Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kratie, Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri.. (Northeast Cambodia Loop) – 11. Journey, Day 7

Day 7 (Mondulkiri – Phnom Penh)

The bad thing about riding before sunrise is the cold. I had my jacket zipped up to my neck and yet I could not ride faster than 30km/h without trembling. But the reward is you get the road to yourself. So despite the freezing winds, I would say it’s my favorite time of the day for riding. Besides, there is the sunrise to look forward to. You know that as the sun rises, you would get warmer. Knowing that things will get better puts me in a good mood. What about the blazing afternoon sun? Well, it gives me a good tan and a good sweat. I like to think that I can slim down in this way.

The plan today was to ride all the way from Sen Monorom back to Phnom Penh. The distance might look great but I was able to make good pace because of the good-conditioned tarmac roads. I left my guesthouse at 6am and reached Suong at 11am . As I didn’t want the repeat the roads I have taken, I turned left for highway 11 instead of continuing west to Kampong Cham. Besides, I heard Prey Veng has some nice rubber plantations by the roads which would make for a pleasant ride.

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Phnom Penh, Kampong Cham, Kratie, Ratanakiri, Mondulkiri.. (Northeast Cambodia Loop) – 10. Journey, Day 6

Day 6 (Mondulkiri)

Nested in a hilly province, Sen Monorom boasts beautiful scenery and cool weather. The charming capital of Mondulkiri is very laid back and makes for a pleasant place to laze for a few days. And laze around I did. I took it easy and gave the usual attractions of waterfall and elephant trekking a miss. Energetic travelers can consider visiting Monorom Falls and Bou Sraa Waterfall, both of which were highly recommended by the locals.

I woke up at 7am and visited the morning market. The buzzing locals and sweet aroma of food filled my senses. In no time, my stomach started groaning. Expertly avoiding the zipping motorcycles whose views were blocked by overflowing baskets, I let my nose be my guide (hope it doesn’t remind you of the movie Perfume). I was richly rewarded with barbecued banana and glutinous rice wrapped in slightly charred banana leaves. This simple delicacy cost me 200R. Excellent value for money!

Morning Market

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