Tuk Tuk

I set out late from the hotel the other night for a stroll to downtown Siem Reap.  It was pitch dark for there are no street lamps and the sidewalk was deserted. Within a minute of hitting the street a motorized taxi pulls along side to see if I need a lift to my intended destination. I decline but it takes much more than a mere negative response to his query to get rid of him.   These entrepreneurs are persistent to say the least and shaking them off can be a challenge at times.  Within a minute of my first offer to hitch a ride I get another who pulls up along side of me, only this time he rides a scooter and offers fast efficient and comfortable service to the market downtown.  After he left another came along and yet another hailed me from across the street. Once I reached the market I was accosted at every intersection where half a dozen taxis wait and solicit yet another fare.

Foreigners either never walk or should not walk in Cambodia or they are seen as a source of steady income.  I assume the former.  I can admire the drivers’ persistence and their concern to satisfy my needs, guarantee my safety and my comfort.  I just wish a taxi would appear when I really need one rather than getting constantly distracted by fighting them off.

Brian Maan


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