Bob & Justin's Cambodian Odyssey

bsacbob

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Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
Chiang Rai
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Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
Cambodia has long been on my radar, but my attention turned to Laos for many years and as Laos is slowly turning in a Chinese state the trails are rapidly disappearing, it was time to turn my attentions to Cambodia, fortunately for me, my mate Justin had been to Cambodia several times and we both had some free time and hatched a plan to make a tour.

Firstly I must thank Sean of the Crossroads Restaurant in Nan, Dave Scott of Kickstart Cambodia, Paul Goddard of ProMoto, both based in Siem Reap, their involvement will become clear as the story unfolds and finally Alex (Bikesncats of RA) for helping all the later pieces come together and saving my ass.

With my CRF 300L fully prepared I planned to ride down the 980 km stopping at Loei and meeting up with Justin who was shipping his bike down and flying into Surin where we planned to meet up before hitting the Osmach border point.

All packed and ready to go.

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A couple of my mates decided to join me part of the way for the ride and we planned to stop for breakfast at The Crossroads in Nan.

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After a hearty breakfast it was off to Loei, or so we thought my bike was starting to splutter as if it had a fuel issue, when I pulled over it failed to start but would push start, thinking maybe it was an airlock the fuel cap was stuck fast when removed the issue remained. This continued for a few km and I then decided maybe best to head back to Nan and seak mechanical help.

Suddenly smoke spouting from the exhaust I pulled over, clearly my bike was terminally ill and I needed recovery, contacting Sean @ The Crossroads he quickly obtained a pickup to take me back to Nan.

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We went to a local mechanic who said it would need parts from Bangkok and would take at least three days to arrive in Nan, this was not an option as Justin was already on his way to Surin for a meetup. Contacting the fool who did my engine upgrade in Chiang Rai (Boy Service) he told the Nan mechanic to simply put in a new spark plug and ride the bike back to Chiang Rai, what a complete tosser !!

Sean came to the rescue again and contacted one of the Al Capone MC club who was will to take me and the bike back to CR that evening, finally arriving home at around midnight it was time for a rethink.

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My only option was to bring my XR 250 Baja into service and hastily pack for the mornings ride South, stopping at my local mechanic to grab what spares he had in stock and make my way to Loei.

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My XR is 25 years old but has been dependable but an air-cooled bike taking this distance was going to be interesting so I decided to take mostly the highway route to Loei, arriving at the Grand Muang Thong very late afternoon I was relieved that all the previous back luck was behind me but I was mistaken.

I had never ridden with my GL bag on the XR before and in my hast to pack and get underway, I failed to notice the silencer on the XR does not have a heatshield ( although I did have a spare one at home) I checked into my room with a strong burning plastic smell following me.

Yes, you guessed it my bloody bag was on fire !!!!

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Fuck me this trip was becoming a test in more ways than one, my bag had a bloody great hole in it, my hammock was screwed and we hadn't even started to tour. That evening meeting up with Steve Coupland and my mates I considered turning back and calling it a day.

After several beers and some delicious food at the Loei Kabab Plus Loei Kebab Plus run by a local expat, it was time for bed and another rethink.

Not to be outdone waking early (not that I had much sleep breathing burned plastic in my room all night) I headed off for a solution for a heat shield problem, eventually, a Castrol bike point came to view, often a source for many an on the spot repair. This place was a bloody gold mine it had everything, honing machinery lathes you name it, the owner took a glance at the bike and it was quickly wheeled off into the bowels of the shop.

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Not exactley beutiful but it did the job.

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Soon after I found an army shop and snagged a new hammock, good to go and off on the road to Surin. Phew.....

Exhausted I arrived in Surin in darkness to meet up with Justin who as it turned out had his own issues, his bike had not arrived until later the same day, Justin wheeled my bike off with a new set of tyres I had already had delivered to the Gun Hotel whilst I scrubbed up and get them mounted.

We had a great evening at the Beach bar in Surin but my bed was calling me pretty soon and hoped all the drama was behind me.

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Super comfy beds at the Gun Hotel N14.88705° E103.50108°


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Finally the next morning the journey could begin.

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Stay tuned the story continues...........
 

bigntall

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Bob and I had been chatting about a ride to Cambodia for a bit so was glad to get it underway. I had another trip planned to Cambodia for late January so this would be a great recce run to suss out some tracks I had not yet got the knobbies on. I was Jonesing for another Cambodia trip as the times I've been over their I found the dirtbiking superb. In addition the Ankhor era stone Temples appeal to me much more than the white washed and gold Thai temples.

I've done the 850 KM to Issan on the KTM soo many times before to southern Laos and Cambodia. It is sadly a tedious part of dual sport riding is the long boring roads on a dirt bike. Time for a change I thought. Called a few companies for quotes of shipping the bike. Post office was best with 3600 baht but sadly it would take too long. 7 to 10 days. Next call to a Farang owned company I won't mention wanted 12,000 baht. Gulp. I found Motorbike Movers 0654939652 that had a price at half the farang company so went with them.

They showed up with proper transport. ramps and tiedowns.



Had the Altrider Hemisphere soft bags loaded with a couple weeks worth of food, snacks, camping gear, clothes, tools, spares, and the damn CPAP. I swear I'm ready to take a 1/2" drill bit to my throat to not have to bring that darn thing.



They also took my bag of riding gear so All I needed on the flight was my backpack. In the end, next time I will ship and travel by train from Chiang Mai to Surin. Much cheaper but will take two days. Total by train would be about 3600 baht for myself in VIP train and the bike. The flight because it stops in BKK for a layover and then requires a one hour bus ride from Buriram to Surin was not worth the additional cost in my eyes. Lesson learned.

Poor Bob, by the time he got to Surin had enough trials and tribulations for the whole trip. We both hoped he had used up all the drama by then and we would enjoy nothing but peaches and crème for the rest of the trip. Haha.
 
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bsacbob

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
Chiang Rai
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Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
The ride from Surin although pretty boring was painless and the Osmach border point was a breeze, Justin was patient enough to visit some of the nearby points of interest as we entered Cambodia.


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Signature of Cambodia straight red roads.

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Justin tucked in close to avoid the red dust storm in my wake.

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Onto the pavement, we arrived at Pol Pot's cremation site, a point to note DO NOT ride your bike inside if you do expect to be locked in by an old couple demanding money before you can exit.

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The site was as you would expect little cared for and surprised it even exists in light of the crimes Pol Pot committed.

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Surprisingly a small group of monks appeared to give blessings.

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From there we went to Ta Mok day house with some stunning views.

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A must do bike shot location.

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There is pretty good food available here and a nice cool breeze made it a pleasant lunch spot.

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From here rode the nice trail to Pol Pot's mountain hideout, which was in a state of disrepair but it was clear in its day it was pretty well fortified and mined so I believe.

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Underneath this building are Subterranean rooms for shelter from possible attack.

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Gun placement.

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Three sides of this building are reinforced concrete presumably to protect from a mortar attack.

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As we left i was physically stopped by a couple of very drunk rangers who insisted and wanting my name and trying to read info on my GPS, whilst they dicked around we wasted no time in getting the hell out of there before a money demand was most definitely going to be made.

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The British UXO removal charity Halo had been working on UXO removal so i guess the area is still heavily mined.

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Cheeky rascals.

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Bottle gas always available no matter where you are.

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Don't envy these cyclists it was a pretty steep climb.

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Different pillion style.

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Bread seller coming into view with a huge basket.

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Every roundabout we came across had some statue or other to mark the spot, some very decorative.

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With 280km covered we decided to stay over in Samraong, these statues outside a local school obviously the sculptor has a sense of humour.

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We decided on the Choeun Prakkap Hotel located at N14.18123° E103.51131° and after a bit of haggling we got rooms for $13 dollars a night, the hotel has an attached restaurant but we found a nice BBQ pork place nearby at location N14.18346° E103.51523°

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Rooms pretty basic but comfortable enough.

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When we awoke the place was packed out with military and Ngo workers and we grabbed some breakfast before heading out.

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Day 1 complete no drama's apart from the pair of drunk soldiers and the scammers at Pol Pot's cremation area, day two was ahead and some beautiful temples.
 

2wheels

Blokes Who Can
Staff member
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
" Onto the pavement, we arrived at Pol Pot's cremation site, .... "

I'm hoping you both surreptitiously pissed on it.
No need to answer!!
 

bsacbob

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
Today's ride was to be a whistle-stop tour to Battambang taking some points of interest the highlight being Banteay Chhmar Temple suggested to me by Dave @ Kickstart Cambodia, no time to hang around 400 km lay ahead.

Sadly as often the case, we arrived too late to explore Samraong but it appeared to be an attractive place with a central lake and an impressive wat which for some reason was all locked up tight.

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Another splendid sculpture on a roundabout.

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Countless numbers of these bread delivery guy's, wonder how they manage in high winds.

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The pavement was uninspiring and was glad to finally reach the deserted Banteay Chhmar Temple located at N14.07095° E103.09980°

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This was my first Angkorian temple complex in Cambodia and make no apologies for taking lot's of pictures, the place was devoid of twatpackers i was impressed, to say the least. Thanks again Dave @ Kickstart for the tip. KICKSTART CAMBODIA - Dirt-Bike Adventures

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The site was huge and as will most of these sites in its day was surrounded by a moat.

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You had to marvel how these people assembled these places and the effort to quarry and lay the stonework and where did it all come from?

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Some areas looked like a collapsed Jenga tower, if you've spent time in any Se Asia bar you will know what I mean.

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The detail in the carvings reminded me of some of the Egyptian sites i had seen when i was younger, wish i was able to understand the story they told.

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The only people on the whole site was some locals carrying out some Buddhist ceremony.

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Mother nature trying hard to reclaim what was taken from them, credit to the caretakers of these sites keeping them clear for us to enjoy.

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You can see clearly all the larger stones had holes so lifting devices could hoist them into place.

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I'm no rock expert but this section was constructed of a different kind of stone and was almost like lava rock, we would come across this many times later in the trip on the trails as it became pea gravel and slippery as hell.

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Impressive walkways

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One of the entrances with a chain of figures pulling what appeared to be some kind on Naga.

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Almost all of the figures with heads removed, most likely stolen and sold on to collectors.

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Time to move on I noticed these VIP cow sheds 5-star accommodation.

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I stopped at this group of locals passed with an iron buffalo procession.

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We would come across many of these traders and their huge trailers pulled by a Honda Dream with a modified hitch and suspension.

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Some idea how high the water levels are in the wet season.

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Another marked historical site, a little disappointing almost nothing remains but was an enjoyable detour away from the madness on the highway.

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Mobile Karaoke anyone.

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Off the paved roads became interesting after a heavy night of rain.

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Next was Wat Phnom Ek temple N13.16270° E103.18734° the focal point being its large Buddha and a mixture of old and new styles.

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Underneath the Buddha, below this was a nother level but was totally flooded out.

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The Prasat complex was fairly well preserved and again i was lucky it had no visitors.

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Some amazing details these details are impressive, imagine the time to hand carve these.

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Again the stones with evidence of hoisting locators.

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The central atrium housing a small buddha and guraded collection box.

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Amazing details.

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A small group of tourists showed up as i was leaving.

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Old meets new.

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December is marriage season apparently and these elaborate roadside pavillions are everywhere, Cambodians clearly like to dress up, i saw many on Hwy 5 which is a disaster with all the heavy trucks spewing dirt everywhere amongest the lavish parties.

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This was marked on the GPS as an attraction hmmm..

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Road was blocked by another roadside wedding party so a small detour was interesting.

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Stopped for gas and this baby monkey was a little confused as to who was the mother.

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Battambang, to be honest, was a bit of a shit hole with garbage thrown all over the place and was happy not to be stopping overnight.

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This was Wat Samroung Knong N13.12804° E103.21932° another mix of old and new on the same site.

Here is a slideshow of the site from You Tube.


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Not sure of the history of this place but obviously not from the Angkorian era.

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Almost French in style, the older Wat lay abandoned.

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Next on my list was the grimly described "killing Cave" more information of the grisley natuer of this place here.

Killing caves of Phnom Sampeau - Wikipedia

Killing Caves of Phnom Sampeau

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Some idea of how flat Cambodia can be.

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Like all tourist spots, there are people trying to make a buck or two, this place no exception hoards of kids approach you asking to take you to the cave for a dollar (it's only 100 metres away so I thought I could figure it for myself).

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Hundreds of Doctors and scholars tyhrown to their deaths, hard to imagine.

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Remains recovered from the site, tragic.

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Not sure of the purpose of this display think it's more for novelty value as it has no bearing on what happened here.

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Another pointless depiction imho.

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Visiting the cave was a sobering experience, so from there, it was on to the Bamboo railway which had fallen into disrepair but now restored its a popular tourist destination for those who want to travel the 7 km long stretch of railway.

More here Norry - Wikipedia

The story of its restoration ‘Bamboo train’ back on tracks in Battambang

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I was lucky enough to arrive when no tourists had arrived so had time to enjoy the place.

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Station master.

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The old French station house.

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Waiting for customers a spot of gambling in order.

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Suddenly several buses of tourists arrived, time to go.

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Time to head to Siem Reap and navigate the treacherous Hwy 5, no pictures as I was way too busy avoiding being killed by oncoming trucks and the suicidal Lexus and Lang Cruiser drivers hell-bent on driving you off the road, it was good preparation for Phnom Penh in days to come.

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Fresh chicken or duck anyone..

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It had been a long but fulfilling day, glad to arrive in the comfortable Parent Heritage Angkor Villa N13.35120° E103.85168° at $20 a night was very good value

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Tomorrow we are finally onto some dirt and the Sras Dam Rey (Elephant Statue) located deep in the jungle.
 
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2wheels

Blokes Who Can
Staff member
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
The ride from Surin although pretty boring was painless and the border point was a breeze, Justin was patient enough to visit some of the nearby points of interest as we entered Cambodia.


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Signature of Cambodia straight red roads.

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Justin tucked in close to avoid the red dust storm in my wake.

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Onto the pavement, we arrived at Pol Pot's cremation site, a point to note DO NOT ride your bike inside if you do expect to be locked in by an old couple demanding money before you can exit.

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The site was as you would expect little cared for and surprised it even exists in light of the crimes Pol Pot committed.

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Surprisingly a small group of monks appeared to give blessings.

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From there we went to Ta Mok day house with some stunning views.

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A must do bike shot location.

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There is pretty good food available here and a nice cool breeze made it a pleasant lunch spot.

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From here rode the nice trail to Pol Pot's mountain hideout, which was in a state of disrepair but it was clear in its day it was pretty well fortified and mined so I believe.

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Underneath this building are Subterranean rooms for shelter from possible attack.

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Gun placement.

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Three sides of this building are reinforced concrete presumably to protect from a mortar attack.

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As we left i was physically stopped by a couple of very drunk rangers who insisted and wanting my name and trying to read info on my GPS, whilst they dicked around we wasted no time in getting the hell out of there before a money demand was most definitely going to be made.

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The British UXO removal charity Halo had been working on UXO removal so i guess the area is still heavily mined.

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Cheeky rascals.

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Bottle gas always available no matter where you are.

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Don't envy these cyclists it was a pretty steep climb.

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Different pillion style.

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Bread seller coming into view with a huge basket.

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Every roundabout we came across had some statue or other to mark the spot, some very decorative.

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With 280km covered we decided to stay over in Samraong, these statues outside a local school obviously the sculptor has a sense of humour.

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We decided on the Choeun Prakkap Hotel located at N14.18123° E103.51131° and after a bit of haggling we got rooms for $13 dollars a night, the hotel has an attached restaurant but we found a nice BBQ pork place nearby at location N14.18346° E103.51523°

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Rooms pretty basic but comfortable enough.

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When we awoke the place was packed out with military and Ngo workers and we grabbed some breakfast before heading out.

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Day 1 complete no drama's apart from the pair of drunk soldiers and the scammers at Pol Pot's cremation area, day two was ahead and some beautiful temples.


Stunning clifftop views at Ta Mok.
Thanks for the info re Banteay Chhmar sites. Wonderful.
Here's a bit more general info. The Angkor Empire at its peak.

Banteay Chhmar - Wikitravel
 
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bsacbob

Administrator
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Location
Chiang Rai
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Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
With a two night layover in Siem Reap to rest my aching arse, today was a day of exploring one of the less visited points of interest.

The ride was maybe the most enjoyable of the trip, riding up to the Srah DamRei (Elephant Statue) in Phnom Kulen National Park whilst its a relatively short journey (140km round trip), the trails are amazing.

The paved ride up to the park was less enjoyable as it's full of horrendous potholes which in turn makes the traffic occupy all sides of the road.

A hefty $20 admission was a big surprise.

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The park is surrounded by Plateau's which presumably where a lot of the masonry stone came from.

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Once in the park, the part paved part dirt trail is lined with ranger staff or kid's begging for handouts and in turn, they help to keep the trail open.

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One of the biggest problems for me today was trying to get shots without sun flares, I know some photographers even add them post edit but I hated the light on this ride.

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Nice graded sections

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Some we turned away from the main tourist area's and the trail became more intereesting.

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Sand was soon to become your enemy on this day.

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Justin became the first victim to the sand.

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I, in turn, did my duty and grabbed some shots.

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I hated this sand it was not like any sand I had ridden before and hard to get enough speed to get on top of with the sections being so slow.

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The various points of interest are well signposted which is just as well and the forest was confusing.

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We decided to visit the Peung Bror Cheav caves.

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This is a small cave system with a few monks holding up in the sparse ramshackle huts perched of the hillside.

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One of the monks constructing a base for a Buddha image inside the cave.

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I have been unable to find any information as to the history behind this cave but I guess the Tigers are significant.

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Thick great moss and lichen everywhere as daylight must seldom penetrate this place.

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A couple of ladies making incense offerings for the few visitors that make it here.

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Justin dipping into his bag of goodies and offering some food.

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Not the interesting of places, so we headed back and enjoyed the trail.

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Justin fighting with the jungle, so easy to take a wrong line it was like a spiders web.

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Extracting himself all good.

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Fun bit's.

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More well placed directional signs, you could spend a couple f days in hear it was amazing

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Eventually, we made it to the statues, the three animal figures sitting proudly on a stone outcrop.

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The lower of the three looks like a tiger?

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The elephant bold and proud, very impressive site amidst the jungle.

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Justin giving it scale.

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Several other objects laid around clearly sculptures of some kind but indistinguishable.

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Justin back to fighting with nature.

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We headed back and taking a turn to what we assumed another point of interest only to arrive back at the elephant again which had us both bemused.

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A welcome stream and some cool water to cool of in the humidity of the jungle.

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This section reminiscent of some areas I had ridden in Southern Laos

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Very few villagers in this NP and by the look of it it's a meagre existence.

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Back on the graded sections.

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Some huge rock formations the trail weaving around them.

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With time in hand, we decided to visit the Landmine Museum although small it was very informative.

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Clearly as with Laos, Cambodia had it far share of munitions dropped.

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Amazing assortment of revoverd ordinance.

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So it was a short but fun packed day, in the morning we are to head out of Siem Reap and head east to ride the famous route 66 and some more challenging trails ahead.
 

The Bigfella

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Bikes
KTM 950Super Enduro R, KTM 525(613)EXC, BMW R90S, BMW 650 Dakar, 2 x Postie bikes (CT110s), MZ250, BSA B31/33, Norton 16H, 2 x Honda CB500F, Honda ...
Given that Justin took my photo under the bike in that same stretch of sand, five years ago.... I'd say that was some sort of Karma. I expect to see you down in that same sand in five years time, Bob.
 

Sabian

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Aug 23, 2018
Location
Saraburi
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Honda wave efi, Honda shadow ACE
Excellent trip mate, still haven't finished putting mine together! Work and laziness lol. Nice pictures, gives a real good feel of it.
 

bsacbob

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Joined
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Location
Chiang Rai
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Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
Given that Justin took my photo under the bike in that same stretch of sand, five years ago.... I'd say that was some sort of Karma. I expect to see you down in that same sand in five years time, Bob.
I lost count of how many times i was close to doing the same Ian.
 
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bsacbob

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
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Location
Chiang Rai
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Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
Today was the start of the trip after two nights in Siem Reap it was time to hit the dirt, our ride was to take us down route 66 which back in the day was a canal system used to supply Laterite stone to some of the more famous temples such as Angkor Wat and the main route is between Angkor Wat and Prasat Preah Khan. By the end of the day, we only covered 198 km but it felt like 400 or more.

We awoke to a bright sunny morning, the previous evening a huge storm went over Siem Reap and was expecting a mud bath.

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First stop was to call and see Dave Scott of Kickstart Cambodia KICKSTART CAMBODIA - Dirt-Bike Adventures he was kind of enough to supply us with GPS tracks and other poi's which proved of huge value and later on when things turned sour. A huge thank you to Dave and his team, Dave broke his wrist a few weeks early and wish him a speedy recovery.

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Initial impressions was it was going to be a boring day, lot's of rumours of the route going to be paved and first signs the rumour sare true.

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At this rate, we would be finished by lunchtime.

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Yet more signs of the demise of the trail as these backhoe's are busy at work.

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A quick detour to Chau Srei Vibol Temple N13.41806° E104.02242° was disappointing, the site guard asks for a ticket which we didn't have and there was no ticket booth we had seen on the way in, trying to pay him cash in hand was a no go, so just a few snaps from the outside a return visit required.

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A short paved section soon turned to dirt.

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As we rode across the rice fields on the elevated roadways you quickly could see how waterlogged these trails are in the rainy season and impromptu bridges made to navigate mud holes.

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We came across a bunch of fruit pickers who had pitched a staging point on the track.

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The ladies tearing paper into strips for packing materials to stop the fruit getting bruised.

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Sand was soft and deep in places and sections a little less travelled.

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Most of the homes in this area sported a scarecrow in various shapes and forms.

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We pulled over for a drink, this poor dog tied up so her pup could feed on demand it's owner often kicking and throwing it whilst we drank.

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The only surviving puppy of her litter, I guess the puppy held some monetary value.

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One her children clearly needed some corrective eye surgery, fat chance of that.

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Following Daves track closely, we came across this flooded section, it was too early in the day to spend the rest of it with wet feet and we had no idea how long or deep it was, a U turn was in order.

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Iron Buffalo convoy.

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Beautiful Angkorian Bridge N13.42171° E104.51043°

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This was a huge structure, sadly many of its parts looted.

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Naga figure removed.

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Hard to imagine the huge amount of effort and skill need to construct this waterway.

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Once you pass Kvow village the trail starts to become interesting and less travelled.

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Often the trail changed direction as the locals found other drier rotes in the wet season

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A makeshift bridge gives some idea of the water levels in the rainy season, it must be hell to travel this way.

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This small bridge must have been 100 metres or so long.

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Now the trail was a mixture of dry riverbeds and iron bufflao trails and easy to get misdirected.

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Some of the more shaded sections still pretty boggy but enjoyable.

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Loggers temporary camp, we had seen many logging operartions no doubt illegal ones.

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Justin ran out of road, extracting his bike from the bushes.

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Amused onlookers from this small dwelling

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Often convoys of 4 or more kept us on our toes on some of the faster sections as they crawled along.

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Doing this ride in December was a wise move, it was hot as hell and our camelbaks running out fast, April must be a real physical challenge.

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The last sections are the hardest sadly few pictures of this, too busy keeping upright.

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The trail ahead.

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A small Prasat before arriving in the village of Ta Saeng

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Sign indicating we had arrived at Preah Khan and the end of the 66 , although no signage to be seen we foolishly rode straight past it.

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Sala beside the lake that fed the canal and Preah Khan temple

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Imeadiatly looking for a drink stop, this place was a one stop shop selling everything including Guiness !!!

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Rehydrated, we poked around the village for a suitable place to stay to no avail, it was getting late in the day so we headed off in search of better options.

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Heading north to Sangkom Thmei village perfectly flat straight tracks.

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Continuing south on route 62 to Phomn Dek ( the eastern part of the 66) we found the Toape Guesthouse N13.30127° E105.00215° and @$15 it was the best we had seen.

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It had been a long hot dry day but none the less very enjoyable, definitely on my list of rides to do again.

The evening meal was an interesting mixture from the pick and point menu.

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Ticino

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Location
Nong Khai
Bikes
4x4
Thanks for your epic report; enjoyed reading it. Do you by chance have the GPS of Gras Dam Rey somewhere? Thanks ;-)
 

bsacbob

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
Thanks for your epic report; enjoyed reading it. Do you by chance have the GPS of Gras Dam Rey somewhere? Thanks ;-)
Pleased your enjoying it, i think the one your thinking of is PRASAT DAMREI location N13.42347° E104.78203° there used to be a fantastic site that lists all the Dharma temples in both Thailand and Cambodia Hier entsteht eine neue Homepage sadly it looks like it's been taken down a pity it was a great site.
 

bsacbob

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
After a sleepless night, turned out the GH was more of a knocking shop than a GH but that's fine, anyway today's ride was back up the 62 we had been lucky enough to find a nice place for breakfast in Phomn Dek N13.30544° E105.00235° so heading North I picked up a flat. Limping up the road after several failed attempts we found a young lad who was willing to swap tubes.

N13.49220° E105.02343°


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He quickly set to work and soon had my spare in and we hoped to be on our way pretty quick, but like many things on this trip luck was not on our side, turned out my new tube was split on the seam,bugger.

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The chances of getting another 17 inch tube were little or none, undeterred he set to sticking a vulcanised patch, charging the princely sum of $3 for his time.

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Justin getting friendly with the locals as we waited.

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Looking close at this rig set up for the huge trailers we had seen bikes haul around, pretty ingenious hitch with uprated suspension.

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A short distance away is PRASAT KRAUPONG CHUK N13.50224° E105.03028° well worth a visit an free to enter.

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Justin nicely framed on his KTM.

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Typical roadside gas station come everything type shop.

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Back through the small unnamed village where we got the tyre fixed and then onto the 2621.

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Paved road soon runs out then onto graded dirt.

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This was a very fast section apart from the occasional obstacle and pot hole to keep your attention.

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One of the numerous travelling salesmen, they usually travel in convoys of three or more.

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Once back on the pavement and the 62-64 Junction i headed up to Preah Vihear Preah Vihear Temple - Wikipedia , Justin who had visited the site several times before headed on to Preah Vihear to seek accommodation and chill, for me I had a trip of 390 km ahead.

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Wide load ahead.

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The ride north is terribly boring and not until you reach the Cambo - Thai border area the scenery is more rewarding.

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A large lake at the foot of the site, most likely in past days it fed the temple complex.

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The climb up is pretty steep but well surfaced, I noticed several bunker areas used to defend this disputed area.

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They will not allow you to ride a motorcycle up to the site although the staff are free to do so, at this point a reminder if i ever come back to wear some comfortable gear, trudging around in full motorcycle gear and boots are not advised!!!!

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If you not into temples then skip along down the page, I was fascinated by this place it was huge and very few tourists.

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Cambodian flag flying proudly.

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I have to say I was taken by surprise I had only allowed myself one hour and was blown away by the scale of the place and the superb detailed carvings.

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Security guards hard at work.

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Many of the structure heavily propped.

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All sides of the main complex steeply tiered pyramid fashion.

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There was a group of surveyors mapping out the whole complex stone by stone, they had been at it a year already and exspected to be another three years, what a task.

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Survey grid points.

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The entrance from the Thai side.

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The main walkway, you have to marvel how they managed to construct the site and haul all the stone up here.

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Presume these housed some bollard arrangement.

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Incredible details.

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The views back into Thailand, amazing.

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Exhausted i managed to hitch a ride on one of the security guys motorbikes.

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Then as you would expect got well ripped off for cold drinks by these little monkeys. Then a security guard tried to discreetly stiff me for $1 for parking my bike, he didn't appear offended when i told him to bugger off.....

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The view back into Cambodia, flat as a pancake.

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Lot's of spec homes dotted along the roadside, all looked empty.

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Making contact with Justin our planned hotel although very nice only had rooms on the top floor, so Justin bagged this place for $20 a night.

Ly Huot Guesthouse N13.79505° E104.97831°

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We decided to treat ourselves and eat at the attached posh restaurant, what a mistake it was expensive and very poor quality, so we decided to visit a nice Thai Somtam and chicken shop next for a couple of dollars, lesson learned.

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They had ABC too so all was well.

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The next day was to the shit hole that is Stung Treng
 
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2wheels

Blokes Who Can
Staff member
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
Wow, like you Bob, I had no idea Preah Vihear was so large.
Amazing place. Glad the border tensions appear to have resolved themselves.
Fascinating and pleasing to see the surveying too.

Those travelling sales-folk are amazing.

'ABC Stout' way out there? Wow.
 

bsacbob

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
I kept the GPs in my backpack, as you can see i walked almost all of it o_O

Screenshot 2019-01-03 11.38.37.png
 

Ticino

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 5, 2012
Location
Nong Khai
Bikes
4x4
Thanks for the update; have not been up there for almost 10 years. It is incredible, how this site seems to deteriorate fast. Took my 4WD up (from the Khmer side) upto the plateau; much more difficult than in the past from the Thai side where you went down 221 to the far end.

Obviously the border seems to be still closed; maybe a good thing to keep it that way until the site is restored. Thanks for the lovely pix and the comments ;-)
 

bsacbob

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
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Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
Todays ride on paper was to be the most boring as it was paved all the way to Stung Treng fortunately Justin had a plan to take a dirt detour to shake things up a bit.

The turn didn't come soon enough the roads in Cambodia can be mind-numbingly straight when the turn came at N13.81050° E105.52080° it was most welcome.

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Shade was most welcome it was already getting hot.

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This trail was difficult to follow even when having the track on the GPS, it was a spider web changing direction every which way.

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This was hole was surprising I had already got bogged down as my footpegs got wedged in a rut, Justin heading off learning from my mistakes.

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Looking good.

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Well maybe not.

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I dutifully snapped some shots then helped extract him from the super snot.

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Had to let him struggle a bit first though :LOL:

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No problem, sadly through it turned out we had been heading to a dead end so had to came back !!

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Rice field trail looks well travelled.

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Hmm, this is not looking so good, a farmer came along with a big grin and informed us we had been way off track so a U turn was in order.

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Back down into the bog.

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Lot's of logging going in here most likely illegal.

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This trail had a bit of everything.

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Now sand :cry:

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Back into mud.

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We got separated a couple of times as the trail splintered off, easy to get disorientated.

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Came across this very small village, amazing our timing was perfect an ice cream seller was taking a nap, so we gorged of a few ice lollies.

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He was keen to get some pictures, don't think he had see farangs up this close.

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Makeshift school bell.

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Iron Buffalo traffic carving up deep pot holes.

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The trail was only 36 km long but we had over 3 hours picking our way through.

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Nearing the highway a small shop was a welcome drink stop much to the amusement of the locals.

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Ice appears to be the kid's favourite an inexpensive treat.

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Card school in full swing.

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Soon back on the boring highway and the new Stung Treng bridge.

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Justin popping a wheelie to relieve the boredom.

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As we approached town a huge convoy of high-end Chinese registered 4WD leaving town, not a good sign

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Justin was in need of an oil change we scouted around for a mechanic shop that could be worthy of the task.

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It was like the blind leading the blind these guy's had no clue.

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A little bit of oil spillage, no problem sir...

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Justin had also blown a fork seal, no chance of getting that sucker repaired, well in this town anyway.

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That blown seal had rendered his front brake useless, this would prove to be a contributing factor to a serious crash later in the trip.

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Whilst this was going on i cruised around town looking for rooms for the night that would have secure parking for the bikes.

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This was the only place worth a look, not the best but it would have to do and you guessed it they only had rooms on the top floor.

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Shower was usless, cold shower again.

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Location N13.52915° E105.97260°

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Later that night we explored trying to find a place to eat, Stung Treng is pretty much a shit hole, the best we could muster was a pretty poor pizza, but at least we had cold beer so all was not lost.

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The next mornings breakfast spot straight across the hotel was very good.

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That morning i was up early to walk the market, here we see the village loony, he was a pest.

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Fresh as can be chicken, ready for the chop.

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Aside from a big Chinese presence lot's of Muslims but sadly not eateries we could find.

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Every animal part being used.

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Catfish meeting it's demise.

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Not sure who was the most unhappy the rider or the pig.

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Bikes as prmised had been brought in for the night, although the owner was not too happy with the mud we had left everywhere, wait till she cleans my room !!

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End of another good day, saved by Justin's short but enjoyable detour. In the morning one of the most eagerly awaited rides of the trip to Banlung along the Laos border.
 

bsacbob

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
Yes indeed Cambodia is a beer drinking Mecca, my favourite was Barley Black.

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Captain_Slash

Blokes Who Can
Staff member
Joined
Jun 28, 2011
Bikes
BMW 310GS Honda Wave 125 Honda MSX 125
Cambodia and Myanmar both have good stout beers but here in Thailand we only have shit lager, that needs rectifying.

Some fantastic photos amongst that lot Bob.
 
Last edited:

2wheels

Blokes Who Can
Staff member
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
I've always wondered about the difference between beer and stout.
I think these answer my questions.


Michael Potorti
, Founder/Brewer (2014-present)
Answered Oct 13 2018


" Beer is either a lager (bottom fermenting yeast at lower temperatures) or an ale (top fermenting yeast at about room temperature). A Stout is an ale. Maybe you think beer relates to the lighter color in lagers and stouts are dark? The reason why Stouts are darker is because of the roasting process used in the barley for stouts. Stouts use barley malt like “Black Patent” and “Chocolate” to give them a darker color and more richness/body. We also throw oatmeal into our stout to give it a nice, fuller experience."
795 Views



Hideki Arao
, Head Brewer at The Beer Project
Answered Oct 26, 2017 · Author has 197 answers and 128k answer views


"The simpler answer to that is that a stout is a beer, but not every beer is a stout.
Stout is a style within the Beer world. It is ale, born in UK, and is the younger brother of another beer style : Porter ( younger in the sense that it appeared after and because of Porter, but it usually is stronger that it). The word comes from ancient English where Stout stood for “strong”, referring to the strength of the Beer."


(Quora)


Back in the 80s I was riding in the Chantaburi area and was surprised to find Guiness Stout available in 'my' hotel restaurant.
It enhanced the meal for sure!
 

bsacbob

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 1, 2012
Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
Today's ride to Banlung was perhaps one of the most enjoyable, we planned to take two days doing this trail and armed with a few baguettes we hit the road.

But first a nice breakfast in the small restaurant in the dentist shop reception opposite the hotel.

The route only 225km but eventful in many ways.

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But first, a small detour to the Thala Barivat Ruins, the brick built structure dates back to the 7th Century sadly most of its details have been stripped by looters.
N13.55258° E105.95093°

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Heading out of Stung Treng over the 2nd of the new bridges.

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Then a boring broken paved road heading north to the Laos border.

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Finally, we reach the junction for the Laos border and onto some dirt N13.89555° E106.11216°

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Interesting stickers.

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This section was being graded as we passed no doubt to be paved in the near future, likely as access to Vietnam.

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We began to think the two days we had planned would not be required if it stayed like this, hopefully, it would turn into some good stuff soon.

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We had been making good time and soon arrived at the first ferry point in Siem Pang

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We had been making good time and soon arrived at the first ferry point in Siem Pang N14.11865° E106.38802°

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It was a small but bustling little place.

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It was busy crossing and we had to wait a while to get on board.


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Signs of some nice dirt on the other side.

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In the queue.

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We watched as these kids free wheeled bags of ice down the steep slope using their feet as brakes.

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Our transport had arrived.

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Justin almost taken out but the kids loading the ice blocks.

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This guy had a hard time getting up the hill with his heavy load.

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No wonder those pigs are huge.

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Justin charming the ladies.

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Justin making a speedy exit, it was getting hot and we needed to push on.

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Now it got interesting

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Justin hauling his bike up after becoming a victim to the sand.

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Thumbs up, but that was a heavy fall.

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Like a few days earlier the trail splintered off in many directions, some dead ends and very easy to get separated.

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Obviously a boggy section in the wet season.

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Sand was the enemy today, neither of us coping too well with it as it was too soft to gas it and get on top of it.

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One of the few settlements we had seen since the ferry crossing

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Justins shot from the same moment.

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This was to be an interesting crossing for all the wrong reasons, no sign of a ferry operator as we watched a local ride across we decided to follow his line.

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Justin making it to the sandbar with no problem.

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So far so good.

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Hmm it's deeper than we thought and the sandy bottom was like quicksand.

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Finally, he reached the shallows on the other side no problem, it was my turn.

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Eager audience i was going to disappoint them.

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I had never ridden the XR in deep water before, as soon as it to carb level the bike died and I was stuck mid water and refused to start, and had to get the float bowl drained of water, it turned out the upper breather tube that would have allowed the bike to get fuel in deeper water was blocked a simple fix but embarrassing at the time especially whilst we tried to get the bike going the ferry girl showed up so we could have kept our feet dry, bugger.

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Back out on the trail and more and more sand !!

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This was the worst but most enjoyable stretch both of at some time or another fell in the sand.

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Some beautiful forest sections.

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We stopped here for a breather, this would make a great camp spot but the stagnant water would have been mosquito heaven at night time.

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Both of us exhausted at this point.

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Time to push on and back into the sand.

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Hated this stuff.

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Not too many pictures of the trail as i was too busy trying to keep upright :sneaky:

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Eventually reaching the village of Ban Ke Toch and some welcome refreshments .

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It was decision time, it was getting late in the day, Justin's vision was pretty poor at the best of time but in semi-darkness almost nil, so we pondered to camp here or push on to Banlung knowing it would be dark when we arrived. I think both of us wanted to get the hell out of this sand so we pushed off.

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Justin setting the pace, somewhere along the lines we got separated and I doubled back trying to pick up his tyre tracks but no luck, since we both had the waypoint for the ferry ahead I assumed we would both eventually reach it.

I reached the ferry point but no Justin, he most certainly would not cross without me so I waited a while, eventually, I got a call it turned out he was on another trail that came out a few km up the river so we soon reunited.

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Another $1 ferry trip.

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All smiles but still a long way to go.

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Locals inspecting Justin's GPS.

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From here it was a crazy mad dash to Banlung fortunately from this point on it was pretty well graded but full of bulldust to add to the mix.


Reaching Banlung and quickly scouting for a place for the night we dropped lucky and found the Thy Ath Lodge and got good rooms for $18 each.

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What a find this place was it had a restaurant and the owner was super helpful serving up a delicious pizza and cold beer as we sat lakeside.

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Banlung was a lovely place and we both agreed to make a return visit in the near future.

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Next morning bikes ready to go to our next destination of Sen Monorom and the Death Highway.


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bigntall

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Excellent write up Bob. Looking back I'm certainly glad you took all the pictures to remember the ride. I've only a couple pictures to contribute.

Occasionally in life you come across quality people in the Motorbike tour industry. One of those guys is surely David Scott of Kickstart Cambodia

A lot of tour operator's have only been in the country for a short period of time, don't speak the language etc. Dave has been in Cambodia for 16 years, speaks the language, and has a great amount of contacts. What this provides is a wealth of experience, knowledge and for us DualSport and off road riders is that his trail knowledge and most importantly trail conditions is up to date and relevant. Every time I asked about conditions and or descriptions his depiction was spot on. Just what you need if you are taking a ride into unknown territory. He has a fleet of Yamaha WR and Honda XR and provides guided as well as Self guided Tours to customers. If you are coming to Cambodia I can definitely recommend his services.

Kickstart Cambodia


The dapper dude with the broken wrist currently


Siem Reap was pretty much unchanged since the last time I visited a couple years ago. Pub street is getting larger and as always the tourists are in full swing this time of year. Highlight was hooking up with David Scott after reading his posts on Rideasia.

David suggested we take old route 66 to head toward T'beang Meanchey. As Bob described first part was graded dirt roads but eventually it turned into some fun flowing singletrack. It was easy singletrack, you could take a large ADV bike down it if you chose. We met a group of Mango farmers loading up their goods. The nice thing about dirt bikes is you get off the beaten track and meet rural people that from my experiences have a much friendlier demeanor than their urban city folk. They were gabbing a mile a minute and totally friendly. Wish I spoke Khmer to have a laugh.



An upside was they had a tarp setup for some nice shade. Bob and I enjoying the break and interaction.



We got through the first half of the ride with no issues. Then we filled up with gas and hopped onto the the second half. This is where David Scott noted that the trail gets tight and rutty came to light. This section if you look at Bobs pictures was not technically a chore, however it never allowed you to relax. Constantly negotiating the space between the two iron buffalo ruts the whole way, dropping into the ruts that were right next to the brush so it was always catching your bars and footpegs. there was no place to relax and cruise. If you were on a big bike I would not choose this section, on a dirt bike no problem in the dry. However take a look at David Scotts pictures. He once spend 13 hours I think it was to go 30 KM when it's wet. Goopy, wet, sludge and muck.

I only took a pic at the beginning where it was wide double track and not overgrown like it was later down the track. Bob getting his first taste of the ruts to come.




We come across one house across this section and pulled over in the clearing where there were no ruts. They obviously set up house on the high ground in the area.



It's between crops now so not much to do this time of year.



I had a funny interation with a rice farmer earlier in the trip. I had pulled over to have a snack in some tree's by the tail and out popped a completely plowed, 3 sheets to the wind young farmer. he was nice enough to bring some of his stash to share. So had a couple nips of Lao cow. After all these years of tasting it with friendly folk I still find it awful to choke down.



The only other pic I have from that part of the section was where the trail ended just before a temple complex.
Bob mentioned he was getting low on fluids so we pulled over to buy their last bottle of water. Lets just say we weren't feeling 20 years old by then.



We finally made it out and scouted a couple guesthouse's to choose from and called it a night. Good news was the food was great with our "finger pointing pulling a couple good dishes out of the pot buffet through the glass window café".
 

bsacbob

Administrator
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Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
Oh my god, i remember that small house and the one small bottle of water in the cool box it was a lifesaver.
 

bsacbob

Administrator
Staff member
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Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
The ride south to Sen Monorom was uneventful as the once dirt trail was now paved, so we settled into the Green House GH for the evening N12.45646° E107.18702° nothing fancy but it did serve food and after moving rooms i could finally have a hot shower.

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With time on our hands, i went in search of a mechanic capable of doing an oil change on the XR, none of the oil looked anything like anything i had seen before and i went with his recommendation, which would prove costly later.

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Hmm why do people stick tissues down toilets

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Wedding season and the GH owner all glammed up for a party.

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Once out of town the pavement stopped and we are back on the red dirt.

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We hoped it would become more interesting than this.

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The trail started to become a mixture of graded dirt and logging tracks.

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Bemused locals, i think they thought we had been lost.

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Saw several of these in villages on the trip, they all are the same, not sure of the function.

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Hitting a small village of Toul, we came to this water crossing. We watched as a pickup mark hard work of crossing the deep water and i was mindful of my previous deep water crossing, luckily i heard the sound of motorcycles crossing a swing bridge upstream to save our feet from getting wet.

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Justin giving the crowd a show by dutifully laying down his bike.

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One of the two bridges in the village.
N12.59273° E106.91891°

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The ramshackle other one through someone's garden, they tried to get us to pay to cross this one.

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From here the trail was loads of fun crossing in and out of forested area's.

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Justin hoping to get some directions.

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As i mentioned it was wedding season this old truck carrying everything you would need for a wedding party.

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Now winging it, not sure if we are on the right trail.

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This area had just been deforested, lots of logging going on along here.

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Inside the forest a welcome break from the burning sun, the trail was fantastic.

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Stopping several times to check or bearings it was easy to get lost in here.

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Justin's bike feeling sleepy again.

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We stumbled across this small settlement, old Russian jeep no longer in service it looked like it had a tough life.

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Justin charming the ladies, we joked with the lady in the pyjamas her eyebrows freshly tattooed by a blind man by the looks of it.

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A logging truck sped by, good idea to tag along we felt sure he knew where he was going.

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Justin giving chase.

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He dropped most of his load on the trail but was clearly not stopping for nobody as we rode by.

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Another water crossing and this was long and rocky.

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Justin scouting a route, it was going to be difficult.

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Fortunately, some locals came by just as we geared up to ride across and told us of a raft crossing just upstream, bingo

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The young girl manning the raft couldn't have been more than 8 years old.

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Justin quickly on board.

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The locals suggested we could both cross at one time.

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Once on board the young girl hit us up for a fee $3 dollars each if i recall, well worth it considering the options.

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The old winch system no longer in service.

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We stopped and the young girl's mothers shop for a few drinks, this young lady came up with her son, she looked happy but sad at the same time wonder what was going through her mind.

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back on the trail, turning to sand now.

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This is only the start of the dry season, water must be a short supply later in the year.

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Old logging camp or ranger station.

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Three up guys all smiles

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The long and widing road.

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The long straights decieving as many huge potholes hidden from vew.

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Several fire left to burn themselves out.

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More of the same long straight potholed sections.

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Finally out in the open and long graded sections we could get some speed up.

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Off in the distance Justin disappeared from view, a wooden bridge had burnt out and Justin was unable to pull up before hitting the ditch.

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He had obviousy hurt himself pretty bad.

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But still smiling.

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It was here...

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The long straight before the crash site.

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Amazingly within a couple of minutes a guy showed up in his nice new pickup and offered to Take Justin to the nearest town, we had been lucky we had not seen any driver all day and this guy was our saviour.

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Turned out he was a policeman which would explain the nice pickup.

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Justin clambering aboard, no phone signals here so we could plan an extraction for him and his bike.

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Still smiling.

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I rode back to take a closer look at what Justin could see, easy to see how it could happen no markers to speak of to warn riders.

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The next few hours are painfully slow, i rode ahead until i got a phone signal and reached out to Dave @ Kickstart to see if he could help, he was hands on and quickly mobilised transport to come meet us and get Justin and his bike out of Cambodia to Thailand.

Thanks again Dave.

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It was almost dark when we hit Kratie, we spent some time trying to find a hospital that would sell us some crutches to help Justin's extraction.

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We pitched up at a riverside hotel and waited for the transport to arrive, Justin commandeered a stool as a makeshift walking aid.

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So that was Justin's trip coming to an abrupt end, i now had to consider my options as he headed north and back to Chiang Mai.
 

2wheels

Blokes Who Can
Staff member
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
That 'like' was not for Justin's predicament!
Waiting and hoping you have it sorted out by now.
 

bsacbob

Administrator
Staff member
Joined
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Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
Suitably dosed up with Tramadol Justin was loaded into Kickstart Cambodia's Landcruiser and we loaded his bike onto the trailer, he now had the long journey back to Osmach and onwards to Ubon to fly to Chaing Mai for treatment, Justin who was familiar with fractures felt sure his leg was fractured.

You may recall I had an oil change the previous day, although not convinced of the quality of the oil, well my bike was running a wee bit lumpy so I spot a shop with some old bikes outside and asked if they could clean my carb thinking maybe I picked up some bad fuel.

He had done this before and in no time had it stripped down and rebuilt.

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A master at work.

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As I watched considering the options I decided to head for Phomn Phenh, there were some points of interest I really wanted to visit, from where I planned to head north and visit some of the more remote temples. I did consider doing some trails further south but Dave and Justin had already said they are best not travelled alone.

Much of Cambodia is wetland due to its terrain, with lots of people making homes on the water.

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You notice all the homes are very elevated, one must guess water levels must be pretty high in the wet season.

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Many of the newer temples are very grand indeed, all of similar design with many supporting columns.

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Unlike Thailand, you often see old and new mixed together on the same site.

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This older Wat lay abandoned.

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I spotted this friendly lady on the roadside and wanted to take a closer look.

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Turned out she was repairing the joints in the planks with a mixture of oil and paper.

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Large Muslims communities along the way, good for me as I love the food.

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This makeshift bridge made a pleasant detour.

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$1 crossing fee for the privilege.

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A stopover at the magnificent Hluang Preah Sdech Kan N11.79778° E105.74737° again a mixture of old and new, the older complex must have been huge in its day with a large moat surrounding the site.

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Beautiful reclining Buddha.

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Reproduction figures I had seen before mutilated on another site earlier in the trip.

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Al that remains are two brick stupa's

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Beautiful hand painted dragon boats.

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The large moat surrounding the site.

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Some dirt as I head back to Highway 7.

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The houses in the surrounding village with unusual architecture.

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Highway 7 was a mess, no fun at all.

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Arriving in Phnom Penh my plan was to head through town to the sites of the Khmer Rouge atrocities, although riding through the city is not for the faint-hearted and the up to you rule applies.

First stop was one of the killing field sites Cheung Aek location N11.48436° E104.90192° the audio tour is well worth the money and gives you all the information of this and many other sites used to execute Cambodians during the Khmer period.

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Each stop is clearly marked where the audio describes the scene.

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This for me was the most distressing point of the site, where babies had been beaten to death against the tree, horrific.

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I didn't enter the monument as I had my motorcycle boots on but suffice to say it was moving.

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It was a very emotional place to visit and I left there to maybe the more sickening site of Tuol Sleng or S21 as it became know.

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Again this site has an audio tour which I would highly recommend.

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The atrocities carried out here are beyond imagination, many pictures are on display of bodies discovered which are not for viewing on this forum.

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The rules of the prison !!

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Barbed wire erected across the balconies of one of the blocks to stop inmates jumping to their deaths to evade torture.

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The tiny cell blocks.

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Some of the devices used to torture in this place are deeply disturbing.

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Memorial on the site for the bodies found at the site.

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Numbed by the experience it was time to head to town and check into the Lux Riverside N11.57136° E104.92921° @$45 a night I expected more.


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Well, at least I could do my laundry!

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Decided to treat myself to a fantastic curry at the New Delhi restaurant just around the corner N11.57008° E104.92997° was just what the doctor ordered.

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Then some great Craft beer nearby.

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It had been a strange day, now alone Phomn Phenh was intense and I had a very enjoyable evening but in the morning it was time to push on.

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2wheels

Blokes Who Can
Staff member
Joined
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Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
What an horrific era were the Pol Pot years.
And to think the monster died a 'free' man, without facing justice, compounds the horror.
Evil piece of excrement.
 

bsacbob

Administrator
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Location
Chiang Rai
Bikes
Honda CRM-AR 250, Honda CRF 250-L, Suzuki V Strom XT 650 Honda xr250 Baja
I woke early to try and avoid the horrendous traffic in Phomn Phenh, little chance this place never sleeps nor do the crazy drivers, it's maybe one of the worst cities I have ever ridden in.

My plan was to head north and pick up some of the larger temple complexes and other points of interest along the way, the first port of call was to be Kampong Cham and the long bamboo bridge.

Young monks repairing the dirt footbridge.

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Almost at my destination, the engine was sounding not too good, I checked the oil and all good, stopping at several bike shops none of them was interested as they had no knowledge of the bike. I made some calls to Dave and Alex in Siem Reap and decided the best action was to limp back to Siem Reap and get some mechanical help.

Soon after the bike came to a grinding halt, that was me done, I managed to enlist a local barber to flag down a bus and after sitting roadside for a few hours one of them agreed to take me to the city for $60.

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Bike strapped to the back door of the minibus.

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A few granny knots later i was on my way.

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Telephone conversations during the bus ride, Alex had a contact who was clued up with XR's and would be able to at least access the damage, several hours later we arrived in darkness at ProMoto in Siem Reap N13.34215° E103.87668° promoto deposited the bike to return in the morning with a verdict.

Alex was kind enough to sort me out with a hotel The TravelerHome Hotel $20 would do nicely.

N13.35382° E103.85152°

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Aptly named laundry service next door.

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The happy pizza turned out it was not so happy.

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Well what to do hanging around Siem Reap for a few days, time to sample some beer.

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Health and safety at its finest, not sure why the guy is sat on the piling rig.

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Typical taxi rig.

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Returning the next morning, bike minus engine.

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Huge selection of sidecar combo's in the shop, these from China.

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Jahling Chinese combo.

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Good collection of Wr's too.

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Copper bushing from the con rod, not good, turned out my cam chain had become way slack and jamming, bending the con rod scoring the sleeve and screwing up the piston. Parts quickly ordered by Paul the owner from Phnom Phen and put on the late night bus, all credit to his team who worked into the late hours to get me back on the road.

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Time for more beer, this was the best by far.

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Burger time at Jungle burger, this pulled pork burger was delicious.

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Craft beer time at the Brewpub.

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This guy outside had an ingenious bicycle cart set-up.

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Imaginative gearing too.

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Another craft beer house this one called "The Local"

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Great Irish bar Finn McCool's, Alan was a great host.

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Next morning the had my big running for several hours to bed in the new piston and rehoned sleeve, hats of to the lads for a job well done, highly recommended team.

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Mid-afternoon and a slow ride to the border, nursing the bike along at a steady 60 km was not fun, but a necessity.

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Reached the border at 5pm expecting them to have closed the gates, turned out the crossing is open till 10 pm, worth making a note.

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Once i crossed at the 200km point i found a Castrol Bike Point and did an engine oil change to be safe. The onwards to Loei and an overnight stop at the Muang Thong GH, amazing value @ 300 baht a night

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From there it was home and a trouble-free ride, the adventure was over, I say adventure more of a test of endurance, seldom have I had so many issues in a year let alone one trip.

Once again myself and Justin would like to thank all the people who stepped up to help without hesitation, you guys are heroes and we are forever in your debt, we hope never to have to return the favour but if required we would gladly do so.
Hope you all enjoyed reading the trip report, I know it's a little long-winded and I appreciate your attention, till next time :dirtbike:
 

2wheels

Blokes Who Can
Staff member
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
Quite an adventure.
Good pics, new info and well documented.
Hope Justin is recovering well.
 

The Bigfella

Senior Member
Joined
Aug 15, 2012
Bikes
KTM 950Super Enduro R, KTM 525(613)EXC, BMW R90S, BMW 650 Dakar, 2 x Postie bikes (CT110s), MZ250, BSA B31/33, Norton 16H, 2 x Honda CB500F, Honda ...
Great report, Bob. Thanks.

I've visited the Killing Fields twice, as I have a Cambodian friend who lives nearby. The only grave I've ever pissed on was Pol Pot's.
 

2wheels

Blokes Who Can
Staff member
Joined
Apr 2, 2012
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
Honda Rebel 500
Justin update.

I've had the pleasure of sharing a few hours with Justin recently and am pleased to report
that he has adapted superbly to the inconveniences from his recent Cambodian misadventure.

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:DD
 

bigntall

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2011
Great getting together with you Ron. Especially wonderful was the two of us met up with a Monk from Nepal that has been studying here for 9 years. One of the most interesting conversation was had discussing the merits and challenges of Buddhism in modern Thailand and how it is dealing with the environmental changes of a developing society. A great afternoon was had.

The leg is slowly coming back together not at all helped by a recent scooter accident. After riding on the back of the GF's scooter for 10 years in the evening due to my eyesight we had the first spill. She's normally quite competent on a scooter and rides with confidence. She asked a wee bit too much of the front brake in the dirt one time and over we went. As I did not want to land on my leg I tried to tuck and roll, however one needs some forward momentum for that, so instead I just landed on my noggin. Gracefully the scooter then landed on top of my leg parting any bone knitting that took place during the first 3 weeks post injury. Joy. Already planning the first ride back hopefully in a couple weeks, though it will be street bikes only for a bit.
 

bikesncats

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 24, 2014
Location
Sihanoulville
Bikes
XTZ660 Ténéré, XJ900 diversion
........

Once again myself and Justin would like to thank all the people who stepped up to help without hesitation, you guys are heroes and we are forever in your debt, we hope never to have to return the favour but if required we would gladly do so.
Hope you all enjoyed reading the trip report, I know it's a little long-winded and I appreciate your attention, till next time :dirtbike:
Awsome report Bob and amazing pics...wish i'd be half as good or patient at taking pics. Hope to see you in SR again soon...cheers. oh as for the help...its a given mate, anytime, always a pleasure to help.
 
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