For the first part of the itinerary, from the Thai border near Koh Khong to Kampot, click here.
For part3: from Phnom Penh to Lao border, through Kampong Cham, Kreatie and Stung Treng, here.
At the bottom of the article is the map of the whole Cambodian tour, click on the track to get the elevation profile.
For general hints and tricks to keep your budget extremely low when traveling Cambodia, here's another article.
Kampot to Takeo - 92 km
We chose a mix of Highway 3 and 2, with some detours on dirty tracks when possible, which meant when the road where marked on OpenStreetMap.
This stretch is not the most beautiful, whatever road you chose, being mostly plains with monotonous rice paddies and ugly little towns. The more you can detour from the highway the nicer it can become.
As usual along Cambodian main roads there are accommodation more-less every 40/50km, we overnight at Chhuk, where there's a beautiful and cheap (7USD) guesthouse just at the beginning of the unpaved road 133A, going south-east. Take the room on the pond with a huge terrace, one of the best ever seen in Cambodia.
33 more km along Highway 3 before taking the cut the brings us to the provincial capital of Takeo, on Highway 2, after 12km. Takeo is big for Cambodian standards, and we found it pretty ugly and had a sensation of unsafety (just a sensation), is sadly famous for prostitution, indeed we found some fake eyelashes in our hotel room.
Most of the guesthouses are on the road coming into town from west, the city canter really has nothing to offer but a night market where we eat and got sick, so we advice to get a room before coming downtown in order to have more choice.
Takeo to Phnom Penh - 80km
A beautiful 32 unpaved kilometers, crossing traditional Khmer villages and rice paddies (literally inside the fields), a marvelous glance into Cambodian traditional life, beautiful houses on pillars, some even 5m from the ground, this area is certainly not the poorest in Cambodia but lifestyle is tied to the old times. We did this road during the wet season and it was ok, maybe after a big downpour some stretch could be tricky, your choice if you want to take the risk. In dry season the mud bacomes dust and breathing can be hard if meeting many cars.
Phnom Chisor (or Phnom Chiso) is an 11th century Agkorian temple set on a hilltop with a cool view. It used to be a pretty big temple but now lays in ruin, being bombed by the American Air Force during the Vietnam War.
The site is however worth a visit, most likely you'll be the only tourist around and the atmosphere is magnetic, the central altar is still used for religious purposes and we met a monk praying inside.
To reach it, however, a staircase of around 400 steps must be climbed, I have been here around noon, and feeling sick from a food poisoning in Takeo night market, so when I went down I almost fainted, having to lay under a shed for about 30min, it's damn hot in Cambodia.
On the foothill there's a box for offers, no official ticket seems to be necessary, although people may ask you money, I easily walked away.
On the hilltop there's also a modern Buddhist temple, with a reclining Buddha, some frescoes and dorms for the monk, leave the money to them if you want to leave any.
There are two guesthouses nearby, one on the wetland before the temple and another right at the feet of the hill, on the west side, carrying on is 6 more km to get on the Highway 2, where there's another guesthouse 5km after the junction.
Leaving Highway 2 for Choeung Ek road at Krang Svay, we pass beside the biggest and most infamous of the Khmer Rouge killing fields, 10km before Phnom Penh.
Cycling in Phnom Penh is a nightmare, one of the worst cities in South East Asia and thus in the whole world, drivers are crazy, rules non-existent, temperatures near the boiling point and roads narrow and full of potholes. Luckily is a small city, so you won't have to suffer for so long.
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