It was early morning in Northern Cambodia. We had just finished a quick breakfast consisting of a malaria pill washed down with sweet ice coffee and it was time to negotiate transportation. A lift was needed because there was no public transport available to Prasat Preah Vihear temple – our destination goal. We insisted to the surrounding circle of moto drivers that we wanted a pickup truck because it was cheaper. They all assured us that there were no pickup trucks and motorcycle was the only means. We finally succumbed to their lies and this left the choice of who to take and how much. After several minutes of standing around, we chose our drivers, agreed to a inflated price and were instantly flung onto the backs of motorcycles and be whisked away down the laterite road.
The 2 and a half hour journey found us travelling down endless bumpy roads with cleared and uncleared landmine fields to the left and right at all times. This area was the final Khmer Rouge standoff and was heavily mined by both sides. Amie was lucky enough to get a motorcycle leg burn. You know the one from the exhaust pipe? It seems inevitable sooner or later. People just look at the bandage location and either laugh or say ƒ??ahh.. I hate it when that happens.ƒ?
Read elsewhere about the actual visit to Prasat Preah Vihear temple. This is all about back country travel, which is usually as memorable as the destination. For the return journey, we decided to cut costs after hearing from a German traveller that as we thought, the moto drivers were all lying and there were in fact public pick-ups running to and from. So we sat in the small town of Sa Em (near the temple)