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Thai Girl Tattle: Amazing Of Thailand!

Andrew Hicks notes the ingenuity of the Thais in creating farm jalopies and "iron buffalos''.

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People round here are amazingly good at improvising with minimal materials and one of the things I really admire is the way they recycle old pickups with a new engine and turn them into useful farm jalopies.

Top of the range for transport round here is of course a pickup. Most cheap and practical is the universal two wheeled 'iron buffalo' used for ploughing, towing a trailer and just about everything else. Then somewhere in between comes the home made truck based on an old chassis and running gear.

Yesterday in Si Saket I stopped and chatted to some lads in one of these crazy vehicles who had just passed me at a good rate of knots. It was based on an old Datsun chassis perhaps thirty or forty years old and had a Yanmar single cylinder engine. Usually they are Kubota engines similar to those used on the 'iron buffaloes' and the loud put-put sound is very familiar. Where would the locals be without them.

This truck had a well-made wooden body and looked to be an excellent, cheap work-horse, I guess totally devoid of any registration, tax or insurance. How these fall within the law I have no idea, but the further you go out into the countryside, the more of them you see.

It was quite an event when I stopped to take some photos, no doubt a world first for that particular village.

'Amazing of Thailand', somone shouted from the local shop just across the road.

Amazing of Thailand indeed!


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