Two Years in the Kingdom- Transportation; Cambodian Style

June 4, 2018

Hello All, and thanks for following me. Todays topic is Transportation; Cambodian Style

When tourists come to visit and Americans, Aussies and Europeans who live here often use the standard modes of travel to get around Cambodia being planes, trains and buses. But these standard modes of transportation can be more expensive and will only go to larger towns or tourist sites. Where I live there is no bus service, the airport is in Phnom Penh and the closest train station is 20K. So, I move about the country Cambodian style which means bike, moto, turih and tuk tuk. A moto is a somewhere between a scooter and a motorcycle. It’s small, durable and efficient. It can take the dirt roads with huge potholes and can go where a car can’t. They are also economical. They cost around $1500 new and can go around 40K on a liter of gas. In and around larger cities people will use their moto as a taxi. I don’t recommend this practice. Riding a moto in Phnom Penh without a helmet is just asking for a head trauma. The better option is the tuk tuk. These are carriages that are attached to a moto. I think they are a bit safer and it beats walking. The price for a tuk tuk can vary and the price goes up dramatically if you look like a foreigner or in tourist area. Speaking Khmer, I can negotiate a reasonable price otherwise tuk tuk drivers will take you for a ride in more ways than one. There is new competition for tuk tuks called passap. The price is reasonable and doesn’t need to be negotiated. Now moving between towns, we use turihs. These are minivans that generally go from one town and then back picking whoever or whatever needs to be transported. Again, the price is negotiable. Traveling on turihs is not for the faint of heart. In addition to packing as many people as they can they also act as a delivery service from town to town. Sorta the UPS of Cambodia. The drivers can often drive really fast while answering their cell phone. If you feel unsafe, don’t be afraid to tell the driver to let you out and grab the next one that comes along. But it is a cheap way to go and possibly the only way depending on where you are and where you want to go. So if you come to Cambodia, try traveling Cambodian style- if you dare.

Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.

This is a book review I had received from my one of my young adult novels “The Gift of Phineas Lake”. Kirkus is well known for their high standards in regards to book reviews since the 1930’s. Needless to say, I was very pleased with their review. Please take a moment and read this review. All ordering information is on this website.

A quick, compelling historical novel with a magical touch.

Rizzo uses historical figures and facts as the foundation for this suspenseful story within a story about the Underground Railroad and racial tension in antebellum industrial Pennsylvania. The book begins in 1897, when Jake and Gordy, two boys, get curious about an abandoned house in town—the former home of the titular Phineas Lake, who disappeared 50 years ago under mysterious circumstances. Though most adults discourage the boys from inquiring further, Gordy’s grandfather Cooper reveals that he was Phineas’ childhood best friend, and he’s just the first of many who begin to tell the boys about Phineas as they piece together the true story of what happened. Phineas had been blessed with a miraculous healing touch—able to cure any wound or illness with his hands alone—but he did his best to keep his gift a secret, since Rev. Davis, the village preacher, was quick to condemn such a thing as witchcraft. During the night,

however, Phineas would heal the freed slaves—the closest doctor refused to treat them—who worked at the iron furnace in town. After a nearby Underground Railroad conductor realized how Phineas’ skills could be used to help the exhausted and sick fugitives, Phineas (along with young Cooper) became a fugitive himself, only returning to town after a terrible storm brings on a deadly fever among the locals. The racist, magic-fearing Rev. Davis, however, hardly gives

him a warm homecoming; it isn’t long before he’s calling for Phineas to be killed. Rizzo’s story has plenty of momentum, and the boys’ eagerness to listen to each of Cooper’s tales works well, keeping the reader as enthralled as Jake and Gordy are. Though there’s not much historical nuance here, the book has an unassailable moral message that would be a great choice for YA readers with an interest in the history of American slavery.

A well-paced, engaging reimagining of antebellum Pennsylvania.

Disclaimer: The content of this website is mine alone and does not necessarily reflect the views of the U.S. Government, the Peace Corps, or the Cambodian Government.


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