SEA cycling tour - experiences and recommendations?
Replies: 9 - Last Post: Jun 4, 2012 3:04 AM Last Post By: Erefin
May 28, 2012 9:18 AM
SEA cycling tour - experiences and recommendations?Hello everybody,
my name's Felix, I'm 20 years old and I just finished 9 months of volunteering in Indonesia. But I guess I'll go back to SEA some months in the future, most propably at the beginning of August to do a cycling- tour with my GF through one of the countries. However, this would be my first time cycling in a developing country, so I've got a bunch of questions:
1. Is there any country in SEA with at least acceptable cycling- tracks? Because it wouldn't be nice to cycle on a mega- busy street for a long time, nor would it be enjoyable to have sandy ways all the time.
2. What country is nice for cycling?
3. How about camping outside? I guess it could become problematic in some areas, since I'm travelling with my GF... I guess especially in Malaysia. And how about criminality problems?
Ok, that's all. As I've mentioned, it'll be something totally new both for me and for her, so please don't regard me as s.o. experienced - I'm not, not yet. Tell me what the challenges and problems
will most likely be, so that we can prepare properly or, in the most dire scenario, cancel these plans and do sth. different instead.
Thanks a lot for your help and keep cycling
May 28, 2012 10:53 PM
1Laos is nice. Traffic is increasing but still quite low. So it is hardly ever a problem cycling on the main roads.
Camping is not really an option anywhere in SE Asia. Mostly it is not necessary because you can get a good room for some 10 Euros per night. In Laos and Cambodia there is also the problem with Uxo's in the countryside.
Thailand and Cambodia are both nice too.
May 28, 2012 11:14 PM
May 29, 2012 6:17 AM
If you are going to more northerly parts of SEA, like Laos, N Thailand, etc, you'd do much better to go there in the cool/dry season Nov-Feb. Further south it is hot all year so timing is less critical, but you may wish to avoid the worst of the wet season. Aug would actually be fairly sensible for much of Indonesia.
My favourite cycling experience in SEA was in Myanmar (Burma). It is tricky cycling from Rangoon to Mandalay because of the distance between permitted accommodations (camping is illegal) and having to use the main road. But get transport up country and one can tour around the region centred on Mandalay, though again some of the distances are a little tough, and some of the roads are poor. Up there, the roads are mostly quiet. It is such a different place you'll never forget going there. And it may now change fast. But not quite as cheap as many other countries in the region.
May 29, 2012 6:35 PM
4+1 for Laos, but as already mentioned, the timing is a problem. You need to try to make it later - November/December would be best. August will be too hot.
Forget camping. The accomodation is nice and cheap anyway.
May 29, 2012 11:14 PM
Do you happen to have a journal or blog on that experience? I am thinking of traveling/cycling over there this coming fall/winter. I remember seeing some report from cycling in Burma that was not so favourable.
May 29, 2012 11:30 PM
6Albin, I spent 3 weeks cycling in Burma a couple of years back & it was excellent but tough due the distances involved to get to Licenced accom (some 160km days). The people were the highlight.
I cycled Mandalay to Rangoon via Bagan & the Golden Rock. I don't have a blog but if u want some more details just let me know.
May 30, 2012 1:11 AM
May 31, 2012 9:23 PM
8Have a look at my blog:
I haven't posted on Laos yet but you'll get an idea about Cambodia and Vietnam. In all 3 countries I stayed in numerous villages in remote areas, and never had an issue with finding a bed or place to hang my hammock(yes, a tent is not necessary but a hammock with mosquito net a necessity if you go off the beaten track).
Thailand looked very promising riding-wise, I only did the Chiang Mai-Chiang Rai route and it was excellent. Lots of shade along the way, great tarmac, not very heavy traffic. Don't know how's the rest of the country.
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