Tuk Tuk

Cambodia Phnom Penh back seat of a tuk tuk ride

Tuk Tuk. For anyone who has been to Cambodia… enough said, right? For the rest of you… a tuk tuk is basically a little cart pulled by a motorcycle (“moto”) where you’re unsure whether your life is going to flash before your eyes as you sit in the back seat pulled between honking trunks, motorcycles driving backwards down the street, and cop cars that merge in front of everyone in a way that would call for a “citizen’s arrest” back in the US.

After I arrived at the airport in Phnom Penh, I was told to grab a tuk tuk and take it to the Kabiki Hotel. “Ask them if they know where it is, then ask them again, then make sure they look you in the eye and promise they know where it is, then be ready to ask to borrow their mobile phone if you end up driving in circles for a long time anyway. They’ll act like they know where they’re going… but usually they don’t.” Well that’s comforting for a “taxi driver” to be not only a liar but completely unaware of his own city, right? But it’s just the way things are done here. Everyone wants to get ahead, make a little money, and if they have to tell the cute little ‘whitey’ that they know where they’re going when they don’t… well then they will. Luckily, I followed the instructions given to me (“Do you know where this is? No really,  do you know? Next to the Prime Minister’s house? Yes? You’re sure? Ok then, let’s go.”) and I made it to the hotel about 20 minutes and a few near-crashes later.

But now that I’m used to driving in a tuk tuk? I wouldn’t have it any other way. They’ll show up not too long afer you call, won’t pressure you more than once to overpay them, and seem to be safer than just riding on a moto alone considering that I have yet to learn how.

tuk tuk moto driver kampot cambodia

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