The rickshaws of Phnom Penh

Cyclo driver in Phnom Penh 2023

Rickshaws – in Cambodia we call them Cyclo’s – still dominate the street life of Phnom Penh. It is all about the pure muscle workforce. This remnant of the old ways in Asia has proven to be still a structural part of society in the now rapidly developing and changing city.

Cyclo drivers take a break in Phnom Penh 2023

The rickshaws of Phnom Penh photo shoot

Are Cyclo’s in Phnom Penh a tourist attraction?

Cyclo’s and their role in daily life are not a tourist attraction, but you can use and enjoy them. In the streets of Phnom Penh local house wife’s or cooks buy their fresh vegetables and fish or meats in bulk and rely on this convenient and affordable way to get back home or to the workplace or restaurant.


Is it easy to find a Rickshaws in Phnom Penh?

On every market corner, there are a bunch of these lean and muscular guys waiting for their ride. After the shopping, the customers sit back and relax in a comfortable seat. They have their groceries packed there as well. The prices are meager, $USD 0,50ct, or $0,75ct, take them a long way.

Do Rickshaws drivers have a hard life in Cambodia?

rickshaws of phnom penh taxi
Cyclo driver in Phnom Penh 2023

It’s a tough job, in the tropical heat and sunshine or the pouring rain. I love to look at those hard-boiled friendly and strong professional cyclists in the eye and make a portrait of them sometimes. Bring your smartphone or camera with you next time and book a tour with us and we meet them on the road.

Are Rikshaws comfortable to ride along?

rickshaws of phnom penh public transport

Even after years of living in Phnom Penh, I can still enjoy it every day. I mostly respect and understand the social meaning and purpose. It´s a never-ending local gossip between the clients and the riders: the humor, the smiles, and the honest work and simplicity of it all.

rickshaws driver of phnom penh

Most Cyclo drivers sleep in them at night and find a peaceful place and drink cheap alcohol to relax their worn muscles and smoke their hardship away. Over the next few years, they will probably be replaced by delivery cars and other more modern or even electric modes of transportation but for now.

Can you take a photo tour in a Rickshaws?

Yes, we offer possibilities to make a city tour and explain how you get the best pictures from a Cyclo ride. You will sit up front as the scenery of Phnom Penh unfolds before your eyes.

It’s worth documenting the Cyclo culture. Below is one of the portraits I shot of a man you just come across on the street. I love Cambodia!. Probably he too – only 40 years ago – lost perhaps the majority of his family under the reign of Pol Pot. He remains proud of Cambodia. Just like me.

rickshaws driver with I love Cambodia cap

What a beautiful country, what a mighty people!

Cyclo driver break in Phnom Penh 2023

Michael Klinkhamer

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