Tuk tuk, the best way to travel around Phnom Penh, Cambodia

In almost foreign tourists’ Cambodia tours, Phnom Penh is always first destination to start their travel with many beautiful scenery and interesting activities. In Phnom Penh, the best way to travel around town is taking a tuk tuk.

The tuk tuk has got to be one of the most pleasant forms of intraurban transit in Cambodia. The official name for them is the French word remorque, but everyone still calls them tuk tuks. These two-wheeled carriages pulled behind a moto are a breezy way to travel and are marginally safer than going by moto–mostly because they go at about half the speed. Indochina tours Cambodia

Tuk tuk - the best way to travel around Phnom Penh

Tuk tuk – the best way to travel around Phnom Penh

With a tuk tuk ride you can see more than with spending your time in car or bus. Phnom Penh is a large city and distances are long, but with tuk tuk you can reach easily your target and have shadow and breezy wind. Tuk tuks are a great way to see the sights and get around the city. If you want a smooth, hassle free visit in a place where you have not got the time to get to grips with all the scams and rip offs and need someone who knows the city. A good Tuk Tuk driver, who speaks English, knows the roads, is a tour guide, hotel and restaurant advisor and literally all you need to know to have a safe and good time in the city. This might sound easy, but thousands of tuk tuk drivers in the streets of Phnom Penh looking for opportunities, but many of them are straight from the villages have no idea of how to get around the city and you can find yourself more lost with a driver, whom you cannot communicate with. Tours in Cambodia

However, tuk tuks are also more expensive than motos, but worth the expense. Here are a few tips for taking tuk tuks:

Learn the pagodas and markets: Most tuk tuk drivers seem to have only a loose grasp of the geography of the area they work in and are not familiar with the sort of landmarks that Westerners generally use. For example, telling a tuk tuk driver a street name and cross street will often result in a blank stare. But tuk tuk drivers will almost always know the names of the local markets and pagodas, so it is good to know which one you live closest to and give directions from there.

Tuk tuk drivers will almost always know the names of the local markets and pagodas

Tuk tuk drivers will almost always know the names of the local markets and pagodas

Negotiate the price in advance: When tuk tuk drivers see foreigners, they often see dollar signs floating over tourists’ heads. Therefore, it is better to negotiate a price in advance rather than risk having an argument about $2 in front of your house or the restaurant where you are having a business dinner. Negotiating a price in advance gives you the leverage to walk away if you do not think you are being offered a fair deal (and walking away usually drops the price substantially). Once you have a relationship with a regular driver, you can do as the locals do, and just pay what you think is fair at the end of the trip.

Negotiate in Khmer: This will almost always get you a better price. Remember, there are three levels of pricing in Cambodia: tourist, expat, and local. Knowing some basic Khmer will move you into the second category, at least. When you are new in town you will almost always get the tourist price until you learn what a fair price is and how to bargain in Khmer. If you are offered a price that is too high, whine and say “T’lai na!” (So expensive!). Usually you will be offered a better deal.

Know where to catch your ride: Definitely not in front of a nice hotel or even a hostel, not in front of restaurants, bus stations or even at the airport entrance. Just think about it, why are there only “fancy” looking tuk tuks in front of fancy hotels? Or will a driver who can speak English be more expensive than the one who cannot and would there be an English peaking driver in front of your hostel rather than a non- English speaking one? It is all a game like in Hollywood movies where fancy gentleman thieves go to Las Vegas to rob banks and Casinos, you have to think smart and be one step ahead, at all times. (Will this make you into a fat tourist without morals who is out there to cheat poor tuk tuk drivers while your pockets are full of money? If you want to put it so.)

At Phnom Penh, if you bother walking some 5 insignificant minutes away from the airport and to the roadside you will save several dollars. The same story when you negotiate for a tuk tuk ride to Angkor Wat yourself instead of asking the hotel reception.

When taking a tuk tuk it is more convenient to tell the driver the name of the place you are going to instead of the address

When taking a tuk tuk it is more convenient to tell the driver the name of the place you are going to instead of the address

The destination: The drivers are usually from the countryside, probably sold their lands in order to buy a vehicle, so they do not really know the street names too well. When taking a tuk tuk it is more convenient to tell the driver the name of the place you are going to instead of the address. They know most of the guest houses and all the important sights and markets (if they do not know they will still attempt to take you there and might get lost and then they might demand more money upon arrival because “Sir, the gas is so expensive.”)

With a tuk tuk, you can travel easily around Phnom Penh and see more than with spending your time in car or bus. Traveling around Phnom Penh by a tuk tuk will make your trip more special and memorable.

Travel lovers.

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