Getting Around

Here is a hybrid vehicle that is efficient and not too expensive for getting mom and dad around town. It’s not a tuk-tuk and not a golf cart but something in between. It wouldn’t be street legal in the United States but, hey, this is Cambodia.

Wooden Buddha

Plastic statues of Jesus on a car dashboard are part of American highway culture (and also American country music). Inspired by a country singer or his Buddhist beliefs, this tuk-tuk driver has a rather large wooden Buddhist statue on his tuk-tuk dash.

Plastic Buddha

In the US, especially in the past, many cars had a plastic Jesus on the dashboard. Recently, riding in the newer motorized tuk-tuks in Phnom Penh, I encountered a driver with his plastic Buddha–and a few other figures I can’t account for.

Commuting to Work

Last year Cambodia’s garment factories exported more than $13 billion worth of apparel. The clothing, footware, and travel gear industry is a major sector of the kingdom’s economy, along with tourism.

There are more than 1,300 garment factories in Cambodia, employing upwards of 840,000 workers, mostly young women. Most of these workers travel from their villages to the factories in open trucks, standing in the back with no seats, no seat belts, no safety measures.

[Photos from the Khmer Times]

Road accidents involving factory workers are common. More than 70 workers were standing in the back of this truck when it was in an accident with another truck. They may have been lucky there was so much mud to soften the impact when they were thrown from the vehicle as it rolled down an embankment.

Ride OF Die?

This motorcycle helmet has a slogan: “Ride of Die” emblazoned on it. Probably somewhere some Hell’s Angels have “Ride OR Die” on their leather jackets, but, hey, this is Cambodia where knock-offs and undeciferable gibberish on clothing is part of the culture. The figure on the moto also looks like a knock-off image from a Super Mario video game.