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Cambodia

 

This is a summary of my ride through Cambodia in January 2013.(How did I end up riding a dirtbike in Cambodia? )

 

TOTAL DISTANCE COVERED: ~1000 kms = ~600 miles (70% of it on unpaved roads)
TOTAL TIME TAKEN: 1 week
MOTORCYCLE: Yamaha TTR230
TOUR ORGANIZED BY: Dancing Roads
CambodiaRoute

HIGHLIGHTS:

1. Riding through Cambodia! Getting to experience a country as far removed as possible from anything I have seen before. Seeing beautiful tropical landscapes in the kind of rural areas that I’ve heard about but never experienced. So many unspeakably terrible things have happened in this country in my lifetime that I had been a little terrified to go there. I feel forever humbled at being having been able to see it with my own eyes.

 

2. The marvelous friendly amazing people in Cambodia! How I wished I could speak Khmer and converse with them first-hand. The one memory I’ll always have is of Pich and me riding to a small shop on his scooter – him riding and me on the back, clutching a fistful of money to buy ice and some beers to bring back to the rest of the group. There was a group of four guys eating their dinner and drinking some stout beers. They very clearly wanted to have a chat with this strange foreign woman, and Pich had to work hard to interpret between us. Beers acquired, we rode back and I waved at them all the way down the red dirt road while they hollered and waved back. ;)

 

3. Our wonderful guide Chea who put together such a good ride for us and worked so hard to make sure that we were taken care of. And sweet Pich who took such great care of our bikes. When we stopped at the end of the day to relax over beers, he would go to work in prepping our bikes for the next day. Any solo rider can appreciate what a luxury it is to know that you could just get on your bike the next day and ride off without any worry.

 

4. Seeing all those young girls on scooters! :) For some reason, this always make me smile. I remember a 12 year old girl riding up to the shop I mentioned above with her grandfather on the back. So much for driver’s licenses and all those technicalities.

 

5. Seeing the Mekong river in person and touching it. I shiver to think of what this river has seen over thousands of years. To be fortunate enough to see it in person… I’m a very lucky person indeed!

 

6. That one last day on Rabbit Island, lying in a shaded hut by the river, and getting a relaxing sublime massage. It was one of those rare moments that I could completely relax.

 

7. *cough* The riding! Of course, the riding! Before the trip, I’d been slightly worried about being the worst dirt rider and stuffing it a dozen times and breaking parts or limbs. Instead, I rode through everything we came up against and really built my confidence riding on dirt. Someday I’ll go back and do the real hard roads. :)

 

8. Riding into Phnom Penh on the pedestrian sidewalk of the bridge! There might be more dramatic ways to ride into a city, but I cannot offhand think of one. ;)

 

9. Delicious food!! Even the humblest shack we ate at had really tasty fresh food for something like a dollar.

 

10. Visiting the Tomb Raider temples!

LOWLIGHTS:

1. The persistent 90+ degree heat was quite something. If I could do it over, I would probably wear more breathable dirt gear. My BMW jacket did ok when I was moving, but it was pretty warm when I was standing still.

 

2. Being “developed country” wimps who wasn’t allowed to drink the local water or anything with ice in it. As a result, I missed out on drinking the iced Cambodian coffee that my guide had at every meal. ;)
3. The dirt – this was really just part of the experience and not a serious lowlight. It wasn’t uncommon to be caked in reddist dirt from head to toe and needing some serious scrubbing at the end of the day. The dust got into everything.

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PHOTO HIGHLIGHTS

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The Mekong River

Live Spiders!

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