Cambodia Transport


The transport options available in India and Thailand are fascinating and impressive, but it was in Cambodia that I saw one superior option that really charmed me



The auto rickshaw of India (3-wheeler) is quite utilitarian

But I really like the tuk tuk I found in the Siem Reap area of Cambodia, used extensively as taxis




You see that hitch mounted on the motorbike?  That's a sort of all-purpose hitch; it can be used to connect a tuk tuk like this, or a trailer of almost any sort.

The great thing about this arrangement is the modularity.  The motorbike wears out, or you want to upgrade?  Just unhitch and bring in the new one.  


My friend Betsy sent me this one, found in Sihanoukville

A more powerful engine, a canopy that covers the driver, more elegant--but lacks the modularity

Costs about $2,000usd


I was astonished that these 100-150cc motorbikes could pull the tuk tuk with the ease they do.

But my big worry was the braking capability--with that much weight behind you, what if you needed to stop suddenly?

Fortunately, I had no occasion to have that question answered



You want to swap the tuk tuk for serious hauling?  Bring it on.  Elegant solution


Yes, that is indeed a bed




A closer look at the hitch operation




This one in Stung Treng



One of my favorites, though, for serious hauling is this industrial-strength unit



Exactly like ones I saw first in Tarma, Peru




Heavier motorcycle engine, heavier frame and tires



Found this guy in Modulkiri province of SE Cambodia, doing road construction

A 3-wheel dumper, a first for me



In Eastern Cambodia and elsewhere the minivan is a popular alternative to big buses



You take a van that comfortably seats 15 people, including driver



and you start stuffing people in, wherever they'll [sort of] fit



On my trip from Kratie to Sen Monorom the driver (the guy with the cap) even squeezed in a passenger to his left

A friend of mine counted 30 people altogether in this van




One evening in Stung Treng, NE Cambodia, there was a big wedding 

There must have been 300 or more motorbikes parked outside



I got a kick out of seeing the young ladies leaving the party on their 2-wheelers



But I keep coming back to my fascination with human-powered transport




Asia excels in this



But of course we shouldn't ignore one of the oldest modes of transport, here on Koh Trong Island, near Kratie


My friend Betsy sent me this next set

She says, "[These] pics are from Battambang, the infamous Bamboo Train...just a couple of old rail car axles, a bamboo frame; runs on a Briggs & Stratton LAWNMOWER engine! Only one set of tracks, so when an oncoming 'train' comes along, the one with the lightest load has to dismantle and go around the other guy. They carry everything, motos, cows, pigs."


You put two sets of wheels on the tracks, and drop a platform on the wheels




and away we go!

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