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[Ride Report] S4^dreamer & Pplater Laos-Cambodian Tour


Pplater
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On May 11th 2009, Debbie and I followed on the trails of precedents who have rode Laos and Cambodia. In posting our ride report, we’ll provide route information and updated road conditions encountered on our tour, just as others have assisted us with sincerity.

 

Day 1- Singapore to Hatyai (South Thailand) (11 Hours on the road on the NSH)

 

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/Sadao-Border1.jpg

Edited by Pplater

P-plate should be an attitude to safety and riding. There's always more to learn.

 

10417710_10152885054228332_2597706433133321618_n.jpg?oh=a3e4c65165b15e5d659161c304211563&oe=54FB0965

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Day 1:

 

The furthest I have ridden before this trip was Betong, Yala Province. This is my 3rd tour only and I'm still waiting for my Class 2.

 

Anyway, this is the 1st time I'm travelling so far up to Hatyai in just day one. It's a whole new experience for me.

Edited by s4^dreamer

Biking is something that everyone can learn and enjoy! :goodluck:

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/Poipet-Cambodia1.jpg

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Day 2 - Hatyai to Hua Hin

 

On Day 2, we rode up from Hatyai to Hua Hin. And we had to do about 3 hours plus of night riding. It was a nightmare for me.

 

First of all, it's pitch-dark.

 

Secondly, imagine having vehicles U-turning in the middle of the highway, it's something I never really thought of but just heard of. I should say that it's something you've got to experience it for yourself.

 

Thirdly, I was having a major migraine and I had to cover this whole leg with that pain! :cry:

 

Next, imagine having cones popping in front of you in the middle of the highway...

Gasp! I had to jam-break and then swerve to avoid them.

The way they place the cone doesn't allow us to react early because they are placed horizontally... Plus it's dark... :giddy::giddy:

 

Lastly, there are also some uneven roads that causes major bumps to my bike... that made my migraine even worse... I almost wanted to puke while riding...

 

Nevertheless, I managed to reach Hua Hin.

 

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/HuaHinMarketVillage.jpg

Edited by s4^dreamer

Biking is something that everyone can learn and enjoy! :goodluck:

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/Poipet-Cambodia1.jpg

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It was only day 2 and our 'no night-riding" rule went out of the window. Prior to this tour I had no experience riding at night in Thailand, so this was a new experience for me too. Compared to night riding in Malaysia, I have to admit Thailand's night rides are a little more challenging. The Malaysians know how to lay their cones to close a lane safely over a hundred metres or two, especially on the NSH. The Thais, on the other hand, sometimes close their lanes horizontally, even after a corner :slapforehead:

Edited by Pplater

P-plate should be an attitude to safety and riding. There's always more to learn.

 

10417710_10152885054228332_2597706433133321618_n.jpg?oh=a3e4c65165b15e5d659161c304211563&oe=54FB0965

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Day 3 - Hua Hin to Bangkok

 

It was supposed to be a 500 odd km ride to Cambodia, something our predecessors completed with ease. This leg went wrong for us 200km from the start. Route 35 was not labeled numerically. In retrospect, we highly suspect the right turn off Route 4 towards ‘Bang Phae’ was actually Route 35. We overshot into Bangkok and got stuck in a heavy jam.

 

Spectrum had loaned me a GPS unit. We switched it on but the map’s detail level was no good. We also did not know how to use the auto-routing function. A little fiddling with the GPS and Debbie and I decided to shove it. The unit would remain off for the rest of the tour. We fare better on good old maps and the compass. They always work; almost always, as the story unfolds.

 

I decided to use Bangkok’s local ‘GPS auto-routing’ instead. Frantically recalling broken language skills from my Thai class in school a year ago, I managed to request a taxi driver to lead us onto Route 305 for 40 bucks that would lead us towards Cambodia.

 

Alas, my Fazer 600 fried in the Bangkok traffic. It overheated and I would later fail to push-start it after a second overheating. I was lucky that my bike finally quitted me 100metres in front of a shop that could service big bikes-Terra Motorcycles. According to the shop’s boss, there are only 3 big bike shops in Bangkok, a city larger than Singapore. It’s like having your bike break down in front of Loois or Mah Motor in Singapore. The day's events took its toll on me, but thankfully the mech was confident of fixing it. I was told a faulty temperature sensor prevented the bike's fan from turning on, and this resulted in overheating. A word of caution though-be ready to pay up to double the price you usually pay in SG if you use their services. The boss claims that its due to import taxes. But carrot head or not, I had no choice but to be chopped. I was a foreigner far from home with few options.

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1026.jpg

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1028.jpg

Edited by Pplater

P-plate should be an attitude to safety and riding. There's always more to learn.

 

10417710_10152885054228332_2597706433133321618_n.jpg?oh=a3e4c65165b15e5d659161c304211563&oe=54FB0965

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On Day 2, we rode up from Hatyai to Hua Hin. And we had to do about 3 hours plus of night riding. It was a nightmare for me.

 

Hi. Care to share your start and end time for each leg and average riding speed if possible?

Hua Hin is abt 750km from Hatyai which should take around 9hrs (my newbie agaration).

I'm still long way in planning mine but kind of worried might end up miscalculate and have to travel at night. Night riding in unknown territory... ewwww.

Thx.

2017

11 - 25 Nov - 15D, Taiwan - Fly and Scoot

2018

7 - 15 Apr - 9D, Phuket and Hatyai Songkran

17 Nov to 2 Dec - 16D, North East Thailand (Issan)

2019

30 Mar to 7 Apr - 9D Korea/Jeju Fly and Ride

8 - 24 Nov - 16D, Mae Hong Son

http://thehouseofdaviz.blogspot.sg/

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Hi. Care to share your start and end time for each leg and average riding speed if possible?

Hua Hin is abt 750km from Hatyai which should take around 9hrs (my newbie agaration).

I'm still long way in planning mine but kind of worried might end up miscalculate and have to travel at night. Night riding in unknown territory... ewwww.

Thx.

 

plan in advance, have about a 2 hours plus buffer just in case u get lost. Rule for me in thailand...

 

Try not to ride in the night

NEVER go into central bangkok

when in doubt stop and look at the map OR ask someone

 

cheers

http://www.singaporebikes.com/forums/picture.php?albumid=90&pictureid=3431

 

I believe in Value for My HaRD EARN MOOlah

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Hi. Care to share your start and end time for each leg and average riding speed if possible?

Hua Hin is abt 750km from Hatyai which should take around 9hrs (my newbie agaration).

I'm still long way in planning mine but kind of worried might end up miscalculate and have to travel at night. Night riding in unknown territory... ewwww.

Thx.

 

We spent 11 hours on NSH cruising 130-140km/h in clear traffic. On Route 4 towards Hua Hin we spent 12 hours cruising around the same speed, but had to go slower at 100km/h for the 3 hours plus of night riding. We typically take a 20-30min break every 100+km on average for the first 2 days, so thats a lot of stoppages and a very easy pace.

 

Thai time is 1 hour behind SG time, so the trick is to pack as much as you can the night before, and leave early when their daylight breaks at 6am Thai time to maximise your daylight. Night riding and rain slows you down. We learnt it the hard way.

P-plate should be an attitude to safety and riding. There's always more to learn.

 

10417710_10152885054228332_2597706433133321618_n.jpg?oh=a3e4c65165b15e5d659161c304211563&oe=54FB0965

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On Day 3, yes... we were stuck in the horrible Bangkok traffic. I was a little startled. This is one of the very few times I meet with such bad traffic.

 

Something I realized... it's really not easy to ride a long distance in one stretch.

Biking is something that everyone can learn and enjoy! :goodluck:

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/Poipet-Cambodia1.jpg

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Day 4 - Bangkok to Sa Kaeo (Last border town before the Cambodian Border)

 

The Fazer was supposed to be ready by 10am (Bangkok time), but there was a delay and we only managed to leave Bangkok only at about 1+pm (Bangkok time). What a delay! We knew that somehow we might not be able to reach Poipet, Cambodia as planned.

 

Nevertheless, I'm still thankful that the Fazer broke down at the right place where there are competent enough mechs to handle the problem.

 

Thankfully, we had the much-needed assistance from the boss of Terra Motorcycles and was able to navigate out of Bangkok and onto the major highway that leads us towards Cambodia!

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1031.jpg

 

Off we went, but alas, the weather wasn't kind. It was raining heavily!

 

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/Bangkok-Rainy1.jpg

 

We just went ahead... it was again an almost 10+ hours ride on the road.

 

Riding on Thai roads on a rainy day can be quite a scary experience for me. I realized that the roads can be very slippery. Therefore, we had to travel slower at about 80-100km/h.

 

Because of the slow average speed, we were unable to cross the Cambodian border at Poipet.

 

Therefore, we stopped at Sa Kaeo and stayed at Tippura Hotel for the night.

 

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/SaKaeo-TippuraHotel.jpg

 

And we crossed the Cambodian border at Poipet on Day 5. Stay tuned for more updates! :thumb:

Biking is something that everyone can learn and enjoy! :goodluck:

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/Poipet-Cambodia1.jpg

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question: do you need to apply for visa to enter cambodia and laos? and how much?

 

Singapore citizens do not need visas. The Cambodian border crossing is a little 'interesting' though. Check the next post.

P-plate should be an attitude to safety and riding. There's always more to learn.

 

10417710_10152885054228332_2597706433133321618_n.jpg?oh=a3e4c65165b15e5d659161c304211563&oe=54FB0965

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Day 5 - Sa Kaeo to Siem Reap

 

We set off for Siem Reap and arrived at the Thai immigration and customs building. A handler guided us through and asked for 250 Baht per pax for his directions at the end of the service. I did not dispute the request although I suspected the money was not official payment. At least he watched our bikes while we cleared customs together.

 

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/ThaiImmigration-b4poipet.jpg

 

Arrival at the Cambodian side

 

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/Poipet-Cambodia1.jpg

 

As with many international border crossings, immigration clearance for the rider is easy, but not equally so for the bike. We arrived at the Poipet Customs House at 12 noon. The customs chief likes his afternoon nap and bath from 12noon to 2pm, so plan to arrive before or after. We met a junior officer who told me that we needed a Carnet De Passage. From precedents I knew he was lying. I had no idea why they were being difficult. We had rode 2000km to the border only to be asked to turn back.

 

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/Poipet-Custom.jpg

 

After waiting for 2 hours in doubt as the chief had his nap and lunch, I offered $15 US Dollars per pax to the junior officer as bribery for customs clearances. It was 2pm and services resumed. We were led to see the chief, a fat, obnoxious, half-naked man clad in his bath towel. In 15 minutes we cleared the customs. The bribe was rejected. We were not issued motorcycle importation papers. Only a photocopy of our log cards and passports were kept and we were allowed through. It felt like a set-up for bribery to be paid when exiting the country. We were later proven right.

 

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/Poipet-Petrol.jpg

 

Gasing up. Cambodia uses Octane 89 Gasoline. Debbie and I played it safe and added octane boosters although we knew 2 friends riding a Hornet 9 and VStrom 1000 who used Octane 89 without boosters and ran fine.

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1033.jpg

 

We were prepared to ride on off-road conditions along Route 6 towards Siem Reap, which was the reason why we decided to cross the border early from Sa Kaeo. However, we were pleasantly surprised to find freshly laid NSH quality tarmac all the way to Siem Reap.

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1037.jpg

 

Checking into Angkor Thom Hotel for $12 USD a night.

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1038.jpg

 

Our Travel Tips:

 

Cambodia and Laos' roads are right-hand drive. You ride on the right side of the road.

 

Gasoline 89 is sold at about USD $0.87 per litre; it gave us more than 10% additional milege than thai gasohol 95. Some Caltex stations sell Techron Silver with an octane 91 rating. Don't count your luck on finding them everywhere.

 

Bring your currency in small notes, preferably no larger than USD $20 bills. Stores will return small change to you in Riel, the local currency. Try to clear these as soon as you can because the Riel is worthless outside their country.

 

USD $1 = 4000 Riel as of May 09.

 

A friend of ours paid for $15 of fuel with a $100 note on his trip. He received several hundred thousand worth of Riau in return. Poor chap.

Edited by Pplater

P-plate should be an attitude to safety and riding. There's always more to learn.

 

10417710_10152885054228332_2597706433133321618_n.jpg?oh=a3e4c65165b15e5d659161c304211563&oe=54FB0965

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My comments on Day 5

 

When you are in a foreign land, sometimes you might just need people's help. Although both of us suspected that the payment asked by the thai handler wasn't official, but I can assure you that he is an official over there. And yes, everything went quite smoothly with his help.

 

At the Poipet Customs, it wasn't so for the importation of the bikes into Cambodia. The customs people were making it very difficult for us to enter into the country. I was praying so hard that we will be able to cross into the country! And I'm glad we were able to...

 

As for the petrol, the octane booster was poured into my bike because I had no one to check with as to whether the Octane 89 petrol would work well with the Super 4. I don't know of any other Super 4 riders who used such low octane petrol though. I rather not risk having the bike unable to start with such petrol :giddy: :giddy:

 

Gosh! After we cleared the immigration for ourselves, we realized that everyone drives and rides on the right side of the road. It took me a least 10 minutes to get really used to it. Just something to take note of.

Biking is something that everyone can learn and enjoy! :goodluck:

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/Poipet-Cambodia1.jpg

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My comments on Day 5

 

When you are in a foreign land, sometimes you might just need people's help. Although both of us suspected that the payment asked by the thai handler wasn't official, but I can assure you that he is an official over there. And yes, everything went quite smoothly with his help.

 

At the Poipet Customs, it wasn't so for the importation of the bikes into Cambodia. The customs people were making it very difficult for us to enter into the country. I was praying so hard that we will be able to cross into the country! And I'm glad we were able to...

 

As for the petrol, the octane booster was poured into my bike because I had no one to check with as to whether the Octane 89 petrol would work well with the Super 4. I don't know of any other Super 4 riders who used such low octane petrol though. I rather not risk having the bike unable to start with such petrol :giddy: :giddy:

 

Gosh! After we cleared the immigration for ourselves, we realized that everyone drives and rides on the right side of the road. It took me a least 10 minutes to get really used to it. Just something to take note of.

 

my personal view, i wouldn't mind 'exchange' unofficial $$$ for unofficial service as this will fasten the process of clearing custom & guide is there to ensure things are going smoothly. what is few baht/$$$ if you consider the time saved and lessen the frustration.

 

the reason for making it difficulty actually is a hint of *$$$*:angel:

 

wish you guy & gal complete your journey and ride safe. :thumb:

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Chris, I'm sure your time will come one day.

 

Cool_Cruiser, our Ride Report is written retrospectively. We have already completed it and returned to SG last week.

 

Up next will be our first R&R day in Siem Reap. PS: I only found out Angkor Wat is where they filmed Tomb Raiders when I saw a DVD with Angelina Jolie on the cover selling outside the Wat.

P-plate should be an attitude to safety and riding. There's always more to learn.

 

10417710_10152885054228332_2597706433133321618_n.jpg?oh=a3e4c65165b15e5d659161c304211563&oe=54FB0965

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Chris, I'm sure your time will come one day.

 

Cool_Cruiser, our Ride Report is written retrospectively. We have already completed it and returned to SG last week.

 

Up next will be our first R&R day in Siem Reap. PS: I only found out Angkor Wat is where they filmed Tomb Raiders when I saw a DVD with Angelina Jolie on the cover selling outside the Wat.

 

oic...kudos to you guys :thumb:

and the information/report you wrote/share do help forumers here like us if we're to plan to travel to thai and cambodia. :thumb::thumb::thumb:

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Day 6 - R&R Day in Siem Reap

 

Oh boy! Finally a rest day after 5 intensive days of riding... :sleep:

 

Of course, it's a day for us to explore Siem Reap! And yes, of course explore the famous Angkor Wat!

 

Before we went to visit Angkor Wat, we checked out of the Angkor Thom Hotel. Yes, I know it's quite cheap but of course, we want to stay somewhere better!

 

While walking around the town on Day 5 evening, we discovered a hotel called the "Claremont Angkor Hotel". There was a marketing manager sitting at the reception and asked us if we are Singaporeans. Well, guess what? He is a Singaporean. We decided to take a peek at the room. It was so much more posh and value-for-money than the Angkor Thom Hotel. You will see why later. It was just for USD$25 a day. Since we paid for the room at Angkor Thom Hotel, we might as well make do and just stay for the night.

 

Amazing! They even have their own website, you can check them out at http://www.claremontangkor.com/

 

Let's take a peek at the beautiful interior of the hotel...

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1044.jpg

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1042.jpg

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1043.jpg

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1041.jpg

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1040.jpg

 

After checking into the Claremont Angkor Hotel and placing our luggage in the room, we went out to explore Angkor Wat and the other temples such as Angkor Thom.

 

Oh yes, I must say that the day pass for entry into the Angkor Wat and the other temples is quite pricey. We paid USD$20 for each person for one day. But I must say that it's money that I wouldn't save because Angkor Wat is THE main thing in Siem Reap.

 

After sitting in a tuk-tuk around the Angkor Wat, I found that they all look the same to me... :giddy:

 

But I should say that they do look majestic... here are some of the shots...

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/SiemReap-Angkor1.jpg

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1051.jpg

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1059.jpg

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1056.jpg

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1060.jpg

 

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/SiemReap-AngkorSteps2.jpg

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1054.jpg

 

I always thought that I would one day get to Cambodia and visit the Angkor Wat. It's just that I didn't imagine myself riding to Cambodia and beyond. Just to think that I didn't even know how to ride a bicycle about 3 years back.

Edited by s4^dreamer

Biking is something that everyone can learn and enjoy! :goodluck:

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/Poipet-Cambodia1.jpg

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Day 6 - R&R Day in Siem Reap (Continued...)

 

How could I forget this?

 

After we went to Angkor Wat, we rode our bikes around to look for bike wash! And, we found them! It's not very obvious actually. They do not have signboards saying "Bike Wash" or "Car Wash". We saw them washing a car and we used body language to ask if they wash bike or not. And yes, they do!

 

The boys are in-charge of washing the bikes...

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/SiemReap-BikeWash3.jpg

 

And the girls are in-charge of wiping the bikes dry...

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/SiemReap-BikeWash1.jpg

 

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/SiemReap-BikeWash2.jpg

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1066.jpg

 

http://i181.photobucket.com/albums/x215/czh2002sg/IMG_1064.jpg

 

Woo! What a sight! It's certainly something I have never seen before. These kids are just so diligent! :thumb:

 

And yes, certainly... our bikes do look squeaky clean now!

 

Stay tuned to read more about our travels as we make our way towards Kampong Cham and beyond!

Edited by s4^dreamer

Biking is something that everyone can learn and enjoy! :goodluck:

http://i426.photobucket.com/albums/pp344/s4dreamer/Laos%20n%20Cambodia%20Trip%2011%20to%2028%20May%202009/Poipet-Cambodia1.jpg

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