How many times were you sitting already in the back of a Tuk-tuk? How many times did you got annoyed by Tuk-tuk drivers? Yeah, I know a lot of times. But what about driving your own Tuk-tuk all across Sri Lanka?
This is the story about me driving my own Tuk-tuk all across the country, and it is one of the best things I did in all of these months of traveling.
When I informed myself about Sri Lanka and what I could do there, I found one blog which was writing about the possibility of renting a tuk-tuk and drive the tuk-tuk yourself. I loved that idea from the first second on and decided to book the tuk-tuk for three weeks, so all the time I was there. I was so excited, and I definitely didn’t get disappointed. A Tuk-Tuk means freedom, the possibility to be spontaneously and not dependent on anyone, and that’s all reasons why I travel for.
On the first day, I arrived in Colombo and went straight to the company to get a driving lesson, my papers a briefing, and the tuk-tuk, of course. I started straight to a city called Hikkaduwa and slept there. From there on, I moved for a week with a friend through the inner sides of the country, Kandy, Ella, and Yala National Park, to end up in Arugam Bay, where my friend left. From there on, I went to Mirissa Bay and back to Colombo. In total, I drove nearly 2000 km and with the fact that I can drive max 40 km/h that makes a minimum of 50 h of driving, and I loved every second of it.
Seriously, one of the best things while driving a Tuk-tuk are the locals looking, wave, shout, and smile at you everywhere you go. There was not one red light without another driver asking me where I’m from and if it’s going well. Sometimes people see you driving past, and their reactions are just hilarious. It’s a pretty new trend that foreigners drive tuk-tuks around the country, so for many locals, it’s the first time to see a 1,9-meter white dude sitting in the front seat of the tuk-tuk and drive around. Police often stop you more out of curiosity than actually to check you. I had it once that the policeman said to me, “Nice to meet you,” and then let me go. It’s a lovely way to get into contact with the locals, and you’ll be definitely the center of attention on every road.
Apart from all these things you have so many benefits. You are exceptionally spontaneously, don’t need to take busses or trains which take even longer usually. And if you want to visit a different beach, you don’t need to deal with the real tuk-tuk drivers. I mostly show my keys and say, “Nah, I’m the driver this time,” their looks are the best. I was also able to take my friend around the country with all our luggage without any problem. And in Mirissa I received my new friends at the party in the evening, and we could drive to some restaurants without waiting for a tuk-tuk.
The negative part:
For me, as a solo Backpacker, the cost is relatively high. I pay 22 USD per day to rent the tuk-tuk and to get the license. Then I have to pay the Gas (Which is very cheap though) and some maintenance work, cleaning and in case of a small accident the amount of the damage. But as soon as you are two or even three people, the cost will be lower than any other method of transport.
It was just the journey of my life. I loved Sri Lanka as well in every aspect, and the tuk-tuk journey just made it even better. I recommend this to everyone enjoying the freedom and the wind while driving through nature in foreign countries.
- Total countries I visited until now: 41
- Planes: 29
- Busses: 49
- Trains: 23
- Boats: 25
- Km driving: 8000
- KM driving with my Tuktuk: 2000
- Km running: 3556