The Best Way to Get Around Sri Lanka – Renting a TukTuk
Why Renting a TukTuk is the Best Way to Get Around Sri Lanka
First on the list of up and coming travel destinations, Sri Lanka is quickly growing into one of Asia’s must-see’s. An amazingly unique and beautiful island, Sri Lanka has tons to offer the curious traveler. From deserted, sandy beaches to rugged, rocky headlands and thundering, green mountain passes, Sri Lanka is in a league of it’s own when it comes to natural beauty.
With so much to see and do, deciding how to allocate your time can be a daunting task, to say the least. However, while choosing how to spend your time can be tough, when it comes to figuring out how to get around the island, renting a tuktuk is the clear winner.
What is a Tuktuk?
For the people reading this who have been to Asia (or even some parts of Central-America), you most likely know the answer to this question. But for those that haven’t, the tuk-tuk is not only an iconic representation of Asian transportation, but also a super common and fun way to travel around. While they can vary slightly in design depending on where you are in the world, for the most part they tend to all look pretty similar - awesome.
In brief, a tuktuk is a lightweight, three-wheeled vehicle that is pretty much Sri Lanka’s version of the family sedan. Large enough to accommodate three passengers + the driver, they make for the perfect two-person road tripping vehicle. We were beyond comfortable, with enough space in the trunk for all of our bags and ample room for Marla to nap during our longer drives across the country.
In Sri Lanka it’s impossible to go even an hour without seeing a tuktuk, as they are easily the most easily recognized vehicles on the road (and with over 1 million on the roads, questionably the most common too!). During our month-long stint in Sri Lanka, we chose to rent a tuktuk for getting around the island and could not recommend it enough for anyone looking to explore all that this amazing island has to offer.
Why Should I Consider Renting a TukTuk?
Well, to make an extremely long explanation short, here’s a list of reasons why renting a tuktuk is the best decision when visiting Sri Lanka:
- Freedom! Renting your own tuktuk gives you the ultimate freedom for your time on the island! You’re not forced to pick between train and bus schedules, giving you the ability to pick and choose where you want to go, how many stops you want to take along the way and at what pace you want to travel. We absolutely loved the ability to be our own bosses in this sense, and are beyond thankful for our decision to go through with renting a tuktuk.
- Comfort. If you’ve ever been to Sri Lanka or any other Asian/Southeast Asian country, you’re probably aware of how crowded and uncomfortable public transportation can be. Unfortunately, in Sri Lanka this is taken to another level. So rather than be crammed inside of a school bus with 150+ extremely sweaty individuals and some Sri Lankan woman’s groceries on your lap, you have the chance to spread out and relax in the tuktuk. With ample room, a comfortable seat (that’s entirely your own) and the breeze against your face, there’s no doubt it’s the more comfortable choice for getting around the country.
- Safety - Once you’ve seen or ridden any of the busses in Sri Lanka, you’ll immediately understand why safety is on this list. Almost always over-stuffed with passengers and rarely following the speed limit, busses in Sri Lanka can be a stressful experience to say the least. Local busses are known for going way faster than they should, overtaking on blind corners and generally just being sketchy drivers (in fact, we had a local Sri Lankan friend have 3 friends die in a bus accident while we were there…) So for a more comfortable and safer experience, renting a tuktuk is your best bet.
- It’s a one of a kind experience and opportunity! Not only do you get to pick when and where you want to go, but you get to do it on your own terms! By renting a tuktuk, you have the chance to pull over and take pictures whenever you want, and no doubt you’ll see some amazing and unique things along the way. Sure it’ll take longer if you pull over ever 30 minutes to take pictures like we did, but when your passing unreal landscapes and the occasional elephant crossing the road (which we actually saw!), it’s well worth the added time.
How Can I Go About Renting a Tuktuk?
Short answer: It’s easy!
Renting a tuktuk is a super simple affair, all you need to do is go online to TukTukRental.com to reserve one!
Tuktuk Rental is an amazing company that rents out tuktuks to all sorts of visitors looking to explore Sri Lanka in an amazing and unique way. Not only does the company provide you with answers to any questions that you might possibly have, but they will help you through the ENTIRE process with a smile on their face.
With everything from 24 hour support while out on the road, comprehensive insurance, helping you sort out your driver’s license and even a free tuktuk driving lesson, they make the whole process as simple as possible. Plus the company is a social enterprise, so when you rent your tuktuk from them, you’re helping to support local tuktuk drivers and their communities. Fun, convenience, and for a good cause? Count us in for sure!
How Much Does Renting a Tuktuk Cost?
Surprisingly, renting a tuktuk doesn’t cost that much! Like most vehicle rentals the price goes down the longer that you rent, but compared to car and vehicle rentals across the world, it’s super affordable! As a rough estimate it’ll cost anywhere from 14-25 USD per day depending on your rental term. So estimating that you rent it for three weeks (20 dollars per day) + 5 dollars in gas each day, that totals out to about $25 each day. Split between two people, that’s a pretty affordable way to get wherever you want in the entire country! Sure it might not be quite as cheap as the busses, but believe us when we say that it is WELL worth the extra Rupees.
Where Can I Go With My Tuktuk?
Anywhere! (well , pretty much anywhere but the country’s four expressways) The tuktuk is a small, but mighty beast and can take you pretty much anywhere that you could ever want to go. We managed to conquer pouring rain, searing heat and some seriously steep mountain roads in our tuktuk, with pretty much zero problems along the way.
Since the TukTuk Rental office is located right outside of Colombo, mapping out a individual route to your preference is super simple task. We took our tuktuk (affectionately named Al Green the Double T) down along west coast, crossed the country on the south coast, and then made our way up through the middle before winding up back in Colombo before flying out, snapping pictures and loving the drive the whole way. While our itinerary was a little complicated since we had to get Joel a new passport, Sri Lanka really is your oyster to explore as you so choose! Plus, if you’re feeling lazy or just want a little bit of expertise, the folks at TukTuk Rental are alway more than happy to help with route suggestions and sample itineraries too.
We absolutely had the best time ever on our Sri Lankan road trip, and will look back on it with the fondest of memories. Al Green the Double T gave us with the freedom to see and go wherever we wanted, and for that we are beyond grateful. Renting a tuktuk was easily one of the best decisions we’ve made over the course of our trip, and we seriously cannot recommend it highly enough.
For more information on renting a tuktuk in Sri Lanka, visit Tuktuk Rental’s website or feel free to reach out to us with any questions you might have!
Yours in Adventure,
Joel & Marla