Phnom Penh: Transportation IN the City.

 

So far I am loving traveling around Cambodia even though their transportation means are still under developing stage. This doesn’t mean that there aren’t many reliable transportation in the city. There are plenty but it’s wise to know what they are and how you can use them. When we first got here we were slightly confused as to which mode of transportation are available because we didn’t realize there were taxis and no buses at the time (at all). A few months later, there seems to be a change in this and we saw a few more rides that can be seen across Phnom Penh as well as the Provinces. Here are a few examples of them.

 

1. Cyclo

A cyclo taken from my tuk tuk ride (I don't have a better photo of this yet sorry).

A cyclo taken from my tuk tuk ride (I don’t have a better photo of this yet sorry).

The cyclo is made up of a bicycle and a passenger seat at the back with a small covered roof for the hot or wet weather. You would most often see them around the National Museum or Royal Palace area waiting for customers who wish to go around the city (within short distances). The cyclists are usually older folks who have experience with the city roads with some of them attached to tours like the Khmer Architecture Tour. I wanted to try out the cyclo but I was fighting with myself on this notion that I felt bad for the old folks who would have to cycle with my weight in the passenger seat. Then I realized that they need to earn a living and they need customers. I’m still not able to ride them yet but perhaps I will when I take up the tour with my friends next year.

 

2. Motodup (motorcycle taxi)

Motodops usually wait at the street corners and they will wave at you once you start walking the streets.

Motodops usually wait at the street corners and they will wave at you once you start walking the streets.

These motodops are fast moving and available anywhere and everywhere in the city. Also known as the motorcycle taxis they will appear out of nowhere asking you where you wish to go for a minimal fee. The cost is cheaper than the tuk tuk drivers but beware that not all of them speak English. They do know the tourists spots if you explain it clearly to them if not it’s always better if you know where you’re heading so that you can point the directions to them if all else fails. The motodop can take up to 2-3 passengers behind him depending on the size (of the person). I’ve seen ladies with children as well as 2 men sitting together for a ride. Generally you will see girls sitting sideways on the motodop as this is seen to be more polite. Always ask the motodop how much it will cost to get you to one place before you hop on behind.

 

3. Remork Kongbai (tuk tuk)

Photo on the remork kongbai behind the Royal Palace, taken with the GoPro Hero.

Photo on the remork kongbai behind the Royal Palace, taken with the GoPro Hero.

Lately the locals have been telling me that the Government is slowly encouraging everyone to call the 3-cycle ride as remork kongbai as the tuk tuk referred to the famous local transportation in Thailand. There are many personalities of drivers (read The types of Tuk Tuk Drivers You’ll Meet) and it’s best to know which one understands where you’re heading to. Don’t get me wrong, most of the drivers really know their way around the city as they have plenty of experience bringing tourists as well as locals around BUT not all of them speak English. Best tip is to know where you’re going, discuss the price with the driver and then go. I love taking the remork kongbai because it’s not too fast nor too slow and you can get a good view of the city for interesting insights as well as photos.

 

4. Taxi

Yellow taxis are slowly emerging in Phnom Penh city.

Yellow taxis are slowly emerging in Phnom Penh city.

There are taxis in Phnom Penh, not many though but it is growing. These taxis come from different companies and contactable via their call center. My experience with taxis so far has been relatively good as some are premium cars and generally all are in good, clean condition. These are reliable meter taxis which provides receipt upon request (good for business and working people who need to claim the taxi ride) and know the directions well. Surprisingly they can be cheaper than the remork kongbai and this works well if you want to head to the airport or go out for a little nightlife in the city. When we first arrived, we could barely count 20 taxis around town but lately there’s been a growing number of them catering to the public needs which is excellent in my opinion. If you need information or a taxi number, check out Choice Taxi which are new and yellow!

 

5. City Bus

The official brochure of the Phnom Penh City Bus.

The official brochure of the Phnom Penh City Bus.

Now this is relatively new as it was launched earlier this year and they city hall is look into expanding the line if the proposed one is successful. For your information, the locals are mostly seen on their own motorcycles or cars and they find that it’s easier as well as quicker to get to their destination. The new bus route runs in a straight line and back starting from Olympic Stadium, along Monivong Boulevard, between Chroy Changvar roundabout and Chbar Ampov everyday.  The bus comes every 10 minutes and costs 1,500 Riel ($0.75) per fare. I’ve seen a new bust stop near Toul Kork and I think it’s nice to see these developments as they take place in the city. I’ve never personally tried it because it doesn’t go to my office area but once it does, I’ll give it a try. The nearest place this bus goes to is the Central Market while the rest are close to shops and local supermarkets. The English Brochure can be downloaded here.

About Yafieda Jamil

A Malaysian girl currently working abroad in Phnom Penh city. I love a good road trip, hot cappuccinos, spicy food and staring at old buildings. My mission is to inspire people to see the world differently before we all get any older. Oh and giraffes are the most beautiful creatures on earth.

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