Preah Vihear temple, and a visit to see Pol Pot.....

rhiekel

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
My friend Joe was visiting from America, and we decided a quick blast over to Cambodia was just the ticket. An early start from Pattaya, and then down along the coast to Hat Lek. Standard border crossng, but be sure to bring the actual green book for your bike, or the Thai side will not let you leave. On the Cambo side the visa fee is 20 us dollars, but they will attempt to shake you down for 25 dollars. Stick to your guns and they will relent after a while ....
Then an easy ride down to Sihounookville. The road south from the border is great, but riding down it always brings back memories when the road was a mud nightmare. If you were on the road and saw rain clouds in front of you, you would know the true meaning of fear... A few days there relaxing, and then time to head north to Phnom Penh.
Always interesting to see how rapidly PP is almost reinventing itself. The change occurring there is amazing, with boggling traffic jams and high rise buildings now being built. Beware of the Lexus SUV with RCAF plates on them.....They are driven by hi-so Khymers, who consider all other vehicles, including motorcycle travelers, as peasants impeding their progress. My brother saw one run over a local guy on a small bike, and he said the brake lights did not even flash...
While in PP, my friend Peter came down on his Africa Twin. Somewhat notable is the fact his bike has a large Union Jack painted on the tank.... :-) After a few days on enjoying the amazing nightlife there :twisted: , it was time to head off and do something of note. I had never been to the Preah Vihear temple, and since it is a regular news item with Cambodia and Thailand fighting over it, it seemed like a good idea to go see it. It cannot be accessed from the Thai side due to the military, so the only way to see it is from the Cambodia side. So an early morning start, and soon there are three Africa Twins streaking down the road....
 

rhiekel

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
Basically the route is the same way as going to Siam Reap, but before you get to Siam Reap you cut off the main highway, and head due north towards the Thai border. It is road construction almos the entire way, part of Cambodia plan to have good access to Preah Vihear. Perfectly flat road , but we were eating a fair amount dust along the way. There were a lot of military encampments along the way, and even more when we got close to the temple. If Thailand decides to invade the area, they will be in for a firefight............ :shock:
Just below the temple area, Joe gets a flat tire on his bike. Cambo soldiers looked on in amusement as we started fixing it . Jokingly I motioned to one soldier that I wanted to try boxing with him. He seemed to want to have no part of the giant foreigner, but this got a big laugh out of his fellow soldiers..
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I was not kidding about the Union Jacked Africa Twin........
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So after the tire drama, it was up a short winding road to the temple itself.
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Here is the edge of the cliff ,looking down towards the Cambodian side. Joe and Peter forced me to stand in a hole so I would not tower over them.....
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rhiekel

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
The views are quite amazing, especially at sunset.
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I am always taken back by the stone work. Basically they take irregular shaped stones, and then custom fit them together. You will see this throughout Ankor Wat.
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Here is a bunker they built to withstand Thai shelling....
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It's good to be out on the road !! Here is inside part of temple.
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KTMphil

Senior member
Joined
Jan 11, 2011
Location
Chiang Mai, Thailand
Bikes
2007 KTM 990 Adventure Suzuki DRZ 400
Will make this a stop in our Cambo tour. I didn't realize that you can only get to this temple at the Thai/ Cambo border ONLY from the Cambo side, good to know!

Thanks for taking the time very unique report.
 

rhiekel

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
After the temple, we rode down in the dark to a small town that was nearby. There was a wedding going on, and I noticed a huge wall of speakers when we rode in. Hmmmm, that cannot be good... Yep, about 4 in the morning they are playing god awful music at full blast. Impossible to sleep. Putting in ear plugs helped, but even that did not completely stop it. Oh well, hard to get mad, just chalk it up to amazing Asia.......
Next morning, up early , and headed west to Anlong Veng to hang with Pol Pot's ashes. After he was disposed, he fled north to this area which is right on the Thai border. I think his house was 100 meters from the border. So if for some reason the government actually tried to get him, he would just skip across the border to Thailand. But no worries, he faced no punishment whatsoever for killing 1.5 million people. :o :o :o

Here is the Africa Twin team posed in front of his grave.
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The sign in front of his grave. The grave is not very impressive, looks like a chicken coop...
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rhiekel

Member
Joined
Jan 22, 2011
This sign says " Pol Pot was sentenced here". Not really sure what he was sentenced to, as to the best of my knowledge, he never spent one day in jail. My goal was to piss on his grave, to show my contempt for what was a true monster of a man. Visit S-21 prison in Phnom Penh to see the horror that can be created by one man when others are so weak that they will follow. However my plan went astray when I saw there a bunch of people sort of camped around the grave site. Was not sure if they were former followers or just poor people, so in the interest of not creating an international incident, I decided to abandon my pissing plan.
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Pol Pot lived in this general area, which is right on the Thai border. Quite pretty outlook down to the valley. Guess from here he could see soldiers coming to get him. This outlook is where one of his generals/henchmen lived.
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Joe and I blasted back the same day to Pattaya, and Peter headed back to PP for more disportment. Overall a great trip. To see Preah Vihear was something I have wanted to do for a long time.
 

Harrythefinn

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 18, 2011
Location
Korat
Bikes
XR650R (3) XL600M AJS500(in bits) KTM525, Husaberg FE570
Went there about ten years ago well before the road was there. Funny thing was I was with some Khmer riders and while walking to Pol Pots grave one of the riders was picking flowers from the side of the track. Once at the grave he placed them on the grave. I know he was one of the refugees that had to flee to Thailand and he had told me before that he only survived by drinking rain water from buffalo hoof marks. The rest of his immediate family was killed. So I asked him why the flowers? he said that " he could not hurt anyone anymore " . :cry:

A different perspective to forgiveness than Westerners.
 
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