After the fireworks at the Water Festival (Bon Om Tuk) in Phnom Penh was over, we decide to take a Tuk-Tuk to the hotel, because we were a little bit tired.
The way from the Preah Sisowath Quay to the Preah Norodom Blvd is approximately 2 km. Of course we expected that the traffic would be very dense, but what came next was by far beyond our imagination.
Especially the junction of the Preah Norodom Blvd with the roundabout at the Independence Monument proves to be a bottleneck. We move forward only centimeter by centimeter.
Then the out of town flowing traffic in Preah Norodom Blvd is diverted into a side street. When we realized that there the traffic doesn’t move either, we leave the Tuk-Tuk. Of course we give the driver a decent tip, because he suffers from the circumstances just like us.
We try to walk the rest the way back to our hotel, but this is challenging as well. The scooters try to get through everywhere and not only block the road, but also the sidewalk. With difficulty we squeeze ourselves through the passing vehicles.
We are not sure, whether the concrete in the mixer, which is as well caught up in the traffic jam, will be solidified upon arrival.
At the latest after this experience we terribly regret, that we have not used any respiratory protection. The cough still tormented us for weeks. My wife even had to take even penicillin after our return. By then it was clear that some locals use respiratory protection not only at influenza and cold. Air pollution caused by the exhaust gases, primarily of the scooters, is tremendous.
Therefore our recommendation, if you visit a Southeast Asian metropolis, you should use a respiratory protection.
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