Road to Saigon 2018

4 February - 2 March 2018


FEBRUARY 22, 2018

Nakhon Ratchasima to Siem Reap

Choum reap sor!


Choum reap sor! As they say in the Khmer language of Cambodia.

As we left the hotel this morning, sadly there was no USAF fly past. But we did see them performing a textbook dawn patrol, circling in tight formation around the breakfast buffet. Picking off eggs, muffins, fruit salad the like, as their acquisition systems locked onto the hapless targets there was only ever going to be one result. The inflight refuelling at the coffee machine was also good to watch, not a drop was spilled and each of them had a wingman covering as they took on enough of the previous black juice to get them through their mission. As they say Stateside, "No One Comes Close".

Border days can be slow though and today went some way to proving that.

Thailand just didn’t want to let some of us go and thanks to a minor paperwork glitch a few of us lost an hour of pre rest day chilling in the sumptuous Sofitel of Siem Reap.

Keen to make amends though, the Cambodian customs on the other side of the fence were very slick and our legendary Peking to Paris fixing team had set things up so that each car and crew was checked through in a matter of minutes and out of the 39°c heat.

With a quick sampeah, the O Smach border whisked us into Cambodia and as well as a switch to driving on the right hand side of the road this was like taking a step back from the modern world. Compared to Thailand there were less cars and many more scooters and bicycles. There were dozens of Chinese tractor barrows pulling logs, cane and charcoal into villages and towns alongside brightly coloured trucks belching diesel smoke with very change of gear.

Our destination was the city of Siem Reap, home to the ancient and spectacular Angkor Wat temple, the largest religious monument in the world. For the next two nights we’re at the Sofitel and very nice it is too.

Tomorrow no doubt, there’ll be some sightseeing to be done.

Chum reap leah

Syd Stelvio



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