Cyclo in Phnom Penh
This is a group of Phnom Penh city cyclo were selected by a particular NGO to promote a specific subject to the public. And sometimes it’s also a set up of city-cyclo-tour for a group of foreign visitors. Once in a while, we would meet group of cyclo on the streets of city center. Especially on any specific event days of the year, such as, Environment Day, Anti-Drug and Anti-Crime Day…
In this picture, we see all of the cyclo drivers are wearing uniform in light green color and the hat made of palm leaves. They are waiting for their customers, who will sit in their cyclos to reach pointed destination. This is a preparation of the program owner. I used to see many times of this kind of group of cycle. The one I see it more often was Non-smoking cyclo on their T-shirts and caps.
Cyclo is a kind of vehicle which the driver sit behind customer. It’s using human power to move forward. Cyclo was very popular for city people as the mean of transportation within Phnom Penh since 1937 in the same year that the Central Market (Phsar Thmey) was opened. When I grew up in 1980s, I still can see cyclos are everywhere in the city. It can carry at most up to 5 persons in one cyclo. We can save a lot, compare to using other vehicles. It’s very fun for kids and young people riding cyclos, since they can enjoy the road side views. It also have the installed roof to protect customers from sunlight and rain.
When the country become more modern, in Phnom Penh, we can see the increasing of motor-taxi and in the same time the amount of cyclos in town dropped. People would preferred to ride motor-taxi, since it can drive faster to arrive the destination in short time, compare to cyclo. This is exactly right, because motor-taxi is operated by machine, unlike cyclo is using human power to make it move.
Nowadays, we still can see cyclos around the big markets in the city like, New market, Old market, Kandal market, Oreusey market, Russian market, Olympic market… Some people still need cyclos to carry their goods from the market to home. Since there is another vehicle appeared, the Tuk Tuk, the present of cyclos in the city become fewer. Who can say how long is the life cycle of the cyclo in Phnom Penh?