8 rules of honking in phnom penh


My good friend Jenny made the big switch from a push bike to a big blue flashy moto recently. She asked me a day or two into her driving if I used my horn. Oh my gosh, ‘YES!’ I said, ‘I use it all the time. In fact, if I don’t have my horn I don’t feel safe driving at all!’ Her next question, and rightly so, was then WHEN do I use it. So it got me thinking. I came up with this list of 8 scenarios in which having a horn may come in more than handy:

1 – Really!?!? You just cut me off!! {long beep if it was really stupid, shorter beep if it was maybe not on purpose}

2 – I’m not stopping, so watch out I’m coming through {a few short beeps}

3 – Hey I know you, let’s talk {as many obnoxious beeps it takes to get your attention- sometimes to the tune of a hit song}

4 – I’m passing you, just making sure you see I’m here {one or two bright honks}

5 – I’m outside the gate let me in! {a short beep and calling ‘boo-oi!’}

6 – Go faster!! {as many beeps as it takes to motivate their speed increase or go around them}

7 – I know it’s a yellow-okay red- light, but I’m still going through so don’t hit me! {strong beeps – scanning eyes highly recommended too}

8 – I’m crossing this intersection or turning this corner and I can’t see you, but I want you to see me! {a few honks and slowing down, or making a mega wide turn just in case!}

Happy Honking!

Be safe. Wear a helmet. And if I forgot any scenarios please let me know.


4 thoughts on “8 rules of honking in phnom penh

  1. Pingback: When driving in Kenya: Nine ways to interpret flashing lights « Justine Holguin

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