Chiang Mai to Phnom Penh via O'smach by a newbie

shezasdad

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
2015 Honda Goldwing F6b, 2014 Suzuki V-Strom
I’m re-posting this after the server crash as it may help those considering a trip to Cambodia and have never done it before, just like me.

I left Chiang Mai on the 9[SUP]th[/SUP] April 2014. On 11[SUP]th[/SUP]April a mate and myself crossed into Cambodia at the Chong Chom/O’smach border crossing. On the Thai side things went smoothly, Customs prepared the Temporary Export documentation for the bikes for us. They wanted copies of every page of the green book that had any entry on it. I was minus a copy of one page but the officer after asking for it didn’t worry about it. He then gave me a copy of each of the two documents for me to use when re-entering Thailand. Exiting Thailand was easy, just remember after the first officer does something (not sure what he did) you then have to go backwards to another office to be stamped out of Thailand.

On the Cambodian side we got our visa on arrival for 800 baht. Possibly we were ripped off because I think it is supposed to be $US20 but who cares, just let me in! Then we went to the Cambodian Customs who, as has been commented on here before, were in their hammocks and just waved us in.One more stop to show our visa then off we went to Siem Reap.

Highways 68 then 6 were good roads. After two nights in Siem Reap – which is a nicer but smaller Chiang Mai – it was off to Phnom Penh. Highway 6 started off well, very narrow with lots of traffic coming towards us due to the holidays. But then after maybe 100 kms it turned to blinding choking dirt all the way to Phnom Penh. With several smoke breaks I think it took us about 7 hrs to do the 320 kms. This included Highways 6A and 5. It also included a disaster when my friend’s nylon saddle bags fell apart and slipped to one side –the exhaust side naturally – because of the rough goat track and destroyed a few thousand dollars worth of electrical gear. As I had pulled the headlight fuse I turned my driving lights on in the dust and kept them on the whole week I was in Cambodia without any dramas.

After 3 nights we left Phnom Penh and took Highway 5 to Sisaphon. It is a good road all the way to Battambang. After Battambang there were several dirt sections. It was also where the locals have discovered the ‘wonderful’ Thai habit of throwing water. I guess over the next few years the rest of Cambodia will discover this ‘wonderful’ experience but I hope not. At the guesthouse in Sisaphon the owner told us of a road about 40 kms before Sisaphon which would take us on a good road to O’smach, but we had decided to try our luck exiting at Poi Pet.

Next day we went to Poi Pet arriving there at 6.30am. The Cambodians had no interest in our bikes. It then took us more than an hour to get through Thai Immigration. Then we had to show our Temporary Export forms to the Thai Customs and you sign a big book they put in front of you. That’s it.

A few side notes. ATMs tend to spit out $US50 and $US100 notes. Changing a $50 note is hard let alone a $100 note, especially when it’s public holidays and the banks are closed. Don’t give away your smaller notes if you don’t have to. Most of the petrol stations have different numbers allocated to their fuel. I just went for the most expensive figuring it must have a higher octane rating. It seemed to work. The Garmin GPS map that Nightrider provided was excellent – a big thank you to him. My 2011 Versys performed fantastically as did the Givi side bags. The bags didn’t let in one little bit of dust. Also Cambodians drive like Thais, just on the other side of the road! At my first roundabout I stopped, looked at it and seeing there was little traffic around I went around it from the left. But I got better at it as we went on. When I put this report up last week before the server crash someone commented about the need for insurance. At no time did I see anywhere you could get it. And seeing as I was given no paperwork to enter Cambodia I assume I wouldn’t have been able to get any anyway. I was happy to ride around at my own risk. Having said that I was clipped once as I was slowly overtaking a car and he decided to overtake the bike in front of him. As I said my choice my risk.

Lastly if you are like me and have never crossed out of Thailand before and are ‘nervous’ about doing it, just do it. Cambodia is excellent. We just took it slow and steady, smiled a lot especially around the Immigration and Customs officials and everyone was very helpful. I’ll be going back again – soon. Just don’t tell the missus!
 
Joined
May 30, 2012
Bikes
HD CVO Springer
Thank you very much appreciate the effort. Some need to know and not opinions. Will ask one question again though:- What about the Green Book translation or is that just Laos??
 

shezasdad

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
2015 Honda Goldwing F6b, 2014 Suzuki V-Strom
Screamingeagle the Cambodians seem to want nothing about the bike. They simply don't care. I was just reading Forest Rider's report on his trip to Cambodia at the same time but using different entry exit points. Again they showed no interest in his bike. I totally agree with his comments about Highway 6. Friggin' shite road.
 

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
Thank you very much appreciate the effort. Some need to know and not opinions. Will ask one question again though:- What about the Green Book translation or is that just Laos??
Funny crossing recently they only wanted copies of the front and back pages of my green book and nothing else, no translation required.
 

Forest

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Bikes
Vstrom650,CRF250 , Ducati 900ss ,Yamaha YZ250, Virago 400 etc..
correct .they don't care much for the bike .in my way in the customs were closed and a 'officer' made me write on a lose piece of paper my plate number and where i was going(??) then asked me $10 dollars in vain ,in broken english! i pretended do not understand ,and with warm greetings i saluted him ..:ride:
in my way out there was not a word about the bike.

Screamingeagle the Cambodians seem to want nothing about the bike. They simply don't care. I was just reading Forest Rider's report on his trip to Cambodia at the same time but using different entry exit points. Again they showed no interest in his bike. I totally agree with his comments about Highway 6. Friggin' shite road.
 

Forest

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Bikes
Vstrom650,CRF250 , Ducati 900ss ,Yamaha YZ250, Virago 400 etc..
it's after the 62 meet the 6..but I think could be bad even after Siem Reap (?)traffic n difficult to say where starts -end.it's on /off all the way to PP .Dusty,looking like road work alternate sides or both, hopefully not for too long.SR to PP is a very messy day-ride all together these days

Can you tell me where the pavement ends and starts so I can add that info to OSM?
 

shezasdad

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
2015 Honda Goldwing F6b, 2014 Suzuki V-Strom
I agree with Forest Rider's comments. I've looked at the map and google earth trying to work it out but no luck. I know for sure Hwy 6a is dirt all the way from Hwy 6 right into Phnom Penh. Hwy 6 apart from being very narrow has 2-3 foot drop offs where they have excavated. This goes on for many kms so if you do get run off the road it's a long way down!
 

Forest

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 28, 2014
Bikes
Vstrom650,CRF250 , Ducati 900ss ,Yamaha YZ250, Virago 400 etc..
Thats right !quiet high run off! Not sure what the road will look like after work is finished.. But ye be ready to show your 'jumpin skills' when trucks overtake coming in the opposite direction! Btw images from google earth are in most cases old,,
I agree with Forest Rider's comments. I've looked at the map and google earth trying to work it out but no luck. I know for sure Hwy 6a is dirt all the way from Hwy 6 right into Phnom Penh. Hwy 6 apart from being very narrow has 2-3 foot drop offs where they have excavated. This goes on for many kms so if you do get run off the road it's a long way down!
 

shezasdad

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
2015 Honda Goldwing F6b, 2014 Suzuki V-Strom
I was only using google earth to try to find some place I could recognise and if I could remember if there was dirt road there in an attempt to help Night Rider.
 

shezasdad

Junior Member
Joined
Dec 31, 2013
Location
Chiang Mai
Bikes
2015 Honda Goldwing F6b, 2014 Suzuki V-Strom
Will do. I only have a few as my phone died before I could transfer them. Doh!
 

KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Will do. I only have a few as my phone died before I could transfer them. Doh!



Nice to see you got some shots of the bike at the temples.... often rider's don't try and get the bikes there as the party line is you have to take a tuk tuk by the checkpoint security guards



g cambo 1.jpg




I like this one



g cambo 2.jpg
 

DJKNOX

Member
Joined
Jan 21, 2015
Bikes
Honda Phantom
Hey guys, am I right then to believe that the Chom Chang crossing is the smoothest for a Thai registered motorbike? I'm considering this crossing or the Krong Koh Kong crossing. I'm heading out of BKK for 3 months... will provide latest updates on these border crossings...
 

blackwolf

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 7, 2014
Bikes
Honda Sonic 125cc, 4 wheels, about to buy a 250cc dirt bike
I’m re-posting this after the server crash as it may help those considering a trip to Cambodia and have never done it before, just like me.

I left Chiang Mai on the 9[SUP]th[/SUP] April 2014. On 11[SUP]th[/SUP]April a mate and myself crossed into Cambodia at the Chong Chom/O’smach border crossing. On the Thai side things went smoothly, Customs prepared the Temporary Export documentation for the bikes for us. They wanted copies of every page of the green book that had any entry on it. I was minus a copy of one page but the officer after asking for it didn’t worry about it. He then gave me a copy of each of the two documents for me to use when re-entering Thailand. Exiting Thailand was easy, just remember after the first officer does something (not sure what he did) you then have to go backwards to another office to be stamped out of Thailand.

On the Cambodian side we got our visa on arrival for 800 baht. Possibly we were ripped off because I think it is supposed to be $US20 but who cares, just let me in! Then we went to the Cambodian Customs who, as has been commented on here before, were in their hammocks and just waved us in.One more stop to show our visa then off we went to Siem Reap.

Highways 68 then 6 were good roads. After two nights in Siem Reap – which is a nicer but smaller Chiang Mai – it was off to Phnom Penh. Highway 6 started off well, very narrow with lots of traffic coming towards us due to the holidays. But then after maybe 100 kms it turned to blinding choking dirt all the way to Phnom Penh. With several smoke breaks I think it took us about 7 hrs to do the 320 kms. This included Highways 6A and 5. It also included a disaster when my friend’s nylon saddle bags fell apart and slipped to one side –the exhaust side naturally – because of the rough goat track and destroyed a few thousand dollars worth of electrical gear. As I had pulled the headlight fuse I turned my driving lights on in the dust and kept them on the whole week I was in Cambodia without any dramas.

After 3 nights we left Phnom Penh and took Highway 5 to Sisaphon. It is a good road all the way to Battambang. After Battambang there were several dirt sections. It was also where the locals have discovered the ‘wonderful’ Thai habit of throwing water. I guess over the next few years the rest of Cambodia will discover this ‘wonderful’ experience but I hope not. At the guesthouse in Sisaphon the owner told us of a road about 40 kms before Sisaphon which would take us on a good road to O’smach, but we had decided to try our luck exiting at Poi Pet.

Next day we went to Poi Pet arriving there at 6.30am. The Cambodians had no interest in our bikes. It then took us more than an hour to get through Thai Immigration. Then we had to show our Temporary Export forms to the Thai Customs and you sign a big book they put in front of you. That’s it.

A few side notes. ATMs tend to spit out $US50 and $US100 notes. Changing a $50 note is hard let alone a $100 note, especially when it’s public holidays and the banks are closed. Don’t give away your smaller notes if you don’t have to. Most of the petrol stations have different numbers allocated to their fuel. I just went for the most expensive figuring it must have a higher octane rating. It seemed to work. The Garmin GPS map that Nightrider provided was excellent – a big thank you to him. My 2011 Versys performed fantastically as did the Givi side bags. The bags didn’t let in one little bit of dust. Also Cambodians drive like Thais, just on the other side of the road! At my first roundabout I stopped, looked at it and seeing there was little traffic around I went around it from the left. But I got better at it as we went on. When I put this report up last week before the server crash someone commented about the need for insurance. At no time did I see anywhere you could get it. And seeing as I was given no paperwork to enter Cambodia I assume I wouldn’t have been able to get any anyway. I was happy to ride around at my own risk. Having said that I was clipped once as I was slowly overtaking a car and he decided to overtake the bike in front of him. As I said my choice my risk.

Lastly if you are like me and have never crossed out of Thailand before and are ‘nervous’ about doing it, just do it. Cambodia is excellent. We just took it slow and steady, smiled a lot especially around the Immigration and Customs officials and everyone was very helpful. I’ll be going back again – soon. Just don’t tell the missus!
Insurance isn't available at the border on the Cambodian side. It's your own risk. Maybe you could have arranged something in Phnom Penh, maybe. But for most people, it's a case of take your responsibility. In the not too distant future, insurance will be offered, reportedly. But for now, you can't get it at the border unless you arrange it in advance.
 

Russ McDermid

Member
Joined
Jan 30, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai & Hereford, UK.
Bikes
Honda Transalp XL700VA in the UK, and a CRF250L & V-strom in Thai.
.. often rider's don't try and get the bikes there as the party line is you have to take a tuk tuk by the checkpoint security guards
In April 2015, I rode all around the site, and where physically possible, its was quite easy to ride right up to MOST of the ruins on the bike. No-body ever chased us off.

IMG_20150405_101009.jpg

Just look confident !!
:vee:
 
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