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.
Continue reading From Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri to Phnom Penh, via Snuol, Kampong Cham, Neak Luong
The plan for today is to ride from Kaoh Nheak to Sen Monorom, where we want to spend the next night before heading back to Phnom Penh. This is the second part of our trip from Rattanakiri to Mondulkiri through forest and mountains. We get up fairly early and have breakfast, before we hit the trail again.
Continue reading From Kaoh Nheak to Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri
I have been looking forward to this part of the trip for a long time. During the next two days we attempt to travel from Banlung (Ban Lung) in Rattanakiri to Sen Monorom in Mondulkiri, straight through forest and mountains. This trip is considered one of the most exciting in Cambodia. The authors of the Adventure Cambodia guide book have dedicated a whole 6-pages section to it, entitled “The Death Highway” (their account is posted further down on this page). This title may be a bit exaggerated but they did it (the other way around) during the wet season and ended up doing much of the journey with broken dirt bikes on oxcarts and tattered Russian jeeps.
We plan to spend the night in Kaoh Nhek, a village about half way to Sen Monorum. Tomorrow we continue to Sen Monorum. What thrills me is that we don’t have any spare clutch lever or front tube left before even getting into the rough part of the trip.
Continue reading From Banlung, Rattanakiri to Kaoh Nheak in Mondulkiri
The current issue of the Cambodian Scene Magazine contains an article about traveling northeastern Cambodia thaat may be of interest:
Words and photographs by Moeun Nhean
The northeast of Cambodia is the place to visit at the moment: it’s seriously green, strangely volcanic and noticeably cooler than the rest of the country. Cambodia’s Minister of Tourism H.E Lay Prahos is very excited about the area’s increasing potential—an area attracting more and more tourists.
Continue reading Wonders Of The Northeast
Again, we start early in the morning. For some reasons I do not get much sleep. We pack our stuff and have breakfast. Yet I do not feel like eating and seeing other people having breakfast makes me feel sick. We plan to ride all the way back to Phnom Penh, with a lunch break in Kampong Cham provincial capital. Bun Tach had warned me the other day that my front tire is broken and I need to ride carefully. In addition, we are uncertain about the state of Pongro’s bike, since it fell down many times. So we decide to go to the moto doctor before we head to Phnom Penh.
Those are my boots in the morning. They had gotten pretty wet yesterday, since they where filled with water several times when we had to cross creeks. Those are Meinl boots, equipped with a gore tex membrane which makes them water proof. Although those boots where outside all night while there where strong winds they are still pretty wet in the morning. Getting into them still feels like water is standing in them. I am somewhat surprised that it takes so long to dry those boots. And even of today, almost one week later, they are still not entirely dry, which I find quite disappointing. After all, what is the point of having water proof shows if they never ever get dry once they get water inside?
Continue reading Mondulkiri Fifth Day: Sen Monorom, Snuol, Kampong Cham, Phnom Penh
We get up at 7 am and have breakfast in the guesthouse, before we go to the market and buy food and water. To make sure we don’t get stuck we find a mechanic, have the oil checked and fill up the motos.
Then we head northeast to Bou Sra. We never rode north on this road before and I am surprised that right behind the first hill it is getting rougher than most we have seen yesterday. We cross a small river on an improvised bridge and are charged 500 Riel each by a bunch of kids.
Continue reading Mondulkiri Fourth Day: Pouloung village, Sreiomboum village, Bou Sra
I oversleep and get up only at 7:40 am. We pack our stuff, meet the guide and ride to the market to have breakfast. The guides’ name is Tina, if I got it right. He is 23 years old and Khmer from Kampong Cham. He came to Mondulkiri some years ago to help his sister running a guesthouse. Now he is involved in various aspects of the emerging tourism sector. The numbers of tourists to Mondulkiri has significantly increased with the newly build road. Yet only very rarely we see tourist during this stay in Mondulkiri.
Continue reading Mondulkiri Third Day: Dak Dam Village, Poutrou village, Romanear Waterfalls, Sihanouk Waterfall, Sen Monorom Waterfall, Poutang Village, Doh Kromom
I wake up the next day when Pongro is knocking on my door. It is already bright daylight. Pongro tells me he is alright. And it looks like we will proceed with the trip.
Japanese Bridge in the morning
So I go with the same moto taxi driver who was helpful yesterday to find a mechanic. After asking in a few shops we find a mechanic who is willing to take care of our bikes and claims to be familiar with big motos. So we go back to the guesthouse and later we push the motos the few hundred meters to the shop and go to a food place close by to have breakfast.
Continue reading Mondulkiri Second Day: Kampong Cham, Snuol, Sen Monorom