Should Bicycle and Motorcycle Rental Service Be Stopped in Siem Reap?

Foreign tourists using a rental motorbike at the Angkor Park in Siem Reap province. Photo: Isa Rohany

SIEM REAP — Should bicycle and motorcycle rental service in Siem Reap be stopped as some claim this may affect traffic flow and road safety in this province receiving so many visitors?

An increasing number of national and international tourists has been renting bicycles and motorcycles in Siem Reap province, which has led to some protests among those who provide transportation services.

Rotha, who is a tuk-tuk driver in the province, said that the authorities or those running rental services should not rent their bicycles or motorcycles to tourists with little driving skills.

“When tourists start to ride as well, this can create bad traffic jams that affect tourism,” he said on Jan. 5, while waiting for his customers at the Terrace of the Elephants in the Angkor Archeological Park.

While Rotha does not believe that those rental services, which add transport options for visitors, cause much harm his own business, he said that tourists driving might create traffic problems as some of them are not familiar with the traffic laws in Cambodia.

Sok Lun, a tuk-tuk driver interviewed on Jan. 5 as he was waiting for his customers gone visiting, said that these rental services might create some problems but that Cambodia was a country with a free-market economy.

“I think that foreign tourists should not ride motorbikes by themselves,” he said. “They should have a driving license. However, they might not be familiar with the traffic flow in Cambodia, and this is very dangerous.”

Morm Rithy, president of the Cambodian Tourism and Services Workers' Federation (CTSWF), said on Jan. 5 that asking to close rental services is not right as every person has the right to do business. Some tourists want to ride bicycles as a leisure activity and for health benefits: It is their personal choice, he said.

Ly Vannak, spokesperson for the Siem Reap Provincial Administration, said that rental-service regulations have been in place since 2017. International tourists can only rent bicycles or e-bikes, he said. Business owners will be held accountable for violating these regulations and may even have their business licenses revoked, he said.

Regarding foreigners working in the country and using vehicles with cylinder capacity of more than 125 cubic centimeters or more than 11 kilowatts of electricity, they must have a driver's license issued in Cambodia, depending on the type of vehicle they use.

Originally written for ThmeyThmey News, the story was translated by Teng Yalirozy for Cambodianess.

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