Cyclos (three-wheeled bicycles with a wide passenger seat and canopy in front) were first introduced to the streets of Phnom Penh back in the 1930s. Twenty years ago an estimated 5,000 cyclos still roamed the city, hawking for passengers and scooping up old ladies and their overflowing shopping bags from outside the Central Market. But as tuk-tuks and four-wheel drives grew to dominate Phnom Penh’s roads, cyclos were slowly pushed out of the city. Just 1,000 or so remain in circulation today.
If you’re touring the colonial landmarks and learning about pre-war Phnom Penh, it feels rather apt to glide from place to place in the shaded seat of a cyclo. Khmer Architecture Tours partner with The Cyclo Tour company to offer a guided tour of central Phnom Penh, passing many of the city’s major landmarks and stopping off at some lesser-known spots.