Cambodia is home to various transport – some of which you will have never seen; some which disappeared long ago from western countries.
The most common mode of family transport in rural Cambodia is the ox, buffalo or horse cart however in towns and cities, the motorbike – (known as ‘motodop‘ in Cambodia) is the most commonly seen vehicle. If one is lucky enough to own a motorbike (usually 90-110cc), it usually doubles as the source of income for the family. ‘Motodop’ means motorbike taxi and it is rare to see only one person on a motorbike as the owner will usually try to find a customer to cut costs and earn a small income. It is a fun way to travel and a must do for every guest! Cambodia Uncovered can take you on their motorbikes if you are too frightened (or unable) to find your own motodop driver!
Bicycles are also used frequently and as they are cheaper than motorbikes, families will often purchase a bicycle before a motorbike. They are used for carrying people (sometimes 3 or 4) as well as goods (including animals such as chickens and pigs). In some provinces bicycles are also used as a taxi (one or two persons on the back). However it is also possible to see them converted into a three wheeled vehicle with a carriage attached to the back
Cyclos – three wheeled pedal powered vehicles are also available throughout Cambodia but mostly found in urban areas. They often carry entire families but are also used to carry goods including motorbikes, animals and building materials. It is also used by the driver as his bed!
Tuk tuks, three wheeled vehicles (usually a two wheeled carriage pulled by a motorbike) are also now readily available in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and othe rmajor towns. These are a good way for guests travelling in twos or threes to move around the towns and are probably safer than motodops but not as fun!!
The locals rarely use the tuk tuks due to their relative expense and instead use the ‘moto-remorque’ a motobike which pulls a long carriage with many seats. These are the Khmer equivalent of buses with many Khmer using this cheap mode of travel
Taxis are commonly found in Siem Reap but otherwise are more difficult to find. They are air conditioned cars (usually small sedans) and are often considered dangerous by many as they travel at high speeds between provincial towns. Within Siem Reap and Phnom Penh they are however safe and with their air conditioning, provide a welcome relief from the heat and pollution
Buses are becoming more common now the roads are improving. There are large and small buses available for trips between most provincial cities including Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Battambang
Boats are common in Cambodia – many Khmer live on a river or lake or perhaps may live on water at some time during the wet season. There are a some ferries that are used to cross the major rivers however most guests are unlikely to have the opportunity to catch a ferry. Our 16m boat, Neang Niak is available for trips on the Mekhong and Bassac Rivers – either daily tours or longer. It is a terrific way to view the country – the rivers are the life of the country with transport of many goods being carried along rivers, locals using the water for washing, fishing and for the majority, also their drinking water
Ox, buffalo and horse carts can be seen in all rural areas however as they are regional, it might only be possible to see one or two types depending on the province you visit. These carts often carry very heavy loads and due to the lack of trucks are used instead
Elephants are used in the north eastern part of Cambodia to work the fields and forests however rides are available for guests and are a fun way to see the countryside
We recommend you sample as many modes of transport as you can – it will give you a good idea of the ‘real’ Cambodia and you will have a lot of fun!