mr. that’s [not so] wild ride


Mr. That (pronounced “tat”) was my Tuk-Tuk driver during my days exploring Angkor Wat from Siem Reap, Cambodia. The Tuk-Tuk is such a common mode of transport in Cambodia that on every corner several drivers will aggressively ask “You like Tuk-Tuk Sir”? attempting to get your business. This will annoy you to no end, but if you remember they are just trying to make a dollar or two it makes it easier to politely say “no thanks.”

A TukTuk is a three wheeled motorcycle that has graced the streets of Asian cities for more than 50 years. The name TukTuk comes from the Thai (dtóok-dtóok) apparently from the sound of its two-stroke engine. In the early days of Tuk-Tuks most had this engine, but now all the TukTuk’s have been converted to four-stroke engines. Some are now even electric engines. In almost all countries worldwide, the TukTuk is classified as a motorized tricycle and therefore it is allowed to drive on all roads, even highways.

Mr. That’s Tuk-Tuk was more like a motorcycle attached to a two-wheeled cart, and this was the most common type to be found in Cambodia.

For only $15, Mr. That took my travel buddy and me on a full-day tour of the temple complex of Angkor Wat. It was an amazing way to see the sights, and Mr. That was a pretty good driver and a pleasant man.

The one minor issue was that Mr. That drove very very slowly. Ok, he drove at the pace of a snail. My travel buddy, an LA guy with a need for speed, was getting quite frustrated when it seemed that at times even the cyclists were passing us by. This was no wild ride.

In the end we just decided to sit back and enjoy the ride whatever the speed, and Mr. That did a great job navigating the temples. The less than lightning-fast speed allowed us to get more photo ops in, so all was not lost!