Monday, 2 September 2013


 On my return from a full day out exploring, shooting machine guns and learning more about the gruesome history of this nation, I am stepping out of the tuk-tuk in the late afternoon and hear somebody calling my name?!  It is some friends I had made a couple of nights back and apparently we are going out again now for 50 cent beers and beef curry.  A great place not far from my room where we sit and chat on the balcony, the mighty Mekong river in full view, not much more than a stone’s throw away. 
The evening kicks on with many laughs and we later jump on a rickety old boat and go for a short cruise up the river with a few more cold beers.  It’s such an interesting little city and I love the vibe of it, very relaxed and friendly, though with the feel of an old wild west town, almost lawless, where you just get the feeling anything could happen at any moment.  My kind of place!

But it’s time to head north to Siem Reap to begin a dirtbike journey through rural Cambodia and I book a bus ticket for the next day.  The seats are cheap so I book 2 to guarantee more comfort, though it is still a rough old ride up there as there is a lot of construction happening on the roads, considering it is the main highway it feels almost like 4 wheel driving. 
We stop at a little town called Kompong Thom for lunch but i just want to keep going, this trip is already taking too long.  As usual I have somewhere booked through Agoda and when I finally arrive in Siem Reap, a couple of bucks with a tuk-tuk gets me to my hotel.  The US dollar is the currency of choice here with the Cambodian Riel playing second fiddle.

I am dealing with a bad cold so postpone my trip on the bike for a couple of days and try to recover, I give myself 2 days then figure ‘what the hell’ and make plans to go anyway, still not feeling 100%.  I am to go with Hidden Cambodia Dirt Bike Tours but it is only myself and a guide that will be doing the trip, I had tried to join another group but there was none available.  

In hindsight this made for a much better trip with only myself and ‘Slim’ doing the miles.  Slim turns out to be an awesome guy and we get along so well over the trip that we still keep in touch today.  We will be riding Honda XR250’s which I know are great reliable bikes and turn out to have enough power for the tracks we ride.