Posted by: Simon & Becci | March 11, 2012

A beginners guide to road building

Well, two weeks has passed since our last blog entry and finally our road is finished (the 3-4 day estimate was a little over-ambitious).

So, for any prospective road builders out there, here follows a step-by-step guide about how to build a road in Cambodia.

1) Hire several large vehicles to clear the dirt, bricks and rubbish off the road

Two weeks ago....

2)  Level the road by laying several layers of gravel. Leave further construction for a week to confuse residents.

3) Buy a large pile of wood

4) Employ two ladies to build dozens of square wooden frames.

5) Lay the frames out on the road

6) Hire a few cement mixers with drivers skilled at negotiating tight corners

Health and safety? Spot the workman walking on the wall....

7) Pour tonnes of concrete onto the road

Health and safety? Spot one workman in a hard hat, and other in flip flops....

8) Employ several guys in wellington boots to spread and smooth the concrete with large wooden sticks.

Drinking on the job? Road laying is thirsty work so drinking cans of Angkor beer whilst working is essential....

This man remained stationary for too long in the drying concrete. He is now part of the road....

9) Wait for the road to dry overnight and then cut several lines into it with a large circular saw

Why? We don't know either....

10) Enjoy your new road!



  1. I’m lead to believe that concrete can expand and contract. If left as one giant piece for the entire street, this would cause it to crack as it expanded and contracted. The cutting leaves a little room between the smaller pieces and prevents cracking. I’m sure you REALLY wanted to know 😛

    Thank you for blogging, it is enjoyed.


  2. Good to hear you’re continuing to laugh at things and not take everything too seriously. I expect you would go bananas if you did!

  3. The cutting is to create thermal expansion and contraction joints to allow the slab to move. If you put enough of them in the right positions it should prevent the concrete from cracking.
    I like the bamboo reinformcement. Actually very good in tension.

  4. Well, Simon & Becci. Next time I feel like re-concreting our cul-de-sac, I know how to go about it. Not sure where to take all those Cambodian guys in wellies from. They tend to be in short supply in our neck of the woods. Oh yes, and how essential is it to persuade one chap to become part of the road? Especially with our distinct lack of the right kind of beverages. 🙂

  5. Lovely smooth looking new road…
    presumably if you were out when they started pouring the concrete you needed to stay out (doesn’t look as though there’s any pathway to peoples houses)
    I also love the health and safety fun and games…never mind the guy on the wall – the person with the circular saw is barefoot!

    one occurs though: did anyone think to put in any drainage? Could be fun next time it rains 🙂


  6. * that should be “one thought occurs…” :p

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