Boeng Mealea, koh ker,Tbaeng Meanchey


Apr 24, 2006
Day 1 Aranyaprathet to Siem Reap. 16th Oct

We arrived at the Aranyaprathet check point at about 6.50 am and parked the bikes up nect to the booths on the left hand side just before the que for passport control. My biggest apprehension was getting through the border with the XLR as I had been too lazy to change it into my name but in fact it was relatively easy as the guy in the booth did all the forms for a fixer fee. 3 sets of green book, 3 sets of tax, 3 sets of passport and 3 sets of driver license then we took all the forms to the next guy down the road who noticed that the green book didn’t match. I eventually produced a signed copy of the previous owners passport details and he accepted this . No money changing hands this time. Back to the booth for more forms and we eventually got our temporary exit permits. So off we drove to the Cambodian side of the check point about 300m on the right. Got our photos taken in the little web cam and got our stamps. Many touts were saying they would take us to customs but we just ignored them and drove into the shithole that is Poipet.

We drove immediately out of Poipet and towards Sisophan, The road was pretty potholed but manageable. About 15k out of Poipet I saw Bertil had stopped and drove back to find out that his engine had seized solid. Decision time , we debated to try to go back to Thailand to fix it but I didn’t want to go through customs again and so we decided to push on either Sisophan or Siem Reap. We flagged down a slow moving articulated type truck and I had some slings with me that we used to secure the bike to the gap just behind the cab and then I made my way to Sisphon to see what I could organize.

There was one section of road that was really slippery but I got to Sisophan in about an hour. I drove around the town and eventually found a bus station full of pick ups some with people sitting on the engine bonnet wearing crash helmets. I heard a guy should “hey you” and pulled up to him. With his help I arranged to get the bike and Bertil on a pick up truck to Siem Reap as well as about 12 people, 2 babies and a load of oranges.

So on arrival at Sisophon we made the transfer to the pick up and I headed off to Siem Reap. The 105km to Siem Reap was a mixture with one particularly slippery bit near the stone carving village only where I was sliding around as if I had a puncture. I had knobblies fitted before I left Thailand but perhaps the pressure was too high cause I didn’t feel like they were helping. Eventually got to Siem Reap about 3.45 pm and stopped for some food and got out my copy of Adventure Cambodia which said there was a motorcycle doctor on highway 6. The direction said near a market and beside some parts shops, It took me a long time to find it . Here are some better directions. Right below the sign for Royal Angkor International Hospital. Telephone number 012 753 845. He doesn’t speak English but knows some people who can come to the shop and translate. He was brilliant and even let us rent an AX 250 to continue our trip.

Day 2 17th Oct Around Angkor.

Day 2 we went to the bike shop to see what happened to Bertils engine, the valves had disintergrated and the piston was holed but the barrel was OK , he said he could get a new head and parts in Phnom Penh and have it fixed in 3 days for 250 USD. So off we sets to explore Angkor with our bikes. Lots of websites say you cant take your own bikes into the Angkor complex, but we had no problem.

Day 3. 18th Oct Boeng Mealea, Koh Ker, Tbaeng Meanchey.

We had 2 maps with us, the Gecko map and the rough guide map, neither show the tollroad to koh ker . To get to it take the highway 6 out of Siem Reap and turn left at Daem Dek and continue on the good road to a toll booth , Pay 5USD to go to Boeng Mealea and 10USD for Koh Ker. We both agreed Boeng Mealea was a fantastic temple to visit and well worth the ticket price. After Boeng Mealea we went back about 2k to the road to koh ker which is excellent gravel road which then turns to dirt as it enters Preah Vihear province, follow the road 10k past the right turn to Kulen and you reach Koh Ker.

I didn’t think much of this complex after visiting Boeng Mealea and was keen to push on. The village of Silvoy at the turn to Kulen does have several guesthouses but we decided to push on. Unfortunately it was time for the buffalo to return from the fields and it was rush hour crossing the bridges with the buffalo getting the upper hand. We got to Kulen about 4.30pm and decided to push onto Tbeng Meanchey even though we didnt have much light left. The route would have been very nice if we hadn’t been under the time pressure as we didn’t want to drive these types of road in the dark. We got to the roundabout at Tbeng Meachey at 5.40pm just as the sun went down and made our way to the Prum Tep guesthouse. Had A few beers and good food and settled down for the night.

Day 4 19th Oct. The road to Preah Kahn and Phnom Dek Clinic

Next day took the road south 38km as per Adventure Cambodia book s advice to the turn off for Preah Khahn. Filled up with petrol and headed of with the first 5km being gravel but soon turning to mud, minefields and water. We struggled 20km through this shit but without a guide we were getting stuck in bits that the villagers were taking with ease, we would get stuck in a pond only for a villager to trundle past on his Honda Wave slightly to our left and hardly getting his tyres wet. When we eventually got to the next village it became clear that this was beyond our capabilities and we turned around .
By the time we got back to the main road and had got something to eat we only had about 2 and a half hours of light left. At this moment Bertils electrics died and he could not restart the bike. However some local villagers indicated that we could get a battery just down the road so of I set to buy a new battery. After about 19k it started to become evident that this market I was looking for was not a close as I had guessed and I put the foot down to try to get to wherever I was going and back before nightfall , at that moment as I drove from right to left of the road to avoid potholes one of mans best friends ran straight at my bike and I landed on my head and shoulder and that was all she wrote. This is where the trip report ceases to have anything to do with bikes . With a villagers help I got on a truck to the next village ( Phnom Dek) which not only sold batteries but also had a malaria clinic, they examined me an pronounced me fit with “ no trauma” , I took some Tramadol which I had brought for this very occasion and slept there that night with some poor villager clearly suffering the shakes from Malaria , The next morning I bough a battery in the market and sent it back to my friend in the village ( which incidentally had no phone coverage) , got on a pick up truck to Kompong Thom, got in a taxi to Siem Reap slept there and then flew back to Bangkok where I was found to have fractured my shoulder in 2 places and broke a rib.
Jul 28, 2007
WOW Murray, That's some adventure. Good luck to you.I will be in SR at the end of November and I'll be keeping a sharp eye out for "mans best friend".
You are right about the conflicting info about being able to take your own bike into Angkor. Thanks for the report.

Oct 17, 2006
We seem to amass on this board extensive know how about broken shoulders. I hope you find a very good specialist, Murray.
Shoulder is THE most complicated joint!
Bumrungrad is good, but it is still Thailand, in other words, whoever sees you first may not necessarily direct you to best doctor / surgon but to a "friend", I had this experience 1 week ago. I was refered to a specialist, wasnt convinced of his professionalism and insisted on seeing someone else, that lady doctor did a much more thorough job.