- Martin Buber
Most common vehicles in Cambodia and Southeast Asia were human or animal-powered, and some of these are still in use - e.g. cyclos are common in Vietnam, although less so in Cambodia. Many motor-driven vehicless are derived from these, or just new adaptations of the ubiquitous motor scooter (moto).
Originally a small trailer pulled by a cyclist, the bicycle was eventually replaced by a moto for added speed and less effort, and the moto-remorque was born. These are much more commonly known as tuk-tuks, after their more widespread 3-wheeled cousins from Thailand and beyond. Only found in Cambodia, and a very pleasant way of touring the Angkor temples, or around Siem Reap.
Cyclos are essentially a smalled 2-wheeled seat attached where the front-wheel of a bicycle would be. Still found in Phnom Penh, they are more common in Vietnam - many South Vietnamese Army veterans still work cyclos, and offer some fascinatin insights into the country.
Renowned in Bangkok for not being driven by the most honest and reliable workers in the tourist trades, tuk-tuks do offer a good compromise of manoeuvrability and safety in Bangkok traffic. The gem scam can be worked both ways - get a virtually free ride in return for walking in and then smartly out of the jewellers, and the tuk-tuk driver gets his commission!
But really, the Moto is king of transport in SE Asia
Originally cycle-powered, this is now a moto-and-sidecar (which can be comfortably enclosed, or little more than a platform welded to the side of the moto) and can be found in Laos and Thailand.
Colorfully decorated Laotian version of the tuk-tuk - these beasts can be as easy to mount as an elephant.
Often little more than a pick up truck with bench seats, this is the budget option for locals and backpackers.
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