This is a follow up to my last ride on route 66.
All you need to ride your bike into Cambodia is your passport, a passport photo and the bike's green book. You have to own the bike or bring an authorization from the owner. VISA on arrival is available.
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February 20th 2013 Wednesday
Drove to Aranyaphratet and crossed the border00. This time Thai customs gave me a new type of form I have never seen before. At the Cambodian VISA on arrival and immigration there were long lines that would have taken an hour. I greased the officials with 1100 bath instead of the posted $20. I was processed in 10 minutes, VISA and stamp all done. I rolled up at immigration next to 50 meters worth of line and handed my passport over for "VIP service" and got it back 2 minutes later without barley getting off the bike. Money talks. Headed towards Siem Reap along route 6.
A French bridge01 along route 6.
Did a little de-tour onto 68 which is paved and in good condition, as it was at the other end too.
There is a new bypass around Kralanh. New mile stone.
Checked in at Home Sweet Home02 in Siem Reap again, see my last stay here. $15 for an A/C room this time.
February 21st 2013 Thursday
Headed towards Stung but did a loop to check out the roads to Phnom Bok03. Took 64 north.
Then a right turn onto this small road.
Got out on 67.
Out on route 6 again and passed this Angkorian bridge04.
Turned left towards Preah Khan where it is signposted06 like the last time. This time this road was in better shape, someone made good use of a bulldozer. It is still not good but not horrible.
When I got to the place where you turn left07 to Preah Khan I continued on the new road to see where it would go. The first thing I did see was that the first part of the road was closed.
It was possible to bypass the closed part. Not easy to see the track in the picture.
Bridge in the making behind the blue shed.
The road kept going south.
When I got to a crossing08 with one road going east I went east. This road took me out to 62 at a Tela gas station09. This is a better way to Preah Khan.
Went south on 62 towards Prasat Sambor Prei Kuk10.
Turned left at a big sign11.
The road from 62 was a good dirt road maybe to be paved soon.
They charged me $3 to get in.
Then down to Kampong Thom as this pretty dull town is the only place with guest houses around here that I know of.
Checked in at Stung Sen12, $20 for a double room with A/C, hot shower, TV, small fridge and WiFi. No secure parking but you can park outside the reception. Down the street from this hotel is a pub called Novotel Pub13 overlooking Stung Sen river. The owner of this pub told me the town Kampong Thom is now renamed Stung Sen Town after the river it sits on.
February 22nd 2013 Friday
Drove back to where I came out on 62 yesterday09. Turn left after this sign.
Took the now familiar road to Ta Saeng/Preah Khan. Loads easier to go this way compared to the road from Stung.
Bypassed the bridge construction again.
Then right onto this road.
Turned left at this sign14 in hope it was a guest house.
Did not see any guest house but traces of target practice.
Continued towards Ta Seng/Preah Khan.
Ta Seng village15.
Made a left to try this track to Preah Khan.
Had a quick look at Prasat Damrei16.
Thieves have been busy here.
Then north on this for me unknown road.
The road T-bone at some village17 and I made a right, the road turned south which I did not want to go, doubled back a bit, changed my mind again and continued. This road was not in very good condition.
But it was not too bad either.
Asphalt, a sign of civilization18.
Got out on 6219 by this sign. This way turned out to be an easier way to reach Ta Seng/Preah Khan than the one this morning.
Headed north on 62 towards Preah Vihear City. All maps I have seen calls this town Tbeng Meanchey but the road signs says Preah Vihear City.
Stop for water.
Had a look at this road in the making to somewhere.
Scooped for guest houses in Preah Vihear City and settled for Home Vatthanak20.
Headed west towards Koh Ker Temple Complex21 on this short cut.
Got out on 64 which was in good condition.
At Koh Ker the road T-boned, the north to the temples and south to Beng Mealea. Had a look at the road towards Beng Mealea, it was bad asphalt and construction.
Then back to the T-crossing and north to the entrance21. They charge foreigners a whooping $10 to enter.
At the main temple, Prasat Thom22, there was an area with food and drinks.
You pass these ruins on the way to Prasat Thom.
The stairs to the top were blocked off, the $10 entrance fee came back to my mind.
Headed back to Preah Vihear City and my guest house20.
$17 for a twin with A/C, hot shower, TV and Wifi. The place was really nice for $17. The down side was that there was no restaurant in the building.
February 23rd 2013 Saturday
Drove down 62 to where I came out yesterday19.
Took the other road at the t-crossing17. It went on for a while and then turned to a crap road so I turned back towards Ta Seng and Preah Khan.
Took this small road as it went in the right direction.
It turned into a track that took me out to the main road to Ta Seng/Preah Khan.
Back out on main road.
Tried some side roads but they all when into tracks.
Bought gas at a road stand by the bottle. The guy selling gas said his name was Mao and that he runs a homestay23.
There is a temple site, Preah Khol24, on an island in the reservoir, or what used to be an island and a reservoir. The reservoir was pretty dry here.
Then to Preah Khan25. This is the main entrance. I was not asked for money by anyone.
An old moat?
Track to the center.
Raised path to the center.
Beheaded sculpture at the entrance.
The same Dharmasala.
Inside of Dharmasala.
After roaming Preah Khan I headed towards Beng Mealea on route 66. Turn on the track at this sign27.
Not far in you are greeted by this water28 and a chance of getting your boots wet straight away.
For me unknown ruins29.
This is where I turned back last time30 due to flooding and mud. No problem now. I wonder if this is remains of a moat.
What is left of the jungle here looks bizarre, burnt and green together.
Planks are cut on site.
An old building brick next to some kind of dwelling. Old pavement?
Did they try to get the tree down with fire?
This was all muddy last time.
This was under water last time.
Khvav village36. It took me a bit over two hours to get here from Preah Khan.
The road to Beng Mealea. This road has four old bridges, see my last ride on route 66
Out on 65.
Bridge in the making on 65.
Made a right onto this road I don't know the number of. Last time it was bumpy but now it was smooth.
I looked for the track that was under water last time I was here. On this side it was a nice little dirt road38.
The road turned into a good track and then to a worse and worse track that went the wrong direction so I turned back.
I tried another track and ended up in someone's backyard.
The residents pointed me to a track which I followed into someone else's backyard and a woman pointing me to another track. People in Cambodia are very tolerant when it comes to driving in their backyards. Few places are off limits for driving.
Here it looks good but this track had a big mud hole39 on it. I tried to circumvent the mud hole and ended up in a rice field. There was two men, one missing a leg, they pointed me back to the mud hole and walked into it to measure the depth. It was knee deep. I went for it and got across but almost got stuck. Forgot to take a picture.
Finally on the right track.
I eventually got out where I had to go around last time because of flooding and stopped for water.
I made a quick stop at Prasat Chau Srei Vibol40.
Walk path down the hill.
The sun set before I reached Angkor41.
Checked in at Home Sweet Home02 again.
February 24th 2013 Sunday
Back to the border00. There was a huge line at the Thai side that reached back to the bridge. It took two hours to stamp into Thailand.