Many thanks to Ella for sending this day by day diary of her Tuk Tuk Adventure – here’s day 1 with more to follow……..
My diary of a Tuk Tuk Adventure – Day 1
To start our 11 day adventure we all met at the ‘base camp’ in Mae Wang (about an hour outside of Chiang Mai). I was excited and nervous to meet everyone but I was mostly interested in what exactly this tour was going to be about, and how on earth we were going to drive Tuk Tuks around Thailand!
We had quite a big group on our trip there was nine of us plus three tour guides. There were a couple from Leeds in the UK, an extended set of family members from the US and the UK and last, but not least, an aunt and her very lucky niece from London in the UK. And looking after us was a super team of two – Tony (don’t be confused, he is Thai but uses to name Tony to make it easier to pronounce for everyone!) and his assistance guide, Yaya. Safe to to say for the next 11 days I was never going to be lonely.
We started out by all having lunch together at a great restaurant in Mae Wang overlooking a pond. It felt like we were getting a proper Thai experience as we sat cross legged eating Tom Yum (a traditional Thai seafood soup but not as I’d ever had at home before – way more delicious) and various other dishes that I can’t for the life remember the name’s of. But all were delicious and so different from the Thai food I’d had before in Australia.
After lunch we got to meet our Tuk Tuks. Each Tuk Tuk had a name and meaning, the Tuk Tuk I had was called Max named after the one of the dogs of the owner!!!! We all had an in depth orientation all about our Tuk Tuks, how they work, the controls etc and then one by one we all tried out the Tuk Tuks. We started off by literally just going forwards and backwards but before long we started going through the little obstacle course that was set up to help us get used to everything. Whilst we were all a little nervous and jeryk at first, once we’d all spent 30-40 minutes behind the wheel and then had a few lasp around the local football pitch we were raring to go. Not before we all passed our test though and the heart rate was up as one by one we took our driving tests and, fortunately, all passed.
It was them time to hit the open road – well, think very small winding country lames. Our first stop was a local Temple and we drove there in a convoy style through really scenic little lanes. An endless view of rolling green mountains with farmers stopping their work to wave and smile at us, keeping up Thailand’s reputation as the ‘land of smiles’.
Once we arrived at the Temple a local monk came to bless our Tuk Tuks and the adventure we were starting, we then as a group knelt down before the monk and each got a blessing whilst having a sacred candle lit. It was so fascinating to be in this Temple with a monk and watch this ceremony take place and really begin to feel part of life in Thailand.
We walked around this remote and hidden Temple and visited a stunning view point that over looked the mountains and rice fields we had just previously driven through.
Once we got back to our hotel in the late afternoon everyone rested up and got ready for our first dinner of the adventure.
Dinner was at a restaurant very close by so we got to walk there as a group. It was so nice to be able to walk around at night in shorts and a tee shirt everyone really soaking up the warm weather, a rare thing for those of the group from the UK!
Tony and Yaya spent the evening making sure we had more delicious Thai food (again, I forget the names of the dishes…), talking to us about what was going to happen over the next few days and all of us enjoyed getting to know each other at the start of what we were all hoping was going to be a superb adventure. And if Day 1 was anything to go by, we had some serious treats ahead.