The Great Disappearing Tuk Tuk

Tuk Tuk ride Khaosan road bangkok thailand travel

Ah yes, the Tuk Tuk ride.  The day we had a reasonable concern part of our party had been whisked off to parts unknown, never to be seen again.  That was an exciting time.  I’m telling you, we made memories on this trip!

We had had our yummy lunch at <<Shoshanna Restaurant>>.  We had politely declined scorpion on a stick and fake IDs on <<Khao San Road>>.  Now, we thought it was time to head back to the <<Chao Phraya Water Taxi>> and home.

The good news is, Khao San Road has an abundance of Tuk Tuks, which is important when we have a party of nine we are transporting.

TukTuks on Khaosan Road

So our friend takes charge, and soon, the calculators are out – if you remember, this is always a good sign.  Bargaining has begun!  We will need three TukTuks because we are not native to Thailand, and thus not attempting to squish all nine of us onto one TukTuk, utilizing seating, floor, and hanging on, with limbs and children possibly sacrificed to surrounding traffic.

Tuk Tuk ride Khaosan road bangkok thailand travel

As we divide up, we decide that our host will take one Tuk Tuk with two children with him.  Our hostess will do the same with the second Tuk Tuk.  And hubby and I will take the third one, with one child with us.  Divides up real nice.  AND, it means that if anyone runs into trouble, the two adults who could wind up on their own with kids to guide actually live in the country and, you know, might know someone who can help or have enough language to communicate through it.  If Scott and I wind up in trouble, at least we have each other.  Because… well, we’ve always said we want to die together.

Anyway, yes.  These thoughts and discussion about ‘in case something goes wrong, let’s divide the adults like this…‘ really took place, though it was done with limited verbal communication so as to not freak out the children.  I didn’t actually think about Scott and I dying together – more that I just didn’t want to be considered the only responsible adult if we wound up stranded.

Tuk Tuk ride Khaosan road bangkok thailand travel

It was all a fun adventure, and we started off looking pretty pleased with ourselves.

Ok, Scott does have a glint of concern in those eyes, doesn’t he…

Tuk Tuk ride Khaosan road bangkok thailand travel

Yep, this is the child I blew kisses and waved to as she Tuk-Tuk’d away.  Bye, baby!  I love you!

Tuk Tuk ride Khaosan road bangkok thailand travel

And in the beginning, it all went rather well.  We wove in and around traffic.  We mostly stayed together, or at least within sight of each other, and we came to our quick stop we wanted to make on the way to the water taxi.

The Giant Swing was originally constructed in 1784 and, with interruptions when the location was moved and after it was struck by lightning, was used in a Brahmin ceremony. This practice ceased in 1935 after a series of fatal accidents.  The swing has been restored and suggested as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Tuk Tuk ride Khaosan road bangkok thailand travel giant swing

The swing is literally in the middle of a convergence of streets, a concrete island in the melee, so it’s not really a place you spend a lot of time.  We just wanted to stop and see it, grab a few pictures, and we moved on.

Tuk Tuk ride Khaosan road bangkok thailand travel

Parts of our ride were pretty and interesting.  Thai traffic is endlessly entertaining, you never know what you will see.  One street we went down was particularly pretty with flowers planted around the trees and little cafes scattered among the shops and other businesses.

Tuk Tuk ride Khaosan road bangkok thailand travel

At one point, our host’s Tuk Tuk sped past us on the left.  This was the last I saw of him before his ride inexplicably turned left, departing from the rest of us…

I’m sure it’ll be fine!

Tuk Tuk ride Khaosan road bangkok thailand travel

Seriously, that was it.  We all motored on… turning here, turning there… arriving at our drop off where we could get the water taxi…

And the third Tuk Tuk is nowhere to be seen.

I’m sure it’ll be fine…


Ok, we start thinking of the positives here.  He knows the most of the language.  He has his phone.

Our hostess whips out her phone and texts him.  There’s a long delay, where we are able to enjoy the beautiful scenery.

I’m sure it’ll be fine


We get a response back, something to the effect that their Tuk Tuk driver pulled over on a street and left.   Um…

I’m sure it’ll be fine?

Our Tuk Tuk drivers have delivered us where we are supposed to be, so they would like their payment.  Nope.  We don’t think so.  Not going to happen.  Payment happens when our whole party arrives.

When we refused to pay our drivers until the third Tuk Tuk arrives, our drivers whip out their phones and there is suddenly interest in figuring out what’s going on.  We get another text from our host, their driver is back, and they are on the move again.  We’re hoping it’s in our direction.

We start considering the wisdom of taking said Tuk Tuks when the drivers came out of a Khao San bar to drive us.  I mean, that was ok, right?

I’m sure it’ll be fine…

About 20 minutes after we arrived, up pulls the third Tuk Tuk.  Shaking his head, our host and his charges disembark, and the kids start filling us in while the husbands settle the tab with our drivers.


As far as we can tell, his driver needed ice.  Yep.  For some reason, right then and there, he needed ice, so he turned down some road, pulled up in front of a store, and went in.  He was in there for a weirdly long length of time, and came out with what seems to be ice, popped it into his cooler, and off they motored.

Um.  Ok.

We all survived, our party was back together again, and we kind of shrugged, chalking it up to different strokes for different folks – and hopefully nothing illegal or dangerous.  We were off on the Chao Phraya again: tired, more quiet than we had been on our way out this morning, and looking forward to a nice rest at home.


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Tuk Tuk

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13 thoughts on “The Great Disappearing Tuk Tuk

  1. Oh Thai tuktuks- always an adventure! I tended to use Uber or GrabCar in Bangkok over TukTuks… as a solo female they tried to rip me off and harassed me quite a bit. Still kinda a must do at least once!

  2. I was in Bangkok last month! Only took one tuk tuk because I was trying to walk everywhere, but this definitely brings back memories xD Glad you all got there in the end!

  3. Haha he needed ice? Like, for what? This is so funny! And the scorpion on a stick sounds so cool, although I wouldn’t dare try it myself, I’d like to see what that looks like.

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