Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Mondulkiri

After riding our motorcycles all through Laos (click here for the North and South), and then checking out Southern Vietnam, it was time for the next mission – Our Cambodia motorcycle adventure!

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure – Country Number Three

We decided to skip the main border crossing checkpoint between Ho Chi Minh City and Phnom Penh, instead opting for one a bit further south – but still north of the newly opened Hat Tien immigration point. Chau Doc seemed like a nice, quiet border to try and take our motorbikes into Cambodia, and it worked out pretty well. And from that moment on, it was time to check out the best that Cambodia had to offer!

First thing you must realise is the scenery is very different to what you experience in Northern Laos and Vietnam. It is mostly flat farmland, but still very beautiful.

Please Note

There are many little local petrol stands every where you go. They will fill up empty bottles with petrol and sell it for a little more than the gas stations. We usually filled up in the mornings at gas stations in the town/ city that we stayed in. You will never go without seeing someone selling gasoline for more than 15 – 20 km along the major roads.

Vietnam Border to Kampot – 120km

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Border Vietnam Chau Doc
Lesh and Jazza right after we crossed into Cambodia to begin our new motorcycle adventure.

While we absolutely love Vietnam, crossing into Cambodia was like a breath of fresh air. The traffic immediately dropped away to be almost non-existent. The scenery turned into large green farmland with distant mountains on the horizon. The roads were in fairly good condition and the riding itself was enjoyable. Still couldn’t reach real high speeds due to the patches of gravel and a few potholes, but was better than we had anticipated.

Road Conditions: Good, few potholes.
Weather: Sunny
Traffic: Very little

Kampot To Kep (Return) – 30km One Way

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Kampot To Kep

The road to Kep was partly under construction, and will probably remain that way for the foreseeable future with how slow things are done here. More farmland was the typical views, occasionally blocked by large trees. Road conditions varied between nice pavement and potholed roadworks, but for such a short trip it is hardly worth worrying about. Traffic was moderate.

Road Conditions: Not bad out of Kampot, roadworks coming into Kep.
Weather: Rain the first day, sunny on the way back.
Traffic: Moderate

Kampot To Sihanoukville (Return) – 100km one way

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Kampot To Sihanoukville Otres Beach
Otres Beach, Sihanoukville
Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Kampot To Sihanoukville

The ride towards Sihanoukville was quite nice with not a lot of traffic until you got closer to the city. More flat Cambodian scenery, green farmlands with periodic hills and mountains. The road was in really good condition and fairly straight. Once we got to Sihanoukville we tried our best to follow the coastline all the way to Otres, managing to avoid the main road where most of the police activity and traffic was.

Road Conditions: Really good.
Weather: Sunny
Traffic: Busy once you reach the road to Sihanoukville.

Kampot To Kampong Chhnang – 260km

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Kampot To Kampong Chhnang Riad
Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Kampot To Kampong Chhnang

Following the highway towards Phnom Penh the road was pretty good. Moderate traffic until we got closer to the capital and very little road works and potholes. The closer to Phnom Penh you get the more you need to stick to the shoulder as trucks and buses start overtaking carelessly. We got to the large roundabout near the airport then turned back on the road to Sihaoukville. After 20km or so we turned off heading north on Road 51. The road here changed from nice pavement to a mix of gravel, dirt, ruts and potholes. The scenery was nice enough, but the road wasn’t enjoyable. Still, it was better than dealing with the traffic around the city. When we got onto Highway 5 the conditions improved but traffic picked up, as to be expected.

Road Conditions: Good until the ‘shortcut’ – then rough.
Weather: Sunny for the most part, then rain.
Traffic: Very busy close to Phnom Penh and towards Battambang

Kampong Chhnang To Battambang – 200km

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Kampong Chhnang To Battamband

A very easy and straightforward road. Good condition, moderate traffic and not a lot in terms of views outside of the standard Cambodian farmlands. We made good time getting into Battambang.

Road Conditions: Pretty good.
Weather: Clear
Traffic: Medium

Battambang To Siem Reap – 180km

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Battambang To Siem Reap Bamboo Rice
A lady selling bamboo sticky rice. A great snack to get you through a few more hours of riding,
Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Battambang To Siem Reap Road

Another easy ride which we completed in fast time. From Battambang to the intersection of Highway 6 the roads were in standard condition and besides the few trucks and scooters there was little traffic to worry about. Once we turned onto Highway 6 the road became the nicest we had ridden on in all of Cambodia – probably due to being the main thoroughfare between Thailand and Siem Reap. The views were typical and pleasant. About 40km from Siem Reap the road began to deteriorate but was still pretty good compared to other roads in the country. Traffic in Siem Reap, to be expected, was busy.

Road Conditions: Excellent.
Weather: Sunny
Traffic: Heavy near Siem Reap.

Siem Reap To Kampong Thom – 160km

Siem Reap To Kampong Thomg
Great road on the way to Siem Reap from Kampong Thom – it wasn’t all like this.
Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Siem Reap To Kampog Thom Nice Road

The government must have a lot of plans to improve Highway 6 but not a lot of funds. It was dusty, bumpy, torn up ready for construction but we didn’t see much actual building or repairs going on. Traffic was crazy and we could barely ride one kilometre on pavement before it turned into dirt again. Not enjoyable at all, and we were glad we had decided to only go part of the way to Kampong Cham.

Road Conditions: Terrible, lots of road works.
Weather: Mix of rain and clear skies.
Traffic: Heavy

Kampong Thom To Kampong Cham – 120km

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Kampong Thom To Kampong Cham
Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Kampong Thom Kampong Cham Coconut
Lesh enjoying a fresh roadside coconut for 50 cents.

Started off on the same hellish road until it split in two – one way to Phnom Penh and the other (Road 71) towards Kampong Cham. Everything became pleasant and beautiful again. Nice roads, lush pastures, and lots of little shops to pull over and buy fresh coconuts from friendly Khmer families. There was hardly anyone on the roads until we got to Highway 7, where it picked up in numbers.

Road Conditions: Bad out of Kampong Thom, good from Road 71.
Weather: Mix of sun and rain.
Traffic: Heavy to the turn off and on Highway 7. Empty in between.

Kampong Cham To Phnom Penh – 120km

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Kampong Cham To Phnom Penh Village
A small village on the Mekong River
Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Kampong Cham Phnom Penh Farmland
Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Kampong Cham Phnom Penh Small Road
Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Kampong Cham Phnom Penh Dirt Road

On the recommendation of our guesthouse owner, we followed the Mekong River as far towards Phnom Penh as possible. The roads varied between sealed tarmac and single lane dirt, riddled with bumps and holes, but it was definitely worth it! Riding through tiny villages and having to deal with more cows and buffalo than cars was beautiful. We took our time, stopping off to buy drinks from the locals and admiring the scenery. At times the road almost disappeared to be only a bit wider than a scooter, overgrown with shrubs and grass, but we asked people for the direction to Phnom Penh and they were happy to direct us.

The good times didn’t last forever though as we eventually had to turn onto Highway 6A. It lured us into a false sense of security, being wide enough to land a plane and perfect tarmac. But soon enough that all changed. The road turned into dirt and with the amount of traffic plying the route there was an incredible amount of dust in the air. We could hardly see more than 50m in front of us for about 30km. Every part of our clothes and bikes had turned brown from the dirt. We were actually excited to get into the city and deal with the traffic over the dust. And of course, the traffic was pretty crazy.

Road Conditions: Everything possible.
Weather: Sunny, dusty.
Traffic: None until the highway, then real busy.

Phnom Penh To Snoul – 250km

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Phnom Penh Snoul Nice Road
Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Phnom Penh Snoul Dust Road
The Dust Bowl Highway.

We had to take the dust bowl out of Phnom Penh again, which was just as enjoyable as the first time. We turned onto Highway 8 and life became simpler. Good road conditions with minimal traffic (besides the kamikaze mini-bus drivers heading to and from the Vietnamese border). We followed number 8 until Highway 7. The road conditions deteriorated a bit, but stayed pretty good. The traffic was noticeably heavier until number 7 veered off towards Snoul. The views were nice; more of the same farmland but with more trees.

Road Conditions: Dusty at the beginning, then good.
Weather: Dusty, sunny, heavy rain.
Traffic: Moderate

Snoul To Sen Monorom (Return) – 130km

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Snoul Mondulkiri Sen Monorom Views
Incredible views over the Mondulkiri region.
Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Snoul Mondulkiri Road Lesh
Lesh loving the ride from Snoul to Mondulkiri.
Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Snoul Mondulkiri Nice Road

By far the best road we experienced, and we were so glad this is how we got to finish our Cambodia motorcycle adventure. Leaving Snoul was nothing overly spectacular but once we got to the forestry protection zone, it was amazing. Riding through beautiful dense jungle on hilly roads with perfect tarmac. Banked curves, no traffic, gorgeous views. We lost count of how many times we stopped to take photos. And just when you think it can’t get any better, the forest ends and you are seemingly transported to the European countryside. Fragrant pine trees peppered the landscape and huge green hills rolled into the valleys and horizon. More stops to take photos, more rest breaks with beautiful vistas. The Mondulkiri region is amazing and well worth an extended visit.

Road Conditions: Very good.
Weather: Sunny
Traffic: Very little

Cambodia / Vietnam Border Crossing – Trapaing Sre International Check Point

Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Border Crossing Immigration Vietnam
The high security border crossing between Cambodia and Vietnam.

This border crossing between Cambodia and Vietnam was quick and painless. Pulling up to the Cambodian customs and immigration we parked our bikes directly in front of the office and walked up the officer. We handed over our passports and tried to speak the last bit of Khmer we would use for a while. They were pleasant and friendly, and quickly stamped us out of Cambodia. They did not want to see our motorbike registration or charge any fees.

We rode to the large Vietnam border building and parked the bikes again. We grabbed our backpacks off the back, as indicated by a guard. We went up to a little cubicle on the outside of the building and had our passports checked by a friendly Vietnamese man. We then went inside and walked up to another window. There another officer checked our passports for the visa again and stamped us into Vietnam. Next was an x-ray machine where our bags were scanned, although I think this was more of a formality than a serious check. When we were given the all clear, we grabbed our bags and went back outside to our bikes. We loaded our backpacks on and drove on into Vietnam. There were no more checkpoints.


Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure Vietnam Border Sign
Next stop, Vietnam…Again….
Picture of Alesha and Jarryd

Alesha and Jarryd

Hey! We are Alesha and Jarryd, the award-winning writers and professional photographers behind this blog. We have been travelling the world together since 2008, with a passion for adventure travel and sustainable tourism. Through our stories and images we promote exciting off-the-beaten-path destinations and fascinating cultures as we go. As one of the world's leading travel journalists, our content and adventures have been featured by National Geographic, Lonely Planet, CNN, BBC, Forbes, Business Insider, Washington Post, Yahoo!, BuzzFeed, Channel 7, Channel 10, ABC, The Guardian, and plenty other publications. Follow our journey in real time on Facebook, YouTube and Instagram.

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13 thoughts on “Cambodia Motorcycle Adventure”

  1. Hi.. Is it possible , for you, start from phnom penh to siem reap with motorbike in only 1 day? How many hours?
    And.. have you drove with or without cambodian driver license?
    Thank you

    • Yes it’s possible, but it will be a very hard and long ride as there are still roadworks on the highway. If possible, break it up into two (or three) days.

      We had international driver permits with us. Happy riding 🙂

  2. Hi Lesh and Jazza!!!
    Just found your website, Its amazing !!
    Got few questions for you if you have time … My boyfriend(spanish) and myself (french) are going to visit thailand, vietnam, laos and cambodia next january (1month each country) and I was thinking about buy a motorbike. Do you need any special papers / insurance for ride the bike and pass the borders ?
    Also we want to go 30 days to thailand (no need visa) and after those 3 others countries come back to thailand for a week or 2 and go back to spain from bangkok. Do you know if we need a special visa if we come back after 3 months that we left thailand?
    Thank you !!
    I know what i am going to do for the next 2h: read your blog 😉

  3. it’s awesome

  4. I don’t think I’d be as good as you guys on a motorcycle, but it definitely seem like one of the best way to see a country. I love how travelling this way gives you so much freedom and opens up so many opportunities and options, you can basically go where ever you like without thinking about it too much which is awesome. I have to admit though, some of these streets are so incredibly dusty probably too much for me and my allergies, they remind me of Laos countryside.

    • I think you would be surprised with yourself, Franca. I’m sure you would be awesome on one of these motorcycles! A couple of the streets are definitely dusty, however. Always best to wear a mask or bandana. But definitely worth it for the freedom! 😀

  5. Hey Guys! Epic journey 🙂 I think this is an excellent guide for those thinking of travelling by motorbike. Great job putting it together.


    • Thanks Dariece! Slowly starting to put together some detailed guides for the motorcycle adventure around SE Asia. Hopefully it will become quite comprehensive in the near future. Cheers for reading 😀

  6. this sounds like an awesome trip and awesome way to see the country. Like an Asian road trip. I’m not sure my skills would be up to challenge but definitely something to keep in mind.

    • It definitely changed the whole dynamics of our trip. You would learn pretty quick, I think. It’s not too hard to ride, the main issue is dealing with other people on the road. Thanks for reading, Rebekah!

  7. Amazing, i had already done Cambodia by the time i had decided to ride up the length of Vietnam (took 6 weeks) but i think this would be a great country to motorbike. I envy your bike choice..i chose a Honda wave…my poor bum!

    Which country was your favourite to ride? Surley you cant beat the scenery in Vietnam..even if the trafiic is the most dangerous!

    • Nothing wrong with a Honda Wave! At least you can ride one handed. Like one of our Cambodian friends said about our bike of choice – “No good, must use two hands. Scooter better. One hand for riding, one hand for drinking!”

      So far Northern Laos was by far the best, although we’ve heard incredible things about the area along the Vietnam/Chinese border. Can’t wait to get our military permits and check it out up there. Thanks so much for reading, Paula.

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