16 March 2013
The Darth Vader tuk-tuks of Thailand
Remember my pictures of Peruvian tricycles? Well, I couldn't resist taking shots of their Thai version. Peru has its formula-1 type, India its distinctive green and yellow tuk-tuks (in some cities at least), Thailand has the fairly classic-design tricycles – except in a couple of towns, in Ayutthaya in particular: in that city, they come in a variety of colours but most specifically, the front of the tuk-tuks are dome-shaped, looking like the mask of a samurai or the mask of Darth Vader.
The (dark) Japanese empire may actually be the reason behind for those curved fronts, since the tuk-tuks may have originally been made in Japan and have been around for more than half a century in Thailand... which coincides with Japan's brutal invasion of the country during World War II. Speaking of surprising remaining signs of Japanese presence, the Death Railway (and its famous bridge over the Kwai river) is only a couple of hours away (read my post on the topic http://goo.gl/7Jm8l). I guess one should not "underestimate the power of the dark side"...