Cycling has become an extremely popular way of traveling in Southeast Asia. Experiencing a country with a bike is an adventure on its own. Not only are you closer to nature, but traveling with a bike is contributing to the reduction of CO2. Especially in a fascinating continent like Asia, where there is a great variety in landscape and culture, there is more than enough reasons to believe that combining cycling and traveling is a life-changing experience.
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Biking in a temple complex such as Ankor Wat is probably the easiest way to explore the big terrain. The archaeological site of Ankor Wat, is located near Siem Reap and has hundreds of temples spread over a wide area. In the city of Siem Reap, you can rent bikes quite cheap (few dollars a day). Cycling might be your best option to go out and see all of Ankor Wat’s most famous temples in a day. No doubt you will feel like Tomb raider when exploring.
Route 1, Vietnam
Getting a ride on a motorbike in one of the densely populated cities of Vietnam is an experience in its own right, but when you want to see the real Vietnam, you might want to travel slowly. Travelers who are seeking the ideal countryside experience in Vietnam can opt to cycle the Highway 1 route in Vietnam. This route connects the city of Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh and is one of the most popular traveling routes in Southeast Asia. It is considered as a physical challenge with great rewards since you’ll be passing by scenic villages.
Anyone traveling to Bhutan will feel like he is truly off the beaten path. Bhutan is small and for this perfect for a cycling trip. However, don’t underestimate the effort you will have to make since you’re cycling in the Himalayas. Dramatic mountain ranges reaching heights over 7000 meters are your scenery. And if the views won’t stun you, the people will. Bhutan people are considered the happiest people in the world and they have no problem sharing their happiness with you.
Golden triangle, Myanmar
Myanmar is huge and still it’s one of the best destinations in Southeast Asia to have a cycling holiday. Why? Well, most of Myanmar is still inaccessible for tourists and the parts that are are quite popular. Most travelers follow the Golden triangle, connecting Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake. Along the way you will see the very best Myanmar has to offer and all within cycling range. Not only is this touristic route quite nice to see while biking, but regions like Bagan and Inle Lake are best explored with a bike as well.
The Burmese Border, Myanmar/Thailand
If you’re looking for an off the beaten path travel experience, try cycling the Birmese border. The route between Chiang Mai and Mae Sot will lead you through untouched hill tribe areas. The hill tribe villages and scenic landscapes are worth the effort. And talking about effort, don’t be mistaken. You are about to cycle across mountainous areas so the ride might be tough on the legs.