Transportation

Southeast Asia is an inexpensive region in which to travel.  A few methods of transport are not typical here in the US.  One thing a new traveler to SE Asia notices is the number of motorcycles in traffic. Because cars are often out of the price range of many families, motorcycles are the go-to method for most.  You might be surprised how much you can do with a motorcycle.

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Cambodia has recently implemented a helmet law requiring the driver to wear helmets, but not the other passengers.  As you can see, going to school can be a tricky endeavor for many children.

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As you can imagine, road fatality statistics are pretty high. 🙁

People get pretty creative and resourceful with their motorcycles, including converting them into informal taxis (known as tuk tuks), and even the Southeast versions of food trucks.

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As you can imagine, it can be a bit tricky to drive a motorcycle while a flaming hot grill is blazing right beside you.

Probably the most inexpensive way to get around besides walking and riding a bike, would be a motorcycle taxi.

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Motorcycle taxi drivers cluster around designated areas with lots of foot traffic and for a very low fee, will take you where ever you need to go.  They don’t provide you with a helmet, however, and their driving skills are probably closer to Fast and Furious than Driving Mrs. Daisy.  In other words, not for the faint of heart.

Tuk tuks are the next cheapest method of travel.  These 3 wheeled motorcycle-ish vehicles are fun and easy.

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Although inexpensive, tuk tuk drivers in Bangkok are notorious for having business deals with friends and acquaintances in various retail establishments.  They know where to get you good deals on things like jewelry, pottery, silk and anything else on your list. But they usually get a kickback from their friends if they bring tourists to their shops.  Also some tuk tuk drivers have been known to take the long way around so that they can charge you more.  Best to get a price up front for a trip in a tuk tuk.  Oh, and it is OK to haggle a bit.

Taxis are readily available and well regulated in Thailand and less so in Cambodia.  Taxis have meters and unless you got a really low quote on a trip, insist that the meter is running.  Taxi drivers are also known for driving around the block a few times to run up the meter, so keep your wits about you.  Most of the time, though, a pleasant conversation with the taxi driver will get you the most direct, in-the-know route to where you are going.

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