Adventure motorcycle trip through Cambodia riding to Siem Reap


 
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Unfortunately our 30 days visum expired much to fast. This time, after negotiating the ferry back to the mainland was 30,000 kip for us foreigners. A local family with child and motorcycle, who took the same ferry, paid the regular price: only 5,000 kip.
 

 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
From the port to the border it was 20 km. The border was empty. Nothing was going on. There were no currancy exchange offices. That's why I changed the rest of my money in international currency: cigarettes for 80 cents per box.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The officials worked very slow and did not want to give me the exit stamp without baksish. No problem I thought...I opened the barrier myself and walked 50 metres to Cambodia.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Here we learned, that Jonas was not allowed to take his in Vietnam registered motorcycle across the boarder into Cambodia.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
It was not possibility to bribe the officials. Even our 100 US$ kept laying on the table. This was the end of our trip together.
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Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Now, Jonas had to sell his motorcycle which he had bought for $300 after only 10 days later or get a Vietnam Visum to ride to this country. For all this, he only had 3 days left, before his visa would expire as well. Luckily we did not get an exit stamp. Edit: Now he has sold his bike for 175 euros.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I went on and tried to get the visa for Cambodia. For this an exit stamp from Laos was required and cost 2 US$. Good by Laos!
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
In Cambodia it was the same. Insted of the normal 20 US$ the corrupt police man wanted 25 US$. Tourists who try not to pay have to stand outside in the hot sun untill they pay. No way round.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Anyway most tourists dont even get ther own Visa them selfes. Insted they pay someone 30 US$, to get the Visum for him. Those fixers sometimes enter the visa offices with more then 50 passports in their hands from a whole bus full of tourists. A very good sellery for 30 minutes of work for everybody here.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
At 11:00, the VIP bus with air condition started towards Phnom Penh. I bought a ticket to Kampong Cham for only 13 US$. On the 4000 islands the cheapest offer would have been 32 US$.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The get to Treng (here it is just flat and dusty), the first town after the border would have just been $5 and the trip to Kratie 8 US$ (here you can take a dolphin tour on the Mekong River).
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The road to Kratie is dusty, hot and the potholes are so big, that the bus several times made a ugly scraping noise.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
One time the driver was inattentive and drove into a pothole. There was a mighty blow. The bus seemed to lift off.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The passengers of the last row were catapulted into the air. One of them landed them bleeding on the floor. Hopefully, his coccyx is not broken...
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Just before Kratie the bus stoped at a restaurant, were we could eat something. At dawn we reached the big city Kampon Cham.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
When I left the air conditioned bus, the hot climate kame towards me. "TucTuc?" "no thank you." "TucTuc?" "NO!!!" Where should I go anyway? I started to look for a place to camp by foot. I was back in the zivilisation.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
There were even streetlights. However, out of the bus I've seen that there are still wooden house with water pumps outside of the cities.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
All of the houses were surrounded by a high walls with barbed wire. The gates were closed.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Inside, there would have been plenty of room for a tent. Although I asked more then 20 different families, I did not get permission to camp there.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Kambodia is the first country, were forreighners get treated even wors then in Germany. In Germany it usuarly takes "only" 10 chances untill someone gives you permission to camp in his field.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
And now? I started to walk 1 km strait, away from the city center. Then I saw a new house, were the walls were not finished yet. Perfect. Quietly I went inside, upstairs and pitched my tent on the flat roof.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I just fell asleep, when I saw the bright light of a tourch. In englisch language a man intruduced him self as the owner of this house. The neighbars have called him. If I've already eaten?
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The question surprised me. I was assumed to be sent away again. Instead, the man called his sister.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
She brought rice, fish, tofu, pieces of meat and a few bottles of drinking water. There even were plates and cutlery. Together, we sat on the floor and ate. Wow.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The next morning, I ran to the Mekong river. Here were many hotels and restaurants and also motorcycles rent at 5 US$ per 12 hour day.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
1 US dollar is accepted everywhere in Cambodia as 4000 RIL. 100 Thai Baht as 12000 rill. Unfortunately, most motorcycles had no plates and were not allowed to leave the city.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I should take ths bus into the chaotic city Phnom Penh to rent a bike there. That was what I just wanted to avoid because of the protests there to increase the minimum wage to 120 euros per month.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Finally, with the help of my new friend I but a Honda wave 100 motorcycle for 6 US $ per 24-hour day without a usual contract.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The top speed of 70 km/h is absolutely enough for the road crowded with cows, chickens, people, bicycles, trucks and potholes.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I conected my GPS, loadet plenty of whater and startet to ride the 253 km towards Siem Reap.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The trip along the bad and crowdet road was a real adventure. There were potholes everywere, big trucks came towards me and people were walking there.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Motorcycles who were carrying living pigs, forced to lay on their back, overtook me
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Some Motorcycles were transporting hundereds of living chickens, all bound legs up and head down together.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Many motorcycles were loadet heavily. One of the 125ccm bikes pulled a trailer with a cow inside. Another hundered or more liters of drinking water.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Pickups were overloadet as well. Some of them were standing beside the road with a broken axis.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Big trucks and buses overtook me honking with neck breaking speed. There luggage was hanging many meters out of their back.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I reached Siem Reap and followed the signs to Angkor Wat. Here, the hell was going on.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Hunderets of buses, TucTucs and little stors on wheels were parked on a huge parking space.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
They offered grilled food, cold drinks, sun hats, postcards, fruits and handbags.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The Ruiene Angkor Wat is surrounded by a river and accessible only via a bridge.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Here, cops and ticket officer in light blue shirts walked around with umbrellers against the sun.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
They told me, the entry is free from 17:30 till 18 o clock. Otherwise, a day ticket to enter all temples would cost 20 US$, a ticket for two days 40 US$ and one for 6 days 60 US$.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
For me, half an hour was more then enough to take photos of some old stones.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I waited until 17:30 Uhr. On time like German workers, the checkpoints disappeared and I was allowed to cross the bridge.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
A strait path led me straight to the entrance of the temple. Just the stairways to the top were allready locked inside. The temple should close in 30 minutes.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I dont unterstand! I dont understand! I said and klimbed over it. I wanted to finish in 30 minutes, what others hardly manage in one day. Sonnenuntergang vom Tempel aus? Been there done this.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Self portrait in front of the temple? Done. As it went dark, thousends of touristen left the temple and crossed the bridge.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Every few minutes I was approached by child traffickers. "Do you want some water?" "No. thanks, look here i have a full bottle of water here in my hand."
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
"Do you want some coke?" "No thanks." "Do you want some orange?" "NO!!!!" nerve wracking.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
While the Government told them not to charge higher prices of the tourists then from the local people, they did it everywere.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Locals were allowed to enter the temple for free at any time and did this to sell something to tourists. Only tourists had to pay for everything / a penalty for their bright hair and their exceptional size.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
After nightfall, I followed the endless queues of TucTucs from the temple back into the huge city Siem Reap.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
In Siem Reap there were dozens of hotels, bars, restaurants and night markets. Everything was blinking and was either lit or grate. Everywhere dogs were barking. Some of them ran behind me and tryed to bite me.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Not a good place for camping. I left the city and pitched my tent in a rice field.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
In the morning, I heard steps next to my tent. When I reached out my head, a friendly loughing man greeted me.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The owner of the rice field had discovered my tent, but had not expected a foreigners here.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Foreigners may only do one thing here: pay. In addition to the 20 US$ entrance fee they need to pay 15 US$ per day for a TucTuc with driver and of course for their hotels and restaurants.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
At the same time, foreigners are not allowed to buy or rent a motorbike in Siem Reap.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Luckily I was riding the same small motorcycle as the locals did and not a big one like most of the tourists in Cambodia, so the police did not recognize me as one.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Officially, the reason for the ban of foreigners is the high accident rate. although this is absolutely not a problem in other cities.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Inoffiziell the TucTuc mafia had put pressure onto the government so they can earn more money see hier.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Only the people from Nigeria drive worse then the people in Cambodia. Hardly anyone has a driver's license or cares about any rules.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Nevertheless they allways drive full speed. When it becomes dangerous, they dont use their brakes but start to honk or dazzle others with their lights.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Bicycles and even trucks enter the road coming from their property without looking or caring about the traffic at all. To look to the left or right appears to be banned here.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Even if someone is looking and sees there is someone coming with a motorbike, this does not mean he is going to stop. Insted, they started to drive their big truck right in front of me so I had to hit my breaks as hard as I could.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The worst drivers were the black pickups. The only people who were allowed to drive with their lights on during the day: Governmental officials.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
While normal people were squized together in their busses, the governmental people were mostly driving alone in their air conditioned vehicles and tryed to kill other people.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
If a truck and a bus was coming towards me on the two lain road, the bus did not wait 2 seconds untill I was past. Insted, the bus started to overtake the truck right away, came to me on my lane and pushed me off the road.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
If I wanted to surwive, I had to hit the breaks really hard and had to drive into the ditches.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Luckily there were a lot of garbage and bushes along the roadsides so I did not damage my motorcycle.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Still it was no fun riding a small vehicle in Cambodia. Here allways the biggest vehicle wins the race.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
But now I was still ar: Angkor Wat GPS N13°24'44.5" E103°51'34.6".
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Under the eyes of the farmer, I grabbed my tent and lodet my bike. Then I bought a ticket and took part in a normal, boring, guided tour for the tourist.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
However my imagination did something else. I thought if it would be enter the other temples for free as well just for the fun of it.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Here a purely fictional scenario. It is fictitious and never really happened: I parked my bike at a friendly-looking familys house and stored my stuff.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
This way I could leave the road to search for a hole in the wall around the temples.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
People who like paintball shooting will love Angkor war. The rules are the same: Shoot fotos of the temple but dont let the police catch you.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The areal is located 12 km outside of Siem Reap and has a size of 7 km². Jungle hiking inclusive. I entered Bartay Kdei through a hole in the wall. Behind it there were lots of trees and bushes.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I kept following a path the local people use to catch some frogs. This temple was soroundet by a river as well. There was just one way to enter: I had to go past the enamy.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Hiding behind bushes I walked forward. The police roadblock was close to the main entrance. The cleaning people were not dangerous onely the police. I pretendet to be a normal tourist and quickly took some photos of the old stones and went on. Do you know Geocaching? Find the next destination!
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
My Map showed me the way towards Ta Keo and forther to Angkor Thom. I walked about 4 km. If I wanted a TucTuc? No, this would be against the rules.
There, another police block in front of a bridge. It was impossible to walk around it.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I needet a vehicle. A few minutes before some kids have been laughing, when they saw me walking. Now I went back and sat on the back of his bike. With my hands I pointed towards Angkor Thom.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
My frightened driver brought me past the police and droped me at the gate. From here it was easy to enter the temple. Then I saw another police man sleeping in the shade. I went of the road, pretending to take photos.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Done. I had managed to reach what I wanted to reach. Again hunderets of TucTucs and busses were waiting here for tourists. Thousends of people were walking here too. I joined them and became unvisible this way.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
One after another we went up a steep leather. On top, we had a great view around the areal. I had managed to get here. Now I had to leave. Again, a small little bike was the perfect cover.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Nobody realizes I was a tourist. Tourists allways use the expensive TucTucs. It were another 160 km till Battambang. Here there were onely rice fields all the way till the horizont.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The road towards the border Po Pet and Thailand became wors and wors. The petrol with 1,30 Dollars per liter more and more expensive. 7km out of the big city I started to look for a place to sleep. Here the houses did not have any gates or agressive dogs.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
A very friendly family allowed me to pitch my tent next to their house, while all the neigbars were watching me. If I want to take a shower? A girl was able to talk english better then me and showed me a bucked of water.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
It was nice and cool to refresh after the dusty ride. When I came back, two police man were waiting for me. Fuuuuuuuuuck!!!
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Because intelligent people get better payed jobs, police man are allways stupid. Hardly anyone has more then first grade. They told me I could not camp here, it would be to dangerous.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
I asked the girl to translate that I will stay here. Im not a child anymore and after the dangerous way of driving in Cambodia this place was the safest I have been during the whole day.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
The police wanted to see my passport but the rental companie of the scooter has kept it, so the poor family who allowed me to stay had to show their passports. No wonder, nobody wants to hoast a tourist. Who wants the police to come to his house? Finaly, the idiotes disappeared.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
My hoasts offered me nice soup to eat. I had allready eaten at a restaurant beside the road but there is allways space for nice soup ;)
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
While I was eating, more and more people gathered around me. One of them introduces him selfe as the teacher of this village. He told me that every day thousends of tourists pass this village on their way to the boarder of Thailand, but im the first one to stop here.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
If I wanted to meat his students? Of corse. Hardly ever I had met interesdet and disziplined kids like them. Even it was late at night and the mosquitos were biting us, they were practicing their anglish skills.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
When I arrived, they had a feeling of success: They were able to talk to a forreighner. I asked them if they ever had Malaria or Bilharziose. They denied both. Perfekt.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Because Wikipedia said something else, I went to buy some Praziquental anyway.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
In the morning very loud music woke me up. This is normal in Cambodia. There is allways a reason to make a lot of noise at 4 o clock in the morning. Sometimes a marrige, sometimes some monk prayers.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
On the way back I had planed to also ride down to the coast, but after a truck nearly killed me after the first kilometers, I skiped this plan and decidet to take the shortest way.
 
Motorcycle tour: Thailand, Laos and Cambodscha
Just before I reached the rental companie again, I was riding 2 Meters behind a slow truck, when a 18 meters long bus overtook me and tryed to squize into the 2 meters gap between us. Cambodia is not the best country to ride a motorbike. This trip continues on the next page.
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