Going to southeast Asia, I was excited to take Tuk Tuks everywhere. But I soon changed my tune — they’re hot, stinky and the drivers are usually shady. After a few unauthorized visits to a driver’s friends’ jewelery/dress/art shop, I quickly vowed to take either public transit or real taxis everywhere.
And yet, I couldn’t imagine Thailand or Laos without them — they’re a fun part of the scenery, as long as you don’t ride on them too often. But the Laotian government doesn’t agree — they’re considering banning Tuk Tuks from Laos. It’s thought that banning Tuk Tuks will ease congestion and accidents on Laos’ roads, and they’ll be replaced with 30 new transit buses.
But the government’s logic seems to be flawed — studies show that Tuk Tuks are only involved in a handful of crashes on Laotian streets. And without Tuk Tuks, there will most likely be more motorcycles and cars on the road, which I’m sure won’t help with traffic.