There’s a cool story about the four tuk-tuk drivers of south-east Asia namely Thailand Vietnam, Cambodia and Laos used to show the subtle differences when you travel to these countries. I am sure some will decree this racist, but a lot of it does ring true.
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The basic premise is that all 4 of these nations have the tuk-tuk as their principal mode of transport, but that each of them takes a very different view when it comes to work an interaction with their customers, perhaps indicative of the national attitude.
Take a look and let us know if this is your experience in country….
The Thai tuk-tuk driver
By far the friendliest of the bunch a price will be agreed quite quickly, but then the rest of your journey will be spend with him asking what else you want to do on your trip, offering his services and probably with you stopping at at least 3 stops on the way back where he has contacts for “cheap stuff”
The Vietnamese tuk-tuk driver
The Vietnamese tuk-tuk driver will quickly agree a price and get in his ride. They will then literally drive at death defying speeds to get you to your journey in what feels like a version of wacky races. You arrive hopefully one one piece and he speeds off to get his next ride.
The Cambodian tuk-tuk driver
He, or rather many of them will approach you before you have even gotten off your bus. They will then swarm around you looking at your phone and promising a price “better than grab”. Once on the journey you will be offered drugs and, or “boom boom”. When you arrive the price is not what you agreed. You leave the tuk-tuk and another tuk-tuk immediately asks if you’d like a tuk-tuk.
The Laotian tuk-tuk
You take ages to find a tuk-tuk, it is either empty, or the driver is sleeping in the back. He tells you the price, you try to negotiate, he decides he’d rather sleep in the back than negotiate…..
And this sums up southeast Asia……