Cambodia Update

Discussion in 'Cambodia Road Trip Reports' started by JimCA2, May 3, 2004.

  1. JimCA2

    JimCA2 Ol'Timer

    Well, April was a time for Khmers to run off to the countryside. Nice time to stay in PNH as there were more lunatics on the roads. (not to mention my staff left me alone to run the joint!) We had a group of 8 come thru PNH up from Singapore early April on BMW 1150s, KTM 630, a Honda 1000 and a ZX 400. Suffice to say the guy with the 400 had the easiest time. They rolled in from Poipet and Siem Reap then back to Thailand Via Koh Kong enroute to Pattaya in time for songkran. I had told them to post but they must be back in the work mode. They didnt report any problems getting between PNH and Koh Kong but said it was a little slow going with big machines. Much needed rain is starting to hit the country side. No reports on water levels impeding any trips yet, but time to get them in before the heavy rains start.

    A few buddies of mine did the Koh Kong - Pailin route thru the Cardamons over Khmer new years. Heavy duty stuff and should be pretty bad after next rainy season. 5 foot channels with no places to lower your feet as you drive on the crest. Too intense for my experience level...but what a sense of accomplishment they felt!

    I expect to get to the northwest sometime this month with Philippe the Belgian in hopes of retracing Mr. Duvalls tracks and discoveries and filling in a few blanks for my scrap book. Will keep you posted.
     
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  3. bill

    bill Ol'Timer

    Hi Jim
    I hope your buddies can post a trip report on the Koh Kong to Pailin route.I am hoping to do this trip next dry season.
     
  4. JimCA2

    JimCA2 Ol'Timer

    I will see if I can generate something from them. From what I saw of the pictures, you dont want to go it alone. Sharky Al did it earlier in the season and thought it was one of his toughest rides in the country. He also said that it might not be passable next season.

    I also had a couple recently come down from stung treng and reported a lot of water pooling along the way.
     
  5. Chicagonaut

    Chicagonaut Active Member

    Definitely try to get the lowdown on Pailin-KK, as this route is also under consideration by me for next year's dry run, along with PV.

    When doing that wretched stretch from ST to Kratie in February, I kept thinking how brutal it would be after heavy rains. PLENTY of potential deep pools on that "road". Never again, I tell you.
     
  6. Bat

    Bat Member

    I hear you I hear you, I thought the same myself as we slid around in foot deep dust on the ST-Kratie leg. I don't even want to imagine that as mud.
     
  7. LaudJohn

    LaudJohn Ol'Timer

    Setting out from Biker Central in Phnom Penh, the Cafe California 2, fortified with Heuvos Rancheros in the belly, I did that "wretched road" from Kratie to Stung Treng last week.

    The rains have started. Take plenty of 100 reil notes as in places where the holes have filled with mud and/or waterpeople buildbridges, put down logs etc and have a bamboo tool gate, it's worth it, but you need small change or it becomes expensive.

    It is more of a moto cross track in places than a highway (as shown on the maps), With more rain there will be holes filled with water that will swallow a bike. We say cars getting stuck. We rode through a few front yards of peoples houses.

    It took us about 5 hours, for the majority of the trip we were only doing 20-30kph, sometimes much lower, occasionally we needed 3rd gear!

    The last 20km is good graded road where 70 kph+ is fine.

    I would caution against doing this road in the middle of the wet season.

    Getting from PP to Kratie was pleasant,

    Route 73, the Dirt road up the center from Kampong Cham to Kratie is really good, speeeds of 60-80kph for a big part of it , although there is a fair bit of washboarding (corrugations) in the road. The turn off for route 73 (not marked) is 37.5 km from the roundabout before the bridge in Kampong Cham (a good place to fill up with fuel and a beer).

    On this road, about 2/3 of the way, you go over a small bridge and come to a T intersection with a wall in front of you. Go right,take the first left (following the wall) then take first right and the road will take you to Chhloung and eventually lead you into Kratie, following the Mekong from here on to Kratie.

    A friend has done this Chhloung to Kratie in the wet and it took them 9 hours to go 32km. There is a guest house in Chhloung, although little else.

    cheers,
    LaudJohn
     

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