TravellingStrom

Riding to the end of the world, and beyond!

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A P.P on P.P.P !!!

Posted by TravellingStrom on February 5, 2013

I had a mission today, probably one that some may think is a bit low, but read on. Basically it was a ride up north to the border with Thailand, this is the border where I was refused entry into Cambodia a few weeks back. It was a ride of about 140km, so I expected it to take a few hours depending on traffic flow, or lack of. In the following map I start off in Siem Reap and go north, the destination is the WC symbol at the top of the map.

I started early, just after 8am because I knew it would be quite warm later. But, I forgot(how???) about the nightmare traffic to get out of town. It took 6 minutes to cover 3km through the craziest dumb arse drivers and riders I have ever experienced. This time my helmet camera was working properly, so I posted this video on Youtube which if you like and have the nerve you can watch some or all of. I experienced this first hand and was aiming at all times to get into clear space, so I don’t get rammed or taken out by other vehicles, but mostly to put myself in a position where I could see ahead of me. After watching this myself later on I was a tad concerned about what would happen. Anyway, judge for yourself, excuse the language 😳
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Once I get out into the countryside, it was a bit more relaxing and I could check my new camera settings. I was originally disappointed with this BENQ camera because it did not have a shaky hand feature, nor a timer feature. Well, after downloading the manual, I have found both items, the timer as I mentioned the other day is called Drive Mode(WTF?) and the shaky hand setting was hidden under the title SSH, for Super Shaky Hand(DOH!) Why they would use non standard menu items is beyond me, but now that I have been edumecated I am all for it 🙂 And judging by some of the photos I took on the ride, from the saddle, it seems to work(not the timer ones silly the shaky hand ones) and most of the pictures are not blurred, which is better than before.

The road was paved and quite good for most of the way, although some sections had deep horrible potholes, but they were working on it.

I followed the GPS, but at one stage it took me through a tourist site at a place called Banteay Srei and I ended up off the marked road, but not too far further on it joined up with a bypass road which is not on my GPS, so I could have missed all that bus traffic, and there was heaps of that. Once I turned left at the T junction(the other side of the bypass road) I was on very good super fast road with only about 110km to the border, and I could actually see hills!! The last one I had seen was in the Angkor Wat complex and I had to climb it to a temple. All along the roads here the locals had some type of root vegetable drying in the sun. I think it may be sweet potato or something along those lines.

It was a smoky ride, not only the smoke coming from either broken ringed bikes, or maybe just old two strokes, but they were burning the bush as well, still 😦

Because they had burnt most of the scrub, or were in the process of burning it, I found it difficult to locate a place away from people or houses to stop for a break, but eventually just before Anlong Veng I succeeded 🙂

Now, Anlong Veng was what I had thought was my destination and had marked a way point here to that effect. But, as it turns out when I asked some locals, they all pointed up the road to Choam on the border. So I headed through town and the extra 20km to the border point. The best part of this was the few curves I managed to find while climbing the hills. I stopped at a large rock which seemed to be being used as a holy spot, it had vague suggestions of maybe being an elephant shape, if you hold your head just right and squint a bit 😉

Not long after this I was in the ‘shanty’ border town of Choam. There was a massive new resort being built here, why you would bother is beyond me, it was a dusty, dirty little village, so unless it is a casino place for the across border trade from Thailand, I have no idea.

Now, as I mentioned, 2 weeks ago I was here trying to enter Cambodia, in fact I was within 100m of where I took this photo over my shoulder, that small building to the left of the silver car is the Immigration and Customs shack.

But, this is what I come to see, the dairy place. 🙂

There was nobody holding the string across the road so I unhooked it and rode in. I was eventually asked for money by an old chap, I gave him a dollar, although I think he wanted more, but there was no entry fee mentioned anywhere. My goal, if you have no guess it already is to piss on Pol Pots last resting place, hence the title of today’s post “A PeePee on PolPotsPotty” 🙂 Pol Pots Potty N14.34273 E104.05763

Now, some may think this is disrespectful, but for this murdering despot, who never ever suffered for his crimes of killing over 2 million people by torture, it is a pleasure.

Now, I know what it looks like, but there were some people here who were honouring this chap, so I did not actually go through with the act as a Cambodian jail is not high on my agenda. 😉 I have done some research on the net and it seems Cambodians are very forgiving people, like the Laos people, and they live and forget. I would like to think that they keep an eye on this place to make sure the sucker is still there!!!

I did meet a Dutch chappy, who was also riding a bike, a small rental, and he took the photo, for the life of me I cannot remember his name, begins with S and had a D in it, very hard to pronounce, sorry dude, email me for a copy of the photos 😉

Once I left here, classifying it as a DNF, or Did Not Phiss, I headed back south. The Dutch chap had mentioned about Pol Pots residence somewhere, but he said it had burned down. I told him about a place I spotted in Anlong Veng, pointing to a tourist site and then decided to go and have a look. I was not sure what it was but found the place pretty easy.

Ta Mok’s House Khmer Rouge N14.24059 E104.08106

There was an information booth near the gatehouse. I could not understand what the gate people were saying and there was nobody in the info booth, which was strange as it was mostly in English. I basically wanted to find out what was here, was it worth the $2 entry fee.

But, in the end I paid up and must say it is a total waste of money, it is just a house overlooking what will be a lake in the wet season, with a few things that may be to do with the Khmer Rouge. From here

“Anlong Veng is a district and small town in the Oddar Meanchey province of North-western Cambodia. Its main claim to notability is its connection to the later days of the Khmer Rouge. Pol Pot, Ta Mok, Son Sen and Khiev Samphan, the leaders of the organization, all had homes here. The district also holds the graves of Pol Pot and Ta Mok, as well as the remnants of the structure where Pol Pot was convicted of ‘crimes against the Cambodian people.’

Ta Mok’s Mountain House: Graffiti artists have been at it again with this little shell – this time, mostly young lovers proclaiming their eternal fidelity. Considering the amazing views from this site, it’s not surprising that it should have become a regular ‘make-out hill!’ Oddly enough, there are not one but two tiny spirit houses nearby – ostensibly, recent additions. A guesthouse has also been built less than 100 metres away, taking advantage of the view. Those who don’t fancy a night up here can relax with a beer in one of the many hammocks. (The landmine warning applies to the road here as well.)

Well, here are a few photos anyway.

On that note, I headed back south again, past the new roundabout which connects the four new paved roads, north/south and east/west and grabbed a basic chook feed and a cold drink, it filled the hole, that is all!

I remember all the places I have been, including here, where the stall owners and vendors all sell the same thing and sell them next to each other. Well, here is chair ville, all the shops here make and sell wooden chairs, somebody somewhere must be able to carve or make tables surely!!! It would be a money spinner you would think!

So, those fires I spotted on my way up were getting a bit out of hand, I saw these two ladies with a container of water and a cup, pouring water over this old house to stop it burning, it looked untouched, so maybe what they did worked, even though it was old and decrepit!!

A ute load of shooting bamboo, maybe to plant or harvest.

A truck load of those dried up root bits, these must take them to a central warehouse somewhere.

Remember them potholes I mentioned earlier?

Nice countryside around here, it would be magic in the summer with more green, especially with the rice fields.

Now, one of the reasons for the trip, a small underlying reason, was to use up the remaining fuel in the tank. I had noticed that it was stalling on me at low levels, and believed it was due to a clogged fuel filter. I needed to get the tank near empty so I could replace it. I had added fuel today and judged it so I would have enough to get back, but I had not allowed for the fact it was coughing, spluttering stalling and basically bunny hopping me down the road when it was getting low. So, I had to resort to the unknown, I needed fuel, not much, just a few litres, and ended up buying two bottles of ‘gas’, unknown origin!!! The bottles were old, the necks broken and they were sealed with plastic bag and a rubber band. The filter in the funnel was filthy, I am hoping it means it works. I did inspect the fuel in the bottles before letting it go in.

There are many of these ‘bottles’ on stands along the road, but I was never desperate enough in the past to trust them. Whatever was in these worked and I managed to get back to town, through the crap traffic just as it started to splutter again. I then proceeded to do the job when I found out that the 4mm hex spanner that is a standard on this bike has been left back in Fuarks place in Laos. Bugger, but after a bit of asking around, I did locate one in a hardware store nearby, they took the 4mm from out of a full kit and sold it to me for a dollar 🙂 I found out during the job that it was real soft metal and had started to get burred edges already, but I completed the job with it

As expected, once I had removed the fuel tank, removed the fuel pump and dismantled it to access the low pressure fuel screen, it was black as spades, when it should be as white as snow!!! This same thing happened in on my trip in South America with dodgy fuel. It is hard to pin point the cause as it does not show up as a problem until much later, this could have been Central Asia or Mongolia as the cause, but who really knows.

Once it was all back together, it started fine and it was running fine on my way down to the servo to fuel up, with good stuff 🙂

A lazy evening checking up on places to stay as tomorrow I am finally leaving town, I am heading to Phnom Penh

Cheers from Siem Reap
TravellingStrom

2 Responses to “A P.P on P.P.P !!!”

  1. ron2wheels said

    Howdy Richard,

    1 can’t see how to make your traffic movie function.

    2 I’m sitting here hoping you are being discrete and only claimed not to water the bastard’s burial site. I would have left a ‘number two’ there.

    3 the ‘burning off’ throughout all of Asia is a disgrace and should be an international alert. It is environmental vandalism but, I fear, absolutely nothing will stop it and the arsonists …
    unless of course there is nothing remaining to burn. I’m sitting here now in rural Thailand inhaling stinking smoke from my Thai neighbour’s domestic burning. (All stuff that could and should be returned to the soil; but they’re too lazy for that). And burning is more fun.

    4 I find it sickening that Cambodians are prepared to make money from the name of Pol Pot and his henchmen. But, in a way, I guess it’s one good thing the Khmer Rouge bastards are doing.

    5 Hun Sen is still a free man too!

    • Hi Ron

      The movie should just play in your browser, which one are you using? Otherwise put your mouse on the video,click the right hand mouse button and say open in new TAB or window

      Try that

      As for the rest, thanks for the info

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