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Traffic & Transport in Cambodia

How to load a moto in CambodiaAs we have outlined on our page Dangers & Annoyances, Cambodia overall is not a dangerous country, with one exception: the traffic.

There are traffic rules, but the Cambodians seem never to have learned them or forgotten the rules the moment they received their driving license (for which they simply might have paid, by the way).

Add to that the mix of all types of different vehicles which are routinely overloaded (whether with goods or people, or both) and you get a picture of the chaos on the roads of Cambodia.

E.g.: How do Cambodians, approaching an intersection, turn left? Here is your answer: steer sharp to the left, across the other lane (going against traffic) and follow the curb on the left side as close as possible. So now that you just turned left, you are literally on the left (wrong) side of the road, against the oncoming traffic. Now you will either have to stay on the wrong side if you intend to turn left again soon, or wait for a gap in oncoming traffic and make your way across to the right hand side. Of course by doing this, you don’t look back if there is any traffic behind you: hey, that’s their responsibility!

Don’t believe me? See this video of a motodop (a moto taxi driver) who doesn’t even really wait for a gap… :

Then there are the very different types of road users all competing for their space: SUVs (preferred are Lexus and Range Rover cars) for the ‘well-to-do’ (read: well-connected), normal sedans (preferred model: Toyota Camry), motorbikes (millions of them), cyclos, tuk-tuks, ‘ramuks’ (motorbike carrying a long 2-wheeled platform), push carts, motorbikes with a side car, trucks, lorries and buses. Oh, and of course pedestrians (lowest in the traffic hierarchy) and animals.

See this picture gallery of the modes of transport in Cambodia, and how to load them to maximum capacity:

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On top of all this, you have the SUV drivers who think they are above the law (and in many cases they are…). But sometimes SUV drivers are going a tad too far, as you can see in the video SUV drivers in Cambodia are utter morons. The driver in this video was eventually arrested, but it is unknown whether he got a severe punishment or simply paid off…