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Old 02-07-2015, 11:16 PM   #1
Tigris_GER OP
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Two Germans in Cambodia

OK - I absolutely agree - sleeping in comfortable hotel beds, not being forced to hunt your own food and not riding off road doesnīt sound like an adventure, but sometimes even paved roads can provide at least a kind of adventure if the environment is exotic enough.

In late summer 2014 I decided to make a motorbike tour with Corner Adventures (http://www.corneradventures.com) in Cambodia. Corner Adventures offers several tours in southeast Asia and provides bikes (chinese Jialing with and without sidecars), accommodation, fuel and tourguide etc.

In the evening of 17 January 2015 I arrived after a travel of almost 30 hours from Frankfurt via Hanoi in Siem Reap, the origin of the nine-days Cambodia Loop. At the airport in Siem Reap I met Gerrit, a German from Hannover, who booked the same tour.

After being picked up from the airport by Willem, our tourguide and owner of Corner Adventures, he transported all three of us plus baggage on a Jialing sidecar to Mont Royal Hotel, our base for the next two days.





We closed the evening with some typical Asian food in a street restaurant ($ 1.25 for fried rice) and some more than acceptable Cambodian beer (Angkor - really good, even for me as a German) before I felt into my hotel bed (canīt sleep in airplanes )

In the morning of the next day Gerrit and I explored Siem Reap by foot, a tourism city living from the famous Angkor Wat area only a few kilometers away.

After lunch Willem showed us the Jilaing sidecars and especially their gearbox. The Jialing sidecar has four gears plus a reverse gear. With 600ccm and 40hp it had enough power for the Cambodian roads and allowed to travel with 80 to 100 km/h on paved roads. Even Cambodian paved roads donīt allow more than 100km/h, at least if you are not looking to commit suicide.

"My" Jialing combo, I used in Cambodia:



As a first ride we visited an old temple area outside Siem Reap (no - Angkor Wat will be on day 2 of the trip). Traffic in Siem Reap and everywhere in Cambodia is far away from European standards, millions of scooters and Tuk-Tuks, scooters with trailers for transport of persons, the southeast Asian version of a taxi, animals, persons - and all do their own thing on the roads. But, I have to confess, although it looks chaotic, Cambodians are not aggressive in traffic, what made it easy to adjust to their way of traffic.



On the way to the temple area we left paved roads and used some unpaved roads. A lot of pottholes, waves and red dust. When I arrived in the hotel after the tour all my clothes were covered with red dust.



In the evening we explored Siem Reapīs nightlife - they have a "pub street" with bars and restaurants all the way.

To be continued
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Old 02-07-2015, 11:42 PM   #2
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Looking forward to this. Thanks for posting
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Old 02-08-2015, 02:54 AM   #3
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On day 2 we take the bikes, Gerrit and I sidecar combos, Willem a solo bike, and ride to Angkor Wat. Unfortunately they donīt let us enter as the motorbikes have foreign (chinese) license plates. OK - back to the hotel and again to Angkor Wat, this time with a Tuk-Tuk.

For almost two hours we walk around in the famous temple area, together with some thousand other tourists. The temeperature is almost 30 degrees Celsius, definitely not my favourite weather for walking.

Fortunately most of the other tourists concentrate on the front of Angkor Wat what allows me to take a picture on the backside with almost no tourists.



We return to the hotel, have lunch and do another ride around Siem Reap in the afternoon, just for testing and making familiar with the bikes.

The next day - day 3 - the Cambodia loop will start with a planned distance of 450 km, around 100 of them on unpaved roads (road under construction for year already).
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Old 02-08-2015, 04:37 AM   #4
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Here two photos of Cambodian nightlife. The pub street in Siem Reap



and a customized SR 500, advertising a bar called "Red Piano"

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Old 02-08-2015, 08:19 AM   #5
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Day 3 - the Cambodia loop starts. From Siem Reap to Kratie at river Mekong. Most of the time we ride the bikes we ride through lowlands, only seeing hills and mountains in some distance. Unfortunately the view is not clear, we donīt know if it is a result of the climate or of the slash-and-burn agriculture we can see everywhere.

A lot of fires burning the fields to prepare them for the next sowing.



On our way we meet typical Cambodian means of transportation.



On our way through the small villages we see a lot of these houses on posts, I guess they are supposed to keep the houses dry during rainy season (from April to November). Now, in January, it is dry season, temperature up to 35 degrees Celsius, likelyhood of rain at approximately 0%.



After 310km we arrive at river Mekong. The ferry we want to use stopped working, so we used a brandnew bridge, constructed with technical support from China. A foot passenger ferry, crossing a small sidearm of river Mekong, unfortunately isnīt able to transport the sidecar combos.



Hence on my bike the chain protection looses a screw, we repair under supervision of some Cambodian kids.



Almost 80kilometers of the 450 kilometers we ride that day are on unpaved roads, or better: roads under construction. With the result that I, as the last one riding, am covered with red dust again when we arrive in Kratie.
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Old 02-08-2015, 09:41 PM   #6
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SEA is a fascinating place. Looking forward to the rest of your trip
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Old 02-08-2015, 11:07 PM   #7
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Day 4 - 240 km from Kratie to Phnom Penh. We leave Kratie, of course, without seeing any of the rare and famous Mekong Dolphins (Irrawaddy Dolphins). As long as we ride parallel to river Mekong we have to cross a lot of oneway-bridges over feeders to Mekong.



From time to time we make our stops in small villages to drink water. At temperatures of more than 30 degrees a must to avoid serious dehydration. Although the official currency of Cambodia is Riel, US Dollars are accepted everywhere, even in the smallest village. At ATM you can choose between Riel or US Dollar.



Scooters and small motorbikes are the main means of transportation, for persons as well as for goods and tools. During one of our stops we find this mill on a trailer behind a "chopped" scooter.



In the early afternoon we arrive in Phnom Penh, staying in a backckers hotel in the centre. The last 30 km to enter Phnom Penh are a nightmare, a six lane road, three lanes each direction, a lot of construction sites, vehicles our lane (inbound) to drive outbound and opposite. After arrival at the hotel I take a Tuk-Tuk for one hour to make a kind of sightseeing tour.
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Old 02-09-2015, 11:21 PM   #8
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Day 5 - 250 km from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville at the southwest coast of Cambodia.

To leave Phnom Penh (30 km) we need more than one hour. Scooters, small bikes, some cars and a number of trucks make it a hard ride on roads which are mostly under construction.







Sihanoukville is backpackers paradise, thousands of young people from all over the world enjoying the cheap life at the Cambodian coastside and having party all night long.

A bed in a bunkhouse in Sihanoukville is available for 2$, a room with a fan for 15$ and a room with AC for 25$.

Day 6 - we make a rest in Sihanoukville. Gerrit decides to go for Island Hopping with a small boat, I take pictures at the beach and decide to do nothing else (OK - walking a little around in Sihanoukville).

Our hotel in Sihanoukville, 200m from the beach











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Old 02-16-2015, 09:25 PM   #9
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Day 7 - 240 km from Sihanoukville to Koh Kong at the border to Thailand. For me the best part of the trip, with hills in the rainforrest, up and down, left and right.

On the photo one can see the steering sidecar wheel.



A short stop to dring water. The temperatures are again above 30 degrees Celsius and water is urgently needed.



We find this kind of houses along all rivers.



Water buffalos in water - wherelse?



Unfortunately we saw elephants only when we visited Angkor Wat but not in nature. But it looks like there are still some in Cambodia.

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Old 02-17-2015, 01:51 PM   #10
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I visited Vietnam and Cambodia last year, must have been amazing to experience Cambodia on a motorbike. Hectic traffic though, especially at night

Funny to see some familiar sights, especially the custom bike in front of the Red Piano

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigris_GER View Post
Here two photos of Cambodian nightlife. The pub street in Siem Reap



and a customized SR 500, advertising a bar called "Red Piano"

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Old 02-18-2015, 02:49 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tigris_GER View Post
sleeping in comfortable hotel beds, not being forced to hunt your own food and not riding off road doesnīt sound like an adventure, but sometimes even paved roads can provide at least a kind of adventure if the environment is exotic enough.

Absolutely true. Not every moto excursion has to put you in danger of losing life or limb, and it doesn't matter if the cool kids on ADVrider won't let you join them at recess.
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Old 02-21-2015, 12:00 AM   #12
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Day 8 - 340 km from Koh Kong to Battambang, 210 km of it in Thailand. Thailand was a kind of disappointing. No scenic views, just good roads and a lot of people leaving these roads. There's only one nice photo, unfotunately not a good one.



Day 9 (last day) - 170 km from Battambang back to Siem Reap, the origin of our tour. Before we start the last trip, we visit a so called Killing Field near Battambang, where Kmer Rouge in the 70ies killed political opponents, with a Tuk-Tuk.



Today there is a monument and a monastery, a mixture of a memorial place and a commercial site. It's everywhere in Cambodia the same, wherever there is a possibility, people try to make some money.

Here they sell fried insects, on the table behind the little boy, today I regret that I havenīt tried them



40 km after Battambang my Jialing combo stops working. We try to repair it in a scooter workshop at the road but cannot find the reason. We decide to transport the sidecar on a truck to Siem Reap and I join Gerrit in the sidecar of his combo.



Later, in Siem Reap, Willem identifies the problem. A screw in the ignition lock was not fixed properly with the result that the ignition platine in the bottom part of the lock didnīt have correct contact.

All in all we made approximately 1.700 km in Cambodia, a beautiful country with very friendly and polite people. I guess there is much more to see but unfortunately our time was over.

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Old 02-22-2015, 02:26 AM   #13
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Thats a new way to kill your political opponents! Although, looking at that TukTuk, maybe not!
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Old 02-22-2015, 02:56 AM   #14
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For any reason I canīt edit the text. If I try, I only see an empty text box without my text.

I already recognized some mistakes (typos, bad expression etc.) But I'm unable to correct it :-(

Sorry
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Old 02-22-2015, 05:42 AM   #15
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Been really enjoying your RR, never mind the typo's or grammer. Thanks for posting your travels.
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