>Photo Hunt # 4 Flexible – Traffic (rules) in Phnom Penh

Posted by on Nov 11, 2007 in Cambodia, downtown, moto-dups, Phnom Penh, transportation | 1 comment


Hello. I am writing this post straight from Siem Reap for another work-related activity. I am staying at the fabulous Sokha Angkor Hotel, and I am restraining myself from telling you how fab it is here.

Anyways, on to this week’s photo hunt.
This week’s photo hunt theme is a challenge for me. Apart from rubber bands or gymnasts, I have no idea what exactly to put here.

Last Friday night, my husband and I were driving to a friend’s house last Friday, and we were sort of discussing about this week’s theme. We were so into the discussion when, out of nowhere, a black and speeding Toyota corolla overtook us. I screamed at the top of my lungs and cursed the high heavens! Oh yes, this is driving in Phnom Penh.

Let me give you an introduction to Phnom Penh traffic. The roads here are absolutely in chaos, as if there are no road rules to follow. Well, wait, there are NO road rules to follow! My point is… traffic rules are flexible here in Phnom Penh.

Basically, you can do as you please. Traffic rules can be bent or twisted in any way or direction, just like what contortionists to their bodies. To borrow my husband’s words:

The main driving requirements seem to be Eyes in the Back of your Head and an overall acceptance that anything can (and probably will) happen at some point during your journey.

You can drive on the right or the left – whichever side suits you best.
Red lights can be ignored if you please and top speed is a matter of personal choice.
Reversing out into heavy traffic is normal, just do it slowly and everyone will keep on moving around you.

Overtaking, undertaking, overtaking someone that is already overtaking or undertaking, cutting corners, short cuts across the pavements and through petrol stations are no problem,(if you can get onto the pavement, parked cars – street vendors stalls – building materials – refuse – cafe tables – everyone except pedestrians use the pavements).

Okay, there. I thought Phnom Penh’s traffic (rules) would be apt for this week.

So, this is all daytime driving when most are at work.
Can you imagine how it is at night?

Add in the intoxication and anonymity of nighttime and things really begin to get interesting…….

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One Comment

  1. >im a pinay married to a chinese-khmer and traffic and traffic rules in phnom penh never ceases to confuse me 🙂 it actually scares me to drive there and if you’re a foreigner in accidents its your fault even if its not really your fault.. ^_-

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