21st-23rd September 2014
Our arrival into Cambodia along the Mekong River and then onwards by bus took us into the Southern city of Phnom Penh. The landscape was quite similar to that of Vietnam, although I felt a little more green and lush. After checking into our hostel we decided to go for lunch. Here we were introduced to the city’s main transportation mode – the tuk tuk! Tuk tuks come in different shapes and styles.
We’d been on a classic push bike tuk tuk, now here there were hundreds of guys on their motorbikes which had their carrying wagon attached on the back, all trying to get us in for a ride around the city. As we walked by repeatedly saying “no thank you”, we were approached by one last guy as we were entering the café we’d picked to have dinner in, “we are going for food, no thank you”. “Ok I wait for you” was his reply! With an “ok whatever you want to do but we’re eating” response, we walked in and sat down for food. After almost forgetting about the guy, when we left the café, true to his word, there he was waiting for us! “Ok I take you round the city now?” Humouring him, but possibly thinking of doing the trip, we said “how much?” He says “I don’t care! Whatever you want to pay me!” Having been quoted $10 a while earlier, knowing full well you need to haggle the price down, we agreed on a price of $5 (about £2.90) for an hour’s trip.
And this was our introduction to Mr.T.
Despite his very limited English, his extremely funny character broke through the language barrier. He seemed to know everyone around the city, and was constantly waving and hollering at people, each time turning around to us and repeating “my friend!” We had the hour tour around the city and to be honest I remember more about Mr.T than I do the city!
Laura and Mr.T
After the fun hour we had, we asked Mr.T if he could take us around for the next day for the whole day. When we asked how much he replied once again “I don’t care!” “I’ll take you for four hours, six hours, eight hours, I don’t care!” He was just a life and people loving person who obviously needs to earn a living but really wasn’t in it to rip us off. We agreed the going rate which is $15 for the day.
Details of our day out to follow in next post!