I had to do a bit of scrambling this week, as my Cambodia motorcycle tour with Asian Motorcycle Adventures was cancelled, two months before the start date. I was the only person to book the tour and the company cannot afford to operate cross-border tours with a single participant (the tour departs from Chiang Mai in Thailand and rides across the border into Cambodia).
I had already booked my (Lao Airlines) flights from Hanoi to Chiang Mai (via Luang Prabang, Laos) but the cancellation meant that I now needed to fly directly to Cambodia and not to Thailand. A bit of research revealed that the best route for flights from Hanoi to Siem Reap in Cambodia was also via Luang Prabang on Lao Airlines. My best option would be to cancel the Luang Prabang to Chiang Mai segment of my flights and book an alternate second-leg flight from Luang Prabang to Siem Reap. I’d booked my Lao Airlines flights online, through Travelocity, so I made a call to Travelocity to make the changes. The service from the Travelocity support team was excellent. Within a few minutes, the amendment was made. The cancellation fee was only $25 which was very reasonable.
Once the flight into Siem Reap had been arranged, I then made a separate reservation to get from Siem Reap to Chiang Mai so that I’d be there in time for the start of my Golden Triangle motorcycle tour. The best route that I found was on Bangkok Airways via Bangkok.
In the meantime, the owner of Asian Motorcycle Adventures (Reed Resnikoff) kindly made enquiries on my behalf to locate a Cambodian motorcycle tour company that could provide me with a customised tour. Reed was able to put me in contact with Dave Scott, the owner of Kickstart Dirt Bike Adventures located in Siem Reap. Reed also provided me with helpful advice regarding places to visit.
After a few e-mails with Dave at Kickstart, I now have a customised, personal 10-day tour arranged. The tour will commence at Siem Reap with tours of Angkor Wat before we ride south to Phnom Penh, via Kompang Cham. There will be a couple of days of sightseeing in Phnom Penh before we ride north to Battambang and back to Siem Reap, for a couple more daily rides to see the nearby sights and antiquities.
The standard bike for the Kickstart tour will be a Honda XR250R – a four stroke, single-cylinder 249cc offload/enduro bike. There are options to upgrade to other bikes that include Honda, Yamaha and KTM models.
As this will be a personalised tour with just me and a tour guide, there will be no support vehicle. Therefore, for the six days that we are not based at a Siem Reap hotel, I’ll have to carry everything that I need in a backpack. That will require some very light packing with minimal clothing that will have to be washed nightly!
The trip starts in about seven weeks, so my anticipation is building. It’s going to be awesome!