Info: Cambodia

Discussion in 'Cambodia - General Discussion Forum' started by Pauche, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    I've put together some answers to most people's concern about riding into Cambodia. Keep in mind that the law, currency info, and/or road conditions in Cambodia change frequently, and this update is accurate as of January 2007.

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    Fast Facts

    Country Name: The Kingdom of Cambodia

    Language: Khmer

    Religion: Thervada Buddhism (97%), Islam, Christianity, Animism

    Population: 13.1 million

    Land Area: 181,035 km2

    Voltage: 220v/50Hz

    Time: GMT +7 hours

    Country Calling Code: 855

    Weather
    November to February is the "cool season", which is dry and not too hot. In April it gets really hot, but not rainy. Starting around June it gets rainy and still hot. It rains off and on all the time, so roads are muddy and some areas are impassable, and it stays like that until November, when cool & dry comes back. Click here (http://weather.yahoo.com/forecast/CBXX0001_f.html) for today's forecast for Phnom Penh.

    Money
    US dollars in cash terms is best. You will get some riel as change when you spend the US dollars. One USD is about 4000 riels. There are a few places that will change travelers checks. Credit cards are not too widely accepted around.

    Visa
    Not required if you hold a Singapore passport. However, for other passport holders require to pay 1,000Baht (US$25) for a tourist visa or 1,500Baht (US$38) for a business visa

    International Overland Border Crossings
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    Aranyaprathet/Poipet Checkpoint
    Open 08:00-20:00hrs (+7 GMT)
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    Cham Yeam/Koh Kong Checkpoint
    Open 08:00-20:00hrs (+7 GMT)
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    Other International Overland Border Crossings
    Bavet (Svay Rieng Province)
    Kaam Samnor-Koh Rokar (Kandal-Prey Veng)
    Cham Yeam (Koh Kong Province)
    Poipet (Banteay Meanchhey Province)
    O'Smach (Oddar Meanchhey Province)
    Phnom Den (Takeo Province)
    Dong Krolor (Stung Treng Province)

    Road Conditions

    Poipet to Sisophon (Route 5, 51km, 1hr)- This section is surfaced but quite rough in spots. A lot of big big potholes that will keep your speed below 50km/h.

    Sisophon to Siem Reap (Route 6, 105km, 2hrs) - The first 75km is unpaved road, some are paved, while some are loose sand with plenty of red dust. Lots of broken bridges are under construction. Meanwhile, you need to divert quite a number of times. The last 30km is broken tarmac roads with plenty of potholes.

    Sisophon to Battambang (Route 5, 68km, 1hr)- Nice tarmac roads. Beware of some 4x4 drivers who honk their way through at speed of over 100km/h.

    Siem Reap to Kg Thom (Route 6, 147km, 2hrs) - Nice tarmac roads. Smooth journey.

    Kg Thom to Phnom Penh (Route 6-6A-5, 168km, 2hrs) - Nice tarmac roads on most of the roads. Traffic begins to build up when within 10km of the Phnom Penh vicinity. Has a bike lane across the Japanese bridge over the Tonle Sap.

    Phnom Penh to Phnom Chisor (Route 2, 52km, 1.5hrs) - Tricky road if you decided to head from the Killing Fields to Phnom Chisor as the narrow offroad trail is being divided by a river. I managed to detour and find a bridge to get to the other side and head back to the tarmac road on Route 2 South to Phnom Chisor after that.

    Phnom Penh to Kep (Route 3-31-33, 164km, 2hrs) - New tarmac roads along Route 31 and Route 33 with beautiful scenaries... More breathtaking once u reach the beach of Kep. It has a hill on the left and the road is bordered by the sea on the right.

    Kep to Kampot (Route 33, 25km, 20mins)- Narrow roads with a couple of bridge crossings that are underway.

    Kampot to Sihanoukville (Route 3-4, 132km, 1.5hrs) - Great tarmac road leading to Cambodia's premier beach area. Has a toll plaza along the way, but its free for bikes anyway!

    Sihanoukville to Koh Kong (Route 4-48, 239km, 4hrs) - This is the most interesting part of the ride in Cambodia as it comprises of 4 river crossings. Pretty smooth tarmac roads (about 87km) from Sihanoukville till the turn off into Sre Ambel. From Sre Ambel to 1st river crossing is made of hard compact soil/gravel. At the 1st river crossing, the platform is connected by 2 small boats and you ride onto a narrow plank to get onto the platform. Construction of the bridge looks like its more than 60% done. Road from the 1st river to the 2nd river has nice compact soil/gravel and the 2nd river crossing is on a similar platform like the 1st river crossing.

    Here comes the fun part. The paths from the 2nd river to 3rd river is fun if you are on a dirt bike. Lots of road works along the way, with loose soil/mud along the way. Dusty red sand everywhere as well. At the 3rd river crossing, its on a big boat, where bikes cross with cars/trucks and you need not balance on narrow planks to get on the boat. Similarly, the path from the 3rd to 4th river is a little challenging, with up/down slopes on loose soil/gravels. Can see that road works are on the way, and should complete by end of the year. Also, at the 4th river crossing, the big boat sends the bikes & cars/trucks together across.

    After crossing the main bridge from Koh Kong to the Khlong Yai border, there is a toll plaza and bikes need to pay 1200 Riels. Its about a couple of minutes away from the border .

    Travel Guides / News / Magazines

    Tales of Asia - The most updated & comprehensive guide to Cambodia
    http://www.talesofasia.com/

    Travel Guides & Tourist Reviews
    http://www.virtualtourist.com/travel/As ... bodia.html

    Canby Publications Travel Guide
    http://www.canbypublications.com/

    Comprehensive Guide to the Angkor Temples
    http://www.canbypublications.com/siemreap/srtemples.htm

    Bayon Pearnik - Cambodia's Tourism & Infomation Magazine
    http://www.bayonpearnik.com/

    Cambodia Travel Tips
    http://www.garella.com/rich/travcam.htm

    Cambodia Pocket Guide
    http://www.cambodiapocketguide.com/

    Cambodia Online - Cambodia's Gateway Portal
    http://www.cambodianonline.net/

    The Phnom Penh Guide
    http://www.phnom-penh.biz/restonet/pp/a ... ument&l=gb

    Info on Sihanoukville
    http://www.sihanoukville-info.com/

    Best of Cambodia
    http://www.bestofcambodia.com/

    The Cambodian Scene Magazine
    http://www.cambodianscene.com/

    Motorbiking in Cambodia

    Golden Triangle Riders
    http://www.gt-rider.com/

    Adventure Rider Forum
    http://www.advrider.com/

    Dancing Roads
    http://www.dancingroads.com/index.html

    Voyage Vietnam
    http://www.voyagevietnam.net/eng/38.php

    Hidden Cambodia Adventure Tours
    http://www.hiddencambodia.com/

    Cambodia Red Raid Motorcycle Tours
    http://www.motorcycletourscambodia.com/

    The Motorcycle Shop in Cambodia - Rental & Repair
    http://www.motorcyclecambodia.com/

    Angkor Dirt Bike Tours
    http://www.toursintheextreme.com/

    Cambodia Expeditions
    http://www.cambodiaexpeditions.com/

    Motorcycle And Motorbike Rental, Hire And Tours in Cambodia
    http://www.ridetheworld.com/98_Cambodia.html

    Cambodia Motorcycle Tours
    http://www.ecosea.com/eco/HTM/Cambodia% ... 0Tours.htm

    Field Reports and Blogs

    http://www.pauche.blogspot.com/

    http://cambodia.mellenthin.de/

    http://www.horizonsunlimited.com/tstories/everett/

    http://www.cafecaliforniaphnompenh.com/motorcycle.htm

    http://trip-reports.blogspot.com//

    http://cardrona.spaces.live.com/

    Maps

    http://www.canbypublications.com/maps/maphome.htm

    http://www.cambodianonline.net/homemapsgallery.htm
     
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  3. SilverhawkUSA

    SilverhawkUSA Ol'Timer

    Pauche-

    What a great post! I know the amount of time and effort that goes into compiling a post like this. Copied and bookmarked it. I have not been to Cambodia and keep saying it is on my list of "Things to Do". This post just makes it that much easier and should alleviate some of my procrastination.

    Good Job!
     
  4. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    #1 - At the Aranyaprathet/Poipet border
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    #2 - Plenty of casinos between Thailand & Cambodia, on the no-man's land
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    #3 - Route 5 from Poipet to Sisophon...... very dusty roads
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    #4 - Stung Sangker in Battambang
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    #5 - Battambang Town..... lots of French architect
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    #6 - Phsar Nath is the landmark in the centre of the town
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    #7 - Road conditions in Battambang
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    #8 - Ta Dambong Statue
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    #9 - Dusty leaves at the lake
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    #10 - Off the beaten track
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  5. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    #11 - Stairs leading to Phnom Sampeau
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    #12 - These are skulls and bones of "Killing Cave" victims
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    #13 - At the top of Phnom Sampeau, it has a stunning view of Battambang Town
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    #14 - Plenty of road diversions along Route 6 from Sisophon to Siem Reap
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    #15 - Bridge crossings are one-way only
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    #16 - Topping up gas at a manual pump station
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    #17 - First sight of Angkor Wat
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    #18 - Very very steep stairs to the top
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    #19 - Fine carvings on the temple walls
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    #20 - Banteay Kdei
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  6. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    #21 - Face of Banteay Kdei
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    #22 - Amazing trees at Ta Prohm
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    #23 - Phimeanakas
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    #24 - Terrace of Leper King
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    #25 - Sunset view from Phnom Bakheng
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    #26 - After sunset, the view is even more breath-taking!
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    #27 - Lovely sunrise behind Angkor Wat
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    #28 - Golden rays on Banteay Srey
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    #29 - Pre Rup
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    #30 - Inside Pre Rup
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  7. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    #31 - Photo classic at Ta Som
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    #32 - Preah Khan
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    #33 - Full of carvings at Preah Khan
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    #34 - Faces of Bayon in Angkor Thom
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    #35 - My bike in Angkor Wat
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    #36 - Floating store at Tonle Sap
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    #37 - Chong Khenas floating village at the Tonle Sap
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    #38 - Independence Monument in Phnom Penh
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    #39 - Royal Palace
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    #40 - Silver Pagoda
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  8. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    #41 - National Museum
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    #42 - Toul Sleng Genocide Museum (former S21 prison)
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    #43 - Victims of the Khmer rougue
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    #44 - Russian Market
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    #45 - Sunrise at the Tonle Sap & Mekong River mouth at Sisowath Quay
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    #46 - Choeung Ek Memorial killing fields
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    #47 - Skulls at the Choeung Ek Memorial killing fields
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    #48 - Tonle Bati.... popular lake for the locals
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    #49 - Beautiful lake with beautiful flowers
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    #50 - Climbed 503 steps to get up to Phnom Chisor
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  9. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    #51 - Living conditions in Phnom Penh
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    #52 - Krong Kep
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    #53 - Sunset at Koh Tonsai (Rabbit Island)
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    #54 - No rabbits on Rabbit Island.....
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    #55 - It's animal kingdom here!
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    #56 - Babe!
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    #57 - Isn't he cute????
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    #58 - Guesthouse on Koh Tonsai
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    #59 - Clean waters at Koh Tonsai
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    #60 - Entrance to Bokor Mountains
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  10. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    #61 - Ochheuteal Beach at Sihanoukville
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    #62 - Cars cross the rivers on this platform
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    #63 - Motorbikes cross on this platform at the 2nd river
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    #64 - 3rd river crossing is on a huge RPL
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    #65 - 4th river crossing is also on a huge RPL
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    #66 - Bridge works over the 1st river is about 60-70% completed
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    #67 - Bridge works at the 2nd river crossing just started not long ago
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    #68 - Bridge works at the 3rd river crossing has just begun too
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    #69 - Bridge at the 4th river crossing will soon be completed
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    #70 - Road works along the way.... muddy, sandy, pebble-ly!
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  11. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    At the end of the trip, I didn't fall or drop my bike, but suffered the following damages through the rocky/bumpy/sandy terrains......

    #71 - Broken sub frame
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    #72 - Broken RHS rear signal
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    #73 - Missing LHS rear signal
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    #74 - Loose screw followed by a missing number plate eventually
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  12. phuah

    phuah Active Member

    Thanks Pauche.

    Your details information come at the right time for me as my cambodia trip will start in another 10 days time.
     
  13. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    enjoy yourself phuah!
    post more pictures when u r back.
     
  14. 2Up Chiang Khong

    2Up Chiang Khong Ol'Timer

    Hi Pauche,

    Excellent job!

    Here are a couple of more points that mught be of interest.

    When crossing into Cambodia due North of Anlong Veng, while they are super friendly and Fast, beware that Customs will only give you a stamp on your Thai documents and NO Cambodian paper work. This can/will give you at least an hours worth of headache and the loss of 500 Baht when you go to leave via the border crossing into Southern Laos.

    Geko map does not show a road going Southwest from Kho Ker to Siem Reap, but it is there. Kho Ker is almost due west of Tbeng Meanchey. And the road is OK (only in the dry season), being rough fine gravel and plenty of dust. Trip takes about 6-7 hours - And Very Easy to be lost more times then you would like.

    In NE Cambodia, Geko map shows the distance from Stoeng Treng to Banlung as being about 230K. After about 120K we stoped to eat a can of tuna fish and have some water, only to get on the bike, ride 5 or so klcks down the road and find we were there.

    Loney planet guide book should not be trusted when they say that the lake just outside of Banlung is an "intriguing circular crater-lake"..."it is one of the most peaceful, beautiful locations Cambodia has to offer"... It's kind of a sad looking thing about 200 meters across... And Banlung must be just about the dustiest town in Cambodia!!

    And again - beware if you try to leave Cambodia via crossing into Southern Laos and all you've got is a stamp on your Thai documents.Customs was not fun. But Immigrations was wonderful.

    This info is first hand from last months riding.

    Cheers,
    David and Mai
    650GS
    Chiang Khong
     
  15. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    More pictures......

    #75
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    #76
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    #77
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    #78
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    #79
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    #80
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    #81
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    #82
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    #83
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    #84
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    #85
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    #86
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  16. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    #87
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    #88
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    #89
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    #90
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    #91
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    #92
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    #93
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    #94
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    #95
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    #96
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    #97
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    #98
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  17. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    Pauche....good post and info, to which I'll add some corrections/additions:

    Money: ATM's are readily available in PPenh; some in Sihanoukville. Surely in Siem Reap and Battanbang...but I've not been these latter cities in a number of years. But the banks have been constantly adding new outlets in the larger communities for the last 2-years.

    Visa: The _correct_ price for a Cambodian visa has
    always been: Tourist: $20-US, Business $25-US. Best to pay in US-$$
    Those paying anything more are simply falling prey to the
    scamming Immigration officials. I've been going through Ban Hat Lek/Cham Yeam/Koh Kong for 7-years...and never paid more than the
    proper price. You will have to stand up to them or be scammed!

    Trat/Ban Hat Lek/Cham Yeam/Koh Kong;
    Corrections: New bus station in Trat (April 2006).
    The mini-vans from Trat to the border are now located at the
    far end of the new bus station. Fare is now 110-Bt.
    Ferry to Koh Kong is $15-US for tourists, not $12.
    The road from Koh Kong to PPenh or Sihanoukville is the
    cheaper method: 4-500-Bt for a seat in a van or taxi, but
    you must negotiate. Road can be rough (during rainy
    season especially!) but will be great when fully paved and
    bridges finished. Currently one bridge completed, 1-partial completed, so ferry boats still used for 3-of the 4 bridges.
     
  18. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    Thanks for the updates, appreciate it.
    Reference to the above quote, I just went through the rivers less than 2 weeks ago and all the 4 bridges are still impassable. Which one is opened now, the bridge nearest to Koh Kong?
     
  19. cdrw

    cdrw Ol'Timer

    correction, sorry Pauche...I should have added...1-bridge is completed (appearance)...but not as yet open to any traffic
     
  20. scot harper

    scot harper Ol'Timer

    Pauchy, M8, thanks for the hard yards, the info on your post is the Bomb of info.
    Your pickies capture the feeling of cambo, the people an the country.
    Keep it up.....Regards to you...Scott..."OZ"
     
  21. rectravel

    rectravel Ol'Timer

    Hi Pauche. Great post, except for one detail. You did not clearly point out that the maps in green at the very top of your post belong to Kenneth Cramer, who is the owner of the web site on

    http://canbypublications.com/

    Most likely, he won't mind that you have reposted his maps here, but to reconfirm it, you should send him an e-mail about this. His e-mail address is [email email=cambodia@canbypublications.com]cambodia@canbypublications.com[/email]
     
  22. Pauche

    Pauche Ol'Timer

    Thank you guys, will do as advised.
    This is a consolidated thread of info on Cambodia for the benefit of all.
    Anyone with any updated info are encouraged to share it here.
    Cheers.
     
  23. mikethevigo

    mikethevigo Ol'Timer

    just a quick one, rode from phnom penh to poi pet yesterday ( 17-1-07 )went to cross on my kymer registered bike ( as i have done many times before ) only to be told by the thais "you need thai insurance to come with a bike into thailand " really .well how do i get that when im in cambodia ? anyway to cut a long story short i had to cross on my own go in to arran town, get thai insurance, leave thailand, go back into cambodia, get the bike and go into thailand !, at 35 celcius i was not a happy camper , be warned, best bet is to obtain it or have a friend get it and post it to you .all the best, and stay the right way up !
     
  24. Rhodie

    Rhodie Ol'Timer

    Pauche
    Really appreciate your great post.
    It will be much appreciated by new hands at the cambo dancing roads game - tho I see some of those with experience have already complimented you.
    Well done & thank you - it's posts like these that makes the GT Rider fraternity so very worthwile.
    ATB
    Rhodie
     
  25. Greetings - Hidden Cambodia Dirt Bike Tours - I have the geko map north of Siem Reap map scanned if any one wants it, drop a line and i'll send it on. Great to zoom in and look at the areas - Anlong Veng, Kog Ker, Preah Vihear Tbenge Meanachey. We are based on road to Angkor, Siem Reap open to fellow riders to drop in for up to date info on road etc

    Host of great photos of dirt bike trips in Cams at http://www.hiddencambodia.com/pics.htm

    Best regards,

    Sheila
     
  26. cr9434

    cr9434 New Member

    great posts, much appreciated advice and ideas! we rode with no probs at all on a vietnamese registered bike to moc bai and through the border this week. highway 1 from bavet to the ferry crossing at neak luong is great tarmac road, however, the other side to phnom penh took nearly 4 hours on a potholed sandy road under construction and heavy traffic, expect this to take some months to complete so dont leave bavet later than 2pm if you wanna make the capital by dark. Any ideas on journey north from stung treng to laos border??? Chris + Georgia
     

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