Cambodia motorbike diaries – Day 5 (Phnom Penh to Pursat)

Distance: 200 kms

Phoebe got a major repair done. Her gear chain was breaking again and again and the mechanic said one of the parts is causing this. It cost me 65$ to fix her up and another 35 had been wasted before. But I am hoping she will not get me stuck in the middle of my journeys again 🙁

There is nothing much to do in Pursat and this was my stop only because the drive straight to Battambang is too much. Battambang is 100 kms from Pursat. 

Cambodia motorbike diaries – Day 4 (Kampot to Phnom Penh)

Distance: 150 kms

Phoebe broke down for the first time today! 

She’s been leaking a little bit of oil or petrol from below. I wanted to have it checked but couldn’t find a mechanic in the morning. She also needs a wash pretty badly. 

I had a bad feeling today before starting. 150 kms though, so I just went through with it. 

The problem wasn’t in any of those things though. After 120 kms, she suddenly went dead. It was starting but wasn’t moving. 

Jeez, now try to find a mechanic in the middle of nowhere. 

I walked and asked around and found a mechanic after walking a kilometre. 

Apparently the rubber chain inside the gear box went kaput. He took about 30-45 mins to fix it while I waited patiently. 15$ for the fix. Can’t really bargain in the middle of nowhere. 

I went ahead, turned around to give it a test and then went back. It was running a little slower than her usual self. I pushed to it to 80 and then it happened again. Went kaput. I checked maps and I was 3 kms away. 

I walked back to the same place in the scorching heat. He fixed it again. 5$. 

Instead of testing it out, I came to Phnom Penh driving at 40-50 kmph. 

Cambodia motorbike diaries – Day 2 (Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville)

Distance: 230 kms. 

It was a pretty boring ride mostly. One straight road with the second lane being a dusty one. No change of scenery and the sun blazing down the entire time. Took me 5-5.5 hours I think.

The picture summarises the ride. 

I’m chilling in a hammock at my hostel. It’s pretty hot here during the day. 33 degrees. 


This is a beach place and I think I’ll spend a few days here. 

Phoebe and I made it to Cambodia!!

Woohoo! 

Vietnam motorbike diaries Day 10 and Cambodia motorbike diaries Day 1!

From: Saigon

To: Phnom Penh 

Distance: 270 kms

Oh God, the border was so sketchy. 

On the Vietnamese side you come upon a big building which is NOT the border control office. I was then asked to go around to another building.

That place was full of non official people trying to scam people into getting their passports “stamped”. And trying to tell me that I can’t take my bike. 

The bike laws are sketchy at best. On a bad day you can lose your bike, since driving itself without a Vietnamese license is illegal. 

So I did what people usually say in their blogs, don’t mention the bike at all. 

The Vietnamese border control was inside a warehouse where the entry gate wasn’t even marked that it was an entry gate. 

I parked my bike outside and walked in. One guy was trying to help me with something but I ignored him and asked him to leave me alone. 

After getting an exit stamp on my passport, I got out of the warehouse, went back to my back and walked with it a few metres. Then drove some 300-400 metres to the Cambodian office. 

There were 2-3 spots in a row and it was hard to figure out where to leave the bike. I left it before a barrier, next to the visa counter. 

I had gotten an E-visa so I went inside the office. I had to fill a form, go to an immigration officer and then exit. The exit gate would leave me some 50 metres away from the bike, towards Cambodia. It wasn’t very clear whether you could go back towards the entry gate after getting your passport stamped. 

So there was this risk of losing the bike and losing my backpack that was on the bike. I didn’t want to remove my backpack so that I could rush out quick after the stamping. I imagined scenarios where I would plead for the backpack. 

I walked back to the bike casually as if this is something I did every month. I got on the bike but then someone suggested I should walk with it. After a couple of seconds an officer stopped me. I thought this is the part where I shell out that 20$ bribe.

Fortunately he just saw my passport and let me through! I drove out of there right away and got out. Only when I was a kilometre away, did I stop to adjust my stuff. 

Crazy experience!