September 23, 2008 GMT
Cambodia 26.09.08 - 12.10.08

To be able to cross the border to Cambodia we have to wake up the customs officer first, who is sleeping deeply in his hammock attached to wooden shack called “Customs”.
Against all my prejudices the guy obviously has an idea about a Carnet de Passage and quickly gets his job done before disappearing in his hammock again.
At the Immigration on both sides we need to pay 1$ each for the stamp, a great increase to the officer’s salary, considering the numbers of tourist crossing the border daily.

who said we are packed ???

who said we are packed.JPG

The horror of the roads in Cambodia is gone since the new National Highway was completed in 2008. Nowadays one can travel all the way from the Lao border down to the capital on brand new asphalt! I mean, the minor roads are still in desolate condition and there is no way we could divert from the highway during the present rainy season.
Lots of things changed in Cambodia since my last visit in 2003, the road conditions greatly improved, therefore the passenger boats to the South disappeared, many new guesthouses and hotels are established but the rubbish situation remains the same…

We’re experiencing the same situation in most of the cities. Stung Treng, Kratie or Kampong Cham, the Cambodians don’t seem to care where they throw the trash. The best option would be to dispose rubbish in the Mekong but, if too far away, they just drop it anywhere. We’re observing a bus driver sweeping a pile of garbage from his bus right onto the main street and driving off…
No wonder though the pigs are feasting on the trash during daylight and the rats during the night shift.

Lacking the possibilities of riding to the country side and visiting Ratanakiri or Mondulkiri we’re bored pretty quickly and can’t wait to reach Phnom Penh.

tow bar ala' cambodia

tow bar ala cambodia.JPG

But before Phnom Penh we have to pass a village named Skuon. Sometimes its also named Spiderville for its inhabitants developed a taste for a strange delicacy – a hairy, 8 legged spiders. Apparently they’re consuming the spiders with each meal and Jane can’t wait to give it a try as well. At first I’m more into taking pictures of Jane eating the 10cm big spider but eventually I give by and try some of its legs…
Jane, on the other hand, does as the Romans do and bites through the fleshy body.
None of us knows how to describe the taste but it definitely does not taste like chicken!

We’re into some sightseeing in Phnom Penh, visiting the Kings Palace and the Silver Pagoda, walking through the markets and having few beers at the riverside. Jane finally gets her Thai-visa, without any stress and for free!!! Now, we’re totally convinced that the Thai Embassy in Vientiane illegally charges 1000 Baht for the visa for the Tourists from ASAEN countries, the question is only WHY????

eating spiders in spiderville

eating spiders in spiderville.JPG

at the royal palace in phnom penh

at the royal palace in phnom penh.JPG

enjoying wiener schnitzel at the edelweiss restaurant in phnom penh, 42nd birthday

enjoying wiener schnitzel at the edelweiss restaurant in phnom penh, 42nd birthday.JPG

Riding in Phnom Penh is not one of the easiest I’d say… it seems like the only rule is never to stop but somehow it works!
Using back roads we reach Cambodia’s coast, spend few days on the beach in Silhanouk and eat crabs in Kep before we’re heading back to Thailand along the coast.
The highway number 48 is brand new and so are all the bridges. Now there are no more ferries across the plentiful rivers and the travel time is drastically reduced.
On the border all goes smooth; my Carnet is stamped out in Cambodia after waking up the customs officer and stamped in on the Thai side!!!!! Who would ever imagine that?? Only few months ago the Thai Customs didn’t accept the Carnet…
Anyway, the motorbike permit problem is solved by now and we can enjoy the coming months in Thailand, the land of the 1000 wats.

public transport

public transport.JPG

water cooled bike

water cooled bike.JPG

cambodia actual trip

Posted by Darius Skrzypiec at 07:25 AM GMT

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