Cycling in Cambodia: Koh Rong to Phnom Penh (bus)
I decided to move on from Koh Rong. I’ve never been a beach person anyway, but I was conscious of time and I was looking forward to cycling again. After watching the sunrise, I sat and had coffee whilst doing some writing under the palm trees.
Getting my bicycle to and from my room in Vagabonds was anything but easy. The steep wooden step and shaky handrail required me to take both wheels off and clamber down, much to the entertainment of the bar staff and fellow travellers having breakfast.
Once I’d loaded up, I waited in the sea next to the pier for my ferry back to the mainlands. Vagabonds had been a nice place to stay and was super friendly. I wasn’t too keen on Koh Rong however, and was definitely ready to get back on the bike.
I decided to take the advice of Luc, the Frenchman I met in Kampot, and that of the Lonely Planet which states, “the road between Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh is one of the most dangerous in Cambodia”. I took a bus for the 190km from Sihanoukville to the capital, loading my bike on the under carriage and relishing in the relative comfort of an air-conditioned bus. I removed my front wheel and carefully slid my bike onto the bus, ensuring that the bus driver was clear that, as I was paying an extra $5 for the privilege of taking my bike, I didn’t want any other luggage to be placed on or around my bike.
The journey seemed to take forever, and the six hour journey took around eight. We arrived in Phnom Penh in the dark, at which point I nervously unloaded my bike. To my horror, a large, heavy bag had been thrown in on top of my bike, more specifically on the front guard. It had bent the mudguard itself, and the bars either side. If this wasn’t enough, I realised that when taking my wheel off in Sihanoukville, I’d left the skewer by the side of the road!
Bending the mudguard back as best as I could, I put the wheels back on and slowly wheeled my heavily neglected bike to my hotel. The day wasn’t supposed to end this way…