"Highway of Death" comes with directions

Discussion in 'Cambodia Road Trip Reports' started by jimoi, Apr 26, 2006.

  1. jimoi

    jimoi Ol'Timer

    Solo rider
    Honda 250 Degree
    January 15-16, 2006

    Note: As always when I ride alone, Water is always packed and was needed on this ride 100%, I even paid about three times the price for it near to the end of the ride. Spare tubes and basic tools, there is little to no help for about 90% of this ride when I did it. It would be better in a group of three and I'd say the riding difficulty level on a scale of 1 - 10 is about 7, lots of shit sand and white powder, very hard on the bike and an air filter cleaning is due after this ride. Your mobile doesn't work out here, great stuff.

    I also don't use GPS and believe in using the force.

    Sen Monorom to Ban Lung
    Start time 08:00

    Starting from Long Vibol Guest House ( 012 944 647 good deal)

    The first 74 Km are graded dirt, good high speed time
    Km 74 - 97 starts a mix of white powder and sand, sometimes deep and heavy spray off the front tire. This is a single lane road at this time and construction is going on.

    Km 97 is a larger than average village Khon Neak? can't remember the name and does have a pretty poor looking guesthouse. Fuel is available at the same prices as anywhere else.

    KM 97 - 115 A heavy mix of sand, loose gravel on a single track. At Km 115 is another sizeable town with fuel. There is a small Left turn before the town at a roundabout of sorts.

    Km 115- 150. Desolate, no houses or shacks. Heavy sand for a little while, lots of forest riding and at the time a lot of fires were burning. The track is easy to follow and does not intersect any fields or multiple track spiderwebs. No services out here at all and there were about 7 swailes(empty creek beds) to cross.

    Km 150 - Ferry across to Lumphun. Heavy 16-20% downslope to the river as the water level was way low but still was at least 2 meters deep. The upside out is also very steep. This ferry cost me 3000 R.

    Town of Lumphun. Out off the ferry straight on to a T intersection, turn left then out to a main type road, turn right, past the medical center and school and 1 km later you come to a roundabout, go straight

    Km 178 Right turn to Ban Lung

    Km 189 Ban Lung Star Guesthouse of Mr. Leng 012 958 322. Turn left 2 streets up before the main roundabout in town, there is a heavy truck repair place with massive amounts of parts on the left, turn here, up 300 M.

    Stop Time 15:05

    Ban Lung to Siem Penh/Strueng Treng

    Start time 08:15

    From Star Guest house go back to the main road, turn left, at roundabout turn left.

    The map has then name of the town 38 Km away as Virachay but it is also called Ven Sai as far as I can tell. You this is a direct route and the only option of turning is at a Y junction with a signpost pointing to Ven Sai to the left and the Virachey National Park to the right, this turn is at about Km 29 from Ven Sai.

    Into Ven Sai you come to the river, cross here 4000 R. Off the ferry turn left, go down 2-3 Km until you come to a 4 way intersection with a small Wat on the left and little store of sorts on the right, turn right here. You intersect a few rice fields but the track is easy to follow and leads thru some forested areas - deep ruts from rainy season are still here and it is a little tricky to ride. At Km 59 you arrive out of the forest to a small police station on the left side of the road, continue on 2 Km more until you come to a small village where the road is blocked of sorts with a wooden fence. Turn Left and across the rice fields into the forest. About 1.5 km or less you come to a Y intersection, turn to the right side and follow the track(Note- I did the right side and 2 boys on honda dreams made fun of me at a stop for going right instead of left but I asked some loggers the direction to Siem Penh and they said to the right.) The road is 7 - 12Km of sand, not so deep but annoying. At Km 97 you arrive at the ferry to Siam Penh and you pass by a large school on the right, go straight ahead and you will see a tombstone highway marker in Khmer with an arrow pointing to the right, go to the left of it and down the slope(kinda steep) to wait for the two dugouts tied together with a bamboo platform to cross to Siem Penn 4000 R for this ferry as well.

    break time 12:50 - 13:15

    KM 98

    Siem Penh to Strueng Treng

    After you cross the river, turn left. Fuel is available here to the right - 200m up. There is also a guest house here, basic but good. About 200 m down from the left off the ferry is a small cafe on the river with cold drinks and the woman speaks a little englik.

    Go down the road about 400 m, there is a right turn near a wall, go right.

    This is where it gets fun. Follow the main sets of 2 tire tracks. At Km 118 you come to the first village and it is very confusing and all I can really say is the road goes around the village on both sides and seems to carry on. There were many people out there and the phrase is "Tang Pie Strueng Treng - Road goes to Strueng Treng"

    This is all rice fields, compacted dirt, loose pasty white powder.

    Km 129 is yet another confusing round the village, thru people's yards type of deal.

    Km 130 is an important marker. There is an official looking house on the right flying the Cambodian flag, on the left is a small wood working shop of some kind. Turn Left here and go slow. The track gets really really really small thru high elephant grass and is the spooky part of the trip. 2 km past this house with the flag you come to a left or straight ahead to Laos. This is at about Km 132.5. There is no marker here but a large tree about 5 m long is on the left side of the road parallel to your track. This is the turn. I was warned by the official man who had a pretty cool military hat on but only a Mickey Mouse towel around his waist to not go straight - he made the AK 47 noise.

    133 - 145 is a dense jungle/forest track. Again you will come to 2 villages in close proximity about Km 146 and 151, the road does a spiderweb and use the phrase above. The main track goes away but the general direction is west- southwest.

    You are close now, Km 149 brings you to the main graded road 9 km from the Laos border. Turn left and haul ass. When approaching Strueng Treng, there is a Y intersection, to the left is the main road and the one on the right is a bit smaller and on an incline. There is a large My Country - My Beer sign and it's about km 200. Here is the way to the crossing over the river to town.

    Km 204 ST

    15:50 Strueng Treng

    Ride Safe
     
  2. Loading...


  3. LaudJohn

    LaudJohn Ol'Timer

    3 of us did ban lung to sen monorom at the start of wet season 2 years ago.. took us 18 hours of riding ... we over nighted at a hamlet with no water... take heaps for this route and do not do it after the end of April... we dropped the bikes on average over 8 times per person..

    you are a brave man doing this route alone

    cheers
    LaudJohn
     
  4. bill

    bill Ol'Timer

    Thanks for the update Jimoi

    I did the trip back in March 2004, posted a trip report on this website.
    It was dry as a bone at the time so no problem with creek crossings.
    Also left from Long Vibols GH. He was a good source of info at the time.
    Worst part was the sand between Kaoh Nhek and Lumphat.
    Overall trip sounds a bit easier now that some of the road has been upgraded.

    Wouldn't mind doing the Cardomons (koh Kong to Pailin) around Mar 2007.
    Ideally with one or two others plus hire a Khmer Guide.
     

Share This Page