Northeast Cambodia Ride (Death Highway)

belgarathc

Ol'Timer
Oct 23, 2006
48
0
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Dec 2006 / Jan 2007 (Dry Season) - Northeast Cambodia

Route: Phnom Penh -> Kampong Cham -> Kratie -> Strung Treng -> Rattanakiri -> Mondulkiri -> Prey Veng -> Phnom Penh
Distance: ~1500km
Reference: Adventure Cambodia by Matt Jacobson, gt-rider.com
Bike: Honda Degree from Angkor Motorcycles at US$9 per day
Comments: A long, hot and dusty ride through some of the most remote parts of Cambodia.
Full Report: Detailed trip report and more photos at -> Northeast Cambodia (Death Highway)

Route

cambodia-route-map.jpg

Map of Cambodia and route taken

Motorcycle

Day 1 (Phnom Penh - Kampong Cham)

skuon-fried-spiders-tarantula.jpg

Creepy snacks. Fried tarantulas at Skuon aka Spiderville.

Day 2 (Kampong Cham)

kampong-cham-sunrise.jpg

Sunrise at Kampong Cham along Mekong river. On the right is the Cambodia’s first bridge to span the Mekong River.

kampong-cham-nokor-temple.jpg

Nokor Temple

irrawaddy-dolphins-mekong.jpg

Looking out for Irrawaddy dolphins.

Day 3 (Kratie - Ratanakiri)

ratanakiri-banlung.jpg

Banlung in Ratanakiri. Does it look like a scene out of a war movie?

Day 4 (Ratanakiri)

ratanakiri-yeak-lom-lake.jpg

Almost perfectly round, Yeak Lom lake is 45m deep and 750m in diameter.

ratanakiri-road.jpg

Road to Lumkud Lake

Day 5 (Ratanakiri - Mondulkiri)

tonle-srepok-apocalyse-now.jpg

Tonle Srepok river of Apocalypse Now fame. The Death Highway awaits across the river.

death-highway.jpg

Met a local at Death Highway

Day 6 (Mondulkiri)

mondulkiri-sen-monorom-view.jpg

Rolling hills of Sen Monorom

Day 7 (Mondulkiri - Phnom Penh)

neak-loeung-ferry-to-phnom-penh.jpg

Taking the Neak Loeung ferry across the Mekong River

Day 8-9 (Phnom Penh)

killing-fields.jpg

Memorial stupa at Choeung Ek where more than 8000 skulls were kept

phnom-penh-sunset-mekong.jpg

Sunset by the Mekong river
 

dirthonk

Ol'Timer
Jun 21, 2006
408
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nice stuff man, do you have any more pics from the death highway between rattanakiri and mondulkiri??
i plan to ride that section these coming months.
was it difficult to navigate or were there enough locals on the way to point you in the right direction??
 

belgarathc

Ol'Timer
Oct 23, 2006
48
0
0
One more photo of Death Highway:
sen-monorom-death-highway-company.jpg


During my ride, I met 2 groups of locals going in the same direction. I only met one group of riders (a tourist and his guide) coming from the opposite direction. Personally, I don't think you should count on having locals on the way to point you to the right direction. Navigation should be okay if you have GPS tracks to follow. I didn't have them and was lucky to met locals going the same way.

But I think it's wiser to get the advice of more experienced riders in gt-rider. :)
 

bill

Ol'Timer
Mar 29, 2004
299
7
18
During my ride, I met 2 groups of locals going in the same direction. I only met one group of riders (a tourist and his guide) coming from the opposite direction. Personally, I don't think you should count on having locals on the way to point you to the right direction. Navigation should be okay if you have GPS tracks to follow. I didn't have them and was lucky to met locals going the same way.
Nicely structured trip report

RE Death Highway
I did the trip solo in 2003 over one day.
That was before some of the road was upgraded between Sen Monorom and Koh Neak
Would have been much easier with a gps and track, however only went the wrong way once and wasted ~30min.

Two motodops on dailems fully loaded with 2 large female Scandinavian backpackers went through one day ahead of me and I crossed the motodops around Koh Neak on their return trip.
Kind of puts the ego in check when you're riding one-up on a proper dirtbike.
I own a gps now and these sort of trips are much more enjoyable when you're not stressing about where the hell you are.
 

Moto-Rex

Moderator
Jan 5, 2008
944
286
63
Gday Belgarathc

Great post mate, I don’t know why I didn’t see it earlier.
Love the photo’s, don’t those “Mc spiders” look tasty…..where they???
And that road to Lumkud Lake looks like the kind of road my new KLX would enjoy.
I hope to get up that way next year sometime.

Thanks for the report.

Rex
 

NisseYaklom

New Member
Mar 26, 2008
2
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0
Road to Lumkud lake is now wide and smooth, work by Vietnamese, it will be paved after rainy season.
Banlung to Vietnam border is 66 km and only an hours drive, last year it was 3 hrs of hard work to get there
 

scot harper

Ol'Timer
Nov 14, 2004
239
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Hey Bel, those pics do you proud, loved the sunset over the Mekong!!

yea an spider girl can have that, do they taste like chicken?

So whats next? :twisted: stay upright...at the bar...not on the bike.

Scott..................
 

belgarathc

Ol'Timer
Oct 23, 2006
48
0
0
Well, I didn't try the spiders. Wasn't so adventurous. :oops: Doesn't strange food always taste like chicken? :lol:

I completed a few short rides in Laos, North Thailand, Indonesia and South Korea but I haven't posted the photos yet. I am hoping to visit Philippines, South India and Sri Lanka some time in the future.

Glad to hear that the road to Lumkud has been improved. I gave up after 30 mins on the road when I realized that a visit to Lumkud lake is going to be a full day excursion. I spent the day at Ven Sai and the waterfalls instead.