It is a few years since I was last time in Cambodia. During my previous visit, I did all the main tourist sites in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Now this time I wanted to venture a bit closer to the regular Cambodian and tour the countryside.
My verdict on the scooter I had for this ride, can be found at the end of this post!
I took this trip without much preparations, as my idea was just to “go for a ride”. Now after Covid-19, it turned out that many bike rentals no longer existed and getting a decent off-road bike was not as easy as before.
Somehow, I thought that it would be a nice idea to do my tour on a scooter “like the locals do”. Bike rentals in Phnom Penh were not very eager to rent a bike for taking it outside PP but I found Victory motorcycle rental (nothing to do with Victory motorcycles!), who were happy to give me a bike – a scooter rather.
Furthermore, I had crossed roads with my old friend Arto, who was touring Asia and had some time available and was keen join me for the ride. Great, now we were two on the road! As a seasoned traveler he was not too bothered with my lack of plans and was happy to go with the flow, deciding next steps based on what we would find ahead.
First thing one notices, as without exception anywhere in Asia, is the rapid development mainly in the cities and key artery roads. This is the case really everywhere, but obviously in a different scale outside the main cities and growth centres.
Heading north, out of Phnom Penh, the new dual lane highway was being finalized. Driving to Battambang (presumably further to Siem Reap as well) will be very quick in the near future. Even now it was quick with only some unfathomable sections where traffic was guided from one side of the road to the other, at times without any visible reason. The obvious outcome was that all vehicles rode on both sides to both directions. Motorbikes usually picking the side with less cars and trucks. Locals also saw the opportunity to dry rice on the closed sun bathing sections of the road.
Our first destination was Kampong Chhnang with the idea of crossing the rivers and to ride the east side of Tonle Sap -lake. That turned out impossible just now – or rather – possible only around February when the marsh and wetlands dry on the other side. Now we would not be able to ride there. Continue reading Cambodia Like The Locals Do – On A Scooter!