Han and me planned this ride for a long time.Vietnam has always been the last frontier for us and we've always wanted to ride into this country and see a part of its wonders .
Come ride with us and see its views,people and attractions.
** all the on the bike pics are by Han.
N.B - 1. I usually like to finish a whole ride in one go but due to the number of pics i'm breaking this up into 3 parts of about 200 pictures each.
2. If anyone would like to ''borrow'' any pictures from this or any other blog, please provide a link back or ask for permission. Its only polite ,yes ?!!
Early morning RV
Ready for adventure.
Little did we know how much we would get.
By the time the sun was up we had covered quite a bit of distance.
The plan was for 1000+ km today.
Before lunch we were at Gurun for the usual paperwork.
After all the planning - finally
Here we come :-)
Soon we crossed the border and stopped at our usual place for a break.
Ride baby ride
Great roads and minimal traffic.
Han in action
Average was about 120kmph
After an hour or so we stopped for a break.
Next to a 7/11 :-)
Soon we were back on the road.
700km plus so far
These wide angle shots are by my new toy-GoPro 2
Getting to be late afternoon
GoPro on the back of the bike
Another stop in the late evening
On the bike
We are almost there.
In the late evening just before twilight we pulled in to a fuel station.At the pump Han's bike suddenly dies.we filled up each bikes and pushed his bike to the mart.Tried to start the bike but ,nothing.No starter action. 7pm-We sat there and tried to figure out what to do. Called some emergency numbers that we had at a nearby town but the soonest they could come was the next morning. Sat there again and brainstormed.Finally we decided to leave his bike there ,ride 2 up to the nearest big town ,in the night and try to find help .8pm-So off we went.at night in Thailand, reached Chumpon after 100km (which was our original destination) and asked the locals ,followed the GPS and generally rode around looking for a bike shop. Everything was closed ,we even stopped locals who drove older ,used pick-ups and asked if we could rent their vehicles to transport the bike to this town .No Deal .......After a while we saw a Honda GoldWing parked in a garage.Asked the attendent , who owns the bike ? He directed us to a nearby travel agency which was open.Met the owner who directed us to a big bike shop. 10pm- we followed his directions to row of shops, but no bike shop.In the next door shop a couple of guys were drinking,on telling our problem they volunteered to find a big bike shop for us.So another 1 hour ride around Chumpon following this guy,till in the end we said we will find it ourselves.Following the travel agents original directions we managed to find it. Off course it was closed.Sitting outside the shop the lady in the restaurant across the road felt sorry for us ,so she went to the owners house which was nearby and called him out.After talking to him he agreed to call his foreman and take us in his pick-up that night itself and get the bike.RELIEF !!!
11.20pm - So we drove 100km one way to the fuel station and loaded the bike onto the truck and drove another 100km back.Once the bike was safely locked up in the shop we requested the foreman to priotise this repair as we had to cross Bangkok tomorrow.
Thai people are the friendliest and nicest people, bar none.....
What a relief !!!!!!!!!!!
After the bike was settled we found a nearby hotel at around 1.20am( We left Sg Buluh at 5 am)
Thats when we found out that all 7/11's have halal pre-cooked food that they will microwave piping hot for you.So after a hot meal we went back to the hotel and literally crashed for 5 hours.
This was just day 1.let the adventure continue :-) :-) :-)
An early breakfast.The worry was the guys couldn't fix the bike or didn't have parts.
After breakfast we rode to the shop.In the early morning the foreman had already started work.On seeing us he started the bike.Man......what a joyful sound....Look at the tiny shop with corrugated iron walls.Imagine...we found this -at night ,in a large town ,can't speak the language ,and don't know the roads .Amazing...
Luckily he had a spare coil and battery(which also died due to the coil)
He even serviced the bike and changed the engine oil.
Back on the road after many -many thanks
And thanks to this guy in the tiny shop ,Han's bike ran beautifully for the whole trip.
Because of this we left late for our second day's ride
Our offical sticker :-)
We reached Bangkok late but managed to cross the Chao Praya before dark.
2nd time here
We rode through the hell that is Bangkoks traffic.Our original plan was to stop at the Cambodia boder but due to our late start we decided to stop in the heart of Bangok.
Found a hotel ,eat and crash.
We woke up at 4am ,had cup noodles and nescafe ,and were on the bike early to beat the Bangkok jam.A rest stop here after 1 1/2 hours on the bike.Its only 7am here.
Soon we reached the Cambodia border.
Paperwork was done fast.On the Cambodian side after immigration we went to the customs.There we were told foreign bikes and cars are not allowed in with out a special permit.We tried bargaining and even offered to pay any ''fees'' ,but we were told to take a cab to Phnom Phen to get the permit after taking our bikes back in to Thailand.In the end we said ok ,left and continued on our way without any papers. Yay......
On the road again.-illegally ha ha ha
Typical Cambodian scenery.Flat.....
Great weather ,stupid drivers...
Riding in Kemboja :-) :-) :-)
From Malaysia ,through Thailand ,and now exotic Kemboja....
On the bike,we have a target today.
After about 2 hours from the border we reached Siem Reap
Dry ,dusty and crowded...
Riding past the hotels, operation ''Ride Koboi'' in progress.
We want to take our bikes in to the Angkor complex
To make sure of it we had to take a convoluted route.
But ...its almost a sure thing :-)
Sights of Siem Reap
Off the main road and through the villages...
After a convoluted route ,bumpy roads and villages we reached the Angkor complex :-)
Red Versys in front of the Victory gate. A historic moment .Congrats bro.
Now we are officially riding through the Angkor complex
Its mainly temples and jungle..
No words can express ,the first sighting of these majestic temples
Terrace of the leper king on the right...
In the heart of Angkor Thom
my baby in front of the Bayon :-)
We did it bro :-)
Actual pics of the roads of Angkor.
See the large body of water on the left.We're almost there :-)
This pic is priceless. More so when its illegal to bring your own vehicle in to the complex. (And county now :-)
Red Versys and Dusky black FJR in front of the Angkor Wat.
Hell Yeah.... :-) :-) :-)
My baby. :-)
This pic is really priceless :-)
After getting all our pics from the outside, its off again
Back into town..
Middle of Siem Reap here. Our hotel is just infront
Finally. After leaving Bangkok early ,through the border and riding through Cambodia, through the Angkor complex.....finally we get to rest.
This hotel is the same one i stayed in last year. The owner is a friend :-)
After a bath its time to see the insides of the Angkors
Huge man made moat
crossing the bridge...
Imagine, dug by hand...
The first time here is always amazing
We made it bro....
Been here 3 times now :-)
Still a ways to the amazing wat
Hundreds of years old
Packed as usual
Candid ............. ha ha
Of Kings and wars
For miles on end
Old but still awe inspiring
Grounds within the grounds
Candid again ha ha ha :-P
The inner terrace
And when the sun came out......
This is the third time i've been here. So the pics are actually much less than the 1st time.Either way Angkor Wat is amazing.
To the Victory Gate
All this is from the Indian Epics...
From here we went to the Bayon and further in to Angkor Thom. More pics o f the Temples from the 2011 ride to Cambodia here - http://ninja650tourer.blogspot.com/2011/06/ive-been-dreaming-of-this-ride-for-more.html
After the tour we hit the main part of town.
First order of business.....food
Then we took in the sights...
Its been a long but fulfilling day :-)
Today we plan to ride to the Vietnam border
So so roads full of stupid drivers
Assholes see you coming then they will overtake on their side and literally force you off the road
After a close shave we horned at everyone, driving, riding, walking, cycling or sleeping.
Stopped for a break. Thats our guide to Vietnam.
Back on the road.
Soon we came upon this beautifully surface road with signs every 1km saying Vietnam-Cambodia border ahead.
Another rest stop.
Sweets for the kids :-)
Stopped at a village
Fear of floods everywhere
Happiness :-) :-) :-)
Soon its back on the road.
Its was really hot so we stopped again at the only decent place. Turns out its a truckers stop. Everyone looked at us as if we were aliens. To them we were :-)
Back on the good road to the border
Which suddenly stopped at this. WTF ???
So we back tracked to another road marked to the border....
Kilometers and kilometers
And it stops at this...
If the road is not complete don't put signs...aiyo
So we backtracked again.
To the only large building
To ask for directions
Unfortunately even the locals couldn't give us directions to Bavet.
Need some hydration
Finally me and Han decided to back track almost to Phnom Phen. Which we hoped to avoid in the first place.Stopped in a petrol station to ask for directions. no one could speak English. Finally a luxury SUV pulled up and we spoke to the driver. Turns out he's headed in the same direction. Told us to follow him.
And so started the rally. He was flying through sandy roads, bumpy roads and villages
We managed to keep up till the end where we have to turn left and its a straight 60km to the border.
What a ride.....
We pulled up at the first available space
Straight to Vietnam....finally
All of us were like this...long day.
Finally after a relaxed 60km we rode to our hotel.
Shower , food ,massage, crash :-)
It was a long but interesting day. All part of the ride. Tomorrow-VIETNAM
** To be continued :-)