Last days in Cambodia: Gaining insight the sad history; seeing the ocean after a long time and meeting lovely people – Crossing the border back to Thailand

Early morning at the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh we met a nice couple, Chantal and Patrick, who are riding with some interruptions for 17 years around the world on their bicycles – very impressive!!! Accidently we met again in a pub at the evening so we had a good reason to celebrate our visa application together with some beers. Unfortunately nobody was able to serve us with a back tire. Only a street tire and one size to small was available. Anyhow, we felt better taking this one as it was cheap instead of worrying all the way what could happen… at least it will bring us to Bangkok. To gain insight the sad history of Cambodia we went to the Killing Fields at Choeung Ek. They built up a big Stupa full of skulls and bones of the victims; a large number of people were killed and buried Read More …

Cambodia – From the north via Siam Reap (Angkor) down to the Capital Phnom Penh

Entering Cambodia after an easy border crossing we drove first to the north, Ban Lung. The countryside looked immediately very different to us… more flat, dry and dusty; no forest as far as you can look and all along the street where signs not to leave the road because of mines. In Ban Lung we spend the morning on the market, exploring the local food and habits… and learning our first words in Khmer. Actually it was very surprising how many people do speak view words of English! When we left for a daytrip around Ban Lung we recognized quite quick what we heard already before: the roads on the map or displayed at the GPS are there somewhere but keep on changing and mostly they do end somewhere in the middle of nowhere… just disappearing into many little tiny trails where you can just choose which direction could fit Read More …

Last days in Laos – magical “4000 Islands”

Taking over the Motorbike from Nakasang to Don Det was a special experience ;-) First we had to negotiate the price with the “Mama” of the family. After we checked the “boat” which is just built out of two little longboats with a plateau build from some plnks in between. We agreed on the price and we went down the sandy beach to get on it. So far so good! We went on even though there was not even place for a mouse anymore… The trip was exciting… passing the Khong with the low water, sharp stones and heavy currents made us feeling strange sometimes ;-) When we reached Don Det the boat landing was at a steep sandy beach which made us troubling bringing the bike up there – in between we just “parked” the bike in the middle of the way without putting it on the stand. It Read More …

Central Laos – lovely friendly people mountain villages, sad relicts of war…

OK a bit late but here we go: March, 2nd – Central Laos – lovely friendly people mountain villages, sad relicts of war… In Phonsavan it is hard not to be reminded of the wars happened here. You find cafes called “crater” full of relicts out of the war, bombs, bullets, grants… even our guesthouse was fully equipped: Lamps out of bombs, key rings out of bullets etc. The USA were flying more than 580.000 missions over Laos and dropping more than 2 million tons of bombs worth two million dollars a day between 1964 and 1973. These are more bombs as in the whole of the 2nd World War! The “funny” thing is that they declared the war in 1974; so for 10 years it was “only” a CIA operation. Many failed to detonate and only a tiny percentage has been removed and it will take more than 100 Read More …