21-Aug-2003 -- We attempted this Confluence on our bike tour between Hanoi and Phnom Penh on the 19th day of our trip, following the successful confluence visit to 14N 106E. This Confluence is a little special: It is located on an island in the Mekong river!
The day before, August 20, was probably our hardest biking day, pedaling all the day over tough roads. We spent the night in Strung Teng, a provincial capital town on the riverside of the Mekong. After hearing about similar road conditions further south, we decided to take a speed boat to Kratie, which is the next provincial capital. Guang was getting tired of visiting Confluences, but Rainer was hooked by confluence hunting, the modern form of treasure-seeking, and wanted to go for it. We compromised, saying that we will take no more than 3 hours of effort on this.
Interestingly, the speed boat from Stung Treng to Kratie would come within 2 km of the Confluence, but the pilot said he couldn't stop the boat at this location. These kind of boats travel at a speed of 50 km per hour. If somebody wants to get out, the speed boat slows down a bit and a small boat has to come where the passengers jump on. Of course, there was no small boat waiting for us at the Confluence, so we had to wait until we got to the next major stop. At a distance of only 1.6 km I took the pictures. Such a shame, passing so close to a Confluence!
The next town where we could get off was Sambor, already 25 km south of the point. Here, we started bargaining with boat owners to make a trip back to the Confluence. We already got an offer for 10 $, but we decided not to go for it. For one, it started to rain (and our GPS was not prepared for rain at all, see 17N 105E). And such a trip would take at least 4 hours, so we wouldn't make it to Kratie that day, which was located another 35 km further south.
Somebody else may have no difficulties getting to the point. There is probably not a very high danger of landmines on the island, since it's densely populated and cultivated land.
This story is continued at 12N 105E.