Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Ride: Siem Reap - Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Siem Reap - Phnom Penh, Cambodia (14/2/2010)


Heyya..

After spending only 2 days (1 night) in Siem Reap, we started our journey to Phnom Penh, Cambodia.. the ride took only 320 km of distance.. Phnom Penh is the Capital and largest city of Cambodia.. Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville are main cities mostly visited by tourists in Cambodia..




We left Siem Reap at 10.00 am after we had a proper heavy breakfast, provided by Ta Prohm Hotel... I needed a heavy breakfast meal as i was sick on previous day and needed to recover my endurance stamina..




We re-grouped with other bikers (whom stayed at different hotel) and filled up petrol few kilometers away from the hotel..












From Siem Reap, we rode on Route 6... the single-carriage highway was not busy at all.. we had a slow ride and stopped couple of times for photography sessions along the highway... i had 30 minutes of rest at Stoung and met few locals at a lake... i was told by them that the lake is a favourite spot where families would have picnics...


We rode for 158 km until we reached Kompong Thom.. i met the rest at a petrol station where some decided to fill up petrol.. big tank bike like KLR650 does need to fill only once for every 400 km.. OooWiee!!



Then we continued our ride to Phnom Penh.. it had to be another 160 km for us to ride before reaching Phnom Penh... Still on Route 6, the ride turned out to be the WORST ever ride in my life and others' too!! The roads got busier and big vehicles, i.e. SUV, Busses, Lorries and etc didn't even care about motorcycle riders...

Most riders had to avoid these big vehicles... Imagine this, for 160 km, you need to be brave and focus on the road if you ride along the Route 6, entering Phnom Penh.. We were mentally tortured and traumatized with the cars and SUVs.. Every time we overtook a vehicle, we had to honk many times to alert the drivers that we were overtaking them.. if you lose your concentration, you might be ended up under a truck!!!

Scary thoughts, huh...




At 2.00 pm, we managed to reach Phnom Penh in one piece at Khmer Souvenir Monument Statue...











In the city, the motorists drove like mad, crazy... they didn't give signals, coming out of junctions and simply made U-turns right in front of us, as if we do not exist... i guess it is compulsory for motorcycles to stop and give way to cars at All Times!! Pheewww...




We reached our hotel at Street 136.. this is main spot where most of night life happens.. Unfortunately, i could not get a room at the hotel where others were staying.. hence i found Paragon Hotel, which is close by...


The Paragon Hotel which i stayed was a bit turned off.. the room floor was dirty, very small with no window at the price of hotel, USD$23.00 per night...

On second day at Phnom Penh, i checked-out from Paragon Hotel and moved to Mekong Palace Hotel, which was x100 times better, cleaner and costs USD$18.00 per night..











Fortunately, i was lucky to stay on the highest floor which has an open balcony at the other end of the hotel hallway for hotel guests.. From the balcony, i could get a superb view of Mekong River and Tonle Sap River..

Fookin' Priceless!!!



On my first night, I did as what most tourists would do.. snapping photos and try to blend with the environment as Cambodians.. The traffic in Phnom Penh was heavy even at 10.00 pm as it was Chinese New Year...

We followed the locals to P'Sah Cha, where it was used to be the old market, for Chinese New Year celebration... the scene at P'Sah Cha was exactly the same as Uptown and Downtown in Kuala Lumpur...








I found Cambodian culture is unique... everywhere in the city, they love to have picnics... even at the P'Sah Cha market, they placed a huge rug for others to sit and have picnic.. how lovely life they have here.. i'm lovin' it!!























*Photos courtesy of Zaini Zaid


In total, we travelled 320 km of distance with the first 158 km was very relaxing... and absolutely a nightmare and torturous in the final 160 km..

Still, we managed to arrived safely in Phnom Penh, Cambodia...


HooRahh!!



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