Monday, 01 September 2014

Cambodia

As Cyclos Dwindle, Tough Times for Drivers Who Remain

Oum Sok began working as a cyclo driver when he was 18. He says the city has become very expensive over the years, making it much harder to earn a living.Oum Sok began working as a cyclo driver when he was 18. He says the city has become very expensive over the years, making it much harder to earn a living.
x
Oum Sok began working as a cyclo driver when he was 18. He says the city has become very expensive over the years, making it much harder to earn a living.
Oum Sok began working as a cyclo driver when he was 18. He says the city has become very expensive over the years, making it much harder to earn a living.
Suy HeimkhemraVOA Khmer
PHNOM PENH - Cambodia’s cyclo drivers are becoming a thing of the past. The once ubiquitous three-wheeled pedicabs are competing with more and more motorized vehicles. There are less than 500 cyclos left in the country, the remnants of a quieter time.

For cyclo drivers like Chou Cheoun, 57, the increased challenge of finding fares, living on the streets, sleeping in his pedicab, have not deterred him from a job he has been at for more than 20 years. The rainy season, which will be approaching soon, is the hardest, he told VOA Khmer.

He works from early in the morning, mostly around O’Russey Market, peddling shoppers to and fro, earning from $2.50 to $5 per day. He is able to send home about $80 to $100 per month. At night, he and a few cyclo driver friends must find a place to sleep. This they do on the street, or under the awnings of homes.

“I sleep on the road, or under the roofs of some people’s homes,” he said, standing by his green cyclo recently. “It is not that easy to do so. Sometimes, we are asked to leave, because house owners do not want us to stay near their houses. During the rainy season, I often can’t sleep, as I will get wet for the whole night.”

Rental of the cyclo costs him $0.50 per day. Lunch, usually taken and Kandal Market, where many other cyclo drivers eat, costs about $0.80 per day. Every day, it is harder, and there are less customers, he said.

Sin Sikum, standing nearby, said he has been peddling a cyclo for more than 25 years. The 53-year-old said he has no choice but to continue, despite the difficulty earning a living. His daily earnings have dropped in recent years from $10 to $5. An increase in the number of motorcycle taxis and tuk-tuks has taken its toll, he said.

“Right now, not many people like before prefer riding cyclo,” he said. “People think riding a cyclo is slow and a bit more dangerous.”

There are now only about 447 cyclo drivers left in the country, according to the Cyclo Conversation and Career Association. About half of them operate in Prey Veng province. The rest are mostly found in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Twenty years ago, there were an estimated 5,000.

Prime Minister Hun Sen has asked the Ministry of Tourism to work on preserving the remaining cyclos to serve the tourism industry.

The Cyclo Conversation and Career Association is now cooperating with Ministry of Tourism in order to preserve the remaining cyclos, trying to find more customers, especially foreigner tourists, for the drivers, said Im Sambath, head of the association. The association has just signed contracts with eight different tourism companies. They are also working to find a place for cyclo drivers to sleep each night.

“The ministry asked us to find available pagodas, but none of the pagodas seem to have a place for them,” he said.
Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Will Continue Supporting Khmer Rouge Tribunal, Diplomat Saysi
X
28 August 2014
The US will continue its support for the UN-backed Khmer Rouge tribunal, a senior US diplomat says. In an interview with VOA Khmer in Phnom Penh, Scot Marciel, the top diplomat for Asia and Pacific at the US State Department, said the tribunal can serve as an example to Cambodians and the world. “We are very pleased to be abel to contribute to this tribunal, and we certainly welcome the results of the recent case,” Marciel said, referring to recent life sentences for aging leaders Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan. (Sok Khemara, Phnom Penh)

English with Mani & Mori

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Doze Off (Movie: Hairspray)i
X
25 August 2014
You can say, "I don't know why, but every time I eat 'prahok' (Cambodian anchovy) I find myself 'dozing off' all the time." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to facebook.com/voakhmer or www.youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Doze Off (Movie: Hairspray)

You can say, "I don't know why, but every time I eat 'prahok' (Cambodian anchovy) I find myself 'dozing off' all the time." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to facebook.com/voakhmer or youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.
Video

Video Scratch Someone's Back (Movie: Batman Begins)

You can say, "Yeah sure, I can get you a job at CNN easily. Now, if 'YOU SCRATCH MY BACK, I'LL SCRATCH YOURS'." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
Video

Video Wild Goose Chase (Movie: Inside Man)

You can say, "The policeman was sent on a 'wild goose chase' to find the killer. All the clues that were given to him turned out to be false." What does it mean? Watch here.
Video

Video Let Bygones Be Bygones (Movie: The Social Network)

You can say, "I know he hurt you, he gave up on you, and that broke your heart. But that's the past, you have to 'let bygones be bygones." What does it mean? Watch here. For more videos - go to youtube.com/KhmerSpecialEnglish. To contact Mani & Mori - write to them at maniandmori@gmail.com.
See more >>>