Uber Cambodia Feature Image, Yellow Tuk Tuk
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Uber Cambodia? What rideshare options are in Cambodia

Uber Cambodia? What rideshare options are available in Cambodia.

Uber Cambodia? So if it’s your first time visiting Cambodia and you are familiar with Uber, you may be wondering if there is Uber in Cambodia. Well the short answer is no, at least not any more. Uber entered the Cambodian market in late 2017 and after 3 months sold it’s Southeast Asia operations to rideshare competitor named Grab. Grab is a large rideshare app operating in 8 countries throughout Southeast Asia in more than 500 cities.

So the good news is you will still be able to use rideshare apps in Cambodia, just not Uber. Besides Grab, Passapp is the other major rideshare app you can use in most of the major cities in Cambodia. They are both similar to using Uber or Lyft apps, and both Grab and Passapp have some pro’s and con’s. In this guide I will go over the benefits of both rideshare apps.

So why use rideshare in Cambodia

If you use Uber in other cities across the world the benefits will be very similar when using rideshare in Cambodia. Unfortunately Cambodia is like many other countries with high tourism, the rates will start higher when they spot a tourist, and you have to haggle to get a better rate.

When I first got to Cambodia by boat I didn’t have cell phone service and ended up using a local tuk tuk driver to give me a ride to my airbnb near Russian Market, I ended up paying around 5 times what the normal cost would be. I ended up paying around $10 USD for a ride that would normally cost around $2 USD. Although $10 still is not that much by western standards, so I’m not complaining. But since I’m usually on a shoestring budget I like to try to save when I can. As the old proverb once said,”Don’t hate the player, hate the game”

But other than having a fare pre-negotiated price in the case of Grab and an estimated price in the case of Passapp, the other benefits are having a traceable route within the app, adds an extra layer of security.

What features you will need on your smart phone to use rideshare apps in Cambodia

  • Unlocked Smart Phone

    My recommendation is to have an unlocked smartphone. If you are unsure if your smartphone is unlocked check with your cellphone provider. Having an unlocked cellphone means your phone is NOT locked to a specific carrier. This allows you to add a sim card from a different carrier. If your phone is locked, some carriers will unlock them if you have met certain payment terms of your contract, contact your carrier for details.

  • World Phone

    A World Phone or Global Phone is a term not used much anymore because most smartphones manufactured after 2014 have the capability of working on different carriers across the world in different countries. Different countries use different cell phone technologies (GSM or CDMA) and on different frequency bands. If you own a smartphone bought after 2014 from any major brand like Apple, Samsung, Google, there is a very good chance your phone will work across the world in most countries. GSM is what the majority of the world uses, but some countries use CDMA only like Japan. Cambodia uses GSM networks for voice. They also use LTE but that technology is for data only currently. Some phones have the capability of working on CDMA and GSM networks, while some phones will only work on GSM networks. I know this is super confusing, so I'll just leave a link below on how you can check if your phone will work in Cambodia.

  • Ability to recieve Text Messages

    In both Grab and Passapp you will be required to activate your account. The way this is done is they send you an SMS message with a digit code that you enter into the app to verify your phone. This process is only done once, but I highly recommend just having a local pre-paid sim card with a local phone number. You can technically use a foreign number to receive the SMS message, however you will incur roaming fees in some cases, and there have been cases of people not being able to receive the verification codes on foreign numbers. Cellcard is highly recommended across the board from multiple blogs and online sources, and what I used. Plans offered depending on data package and length of stay. Cost will run you around ($3-$10 USD)

Check to see if your phone will work overseas

If you are unsure if you have a smartphone capable of working in different countries across the world you can use this convenient website called Willmyphonework.net to check if your phone model will work by country.

Using Wifi if you don't have an unlocked phone

As a worst case scenario you can technically sign up and use the Grab app in Cambodia by using email as the verification method instead of SMS message verification. Note this option is not available in Passapp as they require verification using SMS Message only. The downfall to this is that you will have to have access to wifi at each location you want to be picked up at. As you can imagine it will be sometimes difficult to find free wifi in certain areas. Although most modern coffee shops in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap will have wifi, you will sometimes have to buy a drink in order to receive a password. Not to mention you might be walking around for blocks looking for a place with wifi. For this very reason alone I recommend having an unlocked global smartphone that you can buy a cheap pre-paid sim card to put it.

Recommended Pre-Paid Sim Card Providers

Cellcard, Metfone, and Smart were the most recommended carriers for Cambodia in my online research. I ended up choosing Cellcards 8GB plan for 30days which at the time cost me ($5 USD) and had absolutely not problems in coverage.

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Grab Vehicle Options

Grab offers multiple vehicle options in Cambodia, but the Cars, Tuk Tuks, and Grabbikes are the offering generally most available in Cambodia. A tuk tuk seems to be the most prefered way to get around by most people if your not traveling to far of distance. A Remorque is similar to a Tuk Tuk except it is a motorbike with an attached trolley for the passengers and luggage. Bike would be the cheapest but not for the faint of heart, you will literally be on the back seat of a motorbike.

Grab SUV

1-4 Seats

Min Fare 5,000 KHR ($1.25 USD)

2,500 KHR p/km ($0.63 USD)

JustGrab

1-4 Seats taxi

Min Fare 4,000 KHR ($1 USD)

2,000 KHR p/km ($0.50 USD)

TukTuk

1-3 Seats

Min Fare 3,000 KHR ($0.75 USD)

1,200 KHR p/km ($0.30 USD)

Remorque

1-3 Seats

Min Fare 3,000 KHR ($0.75 USD)

1,000 KHR p/km ($0.25 USD)

Bike

1- Seat

Min Fare 2,500 KHR ($0.63 USD)

1,000 KHR p/km ($0.25 USD)

Passapp Vehicle Options

Passapp has almost identical vehicle options with the exception of Bikes. They have slightly different terminology. Whereas Grab refers to there 3 wheel vehicles as TukTuks, Passapp uses the term Rickshaw. And as Grab calls the motorbikes with the attached carriage for passengers a Remorque, Passapp refers to those as TukTuks. As you can see the pricing is very competitive between the two services at least on paper.

SUV

1-4 Seats

Min Fare 6,000 KHR ($1.50 USD)

2,300 KHR p/km ($0.56 USD)

Car

1-4 Seats taxi

Min Fare 5,000 KHR ($1.25 USD)

2,000 KHR p/km ($0.50 USD)

Ricksaw

1-3 Seats

Min Fare 4,000 KHR ($1 USD)

1,300 KHR p/km ($0.32 USD)

TukTuk

1-3 Seats

Min Fare 3,000 KHR ($0.75 USD)

1,000 KHR p/km ($0.25 USD)

Comparing Grab vs Passapp in Cambodia

Grab Passapp
Accepts Credit Card
Yes
No
Accepts Cash
Yes
Yes
Realtime Driver Tracking
Yes
Yes
See Driver Info
Yes
Yes
Language
English
English
Fare Shown in App
Exact
Estimate
Coverage
Phnom Penh & Siem Reap
Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, Sihanoukville, Kampot, Poipet City

So which rideshare should you use

Passapp has been in the Cambodia market longer and is available in more cities, and in most occasions will be cheaper than Grab. The one caveat is Passapp does not accept credit card currently, whereas Grab does. When comparing the apps themselves I tend to like the Grab apps interface a little more, but not enough to use it over Passapp. The reason I prefer Passapp in Cambodia is because there are more drivers using it so getting a ride usually only takes a couple of minutes, plus even though I only get an estimated fare it usually is a better fare than what is quoted in Grab. As far as the quality of the vehicles I couldn’t notice any difference. My suggestion is to download both apps and use what ever is most convient for you at the time.

Tuk Tuk Cambodia - Uber Cambodia

Safety

As far as rideshares go they are no different than using any other rideshare company as far as I’m concerned. Just make sure the driver picking you up matches the information listed in the app, and you can always ask the driver to see his/her phone to verify they are picking up the right person. With Passapp drivers they will have a sticker on the front windshield with a driver code. With Grab you will see the license plate number. My experiences using both rideshares in Cambodia have been good without any bad experiences. Most of the crime in Cambodia is petty crime like stealing, so always be mindful when pulling out cash, and holding your cellphone. While I have heard of people driving by on scooters and reaching in to tuktuks to steal phones and cash, I have never personally experienced it. When I’m riding solo I tend to sit in the middle of the seat so I’m further away from the doors of the tuktuks.

Paying in Cash

In most or Southeast Asia cash is king, so it’s always a good idea to have a little on you. While Cambodia’s national currency is the Cambodian Riel KHR, the US Dollar USD is as widely accepted and used. Virtually all ATMs in Cambodia will even give you the option to withdraw USD. I actually used US dollars more than I did the Cambodian Riel. The exchange is also very simple as $4,000 KHR = $1 USD. One thing to note is that bills of $50 and larger should be in good condition as some vendors will not take shabby looking $50 bills. I think this has something to do with suspicion of counterfeiting.

If you don’t already have a Checking Account that does not charge international ATM withdrawal fees I highly recommend looking into the Charles Schwab Checking Account. They offer a rebate on all ATM withdrawl fee worldwide.

Lodging

For good lodging options I tend to use Airbnb a lot. For first time users to Airbnb you can use my referral for up to $65 off your first stay. If you are more on a budget be sure to check out Hostelworld for great deals on hostels in Cambodia. And if you are more of the hotel type Agoda always has good prices.

Travel Insurance

Travel insurance is a good thing to have for those unpredictable times. You never know when you might need to change a flight,or get injured while traveling. The two companies I recommend are Safetywing and Worldnomad.

Bus tickets in Cambodia

For booking bus tickets in Cambodia and Southeast Asia I use 12goAsia, be sure to search for tickets that offer instant bookings. Also provided below is a convenient search widget. Just type in departure and arrival cities and date.

Powered by 12Go system
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