Angkor Wat will move you with its beauty and spirituality, despite the huge numbers of visitors that can descend on it some days. Still, all those tourists make it a great place for Cambodians to do business.
Angkor Wat tuk-tuk scamsThere will be plenty of tuk-tuk drivers offering to take you the 5kms to the temples in Angkor Archaeological Park and the price will be reasonable or even cheap. Mostly the drivers are friendly and helpful and will wait patiently for as long as it takes you to soak up the splendour of the temples, and be there to take you back to your accommodation.
But once in a while a visitor may come across one of the few drivers who's crossed over to the dark side and is out to scam you. Typically it works like this: you've paid your park entrance fee of about $20 and you're committed to going. The tuk-tuk fee will suddenly rise. There are reports of $15 fees jumping to $85! These guys strike a hard bargain and you're at their mercy, especially if you've set off early to try to get photographs of sunrise at the temples and you can see the fabulous light disappearing before your eyes. Who knows if you'll ever be back this way - the urge to pay up is almost irresistable.
If you are a really good haggler and get your driver down to a ridiculously low price he may abandon you half-way through the deal because he's negotiated a better deal with another visitor. Has he scammed you out of your measly deposit, or were you a bit too harsh? Try to be fair with the prices you negotiate.
How to avoid arguments:
- Get agreement on the price (maybe even write it down)..
- Organise reliable transport or a guide through your accommodation - they'll know the good ones.
- Ask around other travellers and see if they can recommend a reliable service.