On November 4th Fred the bike is embarking on a six month journey across Southeast Asia. Starting in Singapore, Fred plans to make his way up the west coast of Malaysia, across Thailand, Cambodia, up through Vietnam and into Laos. After that... who knows? Fred invites you to follow him through his adventure. Any advice from fellow travelers is always welcome.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Dalat-Nha Trang

Total Distance:145.25km
Total Time:7h55m20s
Average Speed:18.3km/h
Maximum Speed:56.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:4860.14km

What goes up, must come down! The climb up to Dealt was intense, to say the least. It was well worth it though. Delat is a great city. I had a wonderful time checking out the surrounding area, sitting by waterfalls, wondering through forests, and just taking some time to contimplate life. After a few days, though it was reluctant, I was ready to leave and continue on with my journey. The ladies at my guesthouse had assured me the ride would be mostly downhill and, being that I'm slightly on the lazy side, I was really looking forward to it. I fully expected that all I would have to do is sit on my bike a stear, occasionally giving the brakes a squeeze. WRONG! I took the newly built highway leading from Delat to Nha Trang. The road was beautiful and, as it's not 100% completed, buses aren't yet using it which might light flowing traffic. However the first 65km were anything but downhill. There was the occasional down slope, giving me a bit of relief, but for the most part it was uphill. Before you wind back down to the coast, you have to treverse accross a series of mountains. It was very disappointing. However, that last downslope was the greatest experience of my life. Okay, maybe that's an overstatement, but it was pretty damn good. A 20km stretch that leads down, and only down. I burned about 50km/h the whole way down (Mom, stop freaking out. I was careful), and made up a lot of time. Even giving me time to stop for lunch, which I though I wouldn't be able to do.
The greatest thing about Vietnam are the cafe's. There everywhere, and all of them sell great coffee. After my adventure coming down the mountain, it's the first place I headed to. I stopped in a small village, drank my coffee and ate some noodles. I was set to go for the last 50km. The last 50km was mainly flat. It was nice to be able to maintain a consistant pace again.
Now I'm in Nha Trang. It's time for some more beach and sun. I still need to get Fred looked at, but am having problems finding a good bike shop. If I can't find one I may skip going back into the highlands, as I had originally planned. I'm sure I get get him looked after in Hanoi, and I don't think getting there will be that difficult if I stick to the coast.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Phan Rang-Dalat

Total Distance:111.27
Total Time:8h55m33s
Average Speed:12.4km/h(this is not a joke 12.4km/h)
Maximum Speed:37.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:4714.89km

OH-MY-GOD!!! This was, bar none, the hardest day of my life. Forget anything I've ever told you about difficulties I may have encountered along my journey. This was so hard. The worst part is, it's only going to get harder. The first little bit of the day was great. I had no problems navigating my way out of Phan Rang. Initially, the hills weren't too bad. I was making great time. Things were certainly going my way. Then... OH-MY-GOD!!! Climbing up that mountain, that wretched aweful mountain, which sits just under 1500m above sea level... OH-MY-GOD!!! It was the hill that never ended. There was absolutely no relief. The entire thing was up hill. You would think at some point it would at least plateau for a little bit, but no. It just kept going up, and up. It wasn't that steep. At no point did I have to get off and walk it, but it was so long. So very, very long.
Mountain bikes come equiped with three gears on the front. The lowest one for climbing hills. Fred, however, only has two. Making a lot more difficult than it had to be. It took me so long to get to Dalat. I really didn't think it would be that bad. I also thought there would be more places to stop. After about two hours, I ran out of water and didn't find any until about two hours later. Luckily, I packed some fruit I had bought at the market in Phan Rang the night before. It was a hard day. The only saving grace was the thought of going back down on my way to Nha Trang. There I will attempt to have a third gear put on the front of Fred. If it's a no go, we might end up bussing it. We'll see.
Dalat is amazing. Without a doubt, my favorite place in Vietnam so far. There's so much to see and do here. Biking, hiking, mountains, waterfalls. Everywhere you turn is nature and beauty. The days are hot, but the nights are a little cool. It's a nice change from the coast. The city itself is pretty laid back. It's the first time I haven't felt ripped off in a touristy destination in Vietnam. Prices, while a little high, are more fair, accomodations are affordable, and food is cheap. I really like it here.
Next I head to Nha Trang. Being that it's the tourist hot spot of Vietnam, I suppose I should go. This means, though, that I will have to reclimb those terrible mountains in order to get back into the highlands. I guess what diesn't kill me only makes me stronger.

Mui Nei-Phan Rang

Total Distance:174.91km
Total Time:9h43m13s
Average Speed:18.0km/h
Maximum Speed:46.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:2603.62km

Depending on how you look at it I either took a very smart or very stupid route to Dalat. From Mui Nei there are two possible ways to get there. The first is to go up a secondary highway 180km, which leads north from Mui Nei into the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The second is to take the coastal road 175 km to Phan Rang, then head up a secondary highway north for about 100km to Dalat. Obviously, I choose the latter. The reasoning behind it was quite simple. I figured the first route would be a much bussier one. Most people going from Mui Nei to Dalat,or Dalat to Mui Nei, take this highway. Also, I figured it would be less physically demanding, as it consisted of less time biking through the highlands. The downside of going to Dalat via Phan Rang is that it is a significantly longer route. So, depending on how you look at it I either took a very smart or very stupid route to Dalat.
As it turned out, I was right about the traffic. It was extremely quiet travelling down the highway. The scenory was spectacular. To my left I had an awsome view of the highlands. Huge mountains towering over me, reminding me a little of home. To my right was the crystal blue ocean, which seemed to stretch out to the ends of the earth. It really was a beautiful day. The terrain was mostly flat, and it went rather smoothly. Once in Phan Rang I had no problem finding a place to stay. It isn't exactly a tourist destination, although I did see one other white guy wondering down the street, but it is a big enough city to host a fair amount of hotels. There wasn't much to see or do in Phan Rang. I ventured down to the market, and spent the remainder of the night reading in my room.
The way I look at it, I took the smart way. It was a nice ride, I enjoyed myself and, most importantly, I now have less distance to cover in those dreaded highlands.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Gia Ray-Mui Nei

Total Distance:97.95km
Total Time:6h06m07s
Average Speed:16.0km/h
Maximum Speed:36.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:4428.71km

And so begin the hills! It wasn't too bad, but I'm not even in the highlands yet. The whole time I just kept thinking about how much harder it's going to get. I really need to get Fred looked at. He's not doing to great. The hills from Gia Ray weren't steep, but it was mostly up hill. There were a couple of really long ones. I guess it's good practice for what's in store. Traffic wasn't so bad on the part of the journey. There was still an obscene amount of horn honking though. The past couple of days I could feel myself getting sick. By the time I reached Mui Nei, I had a full on Cold. GREAT! Mui Nei is a nice little place though. Not bad for a little recovery time. I've been here a couple of days and I'm feeling better. Still not a hundred percent, but better.
As usual, accomodations are insanely overpriced. I guess I just have to learn to deal with the fact that for the durration of my stay in Vietnam, I'll be paying through my nose. The town is very nice here. The main attractions are kite-boarding and the sand dunes which lay just outside of the town. I would have liked to have a go at kite-surfing but, as I said, I haven't been feeling great. I did, however, take in a tour of the sand dunes, which was rather nice. If you're headed here I suggest checking it out, but don't pay for the sand sledding. It's a total scam.
Who should I run into on my first day here? Remember Antony, the hard-core Belgiun Cyclist. Apparantly he couldn't hack it. He's been bussing it around Vietnam, and is headed to Bangkok to sell his bike. I laugh now, but busses are looking more and more appealing. We'll see how the treck to Dalat goes. If it's to hard I might be joining him on the back-packer express.
I gave Fred a little tune up. Like me, he's better, but not 100%. Hopefully there will be some kind of bike shop in Dalat, otherwise I will absolutely be on that bus with Antonty.

Saigon-Gia Ray

Total Distance:114.48km
Total Time:6h07m38s
Average Speed:18.7km/h
Maximum Speed:46.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:4330.76km

Okay, first things first. I didn't exactly stop in Gia Ray. To tell you the truth, I'm not entirely sure where I was. However I know it waws a little past Gia Ray, so we;ll stick with that for now. The days ride could have gone better. It started out fine. I left Saigon relatively early, giving myself plenty of time. I had hoped to make it all the way to Mui Nei. However it is over 200km away, so I was more than prepared to stop if need be. I stopped for lunch at a tiny little place on the side of the highway. The woman running it spoke surprisingly good english. We chatted it up a little. She seemed rather disturbed over the fact that I wasn't yet married. She told me she had a forty year old son in Saigon who would marry me if I wanted. At first I though she was joking, buit as the conversation progressed I realized she was dead serious. Needless to say, I felt pretty uncomfortable and was eager to leave. I got back on the road and continued down the path. After about an hour something went terribly wrong with Fred. My gears are not working like they should. I spent a good two hours trying to fix it to the best of my abilities. Hopefully I'll be able to find a decent bike shop in Dalat, otherwise Fred and I may be bus bound untill NaTrang or even Hanoi.
I stopped at a hotel on the side of the road a little past Gia Ray. I asked how much it was, prepared to press on if it was too expensive. The told me 55,000vnd, which works out to a little over $3US. For Vietnam this is a great deal. I settled into my room, took a short nap and set off to find something to eat. Upon walking out the front door, they stopped me to tell me they had made a mistake. The price was 150,000vnd. I was pretty upset. I asked if there was other hotels in the area, and they said there were. It was already startong to get dark, and I'm not crazy about riding around at night. I left in search of another hotel. I looked and looked, but could not find one. Finally I stopped at a gas station and asked. I was told the next hotel was 20km away. I went back to the hotel I initially started at and haggled them down to 100,000vnd. I've been finding the question in Vietnam is not if you're going to get ripped off, but rather how badly you're going to get ripped off. You really have to watch it here. They take full advantage of foreigners.
The experience at the hotel was a bad one, but was counteracted by my dining experience. While I was eating my noodles, three young girls decided to come join me. Slowly more and more people gathered around me, saying whatever phrases and words they knew in english. It was a little overwhelming, but nice.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Cantho- Saigon

Total Distance:166.55km
Total Time:7h44m08s
Average Speed:21.5km/h
Maximum Speed:52.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:4216.28km

Well, I've been in Vietnam for a week now. Before coming here I heard that the traffic was slightly insane. To be honest, I assumed everyone was embellishing a little. After experiencing it first hand, I can assure you, they weren't. The entire trip so far has been wall to wall traffic. It never lets up, not even for a second. The only up side of it is that being surrounded by cars provides a good shield from the wind. It's so loud. Everyday is concluded with a thumping headache. However, the roads here are great. The shoulders are nice and wide, and the pavement is beautiful. The Vietnamese people, as with any country I suppose, can be pretty hit and miss. Overall the majority of them seem pretty friendly, although I find some of the men here a little too friendly.
The ride from Cantho went smooth. I wish I could tell you more, but there wasn't a lot to see. Like I've stated before, the Vietnamese highways are somewhat lacking scenically. It is almost like riding through one giant city. I had been warned about traffic in Saigon. Having been told it is amoung one of the worst in the world, I was a little nervous about riding in here. It's not as bad as people claim. Once you figure out how to ride with no rules of the road, you're golden. I did get a flat tire once entering Saigon, which was extremely frustaurating. At this point though, I've become a pro at fixing flats, so it doesn't set me back like it used to.
The city itself isn't a bad place. It's a rather modern city. Like most major metropolises, it's overpriced, but that comes with the territory. I had planned to spend only two nights here, but have decided to extend it to three. I figure I'm in no real rush.
That's all for now folks. I'll drop you a line from my next destination... wherever that may be.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Rach Gia-Cantho

Total Distance:139.66km
Total Time:6h47m38s
Average Speed:20.5km/h
Maximum Speed:34.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:4049.73km

After arriving in Ha Tien, I headed to the island of Phu Quoc. It was a nice place to lay on the beach and relax. However, aside from that there's not a lot to do there. It was a little over-priced and, after just two nights, I thought it was best to head back to the mainland before I ran out of money. I took a boat to Rach Gia, about 100km from Ha Tien. I guess that's cheating a little, but I still have a long way to go. I'm sure I'll more than make up for it. Rach Gia serves pretty much only as a hub to and from Phu Quoc. I was a little surprised by it's size. It is quite a bit larger than I would have imagined. I spent the night there, and the next morning I was off to Cantho.
Riding through Vietnam is much different than anywhere I've been so far. Traffic is insane. The roads are generally pretty good, which was a nice change from my last couple of trips through Cambodia. The way from Rach Gia to Cantho is very populated. Every time one town ends, a new one begins. There is quite a few towns that are almost like miniature cities. Shopping centers, electronic stores, and high buildings line the streets. It was nice to be emerged in something so different from where I have just been. However the crowded streets do make for a fair amount of noise. Riding your bike through roaring motors and honking horns for six and a half hours can wear on you.
Of course, I got lost on my way to Cantho. There is a point where the highway forks into three. At first I went left, continuing for ten kilometers before realizing I was headed the wrong way. So I went back and tried right. Again, after five kilometers, I realized I was going the wrong way. I went back one more time, taking the last turn that was left to take. Obviously, it was the right one. I guess I should have opted to but that GPS system afterall.
Cantho is great. I'm really enjoying myself here. Today I took a boat tour of the Mekong river. They take you to a couple of floating markets, and then down the canals for a slow paced relaxing tour. It was really nice. A great way to unwind. I strongly suggest anyone headed this way check it out. It's a little pricey, but well worth it.
Tomorrow I'm off to Saigon. Attempting to bike into it should be one of my biggest challenges yet. I hear the traffic there is some of the worst in the world. Cross your fingures for us!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Kep-Ha Tien

Total Distance:84.46km
Total Time:4h52m02s
Average Speed:17.3km/h
Maximum Speed:28.8km/h
Total Distance So Far:3910.07km

GOOD MORNING VIETNAM! Or good afternoon anyway. I woke up early in Kep, had breakfast and hit the road for what would be my final journey on Cambodian soil. The boarder is only a short 45km from Kep, so I thought I would reach Vietnam well before noon. However things didn't run as smoothly as I had hoped. Kep publishes a local newsletter, "The Kep Revival", in which they give you instructions on how to get to Vietnam. The instructions state you take the highway to a dirt road, where you turn off continuing for 10km to reach the boarder. I followed the highway, turned onto a dirt road, and after 10km was at a boarder. However I guess I zigged when I should have zagged. The boarder I ended up at was a crossing for only Cambodian or Vietnamese citizens. The boarder guards were quite humored by the situation. I found it less entertaining, although looking back I do see the humor in it. I had to backtrack 20km to find the correct dirt road. There were no signs posted. I kept asking for directions and I kept ending up with the same response, "East". Nobody, however, could tell me where I had to go to turn east. Eventually I did find it, and I made it to the Vietnam boarder. I had planned on cycling to Rach Gia where I could catch a boat to Phu Quoc Island for some R n' R. Once at he boarder (the correct boarder) I was told by the guards that I could catch a boat from Ha Tien, which is significantly closer. The boarder guard I was dealing with was quite insistant that I catch the boat from Ha Tien. He said I had come a long way and needed rest. He was right, so I took his advice.
Boats only leave from Ha Tien in the early morning, which meant an over nioght stay there. The city has little to offer, but I did manage to find a nice little cafe where I could look out into the ocean and sip a cup of coffee. It was a relaximg, peaceful evening.
The next morning I headed to Phu Quoc, where I am now. It's a nice island, although a little new to the tourism circuit. I won't linger too long, but will spend at least a couple of days soaking up the rays on the white, sandy beaches.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Total Distance:24.80km
Total Time:1h18m40s
Average Speed:18.9km/h
Maximum Speed:26.6km/h
Total Distance So Far:3825.61km

Hardly worth mentioning as it was such a short trip, so I'll make it short and sweet. The road to Kep was paved but rough, just as the road the previous day. At least it was a short trip though. There wasn't a hell of a lot to see and, therefore, I don't have a hell of a lot to tell you. Kep itself is a pretty little beach town. There is a lot of interesting history there. The Khmer Rouge burnt the entire town, along with everyone who dwelt within it, to the ground. It's remarkable that in they have been able to rebuild in such a short span of time, although remnants of the massacre still exist. Kep as it is today is a little lacking in the excitement department and I found everything there to be slightly overpriced. It was a relaxing way to spend my last night in Cambodia though. The majority of the day was spent laying in a hammock looking back on my experience in Cambodia. Overall I enjoyed Cambodia, it's sights and it's people. Although, as when travelling anywhere, I definitely had moments that were less than enjoyable.


Total Distance:193.73km
Total Time:9h29m08s
Average Speed:20.4km/h
Maximum Speed:35.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:3800.81km

I woke up early in the morning intending to make all the way down to Kep. Had I succeeded it would have been my longest distance yet. I didn't quite make it there though, but we'll get to that. I started the day with a morning coffee at the restaurant where I had enjoyed the previous evening. It was rather early and the people there seemed less excited to see me than they had been the day before. I guess they're not morning people. I rode the 45km or so to Phnom Penh, where I stopped for a late breakfast. It was a really enjoyable experience. Out of the three times I've stopped in that dreaded city, I think this was the best. Perhaps it's because I knew I wouldn't be staying. I ate at a little place along the Mekong, where the owner joined me at my table and we had a nice chat. I probably spent a little longer there than I should have, but as I said I was quite enjoying myself.
Riding through Phnom Penh wouldn't be riding through Phnom Penh if I didn't get lost. It took me well over an hour to navigate my way out of there. That, plus my leisurely meal, were the reasons for not making it to Kep in one day. I kicked myself for it later. This was my third time riding down good old highway number three. It seems everytime the road gets a little worse. Maybe I had just been spoiled by the roads in Battambang province. Outside of Phnom Penh the road is mostly dug up and unpaved. The entire way to Kampot is paved, however it seems although they just dumped tar over the dirt road, making for a rather bumpy road. It's a little frusterating because it's hard to make up time on a bad road. I spent my time telling myself that this was the last time I would have to take this road.
I didn't stop much. Only to pick up water when I was running low. Thte last time I rode this highway, I had stopped for lunch in Ang Ta Som. When I passed by the restaurant where I had stopped the people who served me cane running out waving. It put a smile on my face. By the time I reached Kampot it was just about to get dark. I stopped for a soda and contimplated whether or not to continue on to Kep. On one hand it was only another 25km away. On the other it would be dark soon and, having not yet ridden that road, I didn't know in what condition it would be. In the end I opted to stay in Kampot.
Unlike my previous two stops there, finding a place to stay was rather painless. The second place I went to had a room for me. It was actually one of the better places I've stayed. Extremely clean with very friendly staff. While I didn't break any records, 193km is nothing to scoff at. It was an early dinner, then off to bed.

Monday, February 9, 2009


Total Distance:149.32km
Total Time:7h40m27s
Average Speed:19.4km/h
Maximum Speed:36.0km/h
Total Distance So Far:3607.08km

The return of the dreaded head-winds! I knew it was bound to happen. The wind was at my back the entire way to Battambang. I guess it's only fair that it be reversed for the journey back. It was a rough ride. I really struggled with it. I was not exactly in the highest of spirits. The original plan was to make it to Oudong, 45km from Phnom Penh, as I had no desire to spend another night in the capital. By the time I hit Kampong Chhnang however, I was tired. The wind had taken everything out of me and I resigned myself to the fact that I would have to stop. I even went as far as to check into a hotel there. Once in my room I layed down on the bed and drank some of the complimentary water they gave me. All of a sudden I was feeling rather refreshed. I packed up my things, went down to reception and told them I had changed my mind. The seemed rather confused, and were very appologetic. I tried to explain that it wasn't there fault, and left feeling a little bad.
I continued down the road to Oudong. I had gotten a second wind and was able to make up a lot of time, arriving just before sun-down. I wasn't even sure that there would be a place to stay there. However I always seem to have good luck when it comes to such things, and I figured worst case scenario I could contine on to Phnom Penh. As it turned out there was a couple of small, reasonably priced guesthouses there. I checked in to one of them. I take back what I said about Pursat. Compared to Oudong, Pursat is a hip, booming motropolis. I decided to make the best of it. I went down to a restaurant and attempted to order some rice and veggies. What I ended up getting was rice porrige with fish. Rice porrige is everywhere in Asia and, I'm a little ashamed to admit, this was my first time trying it. It really just didn't appeal to me. It was surprisingly really tasty! The people at the restaurant seemed to get a pretty big kick out of me, and I spent a good couple of hours there drinking coffee while they sat and starred at me. Sometimes stopping in the little places can be the most fun.


Total Distance:109.87km
Total Time:4h56m14s
Average Speed:22.3km/h
Maximum Speed:32.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:3457.76km

I spent a couple of days kickin' around Battambang. There really isn't a hell of a lot to do there. To be I honest, I only went to kill a little bit of time. It was sort of a noisey, dingy city. There were a few good places to eat, by which I mean three. However, after the long ride up it was nice to just relax and not bike for a few days. The road between Battambang and Pursat is one of the best in Cambodia. The pavement is smooth, and it's rather fast moving once you get going. It really is an enjoyable ride. The ride didn't take me long, nor was it very far, so I decided to really enjoy myself durring the days trip. I spent my time riding and getting to know the Khmer people. I would strike up conversations with people going by on motorbikes. If there was a group of children on the side of the road, I'd hold out my hand and high-five them as I passed. Of course, I had a race or two with some of the kids. Overall I had a lot of fun.
Pursat is one horse town if I've ever seen one. Once there I attempted to walk around and check it out, although there wasn't really anything to check out. I spent the night at a hotel where I had stopped for lunch on the way up. I surprised to see a few other "pale faces" staying there. It seemed although, like me, they had opted for more time in Cambodia than they really needed and were trying to kill some time.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Kampong Chhnang-Battambang

Total Distance:203.71km
Total Time:10h20m06s
Average Speed:19.8km/h
Maximum Speed:32.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:3347.89km

That's right, 203.71km! Sometimes I even impress myself. I don't mean to toot my own horn... who I'm I kidding? I totally mean to toot my own horn. 203.71 km people! Come on, that's pretty damn good. Have you ever had one of those days where everything just seems to fall perfectly into place? For me, this was such a day. I woke up early, 4:30am. Having anticipated there would be a lack of places to eat in the morning, I had purchased some yogurt and fruit the night before (my room actually had a fridge. How cool is that?) which I ate along with some granola I carry in my bag in case of just such an event. After my nutritious and delicious breakfast I hit the road. I was off by 5:30, a good start time given the length of the ride. There are a few place to stop in between Kampong Chhnang and Battambang, but I don't have much time left in Cambodia and I want to make the most of it. It was still dark when I left this morning. Sunrise isn't until 6:30, which meant an hour of cycling in the dark. The upside is it was really quiet. No honking horns, no screaming kids, no random ladies running out of there huts trying to sell me baguettes. The downside was, not to state the obvious, that it was dark. The roads in Cambodia are pretty good, but you still get your odd rough patch. I also got chased by my first Cambodian dog. However one dog, in comparison to the many that tried to chase me down in Thailand, really wasn't that bad. Having awoken so early, by the time the sun had risen, I was beginning to fade. Luckily I happened upon this little hole-on-the wall restaurant which served their coffee hot and strong. Just the way I like it (there is no hidden meaning behind that statement, so get your minds out of the gutter). After chatting with the locals, or at least attempting to chat with the locals, I was ready to get back to business. I rode the rest of the morning without stopping, not feeling the slightest bit of fatigue. After 100km I stopped in Pursat for lunch. Having enjoyed my fried rice so much the other day, I decided to have it again. It was even better than the last one. There is a waterfall near by. I didn't have time to check it out today, but I think I will spend the night there on my way back and see it then. I continued on, ready for the next half of my journey. I kept waiting for the sun to come out and drain me of all my energy. The entire day was cloudy though, the perfect weather for such a long trip. I had a lot of fun with The Khmer children today. One of my favorite pass times on the road is engaging random kids in a race. A lot of these kids are really good and, I'm not ashamed to admit, I don't always win. Toward the end I did start to wear out, which is only natural.
Battambang seems like another typical city. Loud and full of people trying to sell you stuff. Tomorrow I may bike out to the surrounding area, as the country-side is supposed to be well worth a visit. One thing I'm absolutely going to do while I'm here is indulge in a massage.

Phnom Penh-Kampong Chhnang

Total Distance:89.23km
Total Time:3h59m26s
Average Speed:22.4km/h
Maximum Speed:35.5km/h
Total Distance So Far:3144.18km

I spent the night in Phnom Penh among the vermin, and the next morning could not get out of there fast enough. Don't get me wrong. Phnom Penh is definitely a city worth visiting. However, as this was my second time there, and as there will most likely be a third on the way to Vietnam, I had no desire to stick around. The only good thing about an over night visit to the city is that there is an abundance of restaurants which serve early morning, western breakfast. A cyclists dream. Leaving Phnom Penh is a timely fashion was nothing more than wishful thinking. Being that I have little sense of direction I, of course, spent an hour trying to navigate my way out of the city. I'm really quite shocked that I haven't gotten lost more often. I guess someone's watching out for me. Eventually I did find my way to the highway, and I was off.
I must say, I really enjoyed the ride out to Kampong Chhnang. The last time I was in the southwestern part of Cambodia I found it dry and dusty, the roads leaving something to be desired. This trip was different though. It was still pretty flat, but the surrounding landscape was much more lush and green. It was a nice, peaceful ride. It's a good thing too, because I'll soon find myself back there as I head toward the border.
Kampong Chhnang is a quiet little place, but there isn't much to do there aside from checking out the floating village. The town could surely use a couple more places to eat. There's really only one good restaurant there. It could have been worse though. The food was at least tasty, the portions generous, and the price was right. Once again I encountered some of my cyclist brethren there. There were two cyclists I didn't get a chance to meet, but I know they were there having seen their bikes chained up outside the guesthouse I was staying at. Valarie and Antoine, from Montreal, were two cyclists I did meet. My first run in with Canadians doing Asia by bike. They had just started there trip, and were still finding there groove. It reminded me of when I first started in Kuala Lumpur. Listen to me, after just two months I'm talking like I'm some kind of expert.
At first I was unsure about my decision to head back up north. I'm confident now that it was the right call. I'd rather see something new than sit around being lazy and getting out of shape.