The jeep came to Cambodia during the Vietnamese war with the American troops. It was considered the king of the battlefield, carrying soldiers and wounded men, as well war supplies, through nearly every terrain. A popular sight at the time was when the jeep was seen driving through cities, battlefields, hospitals and jungles, and crossed streams and rivers, at their highest speed and with gunmen on them.
Putting the difficult war aside, the vehicle could indeed be imagined as the perfect vehicle for adventure lovers – being a symbol of fearlessness, bravery and open-mindedness, with a casual and down to earth feel
Once the war ended, the American troops left, but the jeep stayed – mainly in Southern Vietnam and here in Cambodia.
The jeep was used for multiple civil purposes: local bus to carry people and sometimes animals (even buffalos) from city to city, to carry wood in the jungles together with elephants. They were also used at patrol vehicles for police and firemen.
Years after the opening up of the country, new car models started appearing in the streets of Cambodia and the Jeep eventually ended its mission both in military and civil tasks. As these Jeeps, with its original engine, could weigh hundreds of kilograms of steel – most of the vehicles slowly disappeared. They ended in the scrapyards as a welcoming income for struggling families, collecting a considerable amount. Soon they were seen used only by some police departments who actually also would have preferred a change to new patrol cars.
However – the beauty of the Jeep never dies The image of Jeep as a lifestyle is once again appreciated by its lovers of all ages, genders, and occupations. It is seen again on streets of Saigon, Danang, Hanoi, Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. The restored military Jeep is seen carrying foreign travelers from all over the world.
What a Jeep trip stands for, maybe there more than one answer? Maybe a fun drive, or a little unconventional experience, the feeling of newfound freedom that many people have forgotten – youthful memories? You will not get a better viewpoint in this country feeling the wind in your hair and enjoying the ride – just feel it, as we do.