dissappearing dirt

Discussion in 'Cambodia Road Trip Reports' started by frankc, Mar 15, 2008.

  1. frankc

    frankc Active Member

    Just arrived back from a few days riding to Phnom Phen and around the south, about time the KTM had a run!!
    Dropped in on the "TOTAL INTERNATIONAL MOTOCROSS CHAMPIONSHIP" at the Preak Leap track in Phnom Phen, yes there is a track there and a VERY good one!
    if I can load a photos then you will see,
    The track is owned by a friend Vong Chove who also owns FLYING BIKES shop in town. The track was made by an ex Thai motox champ (can't remember his name) but is open each weekend also,
    Check this site out http://khmernz.blogspot.com/2008/03/tot ... cross.html
    Anyway, back to the trip,
    crossed the border at Baan Leam which is the closest to Pattaya and no problems, lots of paper work on the Thai side but just a "have a good ride" on the Cambodian side !! The KTM is Cambo registered but I was with a friend on a Thai bike and he had no trouble either,
    Leam to Battambang was 100+klms of good dirt, fast in places and pot holes big enough for a truck and I don't mean a small one,
    do remember on the last trip in the wet seeing a few big ones bogged ,well I think the road has had no work since then ,
    hard on the front forks and almost need a kidney belt but arrived in to town just after dark,
    Plenty of accommodation,
    Off to Phnom Phen the next morning, LONG RIDE on the tarmac, nothing interesting except dodging the Camry drivers and the overtaking trucks, oh and don't forget the cows! heaps on the road and with no road sense at all,
    Stayed 2 days to enjoy the great food on the river and watch the motox, always find good accommodation on Sisowath Quay (the esplanade) there is a heap of places all around $20US including the legendary "California 2" hotel (this web site has great photography and heaps of links).
    Then off down south ,the Cambodia guy that I usually ride with did some damage to himself in the mx racing and so I decided to ride on my own ,and do some exploring ,
    Well got out the very well worn "Gecko" map and decided on a route that looked to be the most dirt!
    by the way I find this map okay and very accurate ,but do agree that there are a lot of new roads now that are not 100% accurate,
    Out of town on Highway 4 for 33klms (approx) to a town with no name and to supposedly hway 51 on the left, found it also with no signs (not unusual here) and then 6 klms down the road DIRT!!!! well actually a dirt main road, ALMOST 100KLMS OF IT , very fast and gravelly, great for long slides around the corners and yes around a few cows AGAIN!
    The hway turns to number 124 and goes all the way south to hway 3 just out of Kampot ,
    It is good flat and fast for the first 60 or 70 klms and then they are doing a lot of work and so it gets a little patchy with a lot of "make your own" tracks, but don't detour too far off the main track "MINES"!!
    I have a friend, who has a small eco resort in Kep so headed there after Kempot,
    very quiet (well actually dead!) but he likes it,
    there are 2 small rides in the Kep area, one is a nice one up to the top of the mountain behind the resort, fantastic views and another is out towards the Viet border into a valley with a lake and caves ,not bad but no serious dirt!!
    Off again to check out Bokor mountain which is just out of Kampot, well found that it is closed ,apparently they are doing a new dam and guess what TARMAC ROAD !! think maybe I might get a road bike for the next trip.
    Back on to the tarmac on hway 3 to the junction at Veal Rean and to hway 4 down south to Sihanoukville, more tarmac.
    This place looks like an early version of Pattaya plenty of accommodation and a couple of nice clean beaches but not much else
    had heard that the local police didn't particularly like dirt bikes, but found no evidence of this and no hassles at all.
    By this time I am really looking for a good dirt ride, so had heard that the Srea Ambel to Koh Kong road was a good one, so back onto hway 4 for another 90klms and then the turn off to Srea Ambel
    WELL NO LUCK all the way is now tarmac!!
    there are still 2 bridges that are not finished and you have to use the car ferries but all the rest of the way is brand new TARMAC !.
    Anyway it is a beautiful area with hugh views and the last big mountain going into KK has a vista of mountains, rivers, the ocean and a heap of islands,
    back to the border and again the Cambodian customs guys didn't even blink and to my surprise the Thai customs are all computerized now and even printed out the completed form and all I had to do was sign the bottom line and head over to immigration where a mountain of forms where waiting again.
    All very easy and efficient.
    then the ride back to Pattaya! which was wet and a bit hard on the butt on a dirt bike.
    Good trip
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  3. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    FrankC....a question...and a comment:

    You wrote: ....'crossed the border at Baan Leam which is the closest to Pattaya...'

    Is Ban Leam a _new_ border crossing?? B. Leam is just slightly north of Ban Pakkard [Phum Themi on the Cambo side] and the latter, which leads through Pailin is the only one I knew of in that immediate area. Hat Lek/K.Kong is further south.

    You wrote: ....'Off again to check out Bokor mountain which is just out of Kampot, well found that it is closed ,apparently they are doing a new dam and guess what TARMAC ROAD !! think maybe I might get a road bike for the next trip. '

    Actually, expect Bokor Mountain to be closed to tourism for the next +/-2-years! It has been closed for a while [except last New Years they opened it temporarily over the holidays], as it is changing...for the worse. They are building a new casino and refurbishing the whole area. Of course that will also include a new tarmac road for the expected hordes of tourists, Sadly, the eerie, surreal Bokor of past decades will soon disappear and be replaced by hotels and places catering to the more affluent tourist. Alas!
  4. frankc

    frankc Active Member

    re Ban Leam border crossing ,it is just to the north of Pailin crossing ,

    from the thai side take highway 3139 and then turn on to 3255, from Pattaya it is a bit further then Pailin but better road into Battambang.
    thx for info on Bokor ,it was my first time in that area ,

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