I've read a lot of bad things about this! Unreliable buses, taxi drivers who don't speak a word of English and don't understand your pronunciation of Cambodian places, moto drivers that are the same but also take you 'around the houses' or even to dangerous areas on purpose, not to mention the obvious dangers of riding on the back of a motorbike without a helmet etc.
Anybody have any thoughts on the above? Is it that bad?
fly or use boats.
nobody wears helmets on the back of motorbikes in se asia
hmmm, the bus system is fine, cheap and fairly reliable -- even comfortable on occasion! Just avoid the scam minibuses that run from Khao San Road to Siem Reap.
I'd say in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville (the three most popular spots) you're far more likely to get a motorcycle driver who speaks very good English than in any of the neighbouring countries, especially Thailand! I'm forever amazed by the level of spoken English in Cambodia. Of course if you're in the back of beyond, less English is spoken.
Motos taking you for "a ride" does happen -- just as it occasionally happens anywhere in the world. Agree on a price you're comfortable with before going anywhere, and if you feel like your driver is dodgy -- get off!
Despite what #1 says, more and more people are wearing helmets. A motorcycle helmet can be easily purchased in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap for $10-12 -- you can always give it to your favourite driver at the end of your trip!
So in summary I'd say its not bad at all -- that's why I live here!
Hope that helps
in may this year, i visited cambodia. we used taxi service from Poipet (at Thai-Cambodia border) all the way to Siem Reap.
The funny thing is that they are Cambodian and I'm Malaysian but we communicated in Thai :D . OK the point is that they are not so rude when talk to us (just their dialect is a bit rough) but I did not speak English with them.
Do you like Dakar rally, or any car rally :D..if not better don't take taxi. For me it's fun (but it's dangerous). Not all the roads in Cambodia are tarmac, there are many holes on the road and they drove like Petter Solberg etc :D....they drive very fast even at the public area (market/villages/town) etc. The condition in Siem Reap is better.
OK. at first they try to bring us to their choice of accommodation. ...for sure they will get tip but we told them (2 taxis) that we aready made a booking.
Besides, they will take you to their suggested location, restaurant etc because they will get tip but it is depend on us whether we want to follow them or not, so better have your own itinerary (where to go, what to do in Cambodia) but this does not prevent taxi driver to demand for a tip or at least free meal. Don't worry, they never ask you to buy them meal etc but they only ask the restaurant owner to give them free meals because they bring tourist to the restaurant. That day, we don't have big problem, restaurant manager didn't scold us or even the taxi driver.
This is my experience but I don't think they are bad,...For me they are OK. And their service is good. It's worth for what we give.