This weekend allows for only a one-day trip and I am planning to ride with Maraile to visit Angkor Borei and Phnom Da (Phnum Dai) in Takeo (Takaev) Province. The place is said to be most beautiful and unique during the rainy season, when most of the area is submerged in water. On my previous visits (by motorbike via Phnom Chisor; by boat from Takeo town) the place was entirely dry. In strong contrast, it is definitely rainy season now and there have been extensive rain in the past weeks and even flooding in some other areas. I add some pictures from a more recent trip to Angkor Borei and Phnom Da via Phnom Chisor (Phnom Chissor, Phnom Chi Sou) below this report in the same post (by bike to Phnom Chisor in 2003, and in July 2005)
We take the motorbike to reach Takeo town and head to the riverside to find a boat. We don’t have to look for long to find one and to agree with the driver on the price (US$ 25 for the round trip). Two Khmer passengers join the ride on the fast boat to Angkor Borei.
Continue reading Takeo, Angkor Borei, Phnom Da, Phnom Chisor, in the Rainy Season
The plan for today is to ride from Kampot to Phnom Penh via Kep, and to visit Phnom Chissor (Phnom Chissor, Phnom Chisor, Phnom Chi Sou) in Takeo Province on the way. It is raining heavily by the time we get up. Distance and road are not a big deal but the prospect of doing this trip in strong rain is unpleasant. It keeps raining while we have extensive breakfast.
Continue reading Kampot to Phnom Penh via Kep, Takeo and Phnom Chissor
My buddy Uwe has just arrived in Phnom Penh for a joint 4 weeks Southeast Asia trip. Our somewhat ambitious plan is to start with a three day motorbike trip to Kep and Kampot in Cambodia, while our visas for Laos, Burma, Vietnam and are being processed in Phnom Penh, and later to visit all these countries in that order.
I have been to Kampot and Kep (Kaeb) a number of times (Kampot and Kep – Ein Tag am Meer, Phnom Penh to Kampot, New Year at Bokor, Caves in Kampot, Sunset in Kep, Swimming at Toek Chhou, By Motorbike from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh via Kampot), but always went on National Road 3. According to the map, National Road 31, which departs from Road 3 about half way from Phnom Penh to Kampot and leads more directly to Kep, is under construction. Contrary to the map, a number of people told us that the road has long been finished and now makes for a comfortable ride.
Continue reading Phnom Penh to Kep by Motorbike via National Roads 3 and 31
Today the plan is to go to Takeo (Takaev) again and to visit Angkor Borei and Phnom Da (Phnum Dai) with two friends: Maraile and Becky. Becky is a motorbike enthusiast while Maraile did not yet discover her passion for bikes. While I visited Angkor Borei by motorbike a few weeks ago, we want to do the trip from Takeo to Angkor Borei with the fast boat.
Continue reading Phnom Penh to Takeo by Motorbike and to Angkor Borei by Fast Boat
Today is Thursday and I want to ride back to Phnom Penh in the morning. In fact I want to be in the office in the afternoon. Now that I came to Sihanoukville on national road 4 I want to return via Kampot, which is along national road 3. The guide books suggest that this road is covered with bomb craters which make for a bumpy and time-consuming ride. However, people in the guesthouse told me that the road is ok, so I give it a try. It is the first time that I ride on national road 3 between Sihanoukville and Kampot.
Continue reading By Motorbike from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh via Kampot
Today is Sunday. I have recently moved and live now in the Apartment of Toby and Katrin, the second time that I have this privilege. In addition, Toby was kind enough to let me ride his motor bike. This has boosted my quality of live enormously and in particular my mobility. I greatly enjoy riding to work and all around in Phnom Penh.
After I was unwell yesterday I want to make up today. The plan is to travel to Takeo (Takaev) Province. All three of my guide books recommend visiting Phnom Da (Phnum Dai), Angkor Borei and the – partly ancient – ‘water canal highways’. The ‘Adventure Cambodia’ guide book in particular praises this trip and recommends visiting Angkor Borei by fast boat from Takeo town. It also says that Angkor Borei town (which is connected by water to Takeo town) may have been the heart of the Funan empire, which is called the “Cradle of Khmer Civilization” by Cambodians. The Funan empire is much older than Angkor and had its heyday between the 1st and 6th centuries and stretched across South Vietnam through Thailand, down through Malaysia and into Indonesia. This sounds all very interesting and I want to give it a try.
Continue reading Bike trip to Angkor Borei and Phnom Da in Takeo Province
Some weeks ago Dara and Vuth had told me there would be a massive yew year party at the casino on top of Bokor Mountain in Kampot province. They told me they would go and asked whether I would join. I agreed and reserved a bike at Phnom Penh Bike Shop for December 29. I just gave back the (pretty used up) Honda Baja yesterday to lucky! lucky! Today I find at the Phnom Penh Shop that only one bike is left, which is a Honda Degree. Those bikes are the most common, cheapest and in many cases oldest dirt bikes available in Phnom Penh. Yet at this point it is not likely that I get a better bike anywhere else and I take it.
Furthermore I learn that Dara, Vuth and the owner of this shop have left already to hit Kirirom National Park on the way to Bokor. I have been to Kampot but never saw Bokor before. And I do not mind having a special New Year party. After I get the bike I decide to leave the next day, to go the 150 km to Kampot. This gives me more time to spend in Kampot and I assume there are fewer crazy people on the road heading to this party. Kampot is a three hour trip from Phnom Penh, mostly on National Road 3. The plan is to go some time the next day the remaining way to the top of Bokor Mountain. The road up to the summit of the mountain is said to be difficult.
Continue reading Kampot First Day: Phnom Penh to Kampot
I met Katrin a couple of times, who is consultant and works on indigenous land rights. Once I met her with Dietmar who is on a South East Asia backpack like tour. As it happens, Katrin has some passion for big motos and a friend who is into motos, too. Dietmar wants to travel to the south and see Sihanoukville. So we thought it would be a good idea to travel to Kep over the weekend, which is a small town at the ocean.
We start with a breakfast at the Foreign Correspondence Club (FCC), which is a place that is at the riverfront, sort of expensive frequented by foreigners who can afford it l to hang out here.
This one is taken from the balcony at the backside of the FCC to the east. On the opposite side of this square is the National Museum. The building to the left is most likely among what remains from the French. In the center is a place where people play soccer in the morning and evening.
Continue reading Kampot and Kep – Ein Tag am Meer
Today is Sunday. I rented the motor bike for the entire weekend and wanted to go to Phnom Chisor (Phnom Chissor, Phnom Chi Sou )today, after I failed to find it yesterday. And I managed to persuade the tourist student to give me company. We decided to go with two motos, both the big one and the smaller one he uses for moto services.
We started after breakfast at about ten am. He told me that he never rode a big moto before. I showed him on the way how to drive the big moto but he preferred to first go to Phnom Chiso and than practice riding it.
This is a medium sized temple which we reached after we went about 40 km south on the national road number two. I though this is a beautiful temple. I spend some time taking pictures but I did not see anybody. Only two dogs.
Continue reading Phnom Chisor
Today is Saturday. I had found a possibility to rent a moto without handing in my passport and wanted to make up for the previous weekend. After an extensive breakfast including the weekend edition of the Cambodia Daily I went to ‘lucky! lucky!’, the Chinese motorcycle rental service.
This is what I got this time. I thought this is good value for $8 per day.
Continue reading To the South Following the Bassac River