Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Cambodia second part

26 November 2009 / Bavet to Phumi Banaman / 104 km / Total 1529 km
Nothing special today on the ride between the Vietnam border and the Mekong. We had our bicycles washed in the afternoon and quite late we checked in at a Hotel near the Mekong ferry.

Some people get a rest

While other people need to work

We are in Cambodia again

27 November 2009 / Phumi Banaman to Prey Veng / 30 km / Total 1559 km
Today we had a late start, some rain in the morning, some headwind and an upset stomach. The result was, that we only did 30 km.

Monica with the local football team from Prey Veng

Cambodian welding ( With sunglasses)

28 November 2009 / Prey Veng to Kratie / 104 km / Total 1663 km
We left Prey Veng at about 06:00 in the morning in order to reach Kratie. We had a very long ride with the last 35km all dirt road. There it happend, at around 17:00 and still some 20km on the dirt road, my inner tube from the front tyre just exploded. I tried to fix it but the valve was ripped out of the tube. Luckily in a near by village we found a spare tube and the villagers fixed the problem.
If you buy spare sparts, make sure they fit. Our spare tubes we bought do not fit our rims due to valve diameter. If you want to ride in the dark, make sure your bicycle has a light, it makes it easier to ride on dirt roads in the night.
At this stage it was just a flat tyre

I try to fix a flat tyre with the help of the locals but during my repair I wrecked the valve!

and finaly the local people from a nearby village,  changed my inner tube, because our spare one did not fit

29 November 2009 / Kratie / Rest day / 0 km / Total 1663 km
We made a rest day after the 104 km yesterday and the late arrival. Kratie is famous for dolphin watching. Therefore we headed today to Kampi to watch the Mekong Dolphin.With a boat we went for the dolphins and after a few minutes we were lucky and could see them. A total of a about 5 to 6 dolphins could be seen from the boat.

Dolphin watching in the Mekong River

Children playing on the river shore

30 November 2009 / Kratie to Stung Treng / 144 km / Total 1807km
Today we had our first real long trip without the possibility to sleep somewhere inbetween. From Kratie to Stung Treng. We left around 05:30 but 3 flat tyres on my bike were responsible for the late ( in the dark again) arrival in Stung treng. We spent a total of 13,5 hours on the bicycle.

Belgian couple we met between Kratie and Stung Treng

First of the 3 flat tyre

Between Kratie and Stung Treng

01 December 2009 / Stung Treng to Don Det (Laos)  / 85km / Total 1892km
We crossed the border into Laos at around lunch time and had a pleasant ride until Nakasan, where we took a small boat to Don Det Island.

Ferry boat to Don Det

Cambodian / Laos Border

Vietnam to Cambodia

24 November 2009 / Saigon to Cu Chi / 66 km / Total 1427 km
We left Saigon in order to visit the Cu Chi tunnels. These tunnels were used by the Viet Cong during the Vietnam War and streched for more than 200 km between the Cambodian Border until 30km from Saigon.
We visited 2 dfifferent sites, Ben Dinh and Ben Duoc. We were in the tunnel complex until dark and had to take finally the first Hotel we found. Unfortunately it was not the kind of Hotel we expected but what else we could do without lights on the bicycles?

Access to tunnel

Inside tunnel

Underground head quarter

Traps used by the Viet Congs ( Bambuu sticks....)

An other tunnel .....

25 November 2009 / Cu Chi  to Bavet (Cambodia) / 62 km / Total 1489km
With an early morning ride we made it until lunch time to the Cambodian border. The place here is full of ugly Casino's. Anyway, we plan to go as quick as possible to Laos.
Special Hotel we stayed in Cu Chi

On the way between Vietnam and Cambodia

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Vietnam - Saigon

20. November 2009 Ben Luc to Saigon / 27 km / Total 1361km
We had an early start and left Ben Luc at 06:00. After 27km in absolut mad traffic we arrived in Saigon at 08:00. Just the perfect time for a heavy Irish breakfast with fried eggs, beans, bacon, potatoes and fried tomatoes. We checked in at a Hotel in the Pham Ngu Lao region. (The Backpackers ghetto from Saigon).
Early morning ride into Saigon or HCMC. Monicas is wearing her mask as many locals do as well.

Mad traffic in Saigon

Saigon traffic ( transport of Durian)

Post office in Saigon

Special Market in Saigon for Scooters and Bicycle parts

21. November 2009 Saigon / Rest Day / 0km / Total 1361km
We did the so called city tour. We visited the War Remnants Museum, Notre Dame Cathedral, Reunification Palace and of course china town.

War Remnant Museum in Saigon

Reunification Palace

Inside of a Chinese Tempel

22. November 2009 / Saigon / Rest day / 0km / Total 1361km
Another day rest in Saigon with lots of Internet, western food, laundry and looking for spare parts for Monicas bike.
Saigon Post office

More than 5 millions scooters in Saigon

23. November 2009 / Saigon / Rest day / 0km / Total 1361km
Another rest day in Saigon.
Kabel Salat in Saigon

Street Vendor

BBQ dinner in Saigon

Saturday, November 14, 2009


15. November 2009 Ha Tien to Rach Gia / 95 Km / Total 1001km
Today we had an early start. We left at 06:00 our Hotel and had a pleasant ride along various canals until we arrived at 13:30 at Rach Gia.
We passed the first 1000 km.

16. November 2009 Rach Gia to Can To/ 118km / Total 1119km
We left at 07:00 our Hotel and had a pleasant ride along various canals until lunch time. At the restaurant we were told, that we would have another 68 km to do before we would arrive in Can To. Therefore we shortened our lunch and were again on the bicycles for Can To, where we arrived after 17:00 and very tired.

Monica is choosing breakfast

During the ride

17. November 2009 Can To to Vinh Long / 48km / Total 1167km
Heavy breakfast and late start made the only 48 km very hard. After a short ride, we had to cross the Mekong River with a ferry. At lunch time we arrived at Vinh Long. After a good massage and 1,5 hour later, we were recovered from yesterdays long trip.
Ferry to cross the Mekong River

Break at Roadside Coffe

18. November 2009 Vinh Long to Tra Vinh / 66km / Total 1233km
After we fixed the Velo computer from Monicas bicycle, we left our Hotel at 06:00 in the morning. We had a pleasant ride and after 30km had breakfast at a Roadside Restaurant. After lunch time we arrived in Tra Vinh without any problems.
Also in Vietnam anything will be transported by Bicycle

Have some nice frog for dinner?

Roadside coffee shop in Vietnam!

19. November 2009 Tra Vinh to Ben Luc / 101km / Total 1334km
We had to take two times a ferry in order to cross the Mekong River. The first 20 km were in beautiful Mekong jumgle and all at dirt road. Before Ben Tre we had to cross the Mekong again, but this time over a huge bridge. In Ben Tree we had very nice lunch and with the help of some tail wind we did it until Ben Luc which is some 27 km outside of Saigon.

Ferry on the Mekong River

Between Tra Vinh and Ben Tre

Local transport

Bridge over Mekong


Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Cambodia to Vietnam

11. November 2009 Phnom Penh / Day off / 0 Km
We visited today the famos prison (Tuol Sleng) and the killing fields in Phnom Penh.

S-21 or Tuol Sleng ( Former High school and transformed by Pol Pot's security forces into a prison)

Tuol Sleng - Khmer Rouge torture site and prison

Tuol Sleng

Killing fields of Choeung Ek ( Display of 8000 skulls of Victims from 17'000 killed at this site)

12. November 2009 Phnom Penh to Takeo 82 km / Total 800km
A late start in Phnom Penh and a very long lunch with an even longer siesta at a famous lake were responsible for the late arrival at Takeo after dark. (ie. 18:00).

Spanish Siesta at Tonle Bati

13. November 2009 Takeo to Kampong Trach 75 km / Total 875km
After a very early start at 05:30, we arrived after 75 km at 12:00 at Kampong Trach. We checked in at a nice guesthouse and the whole afternoon we spent in Kep, a nice beach town some 20km away. We had some great dinner in Kep. Steamed Crab with spicy hearbs.

Very nice dinner in Kep

14. November 2009 Kampong Trach to Ha Tien ( Vietnam) 31km. Total 906km.
The first flat tyre repaired today on my bike. We had some 22km dirt road and made it without proplem into Vietnam to the border-town called Ha Tien. Immigration at the Vietnam border charged 1 US$ in order to fill out the health questionnaire, which made Monica very upset, because they won't gave her a receipt.

Dirt road between Cambodia and Vietnam

Monica at the Vietnam border

Between Cambodia and Vietnam

Hey, we are in Vietnam!