Cambodia 2022

Wuming

Active member
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Location
London
Bikes
Yamaha T700. Honda CRF250Rally.
The fuelling issue with the bike is bugging me. After consulting a couple of online motorbike forums; a few possibilities emerged. Spark plug failure; clogged air filter or contaminated fuel (ie water in the petrol). So with the help of the hotel owner, we went to a very local roadside mechanic. He diagnosed the contaminated fuel option; he purged the carb and revved the engine for a while and declared it OK. It only cost me US$0.50, so even if it made no difference, I'd lost nothing. The bike certainly initially ran much better, but the problem creeped back for a while, but then seemed to get better again. I have no idea!?!

Anyway: today's ride, it started well enough but the road was being worked on with lorries and heavy machinery churning up the mud from the previous days rain into a world war 1 trench style quagmire. Deep, gloopy sludge. Usually on an uphill or downhill section. So revs up (momentum is your friend...!) and feet down to paddle through as the rear wheel fish-tailed it's way forward. Amazingly, I didn't drop the bike. Light bikes rule; if I'd been on a 1200GS, I'd probably still be there.

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Conditions improved as the ride went on. Followed the track into ever more remote areas; the occasional Chinese dam the only sign of life. This was more the kind of terrain and riding I was hoping for: just me and the bike rolling ever onwards in beautiful terrain. Red dirt roads and lush green forest, and then the blue of the sea appeared. Great day.

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Arrived in Koh Kong to find a sleepy town, again suffering from the economic fallout from Covid. Many places listed on Google Maps, TripAdvisor etc apparently gone forever. The nearby closed border with Thailand not helping either. Beautiful area though. This south eastern corner of the country really is stunning.

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Again, one night only......I really need to learn to slow down a bit. As I saddled up, I noticed fuel slowing dripping from the in line fuel filter that Monsieur Spliff had fitted. It was just a slow seep so I decided to ride anyway; I always think more clearly on the bike; that Zen like focused mind would tell me what to do!

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Leaving Koh Kong, the road climbed and curled eastwards. The dodgy road was tempered by the beautiful scenery. A morning of dodging potholes was enjoyable on a bike; wouldn't be much fun in a 4 wheeled tin box though. There would be long smooth sections which just over the brow of a hill, or just at the apex of a sweeping bend would turn to shit......grab the brakes, aim for the least worst line and hope! This continued all the way to where the road joined the highway from PP to Sihanouk. Route no. 4.......worst drivers I have encountered so far. The overtaking traffic coming the other way would force you onto the gravel verge. This wasn't a one off, it was constant. Bastards!!

Anyway, I had the Zen epiphany. Zip ties! As luck would have it, I had a few with me (if only I'd brought some WD40 I'd have a complete tool kit!). The leak seemed to be coming from where the fuel filter attached to the fuel line, so snug them up with some zip ties. I duly tried and the slow sleep turned into a gush of fuel. It turned out the fuel filter was cracked and my efforts with the zip ties widened the crack. Fortunately English speaking hotel staff were on hand and in the space of about 5 minutes, a new fuel line appeared, cut to size and fitted (ditching Monsieur Spliffs fuel filter). And no money asked for! Gotta love Cambodia.

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Wuming

Active member
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Location
London
Bikes
Yamaha T700. Honda CRF250Rally.
Sihanoukville, China's southernmost city. Am I still in Cambodia?? Did I take a wrong turn somewhere and end up in Yunnan? Damn GPS!

Chinaville, errrr, I mean Sihanoukville, is a concrete jungle of half finished high rises and casinos. Any soul or character the place may once of had has been buried under a tidal wave of Chinese "development". I even had to prove my vaccination status before they would let me into the hotel; first and only time this was required in Cambodia.

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Met a mad Mancunian in a bar who was itching for a fight with someone; didn't seem to matter who or why. He kept on raving about how everybody there hated him; I could see why, he was very easy to hate. I made a tactical withdrawal before it got ugly. The mad manc, in a rare lucid moment warned me of the condition of the road to Kampot; so wasn't all bad. But again, I really need to start drinking in better quality bars.

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Next stop: Kampot. The first stretch of road leaving Chinatown was OK, I needed petrol and some air in my front tyre then it was smooth riding up to where the road to Kampot branched off route 4. There the road immediately turned to broken tarmac, potholes and dust. It was easier to ride on the narrow dirt verge than the road itself; unfortunately, all the 4 wheelers decided to hug this line as well. Slow and dusty going (as mad Manc had said). I was getting used to this kind of surface now, so it wasn't a problem. The Baja seems to like these kinds of surface.

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The road improved the further east it went. Then the turn off to Bokor Mountain arrived; there was a Covid vaccination status check at the start of the road (?); so I showed them my NHS app, and up I went. Beautiful, twisty road past the monkeys and up to the mists swirling near the top. A few odd buildings up there (the history of which I know nothing) and no view because of the low mist. But it was all about riding up and down that road; always happier when on the bike. Well worth it.

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Then on to Kampot itself and my guesthouse by the river. Nice place, lots of bars and lots more interesting expats (for "interesting " read "barking mad"). It must be the relentless heat or the cheap beer, or the easily available weed, but some serious odd people about. I was cornered in one bar by a guy who claimed his Filipino girlfriend (who worked for interpol....no less!) had just messaged him to warn him that there was a hit out on him. Uh yeah. OK mate. Enjoy your night......

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A couple of days kicking back and relaxing here, including a ride out to Kep, where Cambodians go to the beach. They don't bother with swimming costumes, just wander into the sea in whatever they happen to have on: jeans, dresses, cardigans, you name it.

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The time arrived to return to Phnom Penh and close the loop around Cambodia. Perfect tarmac all the way to the capital, easy ride. But then I hit the city and the fun started....total chaos: bikes, cars, lorries and buses coming at you from all angles. The bikes swarming around the 4 wheelers like a shoal of piranhas, eating up every available inch of empty road. Enormous fun.....embrace the chaos!!

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Bike returned and deposit reclaimed. A 2500km loop around Cambodia. The Honda XR 250 Baja: it got me round; had a few quirks and issues, but overall a very capable little bike. It handled the rough stuff over the Cardamom mountains; flattering my appalling off road abilities. Old tech, easy to fix. Would I use the same bike again? Sure, but only if a CRF250/300 wasn't available. I like fuel injection!

So, a few days in Phnom Penh to sort out the paperwork to gain entry to Thailand. Just in time for the 6 nations weekend. Although as it is Scotland vs. France, I may have to resort to strong drink.
 

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DrGMIA

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Location
Pit stop after 6th ride around the world, in USA,
Bikes
Oldest 1931, newest 2016, numerous makes and models in between on several continents
Your legacy:

1) Which rental shop did you rent your motorcycle from?

2) Daily rental fee?

3) How much was the cash deposit and in US dollars or?

4) Did you have to leave your passport or did the deposit take the place of your passport as security?

5) Was the motorcycle rental agency/shop worthy of your personal recommendation?

Sidebar: I see you took my advice (or that of others) and carried in and used an Airhawk inflatable seat on that rock hard Honda Baja seat. Good decision?

Best:

Dr. G
Professor of Motorcycle Adventure, SOUND RIDER magazine, and Adventure Motorcycle University
Moto-Journalist, author, script consultant, and motorcycle wastrel
Sole sexual survivor: www.greataroundtheworldmotorcycleadventurerally.com
 

Snakeboy

Member
Joined
Dec 30, 2013
Location
RTW
Bikes
Honda Crf 250L 2012, Yamaha XT660Z Tenere 2011
Its been interesting to follow your trip around Cambo. Thanks for your write up and thanks for sharing with us….
 

Wuming

Active member
Joined
Dec 12, 2021
Location
London
Bikes
Yamaha T700. Honda CRF250Rally.
Your legacy:

1) Which rental shop did you rent your motorcycle from?

2) Daily rental fee?

3) How much was the cash deposit and in US dollars or?

4) Did you have to leave your passport or did the deposit take the place of your passport as security?

5) Was the motorcycle rental agency/shop worthy of your personal recommendation?

Sidebar: I see you took my advice (or that of others) and carried in and used an Airhawk inflatable seat on that rock hard Honda Baja seat. Good decision?

1. Victory Motorcycle Rental and Repairs.
2. US$16 / day (after some negotiation)
3. I paid UK£1000 cash deposit. This was less than he wanted and more than I wanted and it was a gamble; but I got it back with no quibbles at the end of the trip.
4. He took a copy of my passport, but the deposit was instead of passport (I really don't like not having my passport).
5. Yes, I would recommend them and would use again. If you want a specific bike, you need to book in advance. I turned up hoping for a CRF, but they were all already rented out.

Airhawk: absolutely essential!!

Cheers.

Don't know why my reply is included in the quote??
 
Last edited:

DrGMIA

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 14, 2011
Location
Pit stop after 6th ride around the world, in USA,
Bikes
Oldest 1931, newest 2016, numerous makes and models in between on several continents
Great reply! Most helpful for those of us looking at Cambodia for a get-away from across the border, or a longer term fly-in/out for the more adventuresome currently sitting in their basement adventuring on the keyboard :-)

Wishing you safe travels on your next leg.

Regards,

Dr. G
Professor of Motorcycle Adventure, SOUND RIDER magazine, and Adventure Motorcycle University
Moto-Journalist, author, script consultant, and motorcycle wastrel
Sole sexual survivor: www.greataroundtheworldmotorcycleadventurerally.com
 
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