Public Transportation – Cambodia


In 2009, I decided to take a trip to Cambodia.  I was supposed to travel with an un-named friend (Ed) but this friend (Ed) chickened out on me and decided he would rather sit on a beach in Bali.  I promised I would never bring up this incident again and I’m not blaming (Ed) really because I had high standards of extreme travel while my friend (Ed) only wanted a relaxing vacation with no drama.  Needless to say I traveled without my friend (Ed).. (Ed you suck!)

Un-named Ed… not in Cambodia                                                                                  (Initially to be Bali but changed over to Thailand.. )

There were so many amazing discoveries on my 6 week trip through Cambodia. I met some of the most friendly people, boated through a floating village, saw ancient temples and rode in tuk-tuks and took guided moto tours through remote villages.

I read somewhere that in Phnom Penh alone there are approximately 2.5 million residents.  Most of the people walk, bike or use motos or tuk-tuks as their primary form of transportation. It’s an amazing site to behold, the constant noise along with the site of the constantly moving, weaving and random stopping of all of these entities can put your head in a spin.

Cambodian drivers are amazing and seem to really know what they are doing.. though that is often seriously in question.  The taxi drivers haul everything from people, animals, furniture, dishes and wedding or funeral parties.

While on the back of a moto I had to hold my breath several times while my driver had to maneuver through rusty buses, bicycles loaded down with bananas or sacks of rice.  There were scooters with no less than 2 adults and 4 kids (known as the Cambodian mini-van) and 10 year old kids hauling their friends or siblings across town.  At first glance it appeared to be pure chaos but after 6 weeks of traveling in this manner you began to recognize an ebb and flow of how things worked.  I still would not want to drive in this hot mess myself on a scooter, but it was quite an exhilarating experience and opportunity that I am glad I had a chance to participate.

Though I mentioned Phnom Penh  the traffic and transport was like this throughout Cambodia and my understanding it is the same in most of the other countries close to Cambodia.  My experience on the moto was fun though I cannot imagine that being my only mode of transportation.  I have attached photos of some of the most interesting transport situations I saw while in Cambodia.  I hope you enjoy.

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20 thoughts on “Public Transportation – Cambodia

    • That’s awesome enjoy. It’s been 3 years since I’ve been there and I would love to go back. Where are you going? I went from Phnom Pehn to the southern tip back to PP up to Siem Riep to Battambang back to PP. Very cool trip and 6 weeks didn’t actually feel like enough time.

      • I start in Siem Reap… am hoping to spend some time in PP and Sihanoukville. I haven’t planned much, just going to wing it! I only have 2 weeks 😦

        • ONLY 2 WEEKS.. joking.. any time there is an amazing time. It’s tough though. I loved Siem Reap as it was beautiful.. but a bit overrun with tourists. Stick to the outskirts. Also, I was recommended to go in reverse to the recommended course for touring the temples. It’s awesome. You will love it. Can’t wait to read about it.

    • It was hair-raising but definitely fun and really the only way to really get around as most of the roads were terrible. I was on a bus for a bit of the trip (the long drives) but the scooters were by far the best.

    • I knew if I kept reading I would figure out where you were from. Indonesia is one place I have not been yet. I will be going to Nepal next year and will be there for a couple of years and my plan is at that time to explore that entire area… again.. thanks for stopping by.

  1. Pingback: A tree only hits in self-defense | rfljenksy – Practicing Simplicity

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