Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - High oil prices fuel Phnom Penh bicycle sales

High oil prices fuel Phnom Penh bicycle sales

High oil prices fuel Phnom Penh bicycle sales

Sales of bicycles are soaring, with high fuel prices convincing a growing number of people that the time is right to switch to pedal power and save money.

And consumers who make the change say they also appreciate the health benefits from riding a bicycle.

Chhum Sophorn, 52, who has a bicycle shop at O'Russei market, said he is enjoying the best sales since 1992-1993, when the country was administered by the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia.

"I've been selling more than 100 bicycles a month since early this year, up from 40 to 60 a month previously," Sophorn said.

"I think more people are making the change to bicycles in order to save money or to better balance their household budget," he said, adding that his customers come from Phnom Penh and the provinces.

Mey Saray, 31, another bicycle seller at O'Russei market, said he was also achieving sales of more than 100 a month, up about 66 percent from a year ago.

He said that in the past his best months for sales have been September and October, when parents buy bicycles for their children at the start of new school year.

Saray and Sophorn said they sell bicycles made in Japan which cost between $35 and $60.

"All bicycles are imported from Japan because they are good quality," Saray said.

Sovan Philong, 23, says he is saving about $10 a month - and feeling much fitter - since he began using a bicycle instead of his motorbike.

"I bought the bicycle last month for $25 because I could not afford to continue using my motorbike with fuel prices so high," said Philong, a video producer at Catholic Social Communications.

Philong admitted that the transition had been physically challenging.

"The first time it was difficult because riding the bicycle made me tired and I was late for work," he said. "But now I'm more comfortable with it and I'm healthier."

Security guard Chea Buntheoun, 25, was shopping for a bicycle at O'Russei market last week after high fuel prices forced him to sell his motorbike.

"I sold my motor to my aunt because I can no longer afford the cost of fuel," said Buntheoun, who earns $60 a month.

"I use a liter a day and now that fuel is more than 5,000 riels a liter I can't afford to buy it any more," he said.

Gasoline prices continue to climb on the back of spiraling global oil costs - topping more than 5,200 riels per liter recently.

But Buntheoun said he intended to buy another motorbike if fuel prices go down.

"Riding a motor is easier and faster than a bicycle," he said.

MOST VIEWED

  • Angkor Wat named as the top landmark for the second year

    Travel website TripAdvisor has named Cambodia’s ancient wonder Angkor Wat as the top landmark in the world for the second year running in their Travelers’ Choice Award 2018, an achievement Cambodian tourism operators expect will attract more tourists to the Kingdom. The website uses traveller

  • Hun Sen detractors ‘will die’

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Wednesday said those who curse or insult him would eventually die without a plot of land to bury their bodies after being killed by lightning, suffering the same fate as those who recently died in Thmar Baing district in Koh

  • Ministry’s plan for net sparks fears

    The government has ordered all domestic and international internet traffic in the Kingdom to pass through a Data Management Centre (DMC) that has been newly created by the state-owned Telecom Cambodia, in a move some have claimed is an attempt to censor government critics. Spokesman

  • Monks given ‘Samdech’ title for contributions

    Three senior monks on Thursday were given the highest-ranking title “samdech”, with Prime Minister Hun Sen saying that the promotions were due to their contributions to Buddhism. The three distinguished monks were promoted on Thursday morning at Botum Vatey pagoda in Phnom Penh, at a