Tuktuk - Know what you're getting into

Tuktuk - Know what you're getting into

by Stephanie
(NY, US)

My friend and I were in Siem Reap/Angkor for three and a half days in early February. We came from Laos (4,000 islands) on a nightmarish journey that took an unnecessary two days and required various bus changes, on a bus company that I recommend avoiding at all costs - GST. We'd done some research before, so we were at least somewhat prepared for various scams and practices, and we were not disappointed. When we arrived in the afternoon, we experienced a very common phenomenon for those arriving by bus - we were dropped off a little out of the city.

We were picked up by a tuktuk driver who had our names and spoke excellent English. He drove us to various hostels - his recommended one first, and then ones that we wanted - without charging us, and then offered to drive us around Angkor for our stay. He wanted $55 for three days, for the Grand Tour, the Small Tour, and Banteay Srei. We told him we'd give him $40, including that night (you can go in at I think 5 to see the sunset the night before your ticket works), which he eventually agreed to after a great deal of griping.

We'd read about a scam in which the one with better English essentially serves as pimp for other tuktuk drivers, and that is in fact what happened. The driver who showed up at our agreed-on time was not the one we'd agreed with; this new one, claiming to be the other's "younger brother", spoke very little English. We refused to go with him and went out looking for another one (they are everywhere, all over; just go up to a driver and ask). Although if we'd realized that the rest of our time would be cloudy and we'd never get a sunset, we might have done it differently.

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