Cardamom ride - anyone interested?

Discussion in 'Cambodia - General Discussion Forum' started by cdrw, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    Cardamon ride, tentatively in early March.

    Exact timing depends on an Aussie friend ('Laud John') getting time to go to Cambo. He has ridden in Cambo often and keeps his bike there.

    Would like 1-2 other riders.

    If we take a GPS we do know it's necessary to load a map :roll:
    (tongue-in-cheek comment)
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  3. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    If your schedule gets pushed back some for any reason, keep me in mind. I'm always up for another run through the Cardamoms.

    I don't know, I've learned from expert guides posting here that loaded maps on a GPS are not exactly crucial for a trip. May end up getting lost and having to slog some extra pavement, but hey, its Cambodia its alright, all part of the tour experience.
  4. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    Tentatively scheduled for 2nd week in March...per e-mail from
    'Laud John' in Aussieland:

    "Just booked half an hour ago. Arrive PHN Sat 27 Feb in the morning depart back 20 Mar in the morning.
    Thinking of doing the trip at the start of the 2nd week if we can get t least one more, preferably 2 more.

    If not, I am happy to go for a ride in the bush around Pursat and Batambang for a week .. that is the area of the cardamons but not the hard track to KK. Can meet you in Pailin or Batambang."

    BTW...the comment on the GPS w/o maps was meant as sarcasm, in reference to group leader 'MuddyMick', who had a GPS but no loaded maps, on the earlier post thread about the UNICEF ride through the Cardamoms.

    BnT...I'll keep you posted as I get more news/updates.
  5. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    CDRW - Enjoy the trip as its a fun jaunt through the hills. If you'd ever like to get together for some off roading I'm around from April-January usually and always up for some dirt bike trips.

    I understood your sarcasm, as I was on the ill fated supposed "tour" with Muddy Mick.

    Just got back my reconditioned Garmin 60 CSX that failed on the Muddy Mick trip and itching to crash in a river again and see if it's waterproof. I'll be too late for your guys trip but here's hoping you'll have some fantastic fun.
  6. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    Thanks...if the trip happens I'll post pix.
    Ironically, I just bought a Canon D10 _waterproof_ [to 10m] camera, which replaces my other Canon which died after the condom broke (plastic bag) during last years' Songkran. I'll likely test it in river crashes :wink: as well as during songkran, or when I go ocean diving.
  7. turkish

    turkish Active Member

    A friend and I just finished the Cardamom ride this past weekend. It was fun, but a shadow of it's former death-defying self. We rode north to south and I think it's doable in one day now if you get an early start from Pailin.

    If you're looking to put a notch on your belt, the old Rt 66 between Siem Reap and the T'beng Meanchey road should get your attention. Lots of moguls, oxcart trails and sand.
  8. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    I agree Turkish. The ride I did through the Cardamoms was totally different than pictures I saw of rides from years past.

    Thanks for the route 66 recommendation :D . Is the old Route 66 truck width or singletrack?

    I really enjoyed the romp from Strung Treng to T'beang Meanchey. Are you familiar with any tracks similiar in style to that run?
  9. turkish

    turkish Active Member

    The oldest part of Rt 66 is still in pretty good shape. I believe it dates back to the Angkor era and still has a number of stone bridges. It's a fairly smooth two-track trail that cuts between rice fields and forests, with a few villages too. Some of the surrounding areas have been mined, so it's important not to stray into the grass. My guess is that the original road actually had some kind of stone foundation. It's held up well to traffic over the centuries and doesn't suffer much from potholes or ruts.

    There are sections where the old road is lost and what you get is a maze of oxcart and singletrack-like trails all going the same direction. These are in much worse condition and it's easy to get lost (even with a GPS). The riding is more technical here with sand washes, ruts and a few easy water crossings.

    I like the route also because it starts at an interesting but not over-exposed temple site: Boeng Mealea. In the middle of the ride is Prasat Bakan. Both times that I've seen Prasat Bakan, it's been completely deserted (which is pretty neat, IMO).

    Sorry, I haven't done that trail. Yet. ;-)
  10. bill

    bill Ol'Timer

    If you enjoyed ST to TBMC, then you'll enjoy the run to Prasat Bakan mentioned by Turkish.

    Little bit of info here where I approached Prasat Bakan from Kompong Thom instead of Boeng Mealea. ... t3513.html
  11. alrikki

    alrikki Ol'Timer

    I took mine swimming and got about 50 metres before the display stopped working. Although it Didn't seem todo permanent damage
  12. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer

    Turkish - Thanks for the details on the 66. It sounds a fun ride and I'll be on that in a couple months. I'm enjoying the remote stone temples of the Angor era much more then the tacky newish ones you see everywhere in Thailand. Always intriguing looking across the flatlands of Cambodia and putting together how they sourced their stone for the building process.

    I tried a few months back to ride from Kratie, across the Mekong and directly West through the jungle into Kampon Thom as I enjoy Wat Sambor when it is quiet. The riding was great fun!! Sadly got on the wrong track and had to turn around only 17 KM's from a small village near Kampong Thom due to a large gorge that was not crossable. The riding in there was scenic with monkeys and lemurs keeping you company as dusk set in.

    Bill - Thanks for the link to your post. I loved that stretch of track since it was fantastic flowing singletrack for a decent amount of KM's.

    Alrikki - Good luck with your Garmin. Hopefully it's just a tiny bit of moisture and not the swamp that was inside my unit when we disassembled the thing. Not only did my supposedly waterproof Garmin fail but I also started getting condensation and poor picture quality in my new Panasonic waterproof, shockproof, dustproof camera. So much for these modern waterproof gadgets providing trouble free operation.

    If you gents have other tracks that you'd recommend (from a fun off road viewpoint) keep the list going.
  13. bill

    bill Ol'Timer

    Getting back to the Cardamons..

    On Aukes gps map there is a logging road heading West from Pramaoy towards the Thai border via Phnum Samkoh and Thma Da.

    Has anyone tried this track ?

    Auke, has that track heading west from Pramaoy been confirmed by gps ?

    If its doable, then it could a nice addition to the existing Cardamon track, with an overnight in Pramaoy .
  14. Auke

    Auke Ol'Timer

    Track west of Pramoy. This track was on the original GPS map which was based upon the Gecko map so I am quite sure that it has not been GPS'd

    In the latest GPS map version (version 2.0) I have updated this track using Google Earth so it should now be reasonable OK.

    The latest version of the Cambodia GPS map (City Navigator V 3.0 Cambodia) sold by ARUNA also has this track and when I compare their and my version of the track you should not have problems following it.
  15. BignTall

    BignTall Ol'Timer


    I spoke someone in Sihanoukville after we finished the Cardamoms that said the track leading west from Pramoey was fun but not difficult.

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