La roue des rêves

 
 

Cambodia, in the country of smiles

Itinerary

Bangkok - Poipet - Sisophon - Siem Reap - Phnom Penh - Bavet - Ho Chi Minh ville

Kilometers ridden : 5'453 km

Itineraire cambodge

Asia landing

We were eager to start our adventure in Asia, this time it became concrete. We landed in Bangkok, Thailand. We had tackle/discover/learn all in disorder: culture, social codes, language, religion, and coping with traffic, pollution and heat. Our direction is now set: Vladivostok. We started in Bangkok frenetic traffic using our precious compass to keep us in the right direction as we were nore in possession of a map neither anle to read road signs... A dense traffic, two lanes, with trucks, cars and motorcycles accompanied us until the border of Cambodia some 300 kilometres away.

Cambodia - the country of smiling faces

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After usual entry formalities, we passed to Cambodia on our tandem! The frenetic traffic is over, here, on the road, we find wooden chars pushed by human hands, motorcycles overloaded with stuff, animals or humans, minibuses filled with material of any kind with human topping or trucks of unbelievable height. Brilliant contrast, we kept the eyes well open and appreciate. Welcome to Cambodia! We crossed villages with houses built on stilts of 3 to 5 metres high due to the rising waters of the Tonle Sap Lake nearby during the rainy season. The transition also comes in smiles. Children gave frenetic "Hello" and waited for our response which was illuminating their faces.


Img 4011

Angkor temples - in the hearth of khmer civilisation

Our first Cambodian destination will be the temples of Angkor. These are subject to fabulation in the imagination of contemporary tourists just as in was for the former french explorers. Thus, from the very first stories reported in the West, the Angkor site was erected in myth, stimulating already at the time many people to undertake the trip to see them. We sould note among illustrious writings on the subject "The pilgrim of Angkor" from Pierre Loti or "The Royal way" from André Malraux following his arrestation for the looting of one of these protected temples. Ourselves, we dreamed of Angkor and the Khmer civilization who built these temples. Voluntary victims of these fantastic stories and advertisements on the subject, we were not disappointed at all to arrive by bike in the middle of the historical park. There is definitely a sensation of travel in time inside these stones. We felt like explorers with hat, boots and shirt. Closung our eyes, we imagined this immense city which housed up to one million inhabitants around the year 1000. Today, only stone constructions remain, so the temples, although they  also suffered the onslaught of the surrounding jungle. Incredible sensation.


Img 3779

Living history

At the discretion of the meetings and visits, we have the sensation of time travel in the history of this region. Thus, we support of civilizations lost to the historical kingdoms, religions that have followed, trade routes, the myths and colonial narratives or the latest political developments. Do not turn the pages of a book but moving inside of his writings.
 
While our time with the Khmer civilization ends, we decide to join the current capital Phnom Penh by boat to discover the Tonle Sap Lake, real lung of the country and heart of the hydraulic system of the Img 4054Mekong. Area passes 3,000 km2 in the dry season to 13'000 km2 at the end of the rainy season. This unique phenomenon of communicating vessels - the Mekong in flood reached a level higher than the Lake, forcing the current of the Tonle Sap River to reverse to go fill the Lake upstream, first merit to limit flooding to South by absorbing 20% of flood waters. This also explains the extraordinary richness of this Lake, one of the most fish in the world, providing irrigation and food to nearly 3 million Cambodians. Taped on the deck of our boat, we breathtakingly beautiful daily entertainment to thousands of people living on floating houses or piles (up to 10 meters high in this dry period near), browsing of frail canoes to raise fishing nets filled with fish or haggle terrestrial productions related to irrigation. Arriving at Phnom Penh, the confluence of the Tonlé Sap and Mekong legendary, we are suddenly immersed in colonial history. The colonial buildings complements the market perspective up the Mekong to China or go down to the Viet Nam. We are in a hub of this region. Our stay in the capital, will leave us a taste of more recent history with the Viet Nam war and including the short period of the Khmer Rouge (5 years) during which extermination, forced labour and terror were the watchwords. This dark (1975-1979) period marks still footprint the Cambodian people, especially for the many people of this period.
 

A bit of history

 

Difficult to describe the history of Cambodia not to mention its neighbours. While the Khmer civilization had declined, the Thai and Vietnamese empires have gained momentum in turn dominating the country. The arrival of the french in 1847, the declaration of a protectorate allowed in Cambodia and Laos to contain their pressing neighbours. In 1954, at the end of the Indochina war sealer the withdrawal of the french, the independence is declared under the chairmanship of prince Sihanouk. Its power will be overthrown by a party of Americans in 1970 near right. The Viet Nam war is largely outside on the lands of Cambodia and much of the country becomes combat under relentless American bombing zone. In 1975, the Khmer Rouge took power and soon everything that could evoke the urban civilization - industry, hospitals, schools, Government - is annihilated. Return to the fields is expected to renew the people releasing modern corruption. Exhaustion at work, malnutrition and diseases that are in addition to summary executions, will cause the death of two million people in three years. In 1979, Vietnamese forces captured Phnom Penh and a large part of the country pushing the Khmer Rouge into small bastions of campaign. In 1989, following the withdrawal of the Vietnamese, elections are held that place in modern political Cambodia.

 

 And "la roue des rêves" in there?

Img 4061

Cambodia has been a true dream of biggest. And as after a good night's sleep, we wake up with nostalgia for the time that has elapsed. We are well out of Cambodia and en route to other lands, the Viet Nam today, tomorrow China. Daily batches of beautiful meetings and beautiful to see, smell or feel things have already come to burn among our memories. And already at vagrants thoughts, we can are plunging back without seeing the difficulties boasted what are climate (up to 38 degrees), environmental (pollution related to traffic or the daily burning roadside every night, causing a cloud of unbreathable morning smoke) or food (numerous diarrhoeas). Faces lit by smiles 'real' Crusaders on the road, the style of life based on the family, food and faith making little room for nascent capitalism and the beautiful scenery will remain engraved in our memories.
 
Our ambition to reportage on the dreams of the world is sometimes destabilized by the realities on the ground. We have seized some impressions but language difficulties as well as the presence of a camera are not guarantees of always appropriate responses. Furthermore, is it not difficult to define his dreams? You who are on our luggage, we offer you take your turn at the interview game and send us your two greatest dreams by e-mail photo, video or written. So for you to play!
 
More photos and details of our logbooks on a daily basis are online on our website http://www.la-roue-des-reves.com/!
 
We would like to thank warmly all our sponsors, individuals and businesses, which support our adventure.

Sponsors

 

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Segway is really easy to use! It is so intuitive that it feels like an extension of the human body. To understand why, consider this: if you stand up and lean forward, so that you are out of balance, you will intuitively put your leg forward. Segway works the same way: to move forward or backward, the rider just leans slightly in such direction, and Segway will follow your movements. It is also easy to turn right or left, since the rider just has to push respectively Segway’s handlebar.

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All the tours start with a little training on how to use Segway, because for us safety is the priority. However, we experienced that it takes just a little practice to master on Segway! There are no required skills and, in particular, no need to be able to bicycle. There will always be a tour leader with you, guiding the whole group, so that you can enjoy the view and the tour of Verona. Audioguides (available in different languages) will provide the information you need to fully comprehend the history and architecture of our main monuments, squares and buildings.

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So, if you want to make the most out of your time in Verona, contact us or stop by our office!

OFFICE HOURS: Monday to Saturday (only closed on Sunday) from 10 am to 5 pm.

DIRECTIONS: We are located in Piazza Cittadella 11b, very close to Piazza Bra, the main square with the Arena.

From Piazza Bra you can arrive at our office on foot (3 minutes): pass under the arch of the gateway with the big clock (Portoni della Bra) and walk through Corso Porta Nuova for approximately 100

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