The Tuk Tuk’s journey to the Cotswolds
So ‘here we are and here we are and here we go’ launching Cotswold Tuk Tuk Tours is the start of a brand-new adventure and I want to begin by telling you how I conceived of the idea and about the action-packed journey the Tuk Tuk has taken from Thailand, to its new home 6,000 miles away in the heart of the Cotswolds.
Some of my best memories are of holidays in rural England travelling around all day with a rucksack, stopping off for a cream tea, followed by dinner and a pint in a cosy pub with the mandatory roaring open fire. Many visitors come to the Cotswolds for just that very same reason. But many of the tour options we have available involve being herded into a cramped minibus or an unwieldy coach, meaning you often miss the glory of the green countryside, and the most authentic and picturesque views. It was during a trip to the cinema that I saw a scene in Thailand where Tuk Tuks were weaving in and out of market stalls. This inspired me to think how appropriate a Tuk Tuk would be to navigate the maze of narrow and winding roads of the Cotswolds. What better way, I thought, to explore the pretty villages, historic pubs and scenic vantage points of our region than in your own Tuk Tuk. It would give the ultimate freedom to explore, and go beyond the well-trodden tourist routes.
The idea was born, and as it turns out, that was the easy part. Getting an authentic Thai Tuk Tuk from Asia to Britain proved a little more challenging. After many phone calls and emails, I found Joey, a European distributor, based in Amsterdam who spent three years getting a European certificate of conformity which made his Tuk Tuks road legal in all European countries. I paid Joey a visit and test drove a model. It was then that I knew this idea was a winner, it was so exhilarating driving around in the fresh air, but the vehicle itself comfortable and luxurious. The factory where these vehicles are made had a capacity of only six Tuk Tuks a month, and an estimated delivery of five months, which meant we had a wait to get our own one. Then came navigating insurance, customs, VAT registration and shipping. Our beautiful Tuk Tuk finally arrived this winter certified, roadworthy and ready for the hills of the Cotswolds!
It’s been quite a journey for the Tuk Tuk (whom I have named Rick) already but it is now just the beginning of our business and we’re ready to bring this unique vehicle to weddings and promotional events in the Cotswold region and beyond, launching March 2017. Visitor tours, cream tea express and a shuttle service will all come later.
Join us on Instagram and Facebook, check the website for bookings and don’t forget to give me a wave if you see me!