Taking a tuk tuk in Cambodia is one of the easiest ways to get around. They can be a great alternative for a day trip further afield if you don’t want to hire scooters. We’ve mentioned before that we’re not confident riding them, so we choose to take public transport, tuk tuks, or use our legs wherever we can!
Experiencing Battambang with Mr Blue
We spent a few nights in Battambang, and after bagging a ride back from the Phare Ponleu Selpak Circus, we got chatting with our driver, Mr. Blue. He offered us a range of tours in his souped up car come tuk tuk. We decided to take him up on his offer, and paid around $12 for half a day which seemed reasonable. Mr Blue was our guide for the afternoon, providing us with a suitably funky soundtrack and a breezy ride about town.
Included in our afternoon was a visit to the Battambang bamboo train. It’s soon to be moved, making way for restoration of the train line, so we were lucky that we got to ride it! Hurtling through the countryside on a bamboo train powered by a car engine is something we’ll never experience again. Although it feels touristy, we found it to be extremely enjoyable. The only part we didn’t enjoy was the ‘tat shop’ at the end of the line. The children begging us to buy things was not pleasant, and made us feel a little sad. The ride back soon made up for it, stopping and starting to let the other ‘trains’ pass!
There was also time for a visit to the killing caves – a harrowing remnant of the Khmer Rouge’s reign over Cambodia. Eye opening and shocking, it was important for us to learn but very sad to see. It felt very calm and peaceful as we walked around the area, a sombre atmosphere. The only downside was avoiding the local children who kept taking turns trying to be our tour guide.
Bat out of hell?
At the end of our day, we waited until the sun was beginning to set to do a spot of bat watching. Surrounded by what felt like every other tourist in Battambang, we snagged a prime seat on a wall and waited to see thousands upon thousands of bats burst out into the night sky. I can honestly say it was surreal, and that we’ll probably never see that many bats again!
Having Mr. Blue show us around Battambang was a real highlight during our time in Cambodia. He told us about his life, and how he was growing his tour business, we even helped him draft a few emails to future potential customers! Having that personal touch really made the day for us, and we both got into bed that night saying what a lovely time we’d had.
Mini Golf in Siem Reap
When in Siem Ream, play mini golf on Angkor Wat replicas! That is what you do, right? Well, that’s what we got up to. We stayed for just under a week in lazy Siem Reap. There was so much to do! We were able to taste all of the good food, experience the friendly atmosphere, and soak up the nightlife. Stumped for an activity that wasn’t a temple, a quick google search landed us upon Angkor Wat Putt. We decided we HAD to go!
After getting in touch, they arranged a tuk tuk to come and pick us up, which was much needed as the mini golf complex was a little out of town. Our driver picked us up, waited whilst we played, and then returned us back to our guesthouse. Being terrified of using scooters, we wouldn’t have been able to play mini golf without our trusty driver!
Unmissable Angkor Wat Temples
Angkor Wat is unmissable, and we planned a day’s visit to see the main sights. Through our guesthouse (Two Dragons), we were able to hire a tuk tuk and driver for the day. He picked us up bang on time at 8am and we sped off to see the incredible complex. With a pit stop to buy our tickets, our day quickly began.
Our driver (we never got to learn his name, so sad!) would pull up to the entrance of the temple, show us where he would be waiting, and then let us roam. It was the perfect way to discover the many ruins and temples in the Angkor Wat complex. We were our own tour guide, and could explore at our own leisure. When we were ready to get out of the sun and head for home, he was there, ready and raring to go!
The Killing Fields in Phnom Penh
Whilst in Phnom Penh, it was essential for us to take a trip out to the Killing Fields. It’s a sobering experience, and one that will stick with us for a long time. We searched the streets by our guesthouse and approached a friendly looking driver who was taking a break. With a price already in mind, he matched it without us having to haggle! He drove us out to the museum and then told us where to find him after we were finished.
Again, we wouldn’t have been able to get out to the fields by ourselves, so it was essential to find transport to take us. On the way back, it poured with rain, and he paused to pull down all of the plastic covers so that we wouldn’t get wet. So kind!
See Cambodia by Tuk Tuk
There’s so much more outside the confines of the city to explore. Hire a tuk tuk to get out there and see what’s on offer. You’ll often find a friendly driver with a story of his own to tell, which is one of the best parts of travelling! Googling online provided us with examples of prices that we should expect to pay. A top tip would be to approach a driver who’s not in a huge group. You’re much more likely to get a good driver and the price you want! Be aware also that it’s not always the safest method of travel, but we’ll save that story for another blog post!