Cambodia Motorbike Road Trip 2019 The Good, The Bad And The Painful!

Discussion in 'Cambodia Motorcycle Trip Report Forums' started by Chris. s, Jun 15, 2019.

  1. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    #1 Chris. s, Jun 15, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2019
    Day 1. Thursday 3rd Jan. Pattaya to Koh Kong. 395km

    Pattaya was overcast early morning when leaving and the whole day stayed that way.

    An easy ride to Rayong and road 3 all the way to through Trat to the border at the Hat Lek.

    Immigration was a runaround, but all done in an hour for exit and entry. I gave up on finding a SIM card and getting cash until I arrived at Koh Kong.

    Koh Kong is a nice town near the border, very quiet with good food options on the river front.

    DSCF2373.

    The only bar I found was so dark and playing 70’s music too loudly, so one beer and off for some great seafood on the river front.
     
  2. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    #2 Chris. s, Jun 15, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2019
    Day 2, Friday 4th Jan. Kok Kong to Sihanoulkville. 240km

    From Koh Kong heading east until road 4 that spurs off to Phnom Penn, the road was quiet and easy riding with light rain. Once on road 4 to Sihanoulkville the traffic was horrendous with a constant line of trucks and mad men in big cars racing along doing their best to cause accidents and mayhem. Far worse than anything I have encountered in Thailand, in fact anywhere.

    That combined with heavier rain and sandy red clay covered roads made the trip unpleasant and dangerous.

    Arriving in Sihanoulkville I found a building site and a city I did not recognize at all. Most signs seemed to be in Chinese and casinos and large hotel complexes everywhere.

    I eventually found the Golden Lion roundabout near Ochheuteal Beach where I used to stay on previous trips. But the changes in the area have completely ruined it.

    Checking in at the hotel they demanded my passport, as usual. But an argument got out of hand with them demanding the passport before allowing me to go to my room. The reason was I keep my passport in an inside pocket, which means pulling my trousers down for access. The argument ended with me dropping my trousers and producing the damn thing!

    To cap my mood off as I removed my stand side pannier the weight of the right pannier topped the bike over. The stock suspension on the bike is dreadful and is due to be changed.

    Later in the evening I walked around trying to find a place for a cold beer and some food, but even the majority of bars and restaurant on Google maps had disappeared. I did find a bar in the end and a backpacker style hostel with beer and food. 20190104_144037. DSCF2388.
     
  3. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    #3 Chris. s, Jun 15, 2019
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    Day 3. Saturday 5th Jan. A trip along to Prek Treng Beach, 30km

    Once out of the noise and dust of Sihanoukville this beach was very pleasant.

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    I took a track that ran into the forest opposite the beach side to check the new tyres I had put on the bike prior to leaving.

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    About 1km in I came to a dead end and while executing a “U” turn I somehow managed to lose my balance. (I think my leg kicked back into the pannier box) this resulted in a very hard landing on a large rock and a lot of swearing from me and my confidence dented!
     
  4. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    #4 Chris. s, Jun 15, 2019
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    Day 4. Sunday 6th Jan. Sihanoukville

    I just relaxed and rode around trying to find a nice beach and find somebody to oil my bike chain, which you would think was easy, but I was just getting nodding heads. I eventually found a main Honda dealer and they oiled it for free.

    I rode east along to Otres beach which reminded me of how all of Sihanoukville used to be like.

    Day 5. Monday 7th Jan. Sihanoukville to Kampot. 188km

    Another dirty, dusty, suicidal day on the road along the coast towards the Vietnam border. The only relief coming just before Kampot when I rode up Bokor Mountain.

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    This was a real treat! New tarmac all the way to the 1,000m high summit. My first trip up here about 17 years ago was in a 4 x 4 and took about 3 hours of extremely bumpy travel.

    Now the road has been completely rebuilt. At the top there new hotels and a casino, which made it hard to get my bearing. But there were some good views.

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    DSCF2423. DSCF2430.
     
  5. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    #5 Chris. s, Jun 15, 2019
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    Day 6. Tuesday 8th Jan. Kampot to Kirirom National Park. 278 km.

    Leaving Kampot northwards on road 3 the first 20 km was hell. The headlight was needed to make sure you could be seen by other road users due to the huge amount of dust being thrown up by the tucks and 4x4’s.

    After 20 km I found a compacted sand track that went all the way to the park except the last 25 km that were paved.

    At first I was wary of finding areas of soft sand that would give me an issue, but there was just one area about 1 km long with patches of soft sand.

    On the return ride, as I knew the sand was mostly firm I speeded up and my confidence quickly returned with 188 km in total of track ridden and of speeds of 80 kmph at times.

    There was $5 entrance fee to the park, I initially I turned away. Then kicked myself for riding so far and not continuing. And I decided to go back.
    At the top it was quite cool and hardly any tourists at all.

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  6. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    #6 Chris. s, Jun 15, 2019
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    Day 7. Wednesday 9th Jan. Kampot to Phnom Pehn. 243km

    I rode east along road 16 to Kep beach, then to Kompong Trach, road 205 until road 2 northwards towards Phnom Penh.

    On the way I planned to ride up to the top of Chisor mountain temple.

    This was a bad decision! The start of the track was a gentle slope but rocky, then rounding a corner I came to a steep and rutted track. Foolishly I decided to carry on and about half way up decided I had pushed myself beyond my abilities. I was at a standstill in a deep rut and needed to try and get back down the track.
    20190109_124753.

    My plan was to get out of the rut and attempt some sort of turn around. As I started the pannier on my right side hit the side of the rut I was in, pushing me to the left but there was no way to get a foot on the ground and over I went.

    I came off one more time trying to turn and made my way to a flatter area to take stock of the situation. It was then I noticed my leg felt wet, it was, with blood. I suppose adrenalin had kicked in as I did not feel the impact or any pain.

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    The next plan was to get to bottom and sort myself out. I took a slightly different route than riding up and the pannier again hit the side of the rut I was in and over I went again! This was getting tedious and annoying!

    This time I was trapped under the bike and a group of school children came to help me.

    I went and bought water to clean my wound. Luckily my trousers unzipped at the knee, so it was an easy job to do. But as I removed my boot to start the cleaning the sole of the boot came away!

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    I had actually bought the boots especially for this trip and they were still next to new, but covered in blood. So I changed into trainers.

    For my trip i brought a first aid kit with me, and as I could see the bone that was a good idea. I cleaned the wound and filled it with antibiotic cream and wrapped it up.

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    I then had a few hour ride to Phnom Penh and found a nice hotel on the river front in a central area.

    Beer was the first thing on my mind once sorted and I had a good night out.
     
  7. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    A bit of light relief :) 20190109_210049.
     
  8. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    #8 Chris. s, Jun 15, 2019
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 15, 2019
    Day 8. Thursday 10th Jan. Phnom Pehn

    I woke to an aching body, but not in any pain which was good.

    First on my agenda was to repair my boots ($3) plus taxi there and back. DSCF2577.


    The accidents had pushed the pannier frame too close to the bike frame and needed realigning. This was done with a lump of wood and a sledge hammer, worked a treat and just a few dollars!

    Next I went to get the bike cleaned, outrageously priced at $1 20190110_135512.
     
  9. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 9. Friday 11th Jan. A ride out to Prasat Sambor Prei Kuk. 410km

    Prasat Sambor is north of Phnom Penh directly up road 6 towards Siam Reap with the last 20 odd km on road 62.

    I knew I would need an early start if I was to have time to explore and left at 5.30am. But the lack of street lighting and other road users not using lights made it a waste of time due to having to ride so cautiously.

    On arrival at the site I decided to get a guide, this turned out to be a good idea as he showed me more than I would have seen going alone and showed me the more remote areas.

    What was also interesting was the fact that it’s older than Angkor Wat.


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  10. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 10. Saturday 12th Jan. Local, killing fields, Central City, Bacca Lane.

    I had been to the killing fields about 18 years ago, they have removed some of the more controversial items like the map of Cambodia formed from skulls.

    The evening I spent wandering around Bacca street, which has potential if it gets busier.


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  11. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 11. Sunday 13th Jan. Phnom Pehn to Krati. 257km

    I took road 6 and then 7 to Kampong Cham. Crossing the Mekong River I turned a hard left, due north along the river side all the way to Kratie. A great scenic ride compared to some of the routes I have taken.

    I found a nice small bar in Kratie, had a few cold beers, found a room for $7 and came back to see the sunset over the Mekong.


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  12. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 12. Monday 14th Jan. Krati to Banlung 405km.

    My original plan was to ride to Monourom for the night and then Banlung the next day. But the roads were better than expected, although boring except through Snoul Wildlife Park.


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  13. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 13. 15th Jan. Into the wilds and the Vietnam border. 225km

    From Banlung I rode north through bad, sandy, pot holed roads hoping to find a remote river to view. But after my accident my confidence was still not good, combined with bouncing around on the soft suspension I eventually turned back.

    Once back to Banlung I rode east to the Vietnam border just past Kamp Du, then returned to go to one of the waterfalls.


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  14. DavidFL

    DavidFL Administrator
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    Great trip, loving this report. This is adventure riding, why we are here & riding.
    Please keep it coming.
     
  15. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 14. 16th Jan. Banlung to Siem Reap. 533km.

    My route today was road 19, then 13 to Stung Treng and across the Mekong River. Then on my map un-numbered roads through Preah Vihear (town, not the temple) Actually road 64 until it hits road 6 straight into Siam Reap.

    It was a cool and smoky ride in the morning with the burning of undergrowth everywhere. Again good roads, but boring riding.

    I found a nice small hotel in a central area a few beers, food and rest.


    Day 15. 17th Jan. Siem Reap to Koh Ker. 304km

    I had planned to see a few sites today but my phone stopped working and i could not navigate my way around.

    I eventually found Koh Ker and really enjoyed riding around the different temples in the area.

    You actually ride a loop around stopping as you wish, it was for me great as no tourists until the main temple at the end of the loop.

    Unfortunately Somchai’s the Thai parking supervisor’s Cambodian brother was in charge of the parking. After being told to move two times to places where my bike was balanced too close to vertical and him refusing to let me park in a safer area he got #[email protected] off and i rode off without seeing the main temple. There was enough room to park 100 bikes as you wish, but……


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  16. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 16. 18th Jan. Angkor Wat

    I bought a 3 day pass to wander around the temples so I did not have to rush when there.

    As I entered the main walk into the complex they asked for my ticket, but it was not punched. So Somchai’s other Cambodian brother decided to lecture me on what I had done wrong. He was fuming as I explained I turned up, I have a ticket, if someone did not check it, they were wrong. He looked as if he wanted to fight about it, which encouraged me to annoy him more. Finally another guy just clipped to ticket and all was ok. (I found out later you have to stop 5 km away and get it clipped on the way in).

    I decided to get a guide for the main Angkor Wat Temple, it was money well spent and he also explained how to ride around to the other temples. Where the local tuk tuk mafia were telling me it was illegal and I would be arrested! Wankers!


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  17. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 17. 19th Jan. Preah Vihea 471km

    A long ride today to the temple on the Cambodian / Thai border which Thailand still disputes is theirs.

    The final stretch of road to the summit was extremely steep, but fun to ride. One of the Cambodians soldiers allowed me to park in his front garden and it was a pleasant walk with some great views.


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  18. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 18. 20th Jan. Siem Reap Temples Banteay Kidei and Ta Keo.

    I had a great time exploring these temples and surrounding areas and managed to miss large tourist groups.

    The climb to the top of Ta Keo was extremely steep, but worthwhile.


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  19. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 19. 21st Jan. Banteay Chhmar Temple 360km

    Banteay Chhmar is a temple complex in the north west of Cambodia near the Thai border.

    The route was road 6 westwards from Siem Reap followed by turning north at Kralanh onto road 68 which loops around to the temple complex. Leaving the temple I continued the loop to Sisophon and Siem Reap.

    The temples were largely in ruins, but health and safety does not exist here, which meant you could climb and scrabble your way around.


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  20. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 20. 22nd Jan. Siem Reap temples Angkor Wat and a temple whose name I forget.

    I enjoyed Angkor Wat more this time, I entered on the outside pathways, far fewer tourists and a pleasant walk. I gave the inside area a miss.

    The second temple was great as you walked into the jungle off the beaten track to see it all. Most other tourists did not bother and I found myself alone with just the birds singing from the treetops, a wonderful experience.


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  21. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 21. 23rd Jan. A failed ride to the Tonle Sap lake

    I intended to get to shore of the lake and see some of the rural life there, but failed.

    It seems the stilted villages are designated tourist areas and they force you to park up and take their transport, I refused and gave it a miss.


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  22. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 22. 24th Jan. Walking around Siem Reap.

    Today was a nice relaxing day, walking for a couple of hours in Pub street area and the old market


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  23. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 23.25th Jan. Siem Reap to Stung Treng via Bang Mealea Temple. 326km

    Today’s route was a return trip of my ride from Ban Lung to Siem Reap.

    I had tried to find this temple complex before, but my phone had died.

    This time it was easy to find, but after parking and starting to walk in I was told to buy a ticket…. A few km away. Just such a strange set up!

    This was a great place to walk around, but there many groups of Japanese tourists there also. And it was very difficult to take photos as they would all take it in turns to take selfies, then stay there while sending them to wherever. They were totally oblivious to what was going on around them.

    When I arrived at Stung Treng it seemed all the hotels were booked up, eventually I found a big room with 2 double beds in a nice purple colour! And a jogging machine!


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  24. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 24. 26th Jan. Stung Treng to Phnom Penh. 403km

    The day started cool and windy as I rode down road 13 to Kratie, then took the reverse route of Phnom Penh to Kratie along the side of the Mekong river to Kompong Cham and west to the capital city. DSCF3413. DSCF3414.
     
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  25. Chris. s

    Chris. s Active Member

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    Day 25. 27th Jan. Phnom Penh

    I spent the morning walking around the markets and Wat Phnom, which was very pleasant, a small jungle in the city center.


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