Four tips for Dealing with Tuk Tuk Drivers

The Tuk Tuk (wiki’s definition: a motorcycle with a cabin attached to the rear), as you are aware, is a viable alternative of transportation in Phnom Penh, only second to 'Moto' (aka Motorcycle) in terms of price. I always wonder where the word Tuk Tuk comes from. But let's not discuss it for now.

I would like to propose you four Principles tips in dealing with Tuk Tuk drivers:

  1. Bargain first, then ride. There is no fixed price and there's no meter. If you ride first and pay later, be prepared to pay more.
  2. When you give the address and they say "yes", that does not always mean that they understand and know where to go. "Yes" is more like an expression of "I agree to take you into my Tuk Tuk". So make sure that they get your point. They are equipped with map, so you can point your destination in their map. Visual is always better than verbal.
  3. The average price (distant or near within the city center) is 1.5 dollar. I heard some people can get 1 dollar, but they speak Khmer.
  4. A moving Tuk Tuk is generally cheaper than a stopping Tuk Tuk. There is probably a behavioral economics explanation to this, but my evidence so far is anecdotal :)


Picture: inside a Tuk Tuk