Tuk tuks – The design and style differ from country to country. The Thai style is what I consider the standard design. However, Laos and Cambodia are styles unique to themselves.
The drivers, unlike the tuk tuks are nearly all the same. They congregate in packs, waiting for you to come out of your hotel, restaurant or shop, using the same line “tuk tuk mister?”. Sometimes they have watched you get out of a tuk tuk and say “tuk tuk mister?”. If you engage with them or just look in their direction they assume you want their services. If you do want a tuk tuk anywhere, when you ask the price they quote you such a ridiculous price you think they’ve quoted the price for selling the complete vehicle.
Thai tuk tuks, are so efficient at producing carbon monoxide, there should be a special tax levied against them. The drivers attract your attention by pressing their horn. Try and negotiate a lower price and they would prefer to drive off in the direction that you wanted to go with an empty vehicle. In Thailand we walked a lot!
Laos tuk tuks look like a trike/chopper, are highly colourful and are multi purpose vehicles that are used for both passengers and transporting anything from food, building material and animals. The photograph below shows one with a bed mattress on the roof (one of the those as hard as rock).
Cambodia tuk tuks, I can only describe as a horse drawn carriage, minus the horse. In place of the horse a 50cc motorbike is attached. Again these are multi purpose vehicles, the larger one we re-named tuk truck. Some of the carriages sport a customised bodywork with silk seat covers and fancy lights, others are purely functional. However when seated you become captive audience for the hard sell. “Mister you go to Angkor Wat, you go on river cruise, you want massage?” all in one breath. Our standard reply is “sorry we’re flying home tomorrow. This generally shuts them up.