In my view, Cambodia is an elegantly chaotic country. The chaotic part is symbolic of traffic. The traffic mainly consists of SUVs, tractors, cyclists, motorbikes, buses, trucks and of course tuktuk's. All these vehicles can also be found on the highways connecting the major (er) cities. The motorways in Cambodia are comparable with provincial roads in the Netherlands, most are well paved. In the evening and at night, road safety is worsened by wrong-way drivers and drivers who are under the influence of drugs. The provincial road in Cambodia consists mainly of many holes and cracks, so look out where and how fast you drive!
1. Rent a scooter
It is of course the best thing to discover cities on your own. This often leads you to hidden places that you do not see with an organized trip. There are scooters for rent in every large (er) city in Cambodia. The price is around $ 4, - and $ 10, - per 24 hours, gasoline costs about $ 1 (4000 Riel) per 1 liter. Please note that you must leave your passport as a deposit. It is mandatory to have a driver's license when driving a scooter, corrupt agents use tourists who are not aware of this. A plus is that you can negotiate with an agent the amount of the fine.
- Do this only if you have actually driven a scooter before. Traffic is not the same as in the Netherlands;
- Take photos of the scooter before you leave so that no old damage can be recovered afterwards;
- Check the tires, lights, oil and brakes of the scooter;
- Always wear a helmet! It is mandatory, but it is also for your own safety!
- Hunch on with your scooter when overtaking a car or passing a junction, so you know for sure that road users have you in sight.
The Cambodian tuktuk is a different colossus than the well-known promotion tuktuk from SISI. They are scooters with a trailer that fits about 5 people. Short pieces of about 10 minutes cost around $ 2 dollars. Long pieces of suit 'm 40 minutes cost $ 5 dollars. The logic is here too far away for me. It does require good negotiation skills. Most tuktuk drivers are open for negotiation and always give in. Remember that a tuktuk driver usually starts with asking the original price times 2. It is therefore wise to start the negotiation with less than half of the proposed price. Tuktuk drivers drive safely. In the evening / at night, prefer a pass app or taxi. It sometimes happened that tuktuk drivers call 'friends' who are ready at your destination to rob you.
- The most reliable tuk-tuk driver in Cambodia is Sok (phone number: +885 11 779833), he drives 7 days a week from 06:00 to 22:00. He sometimes makes exceptions with the time you book;
- Always keep your bags and personal belongings in the tuktuk! Picking up scooter riders, without a pardon, all your stuff from the tuktuk;
- Always follow your route on your smartphone, so that the driver does not drive around unnecessarily or takes you to a place where you should not be (keep your phone well and not unnecessarily in sight of passersby on the road).
This app is a first-class invention. With this app you can choose from a: SISI tuktuk, Cambodian tuktuk, passenger car or SUV. You enter the pick-up location and destination and voilà. Usually it takes 1 to 2 minutes to find an available Passapp. Following this you will see a time how long it takes for the Passapp to arrive (usually between 1 and 4 minutes). SISI tuktuks are cheaper with short journeys because the price is determined by Passapp in advance. Passapps are safer in the evening / at night because they are connected to an app and therefore easy to find.
- Here also applies: Always keep your bags and personal belongings in the tuktuk! Picking up scooter riders, without a pardon, all your stuff from the tuktuk !!
- And also: always follow your route on your smartphone, so that the driver does not unnecessarily turn around or takes you to a place where you should not be.
4. On the back of the scooter
Since this year another upcoming app has been introduced from Vietnam, namely: Grab. This app generally works the same as the Passapp, but here is an extra choice: on the back of a local Cambodian on the scooter. You get a Grab helmet and there you go. The advantage is that you can move yourself quickly. The disadvantage is that you think you will not survive. Local scooter riders do not look so closely here. Although the Grab drivers are somewhat more accommodating than 'random' scooter riders. It is also possible to call a local Cambodian with a scooter on the street. 8 out of 10 times they will take you to your destination, this is an extra income for them. With this last option you understand yourself I think that safety is not on 1. Always agree a price in advance with this option. Choose this option, success with this adventure.
5. The train
Since April 2017 it is again possible to travel by train through Cambodia. Traces between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, originally built by the French, have been restored. This route is 254 km long and stops in Takeo, Touk Meas, Kampot and Sihanoukville. Currently they are working on the restoration of the track to the north. A single ticket to Kampot costs $ 6, - and to Sihanoukville $ 7, -. The trip to Sihanoukville takes 7 hours. This is about 2 hours longer than the bus (depends on traffic), but the landscapes that you cross by train are breathtaking. It is an experience in itself.
-The tickets are available online ( http://royal-railway.com/ ) and at the station.
6. The bus
Traveling long distances in Cambodia are the cheapest by bus. From Phnom Penh to Siem Reap or Sihanoukville you pay about $ 11. The bus from Sihanoukville (the south) to Siem Reap (the north) costs $ 22 dollars. Of course you pay extra when you opt for a more luxurious bus company. It is also possible to book a night bus with 'beds', please note that these beds are about 1 meter wide for 2 people. When you book alone you also sleep very snugly along a stranger.
- you can easily book tickets at www.camboticket.com . Here you can also see how many stars a bus company has;
- the bus makes at least 1 stop on the road, take all your personal items with you when you leave the bus. The bus is not closed 9 out of 10 times.
7. The boat
The Mekong River runs through Cambodia. There are many boat companies in the Riverside district of Phnom Penh. Here you can book tickets to Siem Reap, Kratie and Vietnam. Note that it is expensive and that the journey is long. In Sihanoukville there are ferries to the beautiful bounty islands: Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem.
-On www.buvasea.com you can book tickets to these destinations. When you arrive at the port in Sihanoukville you first have to confirm the tickets at the Buvasea office, here you get your actual access passes for the boat.
8. The plane
The fastest way to transport yourself in Phnom Penh is by plane. There are flights between and to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. Of course you also pay more for this luxurious way, think of prices between $ 40 and $ 100. These prices vary per route and day.
Last but not least, always include a copy of your identity, health insurance card, emergency number and some Dollars . You are in a different continent and you never know what happens to you.
Good luck and be safe!
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