March 13, 2009


Back at the hotel, I encountered a group of guests whinging about how ruthlessly relentless tuk tuk drivers were touting for business. Walking past a row of them, the first would ask for business, then the second, then the third - just in case they’d changed their mind a second later. This constant touting is, unfortunately, part of everyday life in Siem Reap. Even Me had done it to me but in such a low key way that wouldn’t have provoked even Prescott or his fists.

One couple described how they’d haggled over a day’s driving, eventually agreeing on US $15 (the currency used rather than the Cambodian riel). The driver was also booked for the following two days - earning almost US $50 for three days’ work. The couple then read in the local paper that's the same amount a school teacher is paid in Cambodia for a whole month!

Just imagine! If you could earn a UK teacher’s monthly salary for just three days’ driving, wouldn’t you be straight out there in Torquay, Tonbridge or Tooting touting your head off too? Hey anyone, tuk-tuk?

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