In the last few years metered taxis have become popular in Phnom Penh, offering a safer and sometimes less expensive ride than the alternatives. Unlike in many major cities, taxis need to be reserved in advance by phone or app, and can almost never be flagged down on the street. However a quick call or swipe can have a taxi to you in less than ten minutes. Here’s a rundown of the best taxi companies and taxi booking apps in Phnom Penh.
Cambodia taxi apps
Rumor has it that Uber is on its way, but until there there are several local alternatives. PassApp Taxis, Exnet Taxi, and iTsumo are Uber-like taxi apps operating in Phnom Penh that allow you to book a metered tuk tuk, taxi, or SUV with the touch of a button (theoretically).
PassApp Taxis allows you to book either a tuk tuk or taxi. The cost for a taxi is 2,000 riel per kilometer and 200 riel per minute, and the tuk tuk price is 1,200 riel per kilometer, with a 3,000 riel minimum. The wait time is usually around ten minutes, but can be longer if it’s late at night. Many of the PassApp drivers work for the other local taxi companies but the tuk tuks do not — the PassApp taxis are a new design that only seats two passengers.
Exnet Taxi is another, slightly more expensive Phnom Penh taxi app that offers regular and SUV taxis. The rate for a regular taxi is 2,000 riel per kilometer and 200 riel per minute, but also has a 1,000 riel flag-drop charge and a 6,000 ($1.50) riel minimum. For SUV taxis, the meter rate is 2,600 riel per kilometer and 260 riel per minute, with a 1,000 riel flag drop and a 7,800 minimum fare. There is also a 30% surcharge during peak hours from 6 to 8 p.m. If you enter your destination when booking an SUV you can get a fixed rate price in advance. Most Exnet drivers work for other metered cab companies.
iTsumo is the latest and least expensive taxi app in Phnom Penh, and is using a different, possibly more advanced, software than the previous two. They charge 1,950 riel per kilometer with a 4,500 riel minimum charge. I have tried to book them several times and there were never any cars available, but other taxi drivers have said they prefer this company.
EZ Go is exclusively for tuk tuks. They own their fleet of India-style tuk tuks that seat two passengers and are adding more and more every day. The price is 3,000 riel for the first kilometer and then 360 riel for every additional 300 meters. It usually takes 5 to 10 minutes for an EZ Go tuk tuk to arrive and the price can’t be beat.
Unfortunately, the taxi apps in Cambodia are still in their infancy, and have yet to iron out some kinks. Some may see the point of an Uber-like taxi app to avoid having to communicate with an actual human being to find a taxi, and being able to use an app in a country where you don’t speak the language well can be a blessing. In Phnom Penh the system doesn’t really work this way, yet. Over a period of several days I booked taxis by app, and almost every time the driver called to see where I was, despite having access to GPS. Other drivers gamely tried to find me, allowing me to watch them live on the app map getting completely lost, or going the completely wrong direction from the outset. This always resulted in several phone calls. Most of the drivers do not speak English, so be prepared to give directions in Khmer.
Phnom Penh metered taxi companies
There are several metered taxi companies operating in Phnom Penh, most of which are very similar. However, some are better than others.
The best in town is Global Taxi, the first taxi company in Phnom Penh. When called, one of their fleet of more than 200 white taxis show up promptly, the drivers are courteous, and at 2,500 riel per additional kilometer, the price is still better than most regular tuk tuks. Inside the taxis there’s a sign that says “If driver don’t follow the meter, guests have the right not to pay money,” and a phone number for customer complaints, a rarity in Cambodia. They operate 24 hours a day and are the most reliable in town.
The blue taxis belong to Great Wall Taxi. Their fleet of compact taxis are old and not in the greatest condition, but their drivers are friendly and pretty reliable. Great Wall taxis have meters that show the unit price and distance (2,500 riel per kilometer) and the drivers seem to know where they are going. Great Wall is not actually a registered taxi company, but I’ve only had good experiences with them.
Choice Taxi, the cities yellow taxis, are, in my opinion, consistently the worst company in Phnom Penh, due to their stubborn, surly dispatchers. Over the course of a weekend I tried to book Choice Taxis several times and each time was either told they were not available, or that the driver couldn’t find my location. On one of these occasions I was on Street 266, which is literally one block long, but they said they couldn’t find me. It was clear that they couldn’t find Street 266, despite me giving the cross-street and directions in both English and Khmer. Eventually, they hung up on me and stopped answering the phone when I called to find out where my taxi was. Choice Taxi also has an app, but since they irk me, I haven’t bothered.
There are several other newer taxi companies, but as most have a small fleet, I haven’t reviewed them yet. Stay tuned.
If you’re looking for a Phnom Penh taxi to Sihanoukville, Siem Reap, or anywhere else in Cambodia, it’s now possible to book a taxi online.
Pass App Taxis
T: 016 789 123
T: 092 333 740
T: 012 855 901
T: 086 515 121
T: 011 311 888
Great Wall Taxi
T:010 310 666
T: 023 923 923
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