Ream National Park is one of 7 National parks in Cambodia & was established in 1993. The park has very little development, offering guests a truly relaxing & beautiful time. The park has a combination of rivers, forests, mangroves, estuaries, beaches, coral reefs, wildlife, and marine life. The entrance into Ream Park is $0.25 - $0.50 cents, but there are other areas of the park that charge additional fees. If wanting to visit Prince Island, the price was $5.00 as of March 2017.
There is currently two guest houses, which operate inside & right outside the park. There are a few places to grab a bite to eat or pick up snacks near the airport & naval base. There is only one resort inside the park, which offers a restaurant & bar, but future resorts are being developed. Limited snacks & drinks can be purchased from various beach shacks within the park. There are park rangers, which provide tours & other activities for various fees.
Back Roads To Ream
Feeling the itch to explore, I had to scratch it & decided on Ream National Park. With little experience riding motorbikes, this would definitely be the longest solo ride. After some quick research on Google Maps, I realized I could take back roads the entire way to Ream!! Even back home in the U.S., I would always take back roads & enjoy the scenic route.
The day before the planned excursion, I rented the motorbike, purchased some cool looking sun glasses, & didn't consume too much alcohol. I wanted to get an early start, didn't want a hangover, & didn't want to be tired. The next day, I woke up at 5:00AM & was riding to Ream National Park around 5:30AM. It was a nice morning, didn't feel like the normal oven like temperatures, & barely anyone was on the road.
Otres Beach was the furthest I've rode solo, & upon passing Otres, that itch started to be scratched! After passing a small beach town outside Otres, I was greeted by some local cows & knew it was going to be a good ride. After leaving the beach town, & riding another 5 minutes, the paved road turned into a red dirt road. The ride was great, the scenery was beautiful, & the waving locals was nice.
Riding into the hills, passing through small towns, & riding along the beach was great! Seeing the sun rise over Ream National Park was epic! My mind wondering, my hand waving, & not having a care in the world, I passed one of my exits. I was hoping to take back roads the entire way to Ream Park, but wasn't paying attention & missed one of the side roads.
I could have turned around, but decided to continue with my journey & ride on dreaded highway 4! Having rode most of the way using back roads to Ream Park, this highway portion was very short. I only had to worry about getting crushed by a bus for 5 minutes, before seeing the exit for Ream National Park.
Ream National Park
The entrance into Ream does not seem like much, but the further you ride the more green you start to see. After entering the park, it became clear I should have done some research because I had no clue where to go inside the park. I followed the gravel road, which eventually led me to a choice "Straight Or Right". I decided to turn right, which led me to another gate & $5 fee.
I later found out this was a separate portion of the park, which led to Prince Island. Make sure to keep the receipt or you won't be able to enter Prince Island. Like I wrote earlier, it probably would have been wise to do some research. Luckily, I stumbled upon the gate to Prince Island & decided to ride down. There was another gate, but I did not see anyone & rode under it.
After slightly lowering my head to ride under the gate, I was yelled at & told to stop. This man crept out from the bushed & began asking for paper. I had no clue what the man was referring too & simply handed over the receipt out of desperation. With a grin, nod, & point towards the beach, the man at the gate walked into the bushes, laid down into his hammock, & kept my receipt. Guess that was my admission into Prince Island.
Prince Island & Road To Nowhere
Having found this location accidentally, & not knowing it was even here, I was very surprised. The beach was clean, the views were beautiful, & the Island was a wonderful surprise. If wanting a coconut or snacks, there was a small food stall, which offered coconuts, drinks, & snacks. There was areas to sit, & security parking for your bike. Before embarking to the island, I relaxed on a bunch, tried my first coconut, & took in the views.
The pier was pretty long in length, circled the entire island, & provided a large sitting area. If wanting to take a small risk, visitors can walk out to a ledge above the crashing waves. This was definitely nice, & totally worth $5. The views from the island are breath taking, & if you arrive early in the morning, you will have the island to yourself. I highly suggest checking out Prince Island if visiting Ream National Park.
When it was time to leave, I wanted to find the route, which I originally wanted to take the entire way to Ream National Park. Taking this route would completely remove the highway portion & much more scenic. I rode along the airport & found the road, which should have been the road. After riding down the dirt road for a small distance, I was stopped by water & one angry construction worker.
Hot, sweating, gas running low, & pretty confident my way was blocked, I should have given up & took the highway. Not one for easy defeat, I headed further down the main road & found one last turn off. I turned right, followed the beach, & encountered one old looking bridge. I was not 100% certain the bridge would support the bike, but before thinking too much, I continued forward & thought positively.
Upon reaching the other side of the bridge, I let out a sigh of relief & continued down the dirt road. As the road turned muddy, then turned into a walking path, & jungle surrounded me, I pushed forward & questioned my decision making skills. What I knew deep down all along, this would not be my road home. I was a stones throw away from my correct path, but blocked by a small waterway. I let out a sigh, took a piss, cursed myself, & headed home.