TOURS IN THE EXTREME
The 15th Extreme Rally Raid Cambodia 2013
Are you ready for the ultimate dirt-bike adventure? If you’re up for a challenge and a whole lot of adrenaline, then come join us on our annual 16th Extreme Rally Raid in January 2013.
Get into the heart of Cambodia and journey deep into the jungle through to the Laos, Thailand and Vietnam borders. Cross rivers in dug-out canoes. Visit gold mines, remote villages and ancient temples. Share a beer with mates and fall asleep under the stars.
On the Extreme Rally we cover over 2,000 kms in 12 days, get off the beaten path and ride at night, cross borders illegally and go where other tour companies never ever dare. Be warned, this rally is for serious riders only and not novices. If you only want to stay in hotels and take time to smell-the-roses, then this one’s not for you.
Starting at $1,500 USD, you get bike hire, fuel, food, accommodation and a collectable rally jersey… All up for the whole 12 days it should cost you no more than $2,250.
Find out why our riders just keep coming back time and time again – register your interest now. With a limit of 20 riders, places always fill up fast!
Last year was one of our biggest rallies to date with over 45 riders, 16 of whom were return customers on their 4th or 5th rally! Places always fill up fast and are usually sold out by September, so you will need to book very soon to secure a place on next year's ride.
Check out the following links for more info on what we do, where we go, what you need to bring and how to sign up. We advise you to carefully read through the following information, so you’re completely aware of what you’d be getting into because while this is a non-competitive rally, it’s certainly not for the faint hearted.
If you want to see the real Cambodia with an experienced guide who has a full set of motorcycle spare parts, a senior first aid certificate and the skills to get you riding through some of the most trying trails in Cambodia, then consider joining us for the full 12 day, 2,000km ride. Together we’ll travel through untouched rainforests where tigers, elephants and crocodiles roam in the wild. We’ll visit waterfalls, temples and remote villages (not to mention Siem Reap the home of Angkor Wat). And while there will be some places where we'll stop for a warm shower and cold beer, there'll also be some evenings where we’ll sleep out under the stars.
After 14 years, this annual motorcycle rally has seen over 400 riders join us on over 22,000kms of roads, trails and ox-cart tracks. We’ve handed out over 3,100 mosquito nets courtesy of WHO, delivered anti-malaria tablets and de-worming tablets to remote villages and more. Nobody knows Cambodia's jungle tracks or has covered as many kilometres as we have on dirt bikes. And even so, there are still areas that rarely get visitors and we always dedicate time to finding new roads and travelling to more remote areas (there are NO guarantees we’ll find the correct route, but this is half the fun).
Experienced dirt bikers only need apply for the full 12 days. But if you are short on time, you can ride for the first 5 days then return to Phnom Penh, or stop on day 9 in Siem Reap and fly out of Cambodia. You can decide at any point when you want to stop.
Depart: Flamingos hotel Phnom Penh, 8am, 12th January 2013
Return: Flamingos hotel late evening, 22nd January 2013
Please do not book your return flight out of Cambodia until after 23rd January 2013.
Pre-departure – 6th January
All riders are requested to stay in the Flamingos Hotel. This is a great little hotel right in the middle of all the action and right next door to the motorbike shop. You can also leave all your gear at the Flamingos Hotel whilst out on tour and collect it upon your return to Phnom Penh. The cost is around $25 USD for clean, modern rooms with air con, hot showers, sat TV, room service and a fridge. Book in online via the Hotel Flamingos website.
On the evening of 11 January, there will be a riders' meeting at 7pm on the roof of the Flamingos Hotel. It’s important you attend this meeting to finalise paper work and payments as well as to meet the other participants. After the meeting, we’ll head out to dinner.
You may collect your bike at anytime from 7.00am to 7.00pm on the day you arrive – please let me know when you’d like to collect your bike as it’s a case of first in best dressed.
A long day travelling. 7am breakfast and a 7.30am depart for Phnom Penh. Most of today’s travel will be on good tar roads, but they’ll be the last we’ll see until days 7 to 9. Drink stop at 45kms from Phnom Penh. Refuel and drink stop at 75km from Phnom Penh where you can try the local specialty, deep fried spiders, should you feel hungry. From this point on, the traffic will thin out and we can cruise along at 100km/h until we reach Kompong Cham, 120km from Phnom Penh, where we’ll stop for a bite to eat at around 10.30am. By this point everybody should be comfortable with their bike and getting used to Asian traffic, so from here on in, the pace picks up and the stops are fewer and shorter. So we’ll travel another 140km on tarmac before hitting the dirt for the final 120km run into Mondulkiri, where we aim to arrive just on sunset! The first night’s accommodation is rather basic – there’s limited electricity, no TVs and cold bucket showers – but it’s a nice and clean guest house with seated toilets and you get super-thick blankets to keep you warm at night. Dinner will include marinated steak, pork and chicken from a German butcher in Phnom Penh. Wine, beer and spirits will be provided.
Hard-packed and rocky trails. 7am breakfast of orange juice, bacon, eggs, sausages, coffee – all sourced from Phnom Penh. Before leaving we’ll refuel and load up on water. From here we start to hit the trails: hard packed and rocky trails that will lead us to the gold mining town of Miming, around 4 hours after our departure from Mondulkiri. While the locals are out catching and killing our chickens, we’ll tour the gold mines and, if possible, arrange for a few riders to take a safe (?!) journey 200m underground riding a 44 gallon drum. Late afternoon, refuel and load up on water, then head south on deep, sandy trails for 3 hours or so. At sunset we’ll find some good tree cover to camp under for the night (so its cool when we wake up) and set up a big bonfire before dinner.
Sandy trails. Wake up to coffee, cheese and bread for breakfast around the fire before packing up and riding 3 hours in deep sand until we reach our first stop at Conyak where we’ll refuel, throw down a few cokes, noodles, bananas and what ever else we can find. Head north on sandy trails until we reach 45km outside Rattanikiri where we’ll have to put bikes on canoes and cross the 100m-wide river. Also a good spot for a swim! Refreshed and remounted, we’ll be on the home stretch – an easy 45km ride into town on flat graded dirt roads. Timed perfectly, we should arrive at our hotel just on sunset ready for a few too many beers. We’ll be staying in the largest hotel in Ratanikiri and while some rooms will have air con, others won’t. But don't worry about missing out as they’re usually broken or there isn’t enough power to run them. Fortunately, all rooms have showers and sit down toilets.
Day of rest or adventure. Servicing of bikes by local mechanic if not done the previous evening (air filters, oil change, adjust chain, etc). There is a fantastic volcanic lake 4kms from town with crystal-clear water, drinking quality, and beer and snacks are available. You can swim and drink the day away. For those who want to go exploring, we’ll either go check out the Laos border and the secret forest with its totem poles built to honour the dead of the local hill tribes, or ride out to one of the jungle’s gem mines where hundreds of people live digging and looking for gems. Upon our return, we’ll drop into the hotel and change or just grab a towel before taking a quick trip out to the volcanic lake for a wash before dinner.
Easy day with a late start. Enjoy breakfast and a morning swim at the lake before heading south 120km to our luxury hotel in the town of Stung Treng. However, the first 60kms of road has corrugations to rattle your fillings! Fast or slow, it makes no difference. The afternoon sunset will be spent with beers on the river bank of the Mekong river before checking into our luxury hotel with air con, sat TV, hot water and massages. Dinner will be a fine affair as it will be the last real meal for a while.
Back on the road. Be packed, refueled and ready to depart at 7am where we’ll head down to the local port and have a sit-down breakfast of eggs, noodles, bread and cheese whilst waiting for our boats (3 or 5 boats) that'll take us on a 5-hour ride up the Mekong river until we hit the Laos border. Depending on the time of arrival and the group's decision, we’ll either sleep at the local Wat (Buddhist buildings where the monks live) or get a few hours riding in before selecting a spot to camp-out for the night.
A day where anything can happen. For the last few years, we’ve tried to find a new route for days 7 and 8. So what will happen is anyone's guess. On Day 7 we’ll try to find a different route to Preah Vihear. These are not major routes and can be hard to find, or easily missed, and there is usually nobody out this way to ask for directions. I can’t tell you more than this other than we’ll re-evaluate our plans on an hourly basis and decide as a group which way to go. Be prepared for a very long day out – we once rode until 10pm, although I‘d like to avoid this if possible. What’s the worst-case scenario? Another night under the stars!
Sweet relief and air con. No matter what happens on days 7 and 8, the final few hours of day 8 will be spent riding at 100km/h on flat dirt roads until we reach the outer areas of Siem Reap, then a final 5km of slow city riding to our hotel by late afternoon. We’ll have access to a nice hotel with hot showers, air con, sat TV, internet, first-class food, cold beers and massages. In the evening, we’ll hit the nightclubs and bars.
Rest day. On day 9 we’ll need to get the bikes checked (costs around $10 for an oil change and cleaning of air filters). The best way to check out the temples around Siem Reap is by local taxi. The entry ticket to the temples is $25 per day or $45 for a 3-day pass should you decide to end the rally in Siem Reap. You’ll also be able to jump on the internet, call home, get some washing done, catch up on some sleep or get a relaxing massage. In the evening we’ll dine together before visiting a local night club to check out some Khmer dancing.
Easy-riding. Late breakfast and hotel check out with the aim to be on the road by 11am. Head out to Sisophon, which is 120km east of Siem Reap. At Sisophon we’ll stop for a quick drink and refuel before getting back on the road and travelling another 100km on new tar roads to Battambung where we’ll stop for a late lunch. After lunch and refuelling, we’ll travel another 100km to the former stronghold of the Khmer rouge, the border town of Palin. We should arrive just on sunset, and we’ll stay over night in a good hotel with air con, TV, but no hot water.
Jungle and tiger territory. Early breakfast and ready to head out by 7.30am. We’ll travel back 45km on the same road we arrived, then turn off to start crossing the Cardamom Mountains. We’ll stay overnight in a national park guest house, and if we arrive early enough, we can go and check out the local crocodiles.
Technically challenging. Today we make an early start as it’s possibly the most technically difficult part of the rally with lots of steep hills, deep-rutted trails that are 20cm wide in some places, log bridges and more. Arrive for lunch in Koh Kong where we’ll enjoy a full sit-down lunch of crabs, prawns and beers. After lunch, we’ll start our return voyage to Phnom Penh. From here on in, it’s all flat roads. First we have partly-graded dirt road with four river crossings, then we’re back on smooth black-top tarmac for the final 120km run into town where we hope to arrive for 8pm (but it might be later).
Please do not book your return flight out of Cambodia until After 22th January 2013.
We’re not your usual tour company and this rally isn’t going to be like anything you’ve experienced before. You won't pass any other tourists on the trails we ride on.
According to the hundreds of people who have ridden in our rallies, we’re unique. We go where no other tour companies operate and we have the largest groups operating – rather than 2 or 3 riders we have between 10 and 20 riders on each tour.
We’re the longest-running motorcycle tour company in Cambodia (since 1997) and after all these years we’re still the only company to travel to the very remote corners of Cambodia where the real adventures are found.
You’ll have a western guide in addition to a sweep rider, Mr Leng, Cambodia`s number one motocross rider and all-round good guy.
We carry a full range of spare parts for the mechanical repairs.
In the advent of emergencies, we carry a full first aid kit and I am qualified to administer first aid. Plus we also have contacts with helicopters in Cambodia if we need to get you emergency care.
We offer adventure in the true sense of the word. You’re not just travelling with us, we’ll make sure you have some fun too, which is kind of important on a holiday.
We’ll camp out under the stars on several nights.
If you enjoy sliding around dirt roads, pulling wheelies and jumping bridges at over 100km/h then you’ll feel right at home with us. To complete this rally you need more endurance than a high level of skill. However you must be able to ride the occasional sandy trail. All this said, this is a non-competitive event where everybody is able to ride at their own pace and without any pressure. Throughout the rally we’ll have riders acting as sweepers who travel behind the group making sure that nobody is left behind and who are also capable of repairing the occasional flat tyre or any other difficulty riders may find themselves in.
How do we know whether you’re good enough? Upon registering your interest, we’ll ask you to fill in a small questionnaire to assess your competency. We’re not looking for racers, but we do need to make sure you have the stamina to complete the rally with the rest of the riders.
Want to read more about us? Click on the following image to connect to an article in Trailbike Adventure Magazine.
Your all-up budget is around $2,250 USD!
Days 1-5: $1,500 USD entry fee. This covers the first 5 days of the rally for motorcycle hire, petrol, meals and accommodation. Basically everything.
Days 6-12: are at your own expense. It will cost you an extra $750 USD and could be less if you watch your budget.
We tip the upper end of the scale, but we’re a quality company that offers an experience unique to all others. And trust me, we’re the guys you want to be travelling with if you find yourself in a critical situation, and not some Khmer guide with no first-aid experience and no idea of what to do. We're the only company in contact with helicopters in Cambodia and should the need arise, we can have a chopper en route as soon as contact is made. A non-refundable deposit of $200 USD is required before 15th October 2013, however, all places are usually sold out by September.
All Riders must arrive at the Flamingos Hotel in Phnom Penh Cambodia no later than 6pm on 11th January 2013.
We do sometimes ride more than 12-16 hours a day, when required to meet our schedule. Of course we take breaks (for fuel, water, food, rest, repairs, etc) and we certainly don’t ride this long every day. Some days we’ll only ride for 4 hrs, while other days we won’t ride at all.
You must agree to riding at night (expect up to 4 or 5 nights in total). However, night riding is mostly in 1st and 2nd gear.
It is possible that someone might suffer an injury. Not every year has resulted in injuries. However, with 15-30 riders travelling 2,000kms of dirt and sandy trails, the chances of an injury are high. All past accidents have been minor (broken bones at worst, mostly broken collar bones and never more than one per rally) and have occurred while travelling at low speed. I also must point out that we’ve had lots of rallies without any injuries.
We've already answered a bunch of FAQ on our website, if you want to know more.
If you’re interested in joining us on this opportunity of a lifetime, here’s what you need to do:
1. Make sure you’ve read through all this information carefully, and check out our FAQs on our website. Check out our website and feel free to touch base with me if you have any further questions. You can reach me, Ben Laffer, at email@example.com or call me on + 61 0407 032 784.
2. Then check the availability of flights to Cambodia from your country of origin, as it can be difficult to get the flights you want even months before your departure date. If you have difficulties getting a flight to Cambodia via Thailand, then try other routes eg Vietman, Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpa, Taiwan or Singapore. Remember, you need to fly to Phnom Penh.
3. Register your interest via this link on the Tours in the Extreme website.
4. We’ll send you some more information in addition to a questionnaire, which you need to fill in honestly. The questionnaire is used by us to assess your competency for the Rally – remember, we need to make sure you’ve got the skill to do this because the course is tough and places are limited.
5. You’ll here from us – we’ll definitely be touching base with you one way or the other to let you know what’s going on and to give you instructions for the payment of your deposit, etc.
Follow this link to read further Terms and Conditions, as well as our standard Disclaimer, on the Angkor Dirt Bike Tours website.
Got more questions? If our FAQs can't help you, I surely can. I look forward to hearing from you!
Angkor Dirt Bike Tours
+ 61 0407 032 784
Extreme Rally Raid 2013
January 12th, 2013
Visit Ancient temples and remote goldmines. Touch the Laos, Thai and Vietnamese borders. Cross rivers in dugout canoes. Sleep in ancient temples deep in the jungle. Ride through the jungles of the Cardomom Mountains to Koh Kong. Visit the temples of Koh Ker, Preah Khan, Preah Vihear, Angkor Wat and more. Price includes bikes, fuel, food, accommodation and our own collectable race jersey. US$1,500, limited spaces available. Register today to guarantee your place on the Angkor Dirt Bike Tours Extreme Rally Raid 2013.
The 16th Extreme Rally Raid Cambodia 2013