Choon Paan’- The Music Bread Tuk Tuk
Sri Lanka, a fun filling culturally diverse with a rich heritage and beauty amplified isle for travelers. This tear drop shaped magical island that is located on the southern tip of massive Indian continent has more uniqueness and more exceptional experiences to offer. Wherever you go, you will be nourished by a new experience that makes your vacation more colorful and memorable. Ever smiling local people who are well known as the friendliest people on planet will greet you every day and if you take few moment to watch the daily life of them, it will be another new experience for every traveler.
During your vacation in Sri Lanka, you will spot many new things that you have never seen before. When you travel on Sri Lankan roads, you will see local street markets, roadside vegetable stalls, fruit stalls, fish stalls, meat stalls, even you can see people are selling clothes on the side of roads in small huts or in tiny shops. Sometimes, when you walk along the local markets and streets, you will be surprised by the high tones voices of sellers, how they loudly invite customers to visit their stalls and buy. That is how they market their selling items.
But one particular music will surely catch your ear when you on the street in the morning and evening. Even when you are traveling. That music will be familiar to you for sure but you will be surprised by the place where that music comes from. You will hear the famous music track “Für Elise” of one of the most notable and renowned musician of all time,” the German Composer “Ludwig Van Beethovan”. When you look at the place where that sound comes from, you will have no idea of what you are looking at. You will see a small three-wheeled motorized vehicle with no doors and the driver is riding it with a handle that is similar to the handle of the bicycle. This tiny vehicle is called “Tuk-Tuk” or “Three Wheelers” by Sri Lankans and you will see dozens of tuk tuks on Sri Lankan roads wherever you go. Tuk tuks are mainly taxies but sometimes people use tuk tuks for different purposes. Tuk tuks became increasingly popular in Sri Lanka in the early 2000s. What you see and hear with the Beethoven’s music is not a taxi. You can see at the back of the tuk tuk, you will notice a glass structure, similar to a glass showcase and inside the showcase, different kind of bakery foods are displayed. This is simply a “Mobile Bakery” or what Sri Lankans call this “Choon Paan”. The meaning of Choon Paan is “Music Bread” or some call it “Choon Paan Man”- “The Music Bread Man”. On top of the hood of the tuk tuk, you can see the fixed speaker where the sounds come from.
From small villages to the buzzling streets of Colombo, Sri Lanka’s capital, Choon Paan vendors are fixture of daily life. This custom made Tuk tuks (Choon Pan) vehicles circle the streets selling different kind of Sri Lankan breads and other baked products. These mobile bakeries come to streets in the morning between 06.30 and 08.30 and once again in the evening around 03.30pm to 05.30pm. They drive around streets with that sounds on, so people know that it’s a choon paan tuk tuk in their area and they stop the tuk tuk with the waving hand. Famous Sri Lankan typical bakery items such as “Kimbula Banis” – Crocodile Bun, Tea Buns, Spicy vegetable roties, Cutlets, Sausage buns, Egg buns, Seeni Sambol buns (Spicy Onion Sambol Buns), sometimes typical Sri Lankan sweets like coconut cakes and Walithalapa are sold from this unique styled mobile bakeries for a cheap price. Sometimes Parents who have busy schedules, they buy those bakery items to their children and Children love to select what they like.
This is a medium class good business among locals nowadays and sellers buy baked food directly from the bake houses or sometimes bake houses they have their own tuk tuks to distribute their products. There are well known Bakery product manufacturing companies in Sri Lanka now have started this Choon Paan concept and sometimes you can see a small truck instead of a tuk tuk. But they still play the same standard sound.
If you are a traveler and love to experience local way of life and Sri Lankan food, you can stop this interesting ‘Choon Paan” tuk tuk and try freshly made Sri Lankan baked foods. Try these food with a pure Ceylon Cup of tea. A highly recommended combination for every traveler. Ask your tour guide, he will assist you. If you want to give a try to ride a tuk tuk in Sri Lanka, talk to your tour guide. He will definitely arrange that fun filing experience for you.