Sihanoukville to BKK through the Koh Kong border Crossing 2560 KMs on our Super Tenere Rhodie and I had done 2000 KMs from BKK into Laos and then down through Cambodia to Phnom Penh (see Rhodie’s report for this bit. He’s a real Journo and his stuff is readable..!) My girlfriend, Jay joined me in PP. We left Rhodie there to go down to Sinaokville. His plan was to travel back up north to Battembang and then go back to Thailand through Poipet (although that changed). Having done the Poipet thing only 3 weeks before on a trip to Siem Reap Jay and I wanted to try another route through the Koh Kong border crossing. So we went down to Sinoukville from PP a 240 km easy ride apart from getting a soaking for the last 100 kms. Slowed down as we passed the turn off to Koh Kong to see if we could get an indication of conditions as the reports and gossip I had read and heard made it sound difficult especially in the wet season. The road looked like many of the roads under construction in Cambodia, compacted red dirt with some flat bits and some potholed areas. Thought it looked like worth giving it a go especially seeing a few Toyota Mini buses and Honda Dreams heading off that way in the five minutes we were there and it was pissing it down at the time...! So, off we went to spend a couple of days in Sihannoukville quite excited of the prospect of getting through to Thailand without having to go all the way back up country.. Rolled into Sihanoukville and headed for Serendipity Beach which is actually just one end of Ocheanelle beach. We got pulled over by a security guard armed with pea whistle who directed us to a couple of officials sitting at a small desk at the side of the road. They said we didn’t have the current required sticker which I think was a sort of road tax. Anyway the charge was $4 which I thought was OK and better than doing 20 press ups which the locals had to do when they were stopped without the same little red sticker..! Headed for Coasters which had a nice sound to it from the Lonely Planet and actually turned out to be a really nice place to spend a couple of nights. Nice bar on the beach, good food and T.V and Fridge in the room although at $20 a night a little bit pricey which was our general consensus on Sihanoukville, beer being my benchmark cost / value indicator. ($1.50 for a Heineken small bottle..) Anyway, bought a couple of additional tools for my fairly frugal toolkit and 10 meters of nylon rope in case needed a tow out of the shit..! Set of at 7.30 am to get a full day in as owner of Coasters speculated could be a 12 hour journey although he did say that was only usually caused by bottlenecks where the minivans had got stuck and needed to wait for something with more clearance and traction to tow them out. Got the first easy 100 k out of the way and filled up and had breakfast at roadside stall at Andoung Tuek, the turnoff for Koh Khong. Left here at 9.30am not really knowing what to expect. I would say that 60 % of the road is easy riding, i.e. flat solid surface that you can do about 80 km/hr on and enjoy the scenery, which is beautiful. The other 40% lies in the category of great fun to downright exhausting… the exhausting bits are especially so with a fully laden bike including passenger, remember that the Tenere is heavy to start with…! The challenging stuff is where there is half a meter deep mud and rocks with semi rigid truck tracks that can sometimes help but more often force you to slow down to a crawl or risk dropping the lot. I can see why it could be impassable with heavy sustained rain as there are areas that could easily be under a meter of water. We were lucky in that while it hade rained in the previous days and a lot of it was still on the road, we had only a few showers on the day. The only stuff that might take a fella by surprise is the road that looks like all the rest but happens to have a hard surface under a half inch of loose clay like shit that can wake you up when the front wheel suddenly feels like it’s not there ! Typically with Cambodian road construction projects, there are intermittent stretches of tarmac. These are a joy as you can put a few kms behind you and have a rest before the next bit of motocross track..! Other milestones on the road are the 4 river crossings to negotiate. The first one at Srae Ambel is the easiest with the option of a car ferry or the standard m/c ferry with a couple of 4 metre fishing boats held together with the platform that you ride your bike onto and then prey it all holds together. We opted for the car ferry as it was leaving right away and it was only $3 for us and the bike. Of course this was the inflated farang price but while I don’t want to push up the prices for other bikers coming through these crossing, I always find the guys so helpful and the bridges are being built while we cross so I don’t mind paying a little extra towards their forced retirement. All the ride on and off points for the ferrys are a mud bath due to the high volume of traffic but as I said the guys will give you a hand so you probably don’t end up in the drink..! The other three crossings are at Andoung Tuek, Trapeang Rung and Peam Krasoap. Being approximately evenly spaced on the road, I found that these stops made nice breaks to ease the weary bones and prepare for the next leg. Also, good fun watching various forms of transport negotiate the entry and exit from the ferrys. We met the Thai road construction supervisor whilst having a smoke break on one of the big open stretches. He was a real nice guy who gave us fair warning of what was up ahead. He was heading home to his house at the side of the road at about 60 KMs from the border. He did this ride a couple of times a week at least and it was heartening to know he does it on his trusty Honda Dream…..! We tracked each other for about 50 kms during which his rear wheel became loose and the chain came off, locking the whole thing up and bringing him to a graceful 30 meter sliding stop. I knew I brought the tool kit for a reason. The last 10 km is tarmac and there’s a great spot about 5kms out from Koh Kong where you can stop and go down to the river, sit on the side with your feet in the water and pat yourself on the back for your grand achievement… Border control was a doddle with relaxed and friendly guys on both sides. The Thai immigration and customs were up on the required paperwork so just make sure you have it with you. The dash up to Chantaburi was a joy back on fast Thai roads and having a beer in the Riverside Hotel, (350 baht / night, secure parking and hot shower) by 7.30pm. Could have done the whole trip in a lot less time but it was good to take the time and enjoy the scenery and the ride. The road is scheduled to be completed in 10 months according to our friendly road supervisor so I would recommend you guys give it a go before it becomes just another stretch of tarmac, albeit through some beautiful scenery. Oh, and do it in the rainy season, it’s definitely good fun and a rewarding ride. The bike was great and the whole trip was a great “getting to know you” exercise as this is my first Tenere and I had not really ridden a bike since a ZXR750 15 years ago back in the UK. Anyway, enjoyed it so much we were planning the next trip on the way back. Back to BKK after a day of rest with Jay’s family. The last hour into BKK being the only frustrating 10 kms of a great 2500 km ride. Well you know what Bangkok traffic is, a big rot tit. Oh, and sorry for the lack of pictures...our camera is crap..!