β›Ί From Campsite To Capital, The Road Trip Continues πŸ›Ί Phnom Kravanh to Phnom Penh

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We have finally arrived in Phnom Penh, but not after a night of rough sleeping and far too many hours behind the handlebars of the Ape.

Good Morning Monkey-B πŸŒ„

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Β  Β  Β Perhaps it's because I'm getting older or no longer used to it, but sleeping on a thin pad is not as fun or easy as it was back in my mountain climbing days. Despite not being well-rested, the wife and I were happy to not have spent money on a hotel and ready to continue the journey to Phnom Penh. Monkey-B washed the dishes and Pov began reheating some dinner leftovers.

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Β  Β  Β As much as I felt unable to drive, I slammed a few cups of coffee and devoured some leftovers in hopes that it would give me enough manfuel to keep the handlebars pointed towards Phnom Penh.

Hittin' The Road Again πŸ›Ί

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Β  Β  Β One last pic after breakfast and before we hit the road again, and then I broke down the tent and jammed everything into our trusty rice sack. After about 30 minutes on the road, I quickly realized I didn't have the brainpower or physical energy to keep driving. I pulled over, felt dizzy, took a 20-minute powernap and drank a coconut, and somehow willed myself to drive another 5+ hours.

Washing Machine Exchange πŸ™‡β€β™‚οΈ

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Β  Β  Β When we arrived in the capital, the first order of business was to exchange our washing machine for another. It mysteriously broke a few weeks after we got it, and we were delighted to hear the owner of the busines say she'd exchange it without any worries. Customer service is almost non-existent in Cambodia despite massive overstaffing, but DSR is an outstanding company to do business with, full of friendly and helpful employees. After about 30 minutes we had a new machine in the back our tuk-tuk and were beginning to feel hungry.

Dosa Corner 🍽️

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Β  Β  Β We dashed over to Dosa Corner, our favorite eatery in Phnom Penh, and the ladies got their usual cauliflower dosas. I went with my go-to dish, rava masala dosa and a side of idly sambar, and of course it was all delicious because this place never disappoints.

Bye-Bye NUC πŸ“¦

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Β  Β  Β One of the last stops of our first day in the big city was FedEx, where I sent my mini PC back to the USA for a warranty replacement. For some reason I got a huge discount and it only cost $65 to send it. I had calculated it would be about $150+ due to weight and size, but when someone gives me a discount, I tend not to ask too many questions. We do occasionally get freebies in the capital because they can never believe we drove a tuk-tuk 300km to get here, and we also look like the Beverly Hillbillies with our tuk-tuk stuffed full of gear and seats removed.

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Dad
@JustinParke
Mom
@SreyPov
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Srey-Yuu
@KidSisters
Monkey B
@KidSisters


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31 comments
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You are really amazing my friend, driving with family together for 300 km by tuk-tuk is not an easy job. Of course, there are many difficulties encountered on the trip, especially you are as a tuk-tuk driver.

Thank God you and your family have arrived in the capital safely.. Have a nice day there Justin

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We are happy to have arrived safely, and now it's already time to head back. We've got all the goods, now time to hit the road again.

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You all did it. A long ride with only tuktuk, a tough one for sure. May you sustain your strength in the road, you still have go back with same distance. The good thing is that all your transactions are great. You got all what you are aiming that day. Keep safe you all.

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The return trip will be a tough one, much heavier load and we'll be going up the mountain instead of down too. But so far so good, and it looks like we'll be headed out bright and early in the morning πŸ™.

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that's an amazing thing you do, driving a vehicle with less sleep, but you can get to the capital city without any problems, I imagine how sore your hands are in drive.

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The throttle cable is very long, so driving at nearly full throttle for all those hours is tough on my right hand. Any more than 3 or 4 hours behind the tuk-tuk handlebars is not enjoyable for me.

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The camping looks adventurous and outdoor cooking is cool. The dosas look gigantic. I wish you all a safe journey back home.

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The good thing about the camping is that we wake up earlier and have more driving time. We've got all of our gear now, so it's time to head back home in the morning. Shame we'll be leaving too early to have dosas again for breakfast.

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That's a really great deal on the shipping. I think you got really lucky there. In the past when I have contemplated sending almost anything over the pond the cost of the shipping was normally more than the items were worth.

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Same story for me, don't know why I was given a 30% discount, but every now and then some extreme racism is offset by someone giving me the hookup because I speak Khmer well and know how to make Cambodians laugh with little effort.

In all likelihood, I bet all customers were getting the same discount on that day, but I'd like to chalk it up to my good looks and general awesomeness. Shipping the replacement PC back to me isn't gonna be as affordable, definitely gonna go with air/sea freight on that one.

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I'd like to chalk it up to my good looks and general awesomeness.

This is almost certainly the case :)

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(Edited)

300km is about the distance from Kobe to Hiroshima. How long did the trip to and back take by tuk tuk @justinparke ?

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On the way to we only drove like 100km before stopping and making a camp. That first part takes forever because it is mostly in the mountains and we have only 8 horsepower. Mostly I don't like driving from 10am to 3 or 4pm because the front of the tuk is all windshield, making it a bit like driving a solar oven.

We're hoping to leave at 5am-ish so that we can be close to home when I start getting roasted by the sun. In a perfect world with no fuel stops, a lead foot, and no cargo, I could do the journey in 7 hours. We actually have a washing machine, motorbike and kilos and kilos of whole wheat chapati flour in the tuk-tuk, so the last 100km mountain climb will likely be in 2nd gear moving about 20 km/hr, definitely not gonna be a 7-hour drive back, will probably be many powernaps, snacks and pee stops.

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Sounds like great way to bond with the family and learn the landscape of your country. Of course it's also great content for the community.

I can imagine the reaction of people in the city when you have conversations with them about your journey.

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You slept on a tent in open area, I think the security in Cambodia is good you can stay over night in unknown place.

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Some places and are safe, and other places I wouldn't consider it. As long as we are in the mountains there is a different culture and attitude towards camping, but near urban areas we don't do it because of risks like theft, drug addiction, etc.

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Wow.. the dosa looks so delicious... Makes me hungry seeing.. it.. so long since I last had a dosa... Great to hear that you could change the washing machine.. such an interesting... Trip.. ahhahaha five hours of riding is not easy.. I have had ten hours driving and it was pretty tough..

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I think dosa is much easier to find in your part of the world, but here only in the capital, and perhaps Siem Reap. The journey back home took us about 10 hours, and with stops it was probably closer to 16 hours. My back is still hurting, wish I had done the trip in two days.

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Wow.. 16 hours of driving on an ape.. that is not something easy.. I can't believe that you have done it.. Wow.. that's pretty amazing.. I saw you bathing in your wife's latest post.. you are quite fit. =) fitness without workouts. Yea.. it is available throughout the city. Are there many Indians in Cambodia? In Miri, Sarawak, there are limited number of Indian shops but there are enough to satisfy everyone. Over at the border, there are a lot of Indian shops in Brunei. I usually cut my hair at an Indian shop in Brunei.

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Not too many Indians here, mostly just for restaurants in the capital and also they sell some pharmaceuticals here too. The most interesting kind are the poor Indians who come here to sell cheap Indian imports in the Cambodian countryside. They ride cheap motorbikes deep into the countryside where Cambodians don't try to sell, and offer things like mosquito nets, small tools, etc. These guys often share a room between 10 people, and simply use the rooms as base camps for the adventures deep into the bush. These guys all speak fluent Khmer too, I see them once in a while, COVID probably killed that profession.

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Hi hi.. Justin.. morning... sorry to hear about your tuk tuk incident.. That hotel should have provided decent security..

It's great to hear about how Indians do business in Cambodia. They are tough..

and.. they can speak fluent Khmer.. well.. wow.. In Brunei, some of them are living like Kings.. They own big businesses.. there.. Sarawak is one of those places that have little Indians.. In Brunei, even doctors are from India..

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Ok coconut water works well for another 5 hours drive. I will take note on that.

DSR is the place to go when I need a washing machine.

Rawa Masala Thosai! Good choice yo! Idli with sambal! You're like my half Indian brother now.

It is truly amazing, piloting a tuktuk 300km journey. But if you're having a F150, I guess the fuel price probably chew up your FedEx fee already.

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The best part about drinking coconuts in the tuk-tuk is that when you're done you can roll them like bowling balls into the ditch and try to to aim for anything you want to designate as substitute bowling pins. Dosa Corner is a must visit place for breakfast if you find yourself in Phnom Penh. I think the journey was something close to 365km one-way, and I calculated that we used 10 to 12 liters of diesel fuel for the journey. That's about 30km/l fully loaded, but I get as much as 36km/l when driving lighter and slower.

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