Subsequent to out Ream Trip Mike, DC and I decided to check out some other rivers that we could possibly Hobicat and / or Kayak.
DC (from the Otres Beach Resort) and I rented a couple of Scooters for a day and went on an information gathering trip along the Moat Peam River to check it out. We liked what we saw. We found a couple of lovely spots. We agreed that it is definitely a river worth kayaking…
Mike, DC and I were in the process of sorting out how to get the kayaks there and back when Jules (an american girl) turned up on the scene…
DC, Jules and I would go on a big Scooter trip:
- PART 1: From Otres head across town to the west side of the peninsular. Head up the coast to the deserted fine white sands of Prek Treng Beach.
- PART 2&3: Cut inland up dirt tracks to the Ream National Park Waterfalls.
- PART 4: Follow through to National Highway 4. Head east along NH4 and cut south down the dirt road that follows Moat Peam river.
- PART 5: Stop at a little cafe that we found at the mouth of the river. Cut over the hills on the being-built dirt road back to Otres.
We each put a couple of US$1 notes in different pockets; we do this just in case we get stopped in a police trap.
If you are stopped, just be polite and assertive. Just knowingly hand them US$1 and they will normally let you drive on. As a rule of thumb, it is US$1 for each offence. So, if you aren’t wearing your helmet, you will have to slip them US$2. If you get out your wallet (and they see how much you have) you are likely to pay a lot more.
Rumour has it that the police take the same 11am – 1pm Lunch Break as everyone else… so you are less likely to be stopped at that time of day.
Anyway, we got through town and out the other side without being stopped. As you leave town you drive through some local ‘side-of-the-road’ market stalls – which are much more authentic than the ones that you find in town.
We didn’t stop but it might be worth stopping to see what you can pick up at a good price.
It wasn’t long before we got to the beach. The beach was deserted. Amazing really because it was better sand than Otres and other well known Snooky beaches.
We parked up, stripped off, and went for a swim:
Video of the Beach & our Scooters.
The waters were clean and afoot were Sea Dollars everywhere. DC ended up with one in his swimming shorts. We are still debating how it got there… Jules and I think he’s a bit ‘kinky’ like that.
After a long, leisurely swim we were ready to move on.
Jules has her first ‘blonde’ moment and tries to drive away with here wheel still padlocked. No harm done. It was spotted and resolved. As for DC? Well, he managed to drive 10m with his still on… he got away with it because the padlock fell off!
We continue up the coast to find the dirt road to the waterfall. We take the first turn shown on Google Maps.
We only go about 100m before we are faced with a 30 degree hill going for 30 metres covered in rocks and washed-out crevices. I was leading at the time and stopped. I didn’t like the look of it. None of us were proficient dirt bike riders (and we were on small-wheeled scooters!)…
As usual, DC was keen to give it a go. He was even keen to get all 3 scooters up there for us. Sense prevailed and we turned back instead.
We got back to the main road and continued to the second turn off. This was much better. No problems here except for the dirt road itself.
We were on scooters. Scooters are NOT ideal for these sorts of roads. The roads are just dirt with loose stones and occasional (dangerous) patches of loose sand. FOR YOU OWN SAFETY, you should do this circuit on proper dirt bikes.
You need to concentrate and drive very carefully. Even at 20km you can still feel the scooter slipping and sliding underneath you as it struggles to find grip. If you go fast on these surfaces, you are just asking for trouble.
At one stage I saw a tortoise pass me! 🙂
On the road to the waterfalls, the heavens open up and we get caught in a downpour. We all get absolutely soaked. There was nowhere to hide, so we just kept driving.
The roads became even more slippery as the top 3 cms of dirt turned to mud and became fluid in the rain. In some spots, it was a bit like ice-skating.
The rain cleared and within 15 minutes we were almost dry again.
We finally reached the turnoff that takes you across to the main access road. This is the only way to get to the other side of the waterfalls – you cannot cross at the waterfalls themselves.
(DC followed instructions!).
We wander down to the falls and follow a narrow path that crosses to the other side.
We continue around that path passing cafes and massage huts until we find a nice spot next to some plunge ponds:
We strip off and jump in.
July, a local girl, took a shine to me and we played for a while splashing each other.
We finish by sitting in the middle of the stream in the rain: Plunge Pools in the rain.
We have a quick lunch before heading back to the carpark.
We jump in to the Horseshoe Falls and bum-shuffle our way underneath the fall itself – sitting within a cocoon of cascading water.
If you leant back too far though, the power of the water caught your shoulders and slam-dunked you flat on your back against the rocks with the water pressure on your chest pinning you there.
Great fun: Horseshoe Waterfalls video.
After another careful drive down the main access road, we get to National Highway 4. We turn left and drive for about 4-5 kms to turn into the dirt road that follows the Moat Peam river.
This village is untouched by tourism. DC and I stopped there the day before. We first stopped for fruit. I bought a bunch of bananas for 3,000 real. Whilst doing so I was approached by an old lady who was decidedly worse for wear (on something like homebrew rice wine)…
She grabbed me and wouldn’t let me go. At one stage I thought I was marrying her. Which was a bit of a concern. Anyway, when it came time to leave, her intentions became clear… without any warning, her hand was in my pocket and she was off with the 1,000 real change that I got from my US$1 note!
Of more concern was how close a 70 year old got to touching the crown jewels! (sorry queeny!)
We drove slowly and did not stop. I was ready to ‘hit the gas’ as soon as that lady raised her head again!
The more adventurous can cut across to the riverside down one of the footpaths. We waited for the first decent road – and cut left there. It is a km or two further down (but easier for ladies).
If you follow the riverside road to the end you are faced with a long brick wall. To your left the road seems to lead to a big locked gate. Don’t be fooled. Head left. There you will find a little alleyway on your right that takes you down to the riverside.
They have no power, so ice is used to cool your drinks – including beer. We found a ‘special’ little boy there who ran around to bring us seats and make sure that we felt at home.
It is a gorgeous spot to sit and while-away some time.
Whilst we were there we saw a drunken fisherman dropping off his wife and kid on our side of the river.
His mates (on the other side of the river) were giving him hell.
Jules had a bag of toy dinosaurs that she had brought on her trip to give away to children.
They played with them for the whole time that we were there.
The younger one ended up wearing them as earrings (his MOTHER did that!).
We also saw some locals turn up to buy fresh fish from a fisherman who had his boat tied up at the cafe.
Here are a few short videos for your amusement:
This road will, eventually, be the main road between Otres Beach and the Airport. It drops you back north of Otres Village. From there you turn left and head for home.
It was an awesome day. I would recommend this circuit to anyone feeling slightly adventurous.
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