The Rock’n’Roll Tuk Tuk

25 Jun

The best way to see Angkor Wat is from the backseat of Siem Reap’s only Rock’n’Roll Tuk Tuk!

We found Borei, the creator and driver of the Rock’n’Roll Tuk Tuk, chilling on Siem Reap’s famous Pub Street as the soulful sounds of Bob Marley rang out from his sexed-up vehicle. Lots of tuk tuk drivers work this street trying to sell their services to tourists visiting the Angkor complex, but Borei shined amongst them.

We got chatting to the Rock’n’Roll Tuk Tuk driver. He was very keen to show us the complete sound system in the back of his machine. He demonstrated that the system was hooked up to an MP3 player that riders are free to control from the backseat, which also reclines. If you don’t like Borei’s eclectic collection of English and Khmer music, you arevery welcome to plug in your own ipod and listen to whatever you feel like. The Rock’n’Roll Tuk Tuk was also equipped with a DVD player in the back so that riders could watch short documentaries on the history of Angkor Wat and the Khmer Rouge.

We were impressed by the Tuk Tuk and even more so by the creative effort that had gone in to making it unique. We quickly agreed for Borei to be our driver for the three days we spent at Angkor.

The ruins are amazing, but it was Borei who made our visit special. Over the three days we spent exploring the ruins Borei told us about his life and his impressions of Cambodia and its people. I was surprised to learn that, like many naughty Cambodian boys, Borei was sent to live in the temple for a time when he was a teenager. In this country the temple is something of a reform school for some young men. Living with his family nowadays, Borei maintains his Bhuddist beliefs and sets aside a small portion of food at each meal as an offering to God.

The Rock’n’Roll Tuk Tuk driver is well known in the Ankor complex amongst the hundreds of people who live and work there. When we returned to the Tuk Tuk after climbing up one pyramid or around the collapsed walls of another, we would find a number of small smiling children gathered to watch movies in the back of the Tuk Tuk. Borei preferred to show them the animated Life of Bhudda and the kids loved it. He also played music and ran kareoke competitions which were also popular with the adults and children working in the temples. We had the chance to watch this film too – Borei gave an English commentary to the Khmer-language program so we could follow the story.

Rock'n'Roll Tuk Tuk driver Borei with a family of hawkers working at Angkor Wat

Ironically at the end of this presentation Borei told us that he also had some porn on file as some of his customers liked to draw the curtains around the Rock’n’Roll Tuk Tuk and indulge in some X-Rated action! I guess with Borei you will never get bored?!

Borei will go to great lengths keep his customers happy. The Rock’n’Roll Tuk Tuk and its charming driver come highly recommended. Look for him on Pub Street.

Like everything in Cambodia, the cost of Borei’s tour service is negotiable. We agreed to pay the first price that Borei named, which meant that we could have asked for a lower price. The cost to us was very low by Western standards.

Please consider that your Cambodian Tuk Tuk driver’s daily fee will include him picking you up from your hotel (at 5am if you want to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat) and driving you around the huge Ankgor complex for as many hours as you like, before taking you back to your accommodation. Agree to a price that is fair and allows for some income on top of his payments for vehicle rental and petrol.

*** Update ***

Borei now has a website!

2 Responses to “The Rock’n’Roll Tuk Tuk”

  1. Mum June 27, 2010 at 11:12 pm #

    Hi Kristie
    Love this entry. Your driver sounds very cool. A little bit of ingenuity goes a long way.
    Love Mum

  2. Berenice July 4, 2010 at 6:18 am #

    If I ever go to see Angkor Wat, I’ll keep a look out for this guy!

    I had no idea tuk tuks could be so high-tech. It’s a long way from my grandma’s personal ricksaw driver who used a bicycle instead of a motorbike.

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