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Truck the World Leg 6 | Phnom Penh Pattaya | Politics and Robbery

We see overlanding as luxuriating high end type of migration linked to political, economic, security, safety or climate dynamics always and everywhere. You expect transiting Aserbaidjan, Iran, or Stan-States to be a nuisance but…

POLITICS

Our plan was to drive through Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore and to ship the truck inbound Japan via South Corea. Transiting Thailand, Korea, or Japan was not even thought of being a problem but being on our way we were surprised by new Thailand DLT regulations closing transit for overlanding third-country-trucks like ours effective 1.1.2017.

More politics? Just like China, USA, Japan and many others South Korea did not ratify the 1968 Vienna Convention on Road Traffic, effective 1977. We did not know that South Korea makes null exception for German plated vehicles, not even for temporal import. So Korea is out of truck-the-world.

Japan seems more flexible accepting  authentification of German Carnet de Passage by Japan Automobile Federation. But they require inspection and registration of German plated vehicles even for temporary import. These were designed for new cars sale and cost at least 5000 US$. We do not expect our 22 year old truck to meet current Japanese emission or noise standards, eg. So Japan is out of truck-the-world, too.

ECOMOMY

Cambodia’s economy is quite bad. Port Sihanoukville offers RoRo just once every 2 years. Availability of 40′ Flat Racks required for our truck is scarce.  So shipping outbound Cambodia is out of truck the-world, too. Same for outbound Saigon/HCMC currently not offering any RoRo.

TRAVEL OPTIONS

  1. Driving back through Laos and China overlanding home through Mongolia, Russia and Eastern Europe following Transsib Railway East West.
  2. Try to enter Thailand and transit Myanmar to India with many shipping and overlanding options to Europe and Africa.
  3. Try to enter Thailand and overland to Kuala Lumpur or Singapore with many shipping options to Europe, South Africa, America or Australia. Truck shipping to Darwin is extremely costly and laborious because of Australia’s compulsory vehicle  disinfection process, however. Motto: Stop disease at the gate... We have past experience with camper fruit fly inspections driving from one Aussie state to the next and were not interested to repeat this experience.

Like nomads we do not stick to plans. We are unable to forsee climate, economic or political changes. We try to adapt decently and continuously, no matter what we like or dislike, one truth of worldwide overland traveling.

Consequently we decided to try to enter Thailand acting against rules and reason and to see how far we get.

CAMBODIA

We returned back to Phnom Penh by air and supervised ongoing truck repairs and maintenance at ENVOTECH. Inspection showed that new Michelin Tires had been fitted and minor jobs been done.

ENVOTECH Company | Phnom Penh
ENVOTECH Company | Phnom Penh
MAN UNICAT at ENVOTECH Workshop
MAN UNICAT with New Tires at ENVOTECH Workshop | Phnom Penh

But batteries were not charged and the engine had not been started for more than a year. Diesel pipes and filters had to be cleaned and new batteries to be installed. The AirCon had to be repaired.

Four New Batteries for UNICAT | Phnom Penh
Four New Batteries for UNICAT | Phnom Penh
AirCon Repair by Specialists | Phnom Penh
AirCon Repair by Specialists | Phnom Penh
AirCon Dryer Replacement | Phnom Penh
AirCon Dryer Replacement | Phnom Penh
AirCon Front and Rear Evaporator after Repair before Installation | Phnom Penh
AirCon Front and Rear Evaporator after Overhaul before Installation | Phnom Penh

All these jobs were done badly and took much more time than expected. Even more consequences: 14V alternator, electric Diesel fuel pumps and radio  were not working any more and we found ourselves on unwanted holidays in Phnom Penh during rain season.

Rain Season at Riverfront | Phnom Penh
Rain Season at Riverfront | Phnom Penh
Riverfront View from Tonle Sap River | Phnom Penh
Riverfront View from Muddy Tonle Sap River | Phnom Penh
Daily TukTuk Ride to Truck Workshop | Phnom Penh
Daily TukTuk Ride to Truck Workshop | Phnom Penh

Holidays ended, however, when Anneli was bag snatched and robbed at 10 pm in front of our Asia Tune Hotel entrance after dinner. She was teared along the street and severely injured, clavicula fracture,  but nobody cared, no hotel, no police, no ambulance, and snatchers were not traced.

Two friendly Trattoria Del’Arte waitresses, however, recognized us as customers and took us by TukTuk to Naga  Clinic for First Aid. The good news was that the stolen bag contained just one credit card, keys, some dollars and her iPhone but no passports, or anything important. Thanks to recommended ALLIANZ insurance each item was replaced.

Asia Tune Hotel**** Entrance and Location of Robbery |Phnom Penh
Asia Tune**** Hotel Entrance and Location of Robberies | Phnom Penh

Next day we turned to luxury Royal Bangkok Hospital for X-Ray, doctor’s advice and medication. It took another 4 days to convince hotel management to raise complaint at the police and to produce an accident report. It turned out that 3 serious bag snatchings had been video recorded in front of the hotel per night on the average.

Attending Royal Bangkok Hospital | Phnom Penh
Attending Royal Bangkok Hospital | Phnom Penh
Riverside Police Station | Phnom Penh
Riverside Police Station | Phnom Penh

After 6 days Anneli’s condition was stable enough to fly home for operation and treament in Germany.  German ADAC organized and booked our trip home with the aid of German doctors giving us a lot of support, thanks.

ThaiAir Business Class Flight Makes Happy | Phnom Penh
ThaiAirways Business Class Flight Makes Happy | Phnom Penh

We were quite unhappy with ENVOTECH performance but another good news was that British friends Dave Goodchild and Glenn Clement offered to take our truck away and drive it into Thailand. We were quite lucky and they were successful in spite of all those hindrances by laws, Thai DLT, police and customs, thanks and congratulations, cheers!

Close to Sihanoukville on the Road to Thai Border | Cambodia
Close to Sihanoukville on the Rainy Road to Thai Border | Cambodia
MAN UNICAT Waiting in Nomansland for Paperwork to be Done at the Border | Cambodia - Thailand
MAN UNICAT Waiting in Nomansland for Paperwork to be Done at the Border | Cambodia – Thailand

Consequently we pronouce a WARNING: Never ever use ENVOTECH services or even store your car or truck there. Former owner Finn is a friendly European without influence on ENVOTECH since his stepson Vuthy Uy has taken over promising and signing any contract and excusing any fault without any responsibility, manners or sympathy. Plus you will pay 3,30 USD per day without valuable trade-off but destroyed batteries, clamped Diesel pipes, electric shortcuts and more.

THAILAND

And this is where our trucks sits now idling and waiting for our return to Thailand in December 2018, see https://www.overlandersthailand.com/

Finally at Plodd Stop in Pattaya | Thailand
Finally at Plodd Stop in Pattaya | Thailand

To be continued… See next Post on Truck-the-World Leg 7

 

 

 

One thought on “Truck the World Leg 6 | Phnom Penh Pattaya | Politics and Robbery”

  1. Mein Gott, sind wir froh, wieder von euch zu hören. Der Überfall auf Anneli ist zwar schlimm genug, aber wr hatten schlimmeres befürchtet, da ihr euch so lange nicht gemeldet hattet. Da der Truck nun doch in Thailand steht, sind ja wieder alle Optionen für die Weiterfahrt auf dem Tisch.
    Herzliche Grüße vom Gardasee auf dem Weg nach Slowenien (natürlich im Camper).
    Achim und Ria

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