Departure day arrived and it was finally time to get on the road. Everyone was packed and we departed at 8:00 am. Leaving the Castle Hotel and diving straight into Phnom Penh rush hour traffic.
An exciting mix of land cruisers, scooters, and the lorry plus the Tuktuk drivers a little crazy at first until you learn to forget what is behind and focus on the traffic at the head. Scooters travel close to the roadside going against the traffic flow sometimes just to add additional spice. Our first objective was to reach the Buddhist temple for a blessing to ensure we had a safe trip to Siem Reap. A short off-road section along the river took us to the temple where the monk gave us a blessing and a wristband.
Shortly we were on our way heading out of the city to avoid a police road check we cut along some side road and eventually left Phnom Penh behind. Day 2 would be would almost be exclusively tarmacked to get us out into the provinces where tarmac would be in short supply. We set a cracking pace riding the little bikes for all they were worth.
Mine developed a headshake close to its max speed. Siting up near the headstock solved that problem and was put down the fresh knobblies on the bike.
The lunch stop gave us time to consume noodle soup with vegetables. The road miles were broken by the small towns that straddle the highway and the need to pass the heavy truck and car traffic on the road.
A stop to see the Wat Nokor temple provided a break in the afternoon’s ride. The temple was built by the Wat Nokor over 1000 years ago.
Overall the day was uneventful apart from a lorry doing a u-turn in front of me on the highway. By 4 pm we had arrived at our hotel for the night in Snoul. After finding our rooms it was time for the ritual cold beer and a shower.