Nothing defines the vibe of Cambodia like its bikers. As the capital city, Phenom Penh has a population of almost 2 million people. And driving around, you’d swear nearly every single one of them is out on their bike; motorized or manual.
The city has its challenges. The congestion and constant traffic mixed with roads that change from pavement, to dirt, to potholes.
It’s not unusual to see a family of five crammed on a tiny 60cc Honda. Crazy, at least to an outsider. Although, it seems to work and judging by the common smiles it seems to work just fine.
There also seems to be no age limit. The kids get started early and the old never stop.
At night is when it really gets entertaining. The bike traffic seems to quadruple. With so many bikes crisscrossing the streets, it’s hard to make out any cars through the sea of two wheelers.
Near my hotel was a giant 5-way intersection. From the sidewalk, it looked like a face off between hundreds of mounted warriors.
Once the light turned green, the opposing masses of motorcycles take off towards each other as if in a motorcycle demolition derby. Weaving and dodging, they merged without incident. This weird road dance resembles thousands of red blood cells gushing through an artery.
Surprisingly, it happens without any honking horns, shaking fists, or flipping the bird.
Here’s to the bikers of Phnom Penh.
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