Start your engines. We’re going to Cambodia.
You’re whizzing through the rice paddies of central Cambodia on your tuk tuk, greeting passers-by in Khmer (well, something close to Khmer) and trying to remember how humanity survived before Google Maps. Just another day on our epic Cambo Tuk Tuk Challenge.
This page is designed to give you a bit more info about what to expect on the trip. To start with: accommodation. Driving all day along the back roads of Cambodia and completing crazy challenges is dirty work. There will be mud. You will probably smell. With that in mind, we’ve organised accommodation at some of the country’s best boutique hotels and resorts. We’ll also chuck in breakfasts and dinners during the challenge.
We’ve assembled a comprehensive Cambo FAQ below. If your Q is F, it’s probably in there somewhere.
The Tuk Tuk
Okay, we’ll admit, the Cambodian Auto-remorque Moto (aka the tuk tuk) is not the most attractive of vehicles. It probably won’t feature in a James Bond car chase any time soon. But what it lacks in raw V8 power and Bluetooth connectivity, it makes up for in fun.
Remorque-motos are basically a motorcycle attached to a rickshaw. The power is transferred by chain to an axle mounted to the modified rear fork which drives the two rear wheels. Suspended upon the rear fork is an open cabin with an in-line seat on each side.
These guys are reliable, efficient and pretty user friendly. You can throw pretty much anything in Cambodia at them and the chances are good they’ll take it with a smile.
- Engine: 125 cc engine
- Petrol tank: 4 litre capacity
- Average petrol consumption: 1 litre approx 25 Km’s
- Top speed: 50 kmph
How does it work?
For a comprehensive answer, go and Google ‘internal combustion engine’. But here are the cliffnotes.
- The accelerator and front break are found on the right.
- The clutch and gears are located on the left.
On the first day of the event, everyone is required to attend a mandatory tuk tuk driving induction and safety training session (this means you). You’ll get lots of time to practice before hitting the road. If you´ve driven a scooter or motorbike before, it’ll be a breeze.
It’s worth remembering that the Cambo Challenge is just that – a challenge. It’s not a race. It’s not like Cake’s seminal 90s hit The Distance. Speed should not be your priority. If anything should be, it’s probably fun.
Legs and Challenges
The Cambo Challenge is broken up into various driving legs. Each team gets a road map and a daily navigational sheet, which they’ll use to get from A to B each day. The winning team isn’t necessarily the team that finishes first, it’s the one that accumulates the most challenge points. How do you get points? By nailing various challenges we set you along the way.
That means that racing is not really encouraged. In fact it’s actively discouraged. There’s no need to set a new Cambodian ground-speed record (very difficult to do on a 125CC tuk tuk, but still…) We’ll provide mechanical support when you need it, but essentially you’re hiring a tuk tuk and driving it independently each day. By yourself. Han solo.
How many people per team?
A team is made up of either 2 or 3 people. Apparently there is no ‘I’ in it. You get one tuk tuk per team.
Can I book my own accommodation?
Unfortunately, no. Only because each leg will start from the hotel / over-night stop and the idea is to share our challenging travel experience together. Most importantly you wouldn’t want to miss out on each night’s social gatherings…
Is there an age limit?
Yes, you’ve got to be at least 18 years old in order to compete. We don’t have a maximum age, but if you’re over 65 we definitely recommend checking with your insurer to make sure you qualify for the medical insurance you’ll need to take part. The Challenge is pretty physically tough – we won’t sugar-coat it. You should really only take part if you’re in good physical shape and your health is A-Okay.
What should I bring along?
Probably not your ski jacket. Or that set of golf clubs. Cambodia has a tropical climate, so pack accordingly. The nights can get a little chilly, depending on the time of year, so a windbreaker jacket and a few light layers wouldn’t go amiss. Other than that, bring all your travel essentials, some good quality suncream and anything you think will make the long driving days more fun (we recommend honing your I-Spy skills beforehand). We will also be sending you a what to pack kit list.
How about luggage?
Don’t worry, you don’t have to strap suitcases to the roof of your tuk tuk. We’ve got a luggage truck that will follow us around. Each morning you’ll load it up with your heavy bags, and each night we’ll hand it back at our hotel. For the camping nights, we recommend bringing a smaller bag to act as a day pack.
How on earth am I going to drive a tuk tuk?
Don’t stress, they’re very friendly. If you can ride a scooter, you can ride a tuk tuk. Besides, on the first day everyone gets mandatory tuk tuk driving instruction and safety training. You’ll have plenty of practice before hitting the open road.
How fast do tuk tuks go?
Whoa there, speed racer. These bad boys can’t really get over 40kph. The average speed should be around 30kph. Fast enough to get the blood racing, but not so fast you hit a cow. That’s the sweet spot.
What if I crash and write off my ride?
If possible, try not to do this. One of our entry requirements is to pay (or better block the amount off your credit card) a refundable deposit of £1,500 per team . This will (ideally) cover you for most touch ups and accidents, although if the tuk tuk is a complete write-off the bill might increase. At the end of the Challenge we’ll inspect the vehicle, come to an agreement, and return any balance to you before you leave Cambodia. A pretty standard car-hire type system, really.
Is it going to be dangerous?
To put it bluntly – yes. There will be an element of danger, only because you’re sitting behind the handlebars of a tuk tuk, on top of 125CC of raw power, and tackling unfamiliar roads in a foreign country. That in itself is a bit risky. But don’t worry too much – if you’re sensible and cautious, you should be fine, and we have a fully trained crew to swing in if anything goes wrong. That includes an ambulance and paramedics on standby.
Warning: Tuk Tuks can easily roll and flip if not handled correctly. We take safety really seriously on these challenges, and you should know there are inherent risks involved, including potentially life-threatening situations.
How about tuk tuk maintenance and repairs?
Your humble steed will be handed over in road worthy conditions and from then onwards it is your responsibility to take care of any repair costs. Our team of mechanics will be at your disposal throughout the event and will assist you with this at a cost. Otherwise you can turn to the locals to help you out. But don’t worry spare parts are not that expensive!
The cost of repairs depends on how each teams looks after their vehicle. Naturally there is a small amount of wear and tear on these type of events, but you will only be charged for parts that are damaged or need to be replaced. There will be a full vehicle inspection prior to handing over your tuk tuk. On average, the cost of repairs ranges from £ 40-120 per team.
These wonderful machines are surprisingly fuel efficient, so unless you drive like a madman your wheels will do at least 30 km to the litre so you won’t really be spending more than £ 100 bucks for the whole Challenge.
Do I need special insurance?
Yes and your team entry fee includes an Emergency & Medical travel insurance for the duration of the Challenge. If you’d like to get additional travel insurance to cover things such as luggage loss and flight cancellation etc., we’ve got a few companies we’ve used before and can recommend. If you’re an EU resident, try Campbell Irvine. For everyone else, head to World Nomads.
Do I need a special drivers license?
Everyone who competes has to provide us with a valid International Driving Permit with a Category A or B stamp. Sorry to get all hardass, but if you show up and can’t produce the license, we can’t let you compete (we also reserve the right to without a refund).
How about vehicle insurance?
Third party insurance is included under the hire of the tuk tuk. Scratch as many Ferraris as you want (please don’t actually do this).
Can my team entry be sponsored?
Definitely! We love to see teams going the extra mile to raise money for charity. Just be aware that the tuk tuks we use have limited branding space (we take up some for our own branding purposes). If you need more info on this, just let us know.
How do I register?
Easy peasy. Here’s how:
- Sign up here.
- Pay your initial deposit.
Once you’ve done all that successfully, we’ll send you an email with lots of exclamation marks confirming your team’s availability.
Once I register what other docs do I need?
Once your registration is locked and loaded, we’ll email you and ask you to provide us with:
- A passport copy for each team member (we promise not to laugh at the photos).
- International Driving Permit with a category A or B stamp.
- Arrival and departure details.
We’ll double check all these docs on the ground, so please bring copies with you.
When do registrations close?
30 days before the Challenge starts.
Do I need to bring my own camping gear?
Nope. We’ll provide the sleeping bags and the marshmallows as necessary. However it might be good to bring a torch.
Who needs a Cambodian visa?
Ah visas, our old nemesis. Most countries can get a 30-day tourist visa at arrival both by air and land. For more info click here.
Can the route change?
We try to stick to the original route and accommodation as much as possible, but they can be subject to change from time to time.
Is it expensive in Cambodia?
Not really. Some luxuries can be a little pricey (hence the ‘luxury’ bit), but for the most part it’s super reasonable. Lunch might be a few bucks and beers are generally under a buck. It’s like travelling back in time to the 50s when the world was a much simpler place and children respected their elders.
Will there be internet connection throughout?
All our hotels will have internet connection, but the campsites not so much (it’s really hard to train monkeys to operate the WiFi).
95% of the Cambodia population is Theravada Buddhist – everyone else is a mix of Islam, Hinduism and Christianity. If in doubt, just smile and be friendly.
What languages are spoken in Cambodia?
The official language in Cambodia is Khmer, which belongs to the Austro-Asiatic family (but of trivia for you there). But French is also spoken, especially by the elder population. You can usually get by with English in the tourist areas of the big cities, but not so much anywhere else. Btw Khmer is a very difficult language – you might want to download some language podcasts. Stat.
What’s the weather like?
If you like your weather warm, you’ll love Cambodia. Warmth is kind of its thing. There are plenty of more in-depth weather guides online, but usually you’ll get lots of sunshine and balmy temperatures between 25 and x32 degrees Celsius. But you should also expect rain!
Do I need vaccinations before I come to Cambodia?
This is completely up to you (and your doc), but generally it’s a good idea to be up-to-date with standard vaccinations like Tetanus, Hap A and Polio. Other jabs to consider are Tuberculosis, Meningitis and Typhoid. Anti-malaria meds might also be a good idea. If in doubt, check with your GP. For more info, click here.
What are the roads like in Cambodia?
Cambodia has a good road network linking all the major cities, towns and interesting places. But don’t go expecting pristine tarmac everywhere you ride. Some of the rural roads in particular can get pretty wild and bumpy (a real challenge on a remorque-moto).
Why is Cambodia so damn amazing?
Short answer: come and find out for yourself. Long answer: it’s like the country that South East Asia left behind. While Thailand and (to an extent) Vietnam are heaving with Bintang-singlet-wearing tourists, Cambodia has a way more laidback feel. Kind of like those countries 20 years ago. The history is also a big drawcard – not only do you have Khmer relics dotted through the jungle like the UNESCO wonder Angkor Wat, you’ve also got the tragic late 20th-century genocide, which still leaves its mark on Cambodian life. Basically: Phuket this is not.
Payment Method & Terms
- Only £399 deposit required to signup.
- Outstanding amount is required 90 days before the start of Challenge.
What is your Cancellation Policy?
- Non-refundable deposit.
- 89 to 30 days prior to start of the Challenge – 50% cancellation charges apply.
- 29 days to start of the Challenge – 100% cancellation charges apply.
For more information please refer to our Booking Terms & Conditions.