Monday, 21 July 2014

Cambodia compared to Thailand

Cambodia compared to Thailand

There are some differences between Cambodia and Thailand.

Traffic in Phom Penh is as bad as in in Bangkok, crossing a four-lane street can take 5 minutes. But at least Bangkok has public buses and pedestrian overpasses, Phom Penh has not (I asked a local, there seems to be one public bus line). Traffic in Phom Penh is more chaotic, it’s a wonder how a crossing of two two-lane streets works, without traffic light or traffic police.

Mocy and taxi are similar in both countries. Thailand has tuk-tuk (made from mocy, 3 wheels, 2 axes), Cambodia has moto-remorques (4 wheels, 3 axes), Cambodia has cyclos (3 wheel, human powered) in addition. Railwail network in Cambodia is not in use.

In Cambodia (Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Poipet), I got constantly accosted by mocy and moto-remorque drivers, more than 100 times per day, driving past, standing, even shouting across the street. You would think that walking is a disease or a criminal activity. In Siem Reap, I had dinner and was wondering why locals stand in front of the restaurant, and when I had finished my meal they asked if I want mocy or tuktuk.

And indeed, Phom Penh is not a city for walking. Sidewalks are used for parking, storing construction material, waste dump, selling stuff, or are in poor condition, so you are forced to walk on the street (in the sun, with cars and mocy passing).

Cambodian boys are a bit slimmer and have browner skin than Thai boys (based on comparison with Bangkok, which has many fair skinned Thai, maybe in Isaan they are as brown as in Cambodia). Some are so slim that trousers don’t fit and hang low, sometimes ultra-low, so you can see the underwear. 

They are aware of that and often pull up their trousers, but even belt doesn't help. Suspenders would do the the trick, but I find suspenders totally in-erotic.

Bangkok and Phnom Penh have cars for waste collection that are similar to those used in Europe (and probably imported at high cost, for a job that can be done by hand). In Thailand, people searching waste (often with their bare hands, same for professional waste collectors, searching and separating often with bare hands) is done by adults and away from the main entertainment areas. In Cambodia, I saw children (estimated 5 to 10 years) old go through waste with their bare hands right next to tourist entertainment places. I wouldn’t believe it, taking straws out of food waste for recycling!

In Pattaya, you get offered drugs in low voice after making eye contact (some of the boys are cute!), in Siem Reap, locals offer drugs (marihuana, cannabis, weed) to everyone who walks past, short of shouting across the street.

(Update: offerings of weed increased in Pattaya, no eye contact, just walk past.)

Level of English spoken in Cambodia is far superior to level of English in Thailand.

In Cambodia, boys wear shirts with buttons, whereas in Thailand T-shirts are predominant. Some of these shirts in Cambodia have outrageous styles.

In Cambodia, USD is widely used, everything above 1 USD is ususally paid in USD and change is given in Riel. No coins in circulation. Bank notes of low nomination (1 - 10 USD, Riel) often look like having been swept through a cunt. USD in higher nominations (100 USD) have to be pristine to be accepted.

All saunas I visited in Cambodia had flip-flops for customers, but did not provide condom and lube. One large and one small towel of good quality were provided (compare Thai saunas: sometimes you get kind of a napkin, insufficient to dry your body just once). Shower areas were pretty dark.

Copyright 2014 ChristianPFC


  1. Great article about one of my most favorite countries ever visited. It's amazing how little changed in those 13 years other than increased traffic.

  2. I guess those ultra low waist pants are a fashion statement, one I rather like.
    Great picture of those guys.

  3. The low trousers are so worn very much as a fashion statement, they are worn for the so called gangster look.
    In the U.S.A. criminals have their belts taken off them when they are first taken to the police station/jail. The trend was started by black kids in the U.S. and seems to now be a world wide thingy.

  4. The low pants in the pictures are not fashion. The boys are at work or sightseeing, I would think it's rather inconvenient having to pull up your trousers regularly (I observed). They just don't fit! If you are that slim, trousers either fit at the waist, but are too short on the legs; or are long enough to cover your legs, but too wide at the waist. As this slim body is common in South-East Asia, they should have trousers that fit. On the other hand, there are belts.

    Thanks for explanation about origin of this trend. Great for perving at underwear.

  5. low jeans are fashion statement from blacks in usa, thats why we have belts to stop this, simple as that.
    i also noted Cambodians speak english better than thais but cant explain why when it would appear to be a poorer country than thailand so less chances of better schooling? anyone know why?

  6. Maybe the Thais who learn English can easily get a proper job, so you don't encounter them much?
    Or perhaps they just study English harder in Cambodia, realising tourism is where the money is?


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