[Day 10] Riding from Phnom Penh to Kampong Thom!
Today is our last day in Phnom Penh. We are starting our ride to Siem Reap. The decision was made to slice up the road to Siem Reap in half, staying in Kampong Thom for a night or two. We checked out of Okay Guesthouse and were ready to tie up some loose ends.
Before setting off for Kampong Thom, we visited Happy Pizza. There, they serve some killer fruit shakes for just 1$. After devouring the banana shake and doing the resupply, we finally set off from Phnom Penh!
Well, getting out of Phnom Penh is such a breeze compared to Saigon! On the outskirts of the city, we found a street stall that was serving various skewers combined with papaya salad. It was a nice meal, even though it had some fish sauce inside. When you’re hungry, your expectations drop, and that is okay.
A few kilometers down the road, we found a nice coffee place to energize and relax before the chaotic main road kicks in.
The road to Kampong Thom is 170 km long and goes exclusively on National Road 6. This slice of the road amazes with its scenery of rice paddies, and the lowlands stretching into infinity, with palm trees randomly popping up on the canvas.
Of course, as this road connects Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, it is quite busy. Lots of fast driving trucks, cars, and buses that sometimes push you off the side of the road when they pile up one after another.
Riding for more than 2 hours on a scooter with a travel bag on the bag will require you to stretch here in a while. On one such stretch pause, we discovered banana chips! They are quite delicious! We also filled our gas tanks at the roadside multi-purpose stall, took some photos with the family owning that stall, and continued our ride.
After a 4 hour ride, we finally arrived in Kampong Thom! We unpacked our stuff in a spacy room that is full of cockroaches.
The town square is just out of the side street our guesthouse is, where it is still busy after 9 PM. There are a lot of local food stands to offer fruit shakes and rice meals. We found a local restaurant on the backside of the square, that served some great rice and beef combo. After dinner, we ordered some beers and went to the square statues to relax a bit.
On the way to our guesthouse, we noticed a huge KTV building at the beginning of our street. KTV is essentially a karaoke bar, but once you go inside, you realize that it walks the line between karaoke bar, hostess bar, and a brothel. We asked the manager about the price of the room, which is 10$ for 1 hour of karaoke. After getting the information, we returned to our guesthouse.
The night was reserved for reflection time on the balcony, where we could also observe the local life. The area around KTV is constantly busy, with locals driving off ladies all the time. There is also a wild dog pack that howls in the early morning and are quite wonky when it comes to crossing the road. One such dog almost got ran over by locals on a motorbike. Anyway, after a night of observation, it is time to rest for a while. Tomorrow, we will explore Phnom Samui, a hill some 20 kilometers away from Kampong Thom.
To get up to date, check out the previous chapter!