country’s heart – choose the North every time!– Bruce Haxton (founder of The Tuk Tuk Club)
Responsible tourism and local experiences in North Thailand
The Tuk Tuk Club was founded in 2017 by Bruce Haxton. The affable Yorkshireman brings his expertise of adventure travel in Thailand to this unique tour company. He’s driven thousands of miles on Thailand’s roads in a tuk-tuk and knows through first-hand experience how to make this a memorable and safe adventure for anybody travelling to Thailand.
Bruce and his team of expert local guides share a passion for North Thailand and are keen that all visitors – whether they join a tuk-tuk tour or not – enjoy a responsible tourism experience and discover what makes this region of the country so special. We asked the team from The Tuk Tuk Club to explain why North Thailand is so close to their heart and for their number one piece of advice when visiting the region:
“You haven’t really experienced real Thailand until you’ve travelled in the North. We’re friendly, welcoming people. We have the best food in the country and we have the best natural environment. And we don’t have any crowds so you can feel as if you’re an intrepid adventurer!”
Boyz top tip
“Make sure you visit Mae Hong Son. It’s a fantastic town with lots to do and my favourite hotel anywhere in Thailand – Fern Resort.”
“I grew up in Lamphun, have lived all my life in the North and can’t think of anywhere better to live … The mountains are fantastic, the hiking superb and the food the best in the country. Northern Thailand has kept its soul and gives travellers the opportunity to see how we used to live and to get totally away from their busy, stressful lives.”
Oa’s top tip
“Don’t think you can only come in the winter. Rainy season is fantastic in North Thailand with the rice terraces full of green, the waterfalls in full flow and the mountains and valleys look amazing with clouds swirling around. Our busy time is winter but the people who really know the North come in rainy season to enjoy our region at its very best.”
“The North gives travellers absolutely everything they could wish for from an adventure. Mountains, forests, remote villages, authentic food (totally different from in more touristy areas), real nature and so many different cultures and ways of life. And the people of the North remain open, friendly and receptive to visitors. It really is the perfect destination in Thailand.”
Tony’s top tip
“Chiang Mai city is a lovely place but only use it as your starting point. The real beauty of the North is up in the mountains where you can experience a totally different way of life and learn about Hill Tribe cultures. If you can, try to spend a night camping in a National Park – it’s cool in the evenings and the opportunity to sleep under the stars with the sounds of the forest is brilliant.”
Yaya (guide and operations)
“I love the wonderful natural environment of the North. From hiking through the forests, sitting next to huge waterfalls, exploring tiny mountain communities and trying all the different food – the North has everything you could want and keeps a smile on my face and the face of our travellers.”
Yaya’s top tip
“Don’t rush. There’s more to the North of Thailand than Chiang Mai and Wat Doi Suthep; plan to spend 5-7 days exploring and you’ll be amazed at what you find.”
“Whatever you do, don’t just visit Chiang Mai city and think you’ve ‘done’ the North. Get out into the mountains, explore Mae Hong Son, make the time to go to Nan. The further from the cities you get the more incredible the North of Thailand is. Next time you visit Thailand please don’t just rush to the beach. Give yourself some time to journey into the real heart of Thailand, you won’t regret it.”
Bespoke trips, cycling, and adventures in Thailand
The Tuk Tuk Club can arrange tailor-made trips in Thailand to suit you or your family. Whether it’s a cycling trip in the mountains or you want to include some beach time on your holiday, The Tuk Tuk Club can help you plan the ideal itinerary for the trip of a lifetime in Thailand. For more details, contact them using the links below:
Images and video used on this page are courtesy of The Tuk Tuk Club
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