3-wheeling from Thailand to Denmark

It’s a 10 year old dream which will come true: To drive one of the polluting, noisy and funny-looking tuk tuks all the way from Thailand to Denmark.
     “We have big expectations to the trip,” Michael B. Pedersen says.
     He has travelled around in Asia, Iran and Turkey for six years and now works as a travel consultant in Jysk Rejsebureau in Aarhus in Denmark.
     “We believe that we can experience a lot of things, which ordinary travellers won’t. When we arrive in this crazy vehicle, we will meet the locals in a new, down-to-earth way where you can’t help smiling. The big adventures are often between the big tourist sights in the middle of nowhere. The journey itself – and not the destinations – will be the adventure.”
     On the journey, the tuk tuk will drive trough 15 countries, and the participants have many plans for the trip.
     “In Thailand we plan to see the bridge over River Kwai, dive outside Phuket, climb at the rocks above the beaches at Krapi and maybe take a one-day-trip to Burma from Ranong. And in Malaysia we hope to drive at Sepang’s Formel 1-track south of Kuala Lumpur and visit Taman Nagara National Park among other things. When we hit Singapore, our only goals are to drink a Singapore Sling and get the tuk tuk on a container ship to India. From here we will continue through Nepal, Pakistan, Iran, Turkey, Bulgaria, Hungary, Slovakia, Poland and Germany to Denmark,” tells Michael B. Pedersen.
     The tuk tuk should have left Bangkok February the 1st, but the paper work lasted much longer than expected before the participants could get the right permissions. That’s why the tuk tuk didn’t leave Bangkok before February the 8th. Michael B. Pedersen doesn’t think the delay will have any influence on the expected arrival to Denmark September the 1st.
     “Seven days doesn’t matter much in comparison to the scheduled seven months. We plan to drive 100 km. per day, and that seems reasonable,” says Michael B. Pedersen.
     “Michael and I will be on the tuk tuk all the way from Bangkok to Aarhus, but on the way there will be one to two other participants from joining us on shorter or longer distances,” tells Tina Helen Pedersen. She will write and take photos along the route, and their experiences can be followed at the website http://www.tuktuk.dk.
     “People are more than welcome to contact us through the website, if they can recommend some good sights or others,” Tina continues, who underline that one of the hopes for the trip is to meet Danes who lives in other countries.
     Jysk Rejsebureau’s tuk tuk differs a little from the ordinary ones in Bangkok’s streets. It runs on petrol instead of gas, and this makes the engine sound more or less like a car. The special tuk tuk sound is only vaguely recognisable. And then it is possibly the only tuk tuk with seatbelts.
     Jysk Rejsebureau has just got Guinness’ Book of Records’ approval to participate for “the longest journey by auto-rickshaw”, so if everything goes well, the tuk tuk journey will could be find in a future edition of the book.
     Jysk Rejsebureau started in Aarhus in 1984 and has had a service office in Bangkok since 1987. Since year 2000 the travel agency has had its own hotel with 58 rooms, a service office, a bar and 2 dormitories on Charoen Krung Road – close to the General Post Office.
     There are always 3 to 5 service guides working in Bangkok, and that is a success, tells Mogens Jacobsen, who owns Jysk Rejsebureau.
     “From January last year to the same month this year we have got an increase of 64 percent more travellers to Bangkok. Now almost half of our 24,000 travellers per year have Bangkok as their destination. And more than 60 percent of Jysk Rejsebureau’s costumers travel to Asia. Besides Thailand, we also have many travellers going to Malaysia, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.”
     Almost all the costumers come from Denmark, but a few Norwegians have started to buy their journeys at Jyske Rejsebureau as well. Jysk Rejsebureau has five divisions in Denmark and five service offices in Asia. Besides the one in Bangkok they are placed in Kathmandu, Delphi, Hanoi and Bali.

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