Bangkok to Britain in a tricycle
May 16, 2006 8:05 PM   Subscribe

Two girls, three wheels, 10,000 miles: an epic overland adventure from Bangkok to Brighton. Two women are about to embark on a very long and very uncomfortable voyage: driving a "tuk tuk" from Thailand to Britain to raise £50,000 for the mental health charity Mind.
posted by soiled cowboy (22 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Cool. See also this dude, who hitchhiked from England to Australia in the late 1960s.
posted by borkingchikapa at 8:13 PM on May 16, 2006

Bon voyage intrepid travellers, Jo Huxster and Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent! What a wonderful idea, goal and plan! What fun and an excellent cause. Sounds like an amazing trip. I wish them good luck.

I also travelled overland, initially from London to Rome for a winter, then to Paxos, Greece, hitching most of the way across Turkey, Iran, Afghanistan and Pakistan to India in 1975. I fell in love with India and ended up living there a decade. I was 21 and travelled with a friend, 17 year old Andy, a memorable adventure.

borkingchikapa, thanks for the link, that was exactly the route I also took, 7 years after Steven Abrams and I look forward to communicating with him.
posted by nickyskye at 8:32 PM on May 16, 2006

Holy crap. I don't think that the word "epic" is quite strong enough to describe the overland route they've chosen. Best of luck.
posted by loquacious at 8:42 PM on May 16, 2006

Also see America at 10 MPH
posted by nitsuj at 8:53 PM on May 16, 2006

Wow. I wish them the best of luck. Had I an extra dollar, I would send it their way if only because that is the coolest thing I have ever heard of anyone doing for charity.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 9:18 PM on May 16, 2006

In a similar vein, Alastair Humphreys biked around the world, across five continents. And I think eight miles to the farmers market is too far to bike ...
posted by bcveen at 11:34 PM on May 16, 2006

God speed, intrepid, Phileas Fogg-ass hotties. Give Borat a big hug for me.
posted by dgaicun at 1:22 AM on May 17, 2006

I don't think they'll make it.
posted by the cuban at 4:05 AM on May 17, 2006

the cuban - Yeah, I'm with you. $10 says they turn back once they finally realize England is an island. See, technically you can't call it an "overland" journey if you have to use an underwater tunnel.
posted by Clamwacker at 5:59 AM on May 17, 2006

You'd have to be bahtshitinsane to drive a tuk-tuk through the mountains from Vientiane to Louang Prabang. Good luck ladies!
posted by furtive at 6:07 AM on May 17, 2006

Jo Huxster and Antonia Bolingbroke-Kent

With names like those, one can't help but suspect that they could just write a cheque for £50k without needing to tit about with this tuk-tuk business. (Unless it's all gone on re-roofing the ancestral pile and Mummy's unfortunate gambling habit.)

Er, sorry... noble cause, inventive fundraising, tuk-tuk is a funny word, jolly good, &c.
posted by jack_mo at 6:24 AM on May 17, 2006

Sorry to be a killjoy, but most of those tut-tuks have 2-stroke engines that create a gratuitous amount of pollution. There are other options, but their implementation is rare on account of the extra torque that these vehicles need which is provided by the two-stroke.

When I read about this, I pictured a swath of pollution from Bangkok to England. Why should I support that? Try biking, brave travelers.
posted by squirrel at 7:42 AM on May 17, 2006

I love tuk-tuks, but all-terrain vehicles they are not. My boyfriend and I had to take one from our beach bungalow on Koh Lanta (Thailand) way the hell to the only hospital on the island. The route was hilly and the road was soft. We actually slid off the road into the ditch a couple times, and, at points, had to walk up the steeper hills (woozy with sickness) behind the tuk-tuk, while the driver struggled to make it over the hump. It was absurd.
I'm sure there are newer, more powerful tuk-tuks with better tires that would have fared better, but still, it's a tilt-a-whirl crossed with a motor scooter.
posted by apis mellifera at 7:58 AM on May 17, 2006

Clamwacker - England isnt an island, but I take your point.

I doubt they'll make it across Laos in the rainy season and in a tuk tuk. If they do, I hope they've packed a suitcase of money to bribe their way across China and the former Soviet republics.

Hope i'm wrong, but i suspect the next we'll read of these girls will be in an obituary thread.

posted by the cuban at 8:19 AM on May 17, 2006

Having Googled the names Bolingbroke-Kent and Huxter, it seems one has a family crest and the other is descended from William the Conqueror. So? A pedigree is no guarantee of having money. And an old family name doesn't invalidate their fund raising.

The tuk tuk allows for one person to drive while the other rests and there are various types of fuel used. In Delhi now CNG (compressed natural gas) is used. "The autorickshaw is a thing of simple beauty. Great gas efficiency ... Speeds can reach as high as 55 km/h. If you break down, don't worry about it. Rickshaws are easy to fix and it won't be difficult to find some spare parts...It can seat up to 3 people." Wish I had one of these babies for tooling around.

On their links page I notice there is this one, motorcycle travel adventures around the world and another link about travelling in difficult places.

There is a long distance auto-rickshaw rally in India. Having spent ten years riding around in autorickshaws in India, in all kinds of weather, including monsoons, I think they stand a good chance of succeeding and have planned their route well. You GO girls!
posted by nickyskye at 8:41 AM on May 17, 2006

I can say with 100% assuredness that this particular tuk-tuk is going to be burning petrol, or, technically, partially burning petrol. Not too many natural gas filling stations in rural Laos.
posted by squirrel at 9:00 AM on May 17, 2006

Hats off to them for their unique transport choice. Hope this journey is backed with careful and meticulous planning. Good thing these aren't Americans; else they'd have to worry about anti-american sentiments and hostilities in those regions.
posted by MD06 at 9:08 AM on May 17, 2006

Are we sure this isn't an ad campaign for tuk-tuks? Because I totally want one now.
posted by Citizen Premier at 9:48 AM on May 17, 2006

I hope they're taking the Tuk-Tuk Limo.
posted by zonkout at 10:34 AM on May 17, 2006

If they do, I hope they've packed a suitcase of money to bribe their way across China and the former Soviet republics.

Their itinerary says that they have a government guide traveling with them in China, due to rules about foreign drivers.

Also, their tuk tuk is named Ting Tong.
posted by candyland at 10:40 AM on May 17, 2006

"Ting tong" is a Thai phrase for "crazy".
posted by soiled cowboy at 12:52 PM on May 17, 2006

Ting Tong, a two-tone tuk tuk,
pimped out in pink.
posted by nickyskye at 5:38 PM on May 17, 2006

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