Leo Laksi’s Bangkok And Back

Nothing Ventured, Nothing Gained

Roaming Thailand – Art Deco styled tuktuks in Phitsanulok

with 4 comments

The tuktuk in action in Samat Prakan

The tuktuk in action in Samat Prakan

The tuktuk, whose name is believed to be derived from the sound its two-stroke motorcycle engine makes, can be found all over Thailand.  They are loved by tourists who are thrilled when zipping around in congested traffic.

They can never be considered beautiful.  They are merely the triumph of function over form.  They can be found in India where they are called auto-rickshaws and in Cambodia where they are small trailers affixed to a motorcycle.  Nevetheless, they are all small efficient and noisy transportation that eases its way through traffic.

Cambodian tuktuk

Cambodian tuktuk

That was my feeling until I visited Phitsanulok in northern Thailand last weekend.  While visiting the beautiful Wat Phra Sri Mahathat, I saw the most visually interesting tuktuks I’ve ever seen.  And they are all over the town.  Kind of a bug-eyed face with a pickup truck rear end.  Presumably these antique tuktuks were manufactured in the 60’s.  Or maybe earlier.  Their design shows that some thought was paid to their appearance.   Perhaps an opaque homage to someone’s view of Art Deco. Someone with a sense of humor and an eye for beauty.  Of sorts.

Blue Zephyr

Blue Zephyr

Golden Flash

Golden Flash

Yellow fin

Yellow Fin

Silver Streak

Silver Streak


Written by leolaksi

December 17, 2008 at 6:56 am

4 Responses

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  1. Colorful tuktuk!!! I found the cabs in Bangkok also got different colors – Pink, Blue, Green+Yellow, any more color????!!


    December 17, 2008 at 9:09 am

  2. In Bangkok, there’s also purple, orange, and red and blue. Maybe more.


    December 17, 2008 at 12:02 pm

  3. These are really great, what a find. Are they made in Thailand? I would like to see one as a patrol car


    December 18, 2008 at 9:05 am

  4. Yeah, they’re probably made in Thailand but it is possible that they were made decades ago in Japan. Believe the original tuktuks were made for the Thai market in Japan.


    December 18, 2008 at 11:53 am

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