Touring - Touring SE Asia Advice
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08-12-11, 12:40 AM
I'm planning a tour for this winter from December to Feb. in SE Asia. So far I know I want to fly into Thailand, and after that my planning is very rough, and before I start I want to tap into the vast knowledge here on the forums. I'm looking to hear about those epic routes that can't be missed and great places that I gotta see! Any help, tips, and ideas would be awesome cause from what I've read so far I've got tons of options! I'm not the savviest at searching the forums, so if something like this already exists pass on the link, or we can start a new one here!
08-12-11, 05:08 AM
Pretty varied geography in SEA. Thailand has some great ride, I love the south personally, but the traffic can be a little much. Bangkok itself at night is a blast to ride, the streets can be very quiet. Some bike shops.
Cambodia... Very very flat for the most part, rice field after rice field...... But the people are lovely and you'll get sick of saying hello to all the kids. The traffic from Phnom Pehn to the coast can be horrible.
Laos. Do it. Very hilly, very quiet good roads, few people. Can be some serious distance between villages and cities (in the south). Zero internet south of Pakse if that's important to you. ATM's can very hard to find, as well as english speakers outside the touristy regions.
Don't bother to bring a tent, getting a room is usually not hard and very cheap.
Here are some links to get you started.
This page has 5 links to information about bike touring in Cambodia (http://www.biketouringtips.com/searchTips.html?country=Cambodia&state=&place=&id=&subtopic=).
This page has 9 links to information about bike touring in Laos (http://www.biketouringtips.com/searchTips.html?country=Laos&state=&place=&id=&subtopic=).
This page has 7 links to information about bike touring in Thailand (http://www.biketouringtips.com/searchTips.html?country=Thailand&state=&place=&id=&subtopic=).
This page has 7 links to information about bike touring in Southeast Asia (http://www.biketouringtips.com/searchTips.html?country=Southeast%20Asia&state=&place=&id=&subtopic=).
Obviously, not all of the these links will be of interest to you but they are a good place to start your planning.
Have a great time,
08-12-11, 10:45 AM
I've toured in Thailand, Laos, & Malaysia. Dec-Feb is the ideal time to tour in northern Thailand and northern Laos, as those 3 months are sufficiently north of the equator that they have significantly more comfortable temperatures than during the rest of the year. It also coincides with the dry season. I did a wonderful loop heading north from Chiang Mai along the borders of both Burma & Laos, going as far east as Nan before heading back westward toward Chiang Mai. I also rode through the northern half of Laos from Vientiane toward the Chinese border, then westward back toward Thailand. Both of these rides were superb with great scenery and good roads. Touring in Thailand is very straighforward, as easy or easier than touring in developed countries. Laos is much more basic than Thailand. A few places I rode through in Laos were off the electrical grid. Accommodations were sometimes primitive outside of the larger towns in Laos. I agree with the advice above about leaving camping gear at home. Don't bother with a stove, either.
There are trains in Thailand which can be very useful. I took a night train from Bangkok to near Vientiane, and it was very easy to take a bike. There are also trains between Bangkok and Chiang Mai, as well as a few other routes in the country.
Overall, I thought touring in Thailand was better than in Malaysia. It's harder to find quiet roads in Malaysia. Most of my biking was on the east coast of peninsular Malaysia, from Singapore up to Kota Baru near the Thai border. I was also on Penang, a wonderful island off the NW coast of Malaysia. Penang, and especially its main city Georgetown, are absolutely superb to visit.
08-18-11, 09:55 AM
Awesome, thanks for the suggestions and help!
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