Needing help re: biking Cambodia

Discussion in 'Cambodia - General Discussion Forum' started by Chicagonaut, Dec 18, 2003.

  1. Chicagonaut

    Chicagonaut Active Member

    Finally, a board where I might find some answers to questions I've had a difficult time with!

    First, an overview: A friend of mine and I are planning the following trip, via rented dirt bikes, starting in late January: from Phnom Penh to Kampong Cham to Kratie to Stung Treng to Ban Lung to Sen Monorom(with a stop in Koh Nhek?) to Snuol and back to KC and PP. I've done my research and feel pretty comfortable with what I already know. Also, we're both experienced riders, I've been to Cambodia before and even speak enough Khmer to get by. That said, I still have a few questions that I'd LOVE to have answered by someone in the KNOW.

    #1 -- how difficult will it be to find a guide in Ban Lung that can show us the proper route to Koh Nhek(I've been told the road is quite easy to follow from there), and what might the approximate cost be?

    #2 -- for those of you who've done the Ban Lung to Sen Monorom route before, what's the minimum amount of extra fuel you'd carry AND still feel comfortable about it?

    #3 -- regarding the rentals in PP, I grew up riding both 125cc and 250cc bikes, but, being only 5'9 and 145 lbs(of sculpted manliness, of course), I've always felt more comfortable on a 125cc when on rougher terrain. It allows me so much more control, especially on steeper climbs that might necessitate a sudden stop and/or foot plant. Are there 125cc bikes available for rental in PP, and how much extra fuel would riding one need(applicable for the BL to SM run, smaller fuel tank AND 2-stroke)?

    Well, that's all I can think of right now. I know there are more, but my brain is far too fatigued just now to recall them. Thanks in advance to anybody who can provide some answers. Oooh, another question:

    #4 -- how realistic a goal is it to make the Ban lung to Sen Monorom ride in one day, as opposed to spending the night in Koh Nhek? I've heard conflicting reports, would love to hear from someone with actual experience with the route.

    Thanks again!
     
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  3. harrythefinn

    harrythefinn Ol'Timer

    You really need to contact Ben Laffer at www.Toursintheextreme.com,

    He does an annual rally that goes around Cambodia and the year that we did BanLung to Sanmonorom my bike chewed the cam shaft at Ban lung and I missed that section. Apparently Ben went the wrong way and spent the night lost but the group with a GPS found the mid point and the petrol.I haven't heard of anyone doing it in one day, even though Ban Lung to PP has been done in one day, also PP to Bankok in one day. Some people have said it is easier South to North to find the right roads.Ben has a rally this year going near there starting the 10th Jan.

    www.canbypublications.com has info on contact details for rentals , as you know there doesn't seem to be many offroad 125cc on the road in Cambodia, the 250's rule because you can get parts for them.
     
  4. Chicagonaut

    Chicagonaut Active Member

    Funny you should mention him(Ben). To be honest, I can't recall exactly how I got hooked up with him, but I've corresponded via email with him a couple of times in the last month or so(small world, eh?). He might be a bit busy these days, as I haven't gotten a reply to the last salvo of questions I sent him. No biggy, surely there are a few others out there with sufficient knowledge(here's hoping!) to help. He did tell me about fuel expectations, and from the sounds of it he'd be the one to know, so scratch that off of my list, I suppose.

    I've not been banking on doing BL to SM in one day, so it's no big deal. However, I recently read a couple of accounts of people making the whole trip on the BACK of a moto in a single day -- I'm still not sure I believe it, though...anyway, it got me thinking...can I skip spending a night in Koh Nhek?

    re: 125cc bikes, you're right. I can't recall seeing more than a handful of them in Cambodia, so spare parts would logically pose a larger problem than 250cc. 250cc it is!

    Thanks for your help, Harry.
     
  5. JimCA2

    JimCA2 Ol'Timer

    Chicagonaut,
    riding season in full swing now in cambodia since the dry wet season. come see us in the california 2 on the riverfront and we'll get you pointed in the right direction. I personally havent done the north east but sen monorom, kratie are on the list for the middle of jan and I've got many buddys that come in and been up north.
    Jim
     
  6. Chicagonaut

    Chicagonaut Active Member

    Where is the California 2? PP? Please clarify and I'll definitely look you up when I arrive. Thanks for the offer!
     
  7. JimCA2

    JimCA2 Ol'Timer

  8. Chicagonaut

    Chicagonaut Active Member

    Thanks, it sounded familiar somehow. I've only stayed at the Champs-Elysees on Rue 63(2 blocks south of Sihanouk Blvd) on my last visit, but I may have to check out the California -- the location is so much better, and a river view would be saweet. What are the chances of there being vacancies around the 20th of Feb, any idea? Would a reservation be necessary in your opinion?

    I'll definitely be looking you up either way, so just that you know, my name is Jason and obviously I'm from Chicago. I also have a shaved head which will no doubt be sunburned by the time I wander in(circa the 20th or 21st). See you in 2 and a 1/2 weeks!
     
  9. Chicagonaut

    Chicagonaut Active Member

    God my brain is absolutely fried -- too much last-minute planning has me completely lost. I'll be in PP on JAN 20 or the 21st for probably a week, not in Feb. I also notice upon re-reading your post that you may not be in town then -- what are the chances you'll be back from your biking trip by then(somewhere between Jan 25-27)?
     
  10. JimCA2

    JimCA2 Ol'Timer

    got a room on the 20th and 21st. Got Duvall and partner here now. they rolled in from a good ride from koh kong yesterday via the outback. some bike maintenance today. email is best [email email=cambodia_hotel_california@hotmail.com]cambodia_hotel_california@hotmail.com[/email] as I dont get on web boards much tho this seems to be the difinitiver regional board and I'll check in (not daily) periodically. do have you penciled in however and email me of any changes to itinerary. I still am up in the air about my travel plans. coast is looking good too.
     

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