the unofficial website of Jody McIntyre
Holiday in Cambodia
- Cambodia is a dual-currency country. Anything even remotely touristy prices its offerings in US dollars. Coins are not used though. Any change under 1 USD is given back in the local currency, Riel, usually at a 4000:1 exchange rate, which exists in bills as low as 100 Riel (well under 1¢.)
- A tuktuk, southeast Asia’s favourite onomatopoeia, is a different thing in different places. In Thailand and Laos, they’re 3-wheeled (delta) vehicles with 2-stroke engines and a platform behind the driver for passengers. Lao tuktuks are usually much bigger than Thai ones. In Cambodia, a tuktuk is a regular motorcycle towing a 2-wheeled trailer for passengers.
- Streetside stands selling a greenish-yellow liquid in old liquor bottles are a common sight in Cambodia. It’s fuel for motorcycles and tuktuks, priced at just over 1 USD per litre.
- In Phnom Penh, many tuktuks have a refuelling system consisting of an old water jug that fills the main tank via IV tubing. I wonder if they buy it new or if it’s medical waste.
- Touts are annoying wherever you go, but they’re the worst in Cambodia. Among other things, you can count on getting offered a ride several times a minute, and "no" won’t always make them go away: they often also try to get you to book a tour for tomorrow.
- In tout-English, the gender opposite of "Sir" is "Lady", as in "Hello, Lady, tuktuk?"