Bus Scam, Laos to Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh Sorya Transport Company
Replies: 10 - Last Post: Mar 23, 2013 10:59 AM Last Post By: rasheeed
Mar 21, 2013 10:32 PM
Bus Scam, Laos to Phnom Penh, Phnom Penh Sorya Transport CompanyHi all,
I live in Phnom Penh in the Toul Kork district. This place is practically a suburb of Phnom Penh, about 10km into the main tourist/backpacker areas. The streets are laid out in a spoke and wheel pattern and it is easy to get turned around and confused about where exactly you are. As well, once you reach my neighborhood, you can no longer see the skyscrapers and it is easy to not know what direction is town.
For the past week, I've been seeing dozens of backpackers wandering my neighborhood at 11.30pm. The first time I saw this, they were dropped off in front of an ATM at the ACLEDA bank training center. The other night I stopped two of them and asked why they were out here at such an hour. They explained they had been on a bus all day from Laos and that the bus dropped them off in Toul Kork. The tuk tuk drivers all demanded $18 for a ride, even though a full tuk tuk, at night, from Toul Kork to Phnom Penh center should be about $5 for foreigners. I went and found them a ride that was decently priced.
Last night, on my way home, I saw a tuk tuk full of backpackers leaving so I headed in the direction I've seen them before. I ran into a group of five women and at least 7 Khmer tuk tuk drivers haggling the price. I approached and asked what bus they took. One woman said it was Sorya Transport while the tuk tuk drives all reassured me it wasn't. I told the drivers I was here to pick up a friend who said she was being dropped off here (which is a lie, no one getting on this bus know they are going to be dropped off in the middle of no where). The drivers all told me different bus company names and acted as if it was normal to drop people off out here and that my friend's bus already left and I didn't have any business here.
I speak German and so I asked if there were any Germans. Luckily, all five were, and we switched to German so they wouldn't understand. After a while, the drivers knew what I was doing and started telling me in Khmer that they had already agreed on a price. I reassured them I was only helping them find good guesthouses. I also pointed the general direction of Phnom Penh out, and told them if they just walked down this street a little further, they would see the lights of Vattanak Center (under-construction skyscraper and highly visible from miles around), and this really irked the tuktuk drivers. I knew I had overstayed my welcome, so I took off home, hoping the women would either get a fare price, or walk until they found another tuk tuk.
To sum up, PHNOM PENH SORYA TRANSPORT is dropping people off outside Phnom Penh and then tuk tuk drivers are extorting $15-18 dollars off of these people who have just spent a day on a bus.
Please don't fall for this and tell your friends. I am not sure what the company name of the bus in Laos is, but I am sure this is a scam run between the bus drivers and the tuk tuk drivers. You can complain if this has happened to you at the bus station which is located in the southwest quadrant of the Central Market.
Mar 22, 2013 12:11 AM
1No I don't think it is Soroya last year I did the trip with Pakse travel but it was with anmother bus company, I understood that soroya was supposed to drop them at its bus station on the central market many times I have been to Cambodia, again we arrived 11pm and dumped outside the town a group Tuk Tuk drivers were ripping off back packers with expensive tuk tuks I didn't realise at the time that all the Guest houses on the lake had gone, so finally did a deal with atuk tuk driver to what was once the lake. $2 each The other tuk tuk drivers were indignant when I was telling everyone to walk away from these rip offs and the tuk tuk drivers threatened me as some did walk down the road when I told them it should be no more than $3 or $4 to centre of town or the market around street 150 etc after I spoke to my old Gh owner happy 11 and he arranged a tuk tuk to take us to town and finally we ended up $10 a night twin bed room at angkor International hotel 148 st
If soroya and other bus companies are doing this to feather their own nests so to speak when they should not be dropping off at this point then by all means complain, but as with most of the corruption in Cambodia it won't get you anywhere lol
Mar 22, 2013 1:08 AM
Mar 22, 2013 3:46 AM
3I have to say I'm surprised to see its Sorya, if you had said one of the other delightful companies I would be more inclined to believe it. I've traveled with them almost every trip and take them because of their reliability and location of their station, others like Rith Mony always seem to be moving around. It it just a late night thing?
Mar 22, 2013 4:12 AM
Mar 22, 2013 4:14 AM
Mar 22, 2013 4:42 AM
Mar 22, 2013 5:19 AM
7Maybe it's the old scam I've struck in India many times, where the bus stops on the outskirts of the town and a English speaking tout gets on and advises that this bus isn't going into the town centre and all backpackers to get off (for an expensive taxi ride into town), whereas if you stay on the bus with the locals, it does get there. Obviously the bus driver picks up a cut.
Mar 22, 2013 10:31 PM
8I find it hard to believe that Soriya is not involved, at least passively. I've noticed that all their drivers on the buses I've taken in touch with the Phnom Penh office by phone. Given that they should have an arrival time and that the mentioned part of town is 10 kilometers from the station, how could they not suspect something? Maybe with the second "salary" this scam provides the drivers will probably not fuss over a lack of pay increase.
Mar 22, 2013 10:58 PM
9It is difficult to believe that Soriya Company is unaware of the situation. I've noticed that when I take their buses the drivers are in telephone contact with the Phnom Penh office. That and given that this roundabout rout would doubtlessly cause a delayed arrival time should cause some suspicion. Maybe management thinks that the extra "salary" from this scam will lower the driver's need for a pay increase.
Mar 23, 2013 10:59 AM
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