What’s it like using delivery apps during lockdown in Cambodia? Well if the early signs are anything to go by, not easy at all.
Whilst we have technically been in lockdown for a few days now it was only yesterday (April 17th) that things really took a turn for the strange. Where things had been relatively normal and people were allowed out to exercise etc, the government decided to implement the lockdown in a much stricter interpretation than before.
To read about the anniversary of the fall of Phnom Penh click here .
Roads began to be blocked off, many people went out panic buying, and of course lots of people turned to food delivery apps to get meals from restaurants.
Nhum24 are the major indigenous food delivery app in Cambodia, they are slightly cheaper than Food Panda and generally quite popular. On April 17th they proved to be more popular than perhaps they have ever been and essentially their whole system went down.
The owner even went as far as to ask the government for support during these times with the following statement;
“The online delivery community has submitted a joint letter to city hall asking for help and we are waiting for a response so that we can have some guidance,”
To cut a long story short, because of the travel restrictions there are a number of areas that the drivers cannot get to. This is obviously proving problematic, although again to be fair we are only on day 5 and things are constantly evolving.
As of April 18th things seem to be working a little better for them.
Food Panda in Phnom Penh
Food Panda are by far the biggest of all the delivery apps and are an international brand. Their systems were failing for places like Jungle Cat restaurant among others. Either the system would crash, or it would tell customers that the restaurant was closed. The restaurants were not closed, merely they could not be reached, so the app said that they were closed. Theoretically at least drivers for these apps should have absolute access to all areas of the city. Again these are early days and hopefully the situation will right itself.
To read about how life was normal in Cambodia click here
Grab Taxi Deliveries
Grab are the major player when it comes to taxi booking apps in the capital. They also offer a delivery service. I tried to use this a few days ago, without any success. The company have since stated they will only deliver within a 10 km radius of the customer and even then cannot guarantee the service. Not great news in the short term. To read about the best taxi apps in Cambodia click here
Getting groceries delivered during lockdown
Probably more important than any of the other apps, as these will keep people inside and able to cook. Places like AEON and the like are offering this, as well as a number of other apps.
Again as of yesterday these are also not working all that well. Another fact I can confirm as the duck I ordered yesterday was cancelled. I had chicken instead in case you are wondering.
Check here for the AEON mall app
The bonus with using apps for deliveries is that unlike ordering a meal and assuming you are not likely to be going out, when it arrived does not matter.
How will things play out with the delivery apps during lockdown?
It is more than likely that over the next few days things will calm down, people will be panicking less and there will be some semblance of normality. In the short term though, be prepared to cook, don’t rely on an already overburdened system.