The plan for today is to ride from Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri all the way back to Phnom Penh. This is quite a ride in terms of distance but fortunately the road is in good condition. Most of it is paved, much of it recently. We plan on first traveling to Snuol on Provincial Road 76, a distance of 135km on decent dirt road. From Snuol we follow the recently upgraded National Road 7 through Memot towards Kampong Cham.
About 12km before reaching Kampong Cham we turn south right after we pass Chob and follow Provincial Road 11 through Prey Veng to Neak Luong (Neak Loeang, Neak Loeung), a distance of almost 100km on paved road with little traffic through rubber plantations. The route through Prey Veng is a moderate detour but due to little traffic and the bending road a much nicer ride than the alternative National Roads 6 and 7. Moreover, these roads tend to be terribly jammed in the evenings, particularly during holidays such as today. We cross the Mekong River in Neak Luong and head back to Phnom Penh on National Road 1.
We have breakfast at the Long Vibol Guesthouse and stop at a gas station in Sen Monorom to fill up and clean the bikes before hitting the road.
Sen Monorom in the morning
Cleaning and filling up the bike, checking tires.
Break along the dirt road to Snuol.
The road is in good condition most of the time, though the ride is a fairly dusty one.
Becky and Toby
This is a few kilometers before we reach Snuol
Shortly after we reach Snuol where we get on National Road 7. This road is in mint condition and has little traffic, allowing for traveling at top speed most of the time and this is what we do.
Break to fill up the tanks of the bikes.
From here we ride to Memot, were we have a break and some lunch. A wedding is taking place and people have beautified the road side with colorful fabric.
Children are flying kites in a neighboring street
We keep riding towards Kampong Cham. At one point we come across this car which apparently has broken down. The driver has marked the spot with some wood only a few meters before and behind the car, and is in the process of repairing his vehicle right in the middle of the road.
I am having some problems with my bike. The engine starts stammering and after a few hundred meters, turns off. After some minutes I manage to start again but a few kilometers later the same happens again. This keeps happening a number of times. Its not the petrol since the other bikes are ok. I figure that the pipe between tank and engine is clogged. At some point we find a mechanic and stop to have it fixed. We use the chance to also clean the air filters of all bikes which are very dirty.
Roadside repair shop
My bike and young chicken
From here it is only a few kilometers before we reach Kampong Cham. We turn left (south) a few kilometers before Kampong Cham and follow Provincial Road 11 through Prey Veng. This road makes for a very nice ride, certainly compared to alternative National Roads 6 and 7. It is narrow but paved and leads through rubber plantations. We reach Prey Veng town, fill up the bikes again and continue, passing by the Ba Phnom area, follow the road along the Mekong River until we reach Neak Luong.
We realize that we are on a tight schedule if we want to make it to Phnom Penh before dark. We are lucky and manage to get onto the ferry right away.
However, National Road 1 between Neak Luong and Phnom Penh is in regrettable conditions, very narrow and bumpy and on top quite crowded. Accordingly we are traveling significantly slower. Inevitably, the sun is setting down and we are riding the last few kilometers to Phnom Penh in the dark.
We ride straight to the posh Foreign Correspondents Club at Phnom Penh’s riverside, were we have food and drinks and celebrate the exciting trip and the fact that we made it without getting hurt or lost.
13 thoughts on “From Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri to Phnom Penh, via Snuol, Kampong Cham, Neak Luong”
Almost Cambodian territory is printed with your foot, Stefan 🙂
By the way, please kindly change the link to my blog(xwanna.blogspot.com) to http://blog.icambo.com/ [iCAMBO Blog] instead! Thanks in advance!
You guyz stopped at the Foreign Correspondents Club right after the long journey. You look Yellow from the dusty roads 😉
you journeys are great examples on how to get the best of Cambodia. So what is the next destination: Waterfall at the Laos border, or Krovagn mountain in Pursat, or some unknown territories?
Thanks for kind words. I am in Canada right now and the next destination is Algonquin provincial park in Ontario, for a 8 day canoe and camping trip through the interior of the park.
However, waterfall at the Laos border and Krovagn mountain in Pursat sounds at least as appealing and I am confident to visit these places after I return to Cambodia around next Khmer New Year.
You are based in Siem Reap and I would also like to travel the northeast of Cambodia more extensively so hope to meet you in person sometime in Siem Reap.
great that you plan to explore more. Yes i’m from Siem Reap but my job has taken abroad. I normally go back home one or twice a year and hopefully during the next Khmer new year as well.
meanwhile enjoy your camping!
It looks like you had an amazing trip; it also seems as if you have considerable experience in all-things-Khmer. I am wondering if you are able to share with me some ‘local knowledge’ about living / travelling in Cambodia. I am a graduate student seriously considering doing my research there, mainly in Phnom Penh, but unfortunately I have never even been. So I am concerned about the actual logistics of living / working in Cambodia. I appreciate any advice you can give me.
By the way, sind Sie Deutsch?
Ja, ich bin Deutscher. Da Du gut Englisch schreibst wird es Dich kaum stoeren, wenn ich nicht in Deutsch antworte?
Btw, do you have any affiliation with Canada, as your email would indicate? Funnily I am currently in Canada, working on the conceptual part of my PhD before returning to Cambodia for field work in early 2007.
Yeah, I had amazing trips in Cambodia and some experience with the country. I am more than happy to share whatever aspects of my experience may be useful for you, if you indicate more specifically what you are interested in. Overall, I am sure doing your research in Cambodia would be a very rewarding experience. However, there are also serious constrains, such as the absence of libraries. For the most part, living and working in Cambodia is nice and easy.
For a starter, much general information can be found on the chat forum of Khmer440, with most patrons being expats in Cambodia:
Don’t hesitate to ask more specific question and I will try my best to answer, within the constraints of my fairly busy schedule.
This looks so exotic, even compare to Thailand. Hunter Cashdollar
Looks really good,
I am heading for cambodia in jan/february and want to do some dirtbiking.
So how can I meet up with others for a trip, and can I hire bike/gear in cambodia?
I suggest you check the following three resources for detailed information on this:
Hey, i lived in and around sen monorom and the jungle between there and conyac throuout 2006. the dirt biking was immense! fun rides from sen monorom town to busra the back way via the old quarry and the cmac camp. then back again on the toll road ready for a pint of anchor draft at nature lodge.
were you part of Rhineys gang? a germn dirtbiker who traveled to and from pp to mondulkiri?
Great adventure !
To read more about Cambodia, visit the website : http://www.netvibes.com/cambodia
thanks for the sharing the nice pictures 🙂