Type of Ride: OffRoad
Where: Phnom Penn Cambodia
Originally posted 10/1/2006 by Dancing Roads
From Phnom Penh, we ride to Kompong Cham Province via the town of Skuon, famous for its deep fried tarantulas! After lunch in Kompong Cham we follow a scenic trail along the Mekong river through numerous fishing villages to the quiet, riverside town of Kratie. On arrival, we head out onto the Mekong river to catch a glimpse of Kratie's rare Irrawady dolphins, before spending the night in a comfortable new riverside hotel.
We begin the day riding through remote forest and grassland regions to Stung Treng province, where we stop to refuel our bikes and our stomachs! We then join the red road and pass through thick forest to Banlung town, the provincial capital of Rattanakiri.
We spend a relaxing day, beginning at the breathtaking volcanic lake of Yeak Laom, believed to have been formed over 700,000 years ago. Surrounded by bamboo groves, this area is considered sacred by local hill tribes. We complete the day with a visit to Wat Arun hilltop pagoda and a ride through a rubber plantation to Cha Ong waterfall.
After breakfast, we begin our day with a ride to Voeunsai National Park. Here we transfer to a boat and head upriver to a Jarai minority village, where we learn about their everyday lives and animist beliefs, visiting their haunting cemetery with its totems and ghost houses. After returning to Banlung, spend the rest of the day at your leisure around this quiet provincial capital.
Crossing the Srey Pok River, the fictitious dwelling of Colonel Kurtz in Apocalypse Now, we begin the aptly named 'Death Highway' (so-called for its challenging conditions). Riding through sand, ruts and elephant grass, we arrive in Koh Nheak village, where we fill up on supplies and stay the night with a local family.
And so the Death Highway continues! More ruts, more sand, and more grass through one of the most remote and beautiful regions of the country. We arrive in Sen Monorom, a charming little town nestled in the rolling hills of Mondulkiri.
Leaving Sen Monorom, we take an ox-cart track through forests and rivers to Bousra waterfall, the largest in Cambodia. After relaxing in this peaceful setting, we ride to Baok Pran Mountain with its interesting rock formations in the heart of the jungle. Here we offer the option of camping in hammocks or staying with a family in a forest-village.
After our stay in the jungle, it's short bike ride to the elephant-trekking village, where we alight our bikes in favour of a different kind of ride. Travel by elephant through the jungle, hills and hill tribe regions of this stunning province before returning to Sen Monorom and our pretty bungalow lodging.
We make our return to Phnom Penh along a winding and hilly red dirt road to Snoul, where we stop for lunch. From there it's plain sailing along new tarmac roads, through the rubber plantations of Memut and Kompong Cham, before arriving back in the Capital.
It's all about the ride.