How much will i spend?

In 2012, we typically spent between $2500 and $3000 each.  This included everything – flights, bikes, food, booze, accommodation, repairs, fundraising etc.  You could certainly do it cheaper, maybe for $2000 if you choose to stay in fan rooms (instead of airconditioning), eat more local food and party a little less than the typical thirsty traveller.

How do i get there?

Air – Air Asia run daily flights from Bangkok to Phnom Penh for approx. US$90 (2011) including 15kg baggage.

IMPORTANT For people connecting in Bangkok – Note that Air Asia don’t fly out of the international airport in Bangkok (BKK) so you may need to allow for the travel time to the other airport, Don Muaeang (DMK). Note that BKK and DMK are completely different airports, so allow plenty of time to get there – taxi route is shown here.  This website suggests you will need 40 to 60mins for this transit.

Bangkok Airways and others do fly out of BKK  several times a day, but they’re about 2x the price.

If you’re overnighting in Bangkok, the cheapest and easiest place to find a room is in and around Khao San Rd, it’s full of backpackers but you should be able to get a reasonable double for 3-500Baht per night ($10-$15).  Everyone in Bangkok knows where Khao San Rd is!

Bus – there are daily buses from Bangkok (or in fact almost everywhere!).  Ask around in Khao San Rd for the cheapest deal, but don’t believe the arrival time they quote – it will be late!

Do I need a Visa?

Yes you do, but you can get it in the airport when you land (as of 2012 – check this closer to the ride).  Just bring some USD and a passport sized picture with you.  More information here.

Do I need a motorcycle license to ride in Cambodia?

Technically you will need an International Driving Permit (IDP) but you don’t need to be a licensed motorcycle rider.  (In Australia get your IDP from the RAA or RACV.  In the USA you can get an IDP at the AAA)

The Cambodian Embassy in Australia have told us (in Oct 2012) that you need to present your IDP to any travel agent in Cambodia, who will provide you with a permit to ride a moto or drive a car – they estimated a $20 fee, and said it would be done on the spot “very easily”.  They said that although the IDP states that it is valid in Cambodia, you still need this additional piece of paperwork.  The embassy said that this paperwork will be given for any valid IDP, regardless of whether you are a licensed motorcycle rider in your own country or not.

In practice the police in Cambodia are corrupt in a small time way, so a fine (bribe) of $1-$2 will get you out of most situations.  Be patient and don’t get upset with police, and if stopped take the key out of the bike before they do.  Also carry a second wallet with small US bills or local money, if they see big bills in your ‘normal’ wallet they will want a bigger bribe.

Some travel insurance companies (try QBE in Australia) will give you travel insurance for a moto of up to 100cc even if you don’t have a bike license, so make sure you get an appropriate policy.

Where will we stay?

Wing it! You’ll find cheap hotels/guesthouses all along the way, typical rates in Cambodia start from US$8 (fan) to $15 (aircon) per night for 2 people, (twin share or in a double bed).  In 2012 finding accommodation was never a problem.

What happens if my Moto breaks down?

If?!? Your moto will almost certainly break down at some stage – but don’t worry about that.  There are repairers quite literally everywhere in Cambodia, and most repairs will cost $2 – $10.  If you can’t find a repairer, then find a Cambodian, point to the moto and make a sick moto sound, they will help you out.

Where do we actually go?

That’s totally up to you.  Make friends with other participants and discuss a route.  If you don’t want to work it out yourself, then just tag onto the back of more experienced participants.  Not everyone will travel on the same roads, but it’s nice to meet at some way points that we can work out before we leave.

How far do we ride every day?

Again – that’s your decision.  As a guide – most people can very comfortably travel 100km per day on a Dailem Scooter (on paved roads).  Those willing to put in the hours will manage 200km each day.  The record in 2012 was 350km in a 10 hour day – ouch!   As a guide, in 2012 the main group typically left (too) late in the morning and arrived late afternoon, travelling about 200km each day.

What should I bring?
this is by no means a definitive list, but you might think about leaving home with the following items.

* Your Passport, a photocopy of it, and one scanned in your email
* A sturdy backpack or other bag that can be strapped to the back of the motorbike – keep it LIGHT!  You can also buy a suitable bag in the markets of Phnom Pehn for $10-$20 and throw it away at the end of the trip.
* The best map of Cambodia that you can get your hands on.  Edit – easier and cheaper to buy one when you arrive.
* A cheap mobile phone (easy to buy in asia($30 on your way there) makes it easy to find people who get lost.  REALLY IMPORTANT
* A few t shirts, socks and underwear. Laundry is cheap.
* Don’t forget your bathers, but please respect cultural norms and be a little modest in Cambodia.
* A towel is almost always provided in guest houses, but not always.
* Tie-down straps to attach the bag to the bike
* A hydration pack or big water bottle – it will be hot.  Those who didnt bring hydra packs last year were unsuccessfully looking for them along the road.
* Sunglasses

* Riding Gear
** Motorcycle Boots (or hiking boots with ankle protection at a minimum)
** Gloves
** Helmet
** Jacket
** Pants
**** (Note that it will be impossible to buy any decent quality riding gear in Cambodia)

* Basic first aid
** Diarrhea tablets
** Antibiotics, (small cuts and grazes can become infected easily, if this happens it’s best to go onto antibiotics straight away).
** Antiseptic (e.g. Betadine)
** Water purification tablets
** Various sized waterproof dressings, hopefully you won’t need them!
**** (You should be able to buy the basics in Cambodia, but if you want to carry antibiotics, get them from your local doctor)

* International Driving Permit and your Driving Permit, and copies of both.
** Never give your original documents to anyone, give them copies and tell them your originals are ‘in the hotel room’

* Some emergency US dollars (100 to 500 in small denominations).
* You will get a better exchange rate from your bank at home, and the border fees of about US35 will be payable in USD.
* ATM card
** ATMs are everywhere that you’d need to have cash
* Travel Insurance policy (that includes motorcycle accident cover for a bike up to 125cc)   *** check your credit card extra benefits, as many will provide you with free travel insurance if you pay for your trip with the card.  Policies will vary, but in many cases this insurance is more than enough, and will cover you on the bike too.  Be sure to read the policy document for full terms and conditions, but this could save you hundreds    ***
* Evacuation Insurance that brings you back to your home country

* 2 Passport sized photos
* 2 credit cards, stored in different places in case you lose one.
* A bag of long zip ties always comes in handy.
* A roll of pvc or gaffa tape.
* A Bike lock would also be a good idea, but you can always buy one in Cambodia.

What about insurance?  (see note above re travel insurance)

Remember that this is not a guided tour and that you are 100% responsible for yourself at all times.  Riding a scooter in Cambodia is dangerous.  Many travellers think scooters are just a bit of fun, and they can be, but also think about the dangers – when you were a kid and crashed your bicycle you could get hurt pretty badly, but you’ll go 5-8 times faster on the scooter!  Then there’s the other traffic… it’s a jungle out there!

On Cambodian roads you will encounter everything from a bullock cart travelling slower than walking pace, to Semi trailers doing 100 and Mini Buses flashing past at 130km/hr!

Consider getting an international medical insurance plan with evacuation to your home country.  Check out something like the Patriot International insurance program or Med Jet Assist just to name a couple.

Remember to read the fine print, many travel insurance policies have exclusions for motorcycle accidents, especially for people who dont have a motorcycle license in their home country.

How do I find others who are doing this ride? 

Check out the facebook fan page and make friends with other entrants before the ride.  And if you want to book the first couple of nights accommodation in Phnom Penh, then most of us stay on the river side precinct.  Last year we were all at the Mekong Palace Hotel, aircon rooms were $18/night for a double without windows.  You should book in advance for this one, or just walk the strip and find something nearby – lots of Guest houses in the area.  We’ll meet for breakfast at the Blue Pumpkin on the riverside at 8ish on Monday morning.  It’s on the corner of Preah Sisowath Quay and Street 144.

Do you have a facebook page?

Yes.  Check out the Ride For Cambodia Facebook Page.

Do I need any Vaccinations for Cambodia?

The USA’s Center for Disease Control says you should have some shots.  Check out what they have to say about Cambodia.

For advice in Australia call The Travel Doctor