Most visitors to Thailand are familiar with the Thai tuk-tuk found in Bangkok or Chiang Mai. But travel to other regions of Thailand and you’ll see that not every tuk-tuk adheres to this standard design.
The classic ‘tuk-tuk hua kop‘ (‘tuk-tuk with a frog’s head’) has been turning heads for decades. Imported into Thailand in the late 1950s, these quirky vehicles were originally used in provinces throughout Thailand. They were replaced in most regions by newer and cheaper tuk-tuks, but these vintage vehicles still ply the roads in some provinces including Trang (where these photos were taken) and Ayutthaya.
The Trang tuk-tuk takes the appearance of a mini-songhtaew with two rows of seats in the back. They can be hired for private trips with prices starting from 20 Baht for short hops around Trang town.
It would be a shame to lose these iconic vehicles, but local transport officials say the classic Trang tuk-tuks are under threat. With the rise in private car ownership and a decrease in demand for their services, the tuk-tuk hua kop drivers are finding it increasingly difficult to earn a living. To help combat this, the Trang Tourism Authority helped establish official tuk-tuk tours of the town. There are a number of different routes with varying lengths of journey, but the basic tour lasts an hour and takes in some of the main sights in Trang town for 300 Baht.