A Comparison of Petrol Stations in South East Asia

There are 4 million motorbikes and scooters in Hanoi alone. Across the countries of Vietnam, Cambodia and Thailand I can’t even imagine how may there are. So where do you buy your petrol? If everyone queued at a regular petrol station they’d be there forever and the queues would clog up the cities more than the traffic does. So, you go here…

Vietnam Petrol Container
…which is actually a local restaurant. The container and the tube are used to top up your bike and you just fill up down to the next line.  This specific one was in Hoi An, Vietnam, and there were about half a dozen on the one street. I thought that was the least safe petrol station in the world, and then I went to Cambodia…

Down town Siem Reap. As I walk casually back from a local hostelry after sampling the 50 cent beer (btw I mean it costs 50 cent, not that it was endorsed by him) I head to a convenience store to buy some water. Outside are racks of bottles that I assume are the local moonshine, also referred to as Rice Wine or Rice Whiskey – you know, the sort of stuff they put scorpions and snakes in and sell to tourists. Like this…

Rice Whiskey with Snake
I ask the lady who runs the shop about the “Rice Whiskey” to which she replies, “No. Gasoline”. 

“Pardon”, I say, assuming my drunken ears had misheard.


Yep, I heard. Good job I didn’t try to sample it on the way in. 

So, get yourself some plastic bottles and a funnel and you too can open a petrol station. Don’t worry about all that health and safety nonsense. And what could possibly go wrong in a country with virtually no traffic laws, where bikes are often ridden right up the pavement and apparently you can just leave bottles of petrol there to be hit.

Cambodian petrol station

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