The sun’s beating down on my lazy ass, so I’m debating if I want to make the 15 minute walk to the mini mart.
Luckily for the block where I’m staying there’s a Tuk Tuk every 4 feet. The call of Tuk Tuk drivers yelling “Tuk Tuk! Want a tuk tuk?”, is as common as mosquitos and 50 cent draft here.
Most of the drivers yell this while lying across their own Tuk Tuks, sometimes while in a hammock they’ve set up.
These guys have seen me everyday, and they probably know my schedule so well, that if an assassin wanted to get me, they’d just have to pay them a $1 to get to know it.
On this particularly hot day thouugh, I thought “Why not?”
So, I go up to one of the guys who has always hassled me, and I ask him how much,
“Are you kidding me?” To be completely honest, my mind is blown. I’ve seen this guy, hang out for 8 hours in front of the bar that I like to go to, with zero customers. He’ll just chat with the other Tuk Tuk driver’s, take naps and yell for customers.
Normally, I’m polite to these guys, (hey, we’re all out to make a buck). But a quote of $6, for something that should be about 80 cents? I didn’t mean to, but I did laugh out loud.
I just walked away, deciding a 15 minute trek though the blazing heat would be more enjoyable than haggling.
The Tuk Tuk driver, tried to haggle some more, but being sweaty and kind of annoyed that I had given him a chance only to get such a ridiculous price, I walked away.
I met up with a local Khmer and asked them how much Tuk Tuk drivers make a month. It turn’s out most of them make about $50 a month.
But they’d rather take a nap then try to find customers.
And when they do get a customer, these lazy drivers will try to get an exorbitant price versus a normal rate.
In their mind, “I’d rather get 6 customers a month at $10 each. Napping is so much easier, than trying harder.”
I can see this behaviour making sense making 5 years ago when there weren’t any ride sharing apps, but there are!
PassApp is actually used to book Tuk Tuks, or you can use GRAB as well. Both of these work fine, an 80 cent ride is an 80 cent ride. (Prices are confirmed ahead of time). Every time one of the lazy drivers, see me in a Tuk Tuk that I’ve called by GRAB they’ll scowl, and yell. But there’s nothing they can do.
These apps, are a lifesaver in Siem Reap. If you’re negotiating for a Tuk Tuk on the side of the road? You’re probably going to get ripped off.
Do yourself a favor, and make sure you have an APP downloaded by the time you get out off the plane.
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