Today being a day off, I decided to cycle up the road to the wonderful Angkor temples. They’re beautiful, as is the tropical forest around them. More about that in the guidebooks.
Road travel in Cambodia is great fun.* There are surprisingly few cars; most people travel by the cheaper motorbike – or motodop – and there are also a lot of bicycles. The way it works is like this: starting from a side street, join the main road with speed and aplomb. Looking back is for wimps. Follow everyone else’s lead in riding along on the right hand side as fast as you can. If that’s the wrong direction just turn round and ride against the flow instead. When overtaking, beep your horn or bell as loudly as possible, then race up the middle and hope for the best.
Transport is a sociable affair. A moto with less than three people on board is a moto wasted. Standing, sitting on your dad’s shoulders and riding side saddle are all ok. Acceptable activities whilst riding your moto include drinking iced tea, chatting on your mobile phone and breastfeeding. Sometimes, if there are police around, you should consider wearing a helmet.
A moto is an all-round family vehicle, perfect for driving your mates to school, taking your girlfriend on a romantic sunset drive, and it’s still good three kids later. More than three kids and you need a cart. Happy riding!