Vintage Wheels: A Spirit of Phuket Tour

Posted on September 9, 2013


A local woman has come up with a unique way to experience the historical sights of Phuket. Chutikarn “Karn” Thanadechaparn is a Phuket native. Born and bred on the island, she has been involved in hospitality & tourism for many years.

Previously working as a Marketing/Media Liason, Khun Karn decided to strike out on her own as a freelance tour guide. Successfully leading walking tours and local food tasting tours around Phuket Old Town, it was a documentary about Amsterdam that inspired a new tour idea. Teaming up with her friends, Rassarin “Ooy” Banlangpho and Panida “Nida” Siriwan, the Vintage Wheels: A Spirit of Phuket Tour was born.

The tour effectively uses colourful motorised bicycles that are made of steel,have a fuel tank and a 49cc engine. Although the bicycles have a vintage feel, they are newly made. Khun Karn thinks that Phuket is the perfect place for this sort of tour as she prides the island in having a lot of flavor. She says that the uniqueness of the tour and Phuket comes from the people you come into contact with which includes the local Thais, the indigenous Sea Gypsies, the Thai-Chinese, Muslims, and all of the international tourists.

Khun Karn explains that while on the tour, everyone is curious as to who you are and why you are riding a bicycle, thus, it’s easy to strike up a conversation with people on the street. Khun Karn stresses that the tour is a good way to see a big piece of Phuket in a short time, and an environmentally friendly way to do it. The idea of using the bikes came from Nida, and Karn designed the route and delved into her family’s secret recipes for the cooking part of the tour.

Ooy is the IT Master. She follows the bicyclists participating on the tour with her scooter, effectively blocking traffic and taking photos. She handles much of the social media for Vintage Wheels: A Spirit of Phuket Tour. The three friends giggle in amusement while telling stories of some of their clients. They all agree that the women who come on the tour are very apprehensive at first to ride the bicycles, and for the men, the riding of the motorised bicycle is like second nature. The three friends explain that the reason the bicycle tour works is because you are able to see more than if you are on foot, and because you are taking in the scenery and sights at a slower pace, it’s better than just passing by in a car. Khun Karn says it makes her happy while the tour is in progress and people are surprised at the sights or ask a lot of questions. Meeting new people, making new friends and showing off the island that she loves so much are the rewards of her efforts.

Vintage Wheels: A Spirit of Phuket Tour offers three very unique bicycle tours, and it should be mentioned that all tours include stopping off at a local café to sample a real Phuket breakfast.
The Just Rollin’ Tour does just that. This tour cruises around the sights of Phuket. The two other tours, Wok n’ Roll and Wonderful Siray also include a cooking class. Using her family’s secret recipes, you will learn to make Hokkien Mee, which are traditional Phuket Chinese noodles. This is truly the special treat of the tour, as Khun Karn invites you into her family’s home where you will be greeted by her mother, her niece and various other relativeswho are happy to share cooking tips with you.

Vintage Wheels: A Spirit of Phuket Tour is a fantastic way to spend a day. Let local people show you local sights; you’ll have a whole different view of Phuket when you leave.

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Posted in: Phuket