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stdClass Object ( [ID] => 33254 [post_author] => 4 [post_date] => 2014-06-02 08:03:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-06-02 08:03:32 [post_content] => FOR a chance to really get off the beaten track, feel the wind in your hair and explore some of Asia's most beautiful regions, a motorbike is really the vehicle of choice. With options to buy or rent in many countries, it's also often a cost effective means of getting around and leaves you plenty of flexibility in your schedule. While some motorbike skills are advised, it's not all hardcore mountain routes and off road tracks as much of Asia has plenty of good quality asphalt. Choose your journey wisely, learn some mechanical skills and you're in for the adventure of a lifetime. [caption id="attachment_33256" align="alignnone" width="650" caption="Motorbike touring in Asia - pack light but don't forget your rain coat, motorbike tools and sense of adventure. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com"][/caption]
Thailand
Thailand is one of the best places to improve up your riding skills for handling yourself in other parts of Asia. The traffic is generally a little less crazy and the roads a lot better than in other countries, allowing you time to hone your skills and adjust. There are also plenty of services available from hotels to restaurants and motorbike maintenance shops. Some of the best routes are in the far north around Chiang Rai. The Mae Hong Son loop is also a popular one with beautiful scenery. All Thai beach resort areas generally have motorbikes available for rent or you could undertake a beach touring route such as Bangkok to Ranong and Phuket. [caption id="attachment_33260" align="alignnone" width="650" caption="Beautiful scenery around Pai. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com"][/caption]
Vietnam
The route between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City was made famous by Top Gear's attempt to do this in just seven days. However a month is recommended for this journey. And in 2010 Travel Wire Asia also posted a series of blogs on the route. Vietnam remains a popular place to rent or buy a motorbike as there are plenty on offer, lots of repair shops if something goes wrong and plenty of great scenery and variable terrain to keep you interested. The hairiest thing is the traffic but once you escape the big cities it's not so bad. It's also possible to put motorbikes on the trains so if you find you've had enough you can simply train it to your destination. The most scenic route is probably Hanoi-Dien Bien Phu-Sapa up in the country's far north east with plenty of twisting mountain roads, to die for views, cool hill climates and interesting ethnic groups. When it rains here it pours, so be prepared for plenty of water and mud. It is good if you're short on time and you can train the section to/from Dien Bien Phu. Coastal Highway 1 is the most direct route between the two big cities but it is notoriously busy and passes through a lot of settlements and tourist areas--however Nha Trang and Hoi An may well be on your to-see list anyway. A highlight on this route is without doubt the Hai Van Pass. The rural route through Dalat and the Central Highlands is a good alternative to the coastal highway, or you can combine both heading up to the hills or down to the coast when something takes your fancy. [caption id="attachment_33257" align="alignnone" width="650" caption="Coping with traffic is the biggest challenge in cities like Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com"][/caption]
Laos
Many bikers continue their tour of Vietnam by bike by popping across the border on the Ho Chi Minh Trail via the old battlefields of the American War. If you do this make sure you have all your visa documentation, bike papers and Laos currency before you head over. This route into Laos' southern region takes you into beautiful karst limestone valleys. The roads can get more challenging the more remote you get but the scenery makes it worthwhile. This region can be reached from Vientiane as well (allow a two week return trip). In fact Vientiane is a good place to start and finish any tour as it also provides access to regions north such as Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng or out to the dramatic Plain of Jars. Routes north in the country up near Muang Sing and Luang Namtha are also incredibly scenic and it's possible to cross into Thailand up here as well.
India
Indian roads can be a little crazy so it's probably not the best place to start your motorbike touring career but there are some superb places to motorbike, usually where there are fewer motorists such as the beach state of Goa or hill country in states like Uttarkhand, Himachal Pradesh and Ladakh. The route from Delhi to Ladakh is a particularly popular long haul one over two weeks, taking in winding mountain roads with huge scenic rewards. Some of the passes do go high and can be closed at times so it's best to factor in extra days for delays and to know the condition of your bike. Altitude sickness can also be an issue on this route. The Enfield is without doubt the motorcycling tourist's bike of choice in India, but scooters and other bikes can be bought or rented as well. Beach side areas in Goa and Kerala will rent these out by the day/week. [caption id="attachment_33259" align="alignnone" width="650" caption="Stunning views from Lekir gompa, Ladakh. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com"][/caption]
Cambodia
Cambodia is more the domain of dirt bike riders due to its array of bone rattling roads in various states of decay. While some have been upgraded in more recent years, there are still plenty to be found.  Some of the more popular routes to bike include variations of National Highway 5 and 6 that reach from the Thai border via Siem Reap and down to Phnom Penh, the main feature being the stone ruins and dramatic Angkor kingdom around Siem Reap. Others choose the meandering route north of Phnom Penh along the Mekong to traditional villages such as Kompong Cham and Kratie. From here there are more off road options that lead off into Ratanakiri national park. Another popular route is the stretch south from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville, a nice week-long return trip with a few days at the beach to chill out in the middle and plenty of services along the way. [caption id="attachment_33262" align="alignnone" width="650" caption="Village life in Cambodia. Pic: Joanne Lane, www.visitedplanet.com"][/caption] [post_title] => On the road: The best two-wheel adventures in Asia [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => closed [post_password] => [post_name] => on-the-road-the-best-twowheel-adventures-in-asia [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2014-06-03 03:04:51 [post_modified_gmt] => 2014-06-03 03:04:51 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.travelwireasia.com/?p=33254 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw )

On the road: The best two-wheel adventures in Asia

On the road: The best two-wheel adventures in Asia
June 2, 2014 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FOR a chance to really get off the beaten track, feel the wind in your hair and explore some of Asia’s most beautiful regions, a motorbike is really the vehicle of choice. With options to buy or rent in many countries, it’s also often a cost effective means of getting around and leaves you plenty…>

Top travel moments of 2013

Top travel moments of 2013
December 6, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM the anniversary of the Everest climb to airways that charge per weight, the release of films that put tourism on the map and lots of travel awards, 2013 has brought a range of tourism experiences to the Asia-Pacific region.  January Qantas Airways passengers between Cairns and Port Moresby watched a large python clinging to…>

Fantastic destinations to consider in 2014

Fantastic destinations to consider in 2014
November 28, 2013 - 0 Comments - Jo Lane

EVEN if you’ve been almost everywhere in Asia, there is always more to see and hidden gems to discover. From China to India, Australia and New Zealand, this list could take you to a riverside town, a sandy beach, crumbling ruins or to meet wildlife in the Asia-Pacific region in the new year. Happy travelling. Fenghuang,…>

5 of the best waterfalls in Asia

5 of the best waterfalls in Asia
November 7, 2013 - 0 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

WATERFALLS make up some of the most amazing sights on the planet, and that is especially true in Asia. A region of incredible natural beauty, there are a wide range of falls you’ll find on this continent. From limestone rocks you can climb while the water flows around you to jungle falls that will make…>

5 must-visit places in Laos

5 must-visit places in Laos
September 24, 2013 - 2 Comments - Casey Hynes

LAOS is something of a mystery to most travelers before they arrive there; a sleepy country nestled amongst more notorious neighbors like Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. But Laos is widely praised by those who have been for its natural beauty and friendly people, and the surprisingly delightful offerings for cultural, historical and natural sightseeing. Here…>

Great natural spots for swimming in Asia

Great natural spots for swimming in Asia
August 13, 2013 - 0 Comments - Travel Wire Asia

TRIPADVISOR released a list of natural pools of note in the world last week, and no surprise, several Asia-Pacific spots were on it. This part of the world is known for its beautiful landscapes and majestic hidden spaces that will bring a tear to your eye. Those that made the list are worthy of praise indeed,…>

In pictures: The mountains of Asia

In pictures: The mountains of Asia
July 21, 2013 - 1 Comments - Jo Lane

FROM the snow peaks of the Himalayas in India and Nepal to the high country of Sri Lanka’s tea growing districts and Indonesia’s verdant volcanoes, the mountain ranges of Asia offer a variety of vistas, climates, villages and even agricultural methods. These images showcase a swathe of these mountains with everything from foot hills to…>

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Comments

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