The Life of a Tuk Tuk Driver


Tuk Tuk is your local taxi driver commonly in the urban city like Phnom Penh or Siem Reap. Tuk Tuk is originated in Thailand, but Tuk Tuk in Cambodia is the most convenient driver you’ll be finding in the busiest urban city of Cambodia. For me particular, although I am 100 percent pure Cambodian descendant, a lot of Tuk Tuk driver ask me for a ride in English. Right off the bat, they know that I am a pure foreigner probably the richness of my skin color and the unusual clothing I wear. Every time we got off from the four-six hours drive from a long bus drive in a freeway, “hungry” Tuk Tuk drivers immediately lined up at the bus station and hastily asked the tourists if they want to take a ride to the Tuk Tuk. I’m the easiest target, because of my obvious look. They know I’m Cambodian – American, so it’s not easy to fool them. One time, a Tuk Tuk driver from Phnom Penh asked me if I need a ride and I replied back to him an English. I know my friends told me that if a Tuk Tuk driver talk to me in English, I should be replying back in Khmer. If I do, I would have disguise as a local and have a reasonable price like $3 dollar since they like to overcharge foreigners. This person in Phnom Penh particularly¬† almost charge us $15 just to give us a 5 minutes ride to the apartment. I was mad cause’ they were a total scam artist. Luckily my friends speak fluent khmer and able to bargain with him in making the price 5 dollars for six people. In Siem Reap, they are swarm of Tuk Tuk drivers more than Phnom Penh. Siem Reap is known the most tourist-friendly place since majority of natives are capable in speaking foreign languages such as English, French, and Korean. Tuk Tuk drivers would run to me and asked if I need ride like every ten seconds I walk around the blocks. Usually, I denied their offer, since they are keep on coming. I think all the Tuk Tuk drivers are required to speak English in order to receive service. Tuk Tuk drivers love to be approachable in asking tourists if they need a ride. Usually, they charge in a ridiculous price just to earn extra. The price with Tuk Tuk is never stable or consistent. That’s why you’re bargain skills need to come in play. A suitable price should be 2-5 dollars depending on the destination and the amount of people. Beyond that, you should be skeptical. Regardless of the business of the Tuk Tuk driver, it’s a life time experience because you feel like you are in a wagon and you can enjoy the view while you at. Tuk Tuk drivers are usually respectful and courteous¬† to their customers.¬† If it’s raining outside, they feel obligated to put the tent down on the wagon to protect us. So far, I have never encounter a Tuk Tuk driver who is unfriendly. Tuk Tuk is worth the experience especially that you can watch the amazing view right to your seat.