Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Touring
Reload this Page >

India/Myanmar/Thailand

Notices
Touring Have a dream to ride a bike across your state, across the country, or around the world? Self-contained or fully supported? Trade ideas, adventures, and more in our bicycle touring forum.

India/Myanmar/Thailand

Old 01-30-20, 06:43 AM
  #1  
Cooper1991
Junior Member
Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jan 2020
Posts: 21
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 17 Post(s)
Liked 0 Times in 0 Posts
India/Myanmar/Thailand

How easy is it to hitch a lift up mountains or prolonged steeper inclines? Do you just give a small tip?

Also, in these countries, is it safe to assume you can stop every night in some sort of hostel/B & B in the larger villages?

Is it safe enough to tour Myanmar?

Is it easy to take your bike on trains in these countries if your bike is irreparable?

% chance of falling or being knocked off bike in these countries?
Cooper1991 is offline  
Old 01-30-20, 10:56 AM
  #2  
mev
bicycle tourist
 
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Austin, Texas, USA
Posts: 1,998

Bikes: Trek 520, Lightfoot Ranger, Trek 4500

Mentioned: 12 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 331 Post(s)
Liked 113 Times in 87 Posts
Originally Posted by Cooper1991 View Post
How easy is it to hitch a lift up mountains or prolonged steeper inclines? Do you just give a small tip?

Also, in these countries, is it safe to assume you can stop every night in some sort of hostel/B & B in the larger villages?

Is it safe enough to tour Myanmar?

Is it easy to take your bike on trains in these countries if your bike is irreparable?

% chance of falling or being knocked off bike in these countries?
India is a big place with a lot of variety. I haven't been where you are likely going - but have taken longer trips in both the south (Tamil Nadu, Kerela, Andra Pradesh, Karnataka) and the north (Kashmir, Himal Pradesh). I've also been through Thailand. So on the questions you ask:

1. Is it safe to assume you can stop every night in some sort of hostel/B&B? In Thailand that was easy. In Southern India, I was mostly able to find places, though some were out of the way. In Northern India, I brought a tent. It turned out we found a place each night - but it wasn't guaranteed and took both some planning and flexibility and having a tent as backup was very useful.

2. How easy is it to hitch a lift up mountains or prolonged steeper inclines? Two experiences (a): in Southern India I got some unknown form of sickness that caused me to rest a day. I wasn't feeling 100% but started out. When climbing the Ghats, I wasn't sure how long the climb would be and ended up hitching a ride with passing truck to the top and beyond. That wasn't too difficult - though since I didn't know local language there was some communication via gestures. (b) in Thailand, my hub broke and the wheel spun both directions. I ended up walking for a bit before a couple gave me a ride to a "fixer" who also couldn't do anything about the hub. When they couldn't fix it, they helped flag a shared vehicle with many people in back. We put the bike on top and I got a ride to next town. After staying there, I took my bike on the train to Kuala Lumpur. So in enough distress, I think one likely gets a ride. You might wait a while and it works better if you speak local language or have someone help interpret.

3. % chance of falling or being knocked off bike in these countries? No idea on percentages. India has a large variety of roads. Some of them also take different skills in cycling. On some of the smaller/local routes in India I found a wide variety of types of traffic. Everything made noises (buses, trucks, bicycle bells, auto-rickshaws, motorcycles). There was enough chaos that seemed like everyone was a bit more alert (i.e. less feeling of danger from someone distracted texting) but also a lot of things to watch for. The larger roads and ones in the north were more similar to what I had ridden elsewhere. In Thailand it was busy. Compared to China where I was prior to Thailand, traffic was less aggressive, but still required watching out.

Shouldn't make a difference, but in India and Thailand they drive on the left. In Myanmar (and Cambodia/Vietnam after Thailand) they drive on the right. If you have a cycle mirror you may need to adjust.
mev is offline  
Old 06-26-22, 08:29 PM
  #3  
SpeedyBlueBiker
Full Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Redmond, WA & Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 335

Bikes: 1999 Giant ATX MTB, 2002 Lemond Zurich, 2018 Fuji Transonic 2.3, 2019 Specialized Tarmac Disc Expert

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 90 Post(s)
Liked 172 Times in 108 Posts
Originally Posted by Cooper1991 View Post
How easy is it to hitch a lift up mountains or prolonged steeper inclines? Do you just give a small tip?

Also, in these countries, is it safe to assume you can stop every night in some sort of hostel/B & B in the larger villages?

Is it safe enough to tour Myanmar?

Is it easy to take your bike on trains in these countries if your bike is irreparable?

% chance of falling or being knocked off bike in these countries?
So did you end up cycling in these countries? If so, I hope that it went well.
SpeedyBlueBiker is offline  
Old 06-27-22, 02:22 PM
  #4  
Yan 
BeaverTerror
 
Yan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: New York City
Posts: 2,249
Mentioned: 8 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 677 Post(s)
Liked 152 Times in 91 Posts
I realize this is a revived old thread but I'll put my comment here in case anyone finds this via Google in the future:

​​​​​​Thailand is one of the easiest countries in the world to tour in. There is a big tourism industry and you can find guest houses everywhere. The country is densely populated and the distance between towns is short so you will never be caught out overnight. If you are camping, you can pitch a tent anywhere and nobody will bother you. Costs are affordable and you can live a long time on a limited budget. People are friendly and you can usually find people who speak a bit of English.

I toured in Myanmar in 2016. It was during the brief period when the country was peaceful. It was a wonderful experience and I enjoyed it much more than Thailand. The country is underdeveloped and the conditions are quite difficult, so you should be an experienced traveler and cyclist to attempt a tour there. Parts are pretty much unavailable outside of Yangon, so you need to be mechanically self sufficient. The roads are terrible outside the central part of the country. Sometimes the roads are not even gravel, you are basically riding on small boulders. It rains everyday and everything turns into mud which sticks to your wheels and clogs your fenders. After the first week my body was trashed. It was still a good experience to tour there, just make sure you go in with the correct mindset. And again, don't do it as your first tour.

Foreigners are only supposed to stay in certain accredited hotels. These are priced higher than the local hotels (although still inexpensive by western standards), and you must pay by cash US dollars. So make sure you bring enough cash into the country. I mostly camped during my tour.

Myanmar doesn't get many tourists and the locals will treat you like a normal person instead of a cash machine. It was a good change after Thailand. The people were very friendly and the scenery was amazing. I also enjoyed visiting their cultural and historical sites greatly.

As of today (2022) it is not possible to tour in Myanmar. Last I checked they were not allowing tourists at all.
Yan is offline  
Old 06-27-22, 06:44 PM
  #5  
SpeedyBlueBiker
Full Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2018
Location: Redmond, WA & Bangkok, Thailand
Posts: 335

Bikes: 1999 Giant ATX MTB, 2002 Lemond Zurich, 2018 Fuji Transonic 2.3, 2019 Specialized Tarmac Disc Expert

Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 90 Post(s)
Liked 172 Times in 108 Posts
Originally Posted by Yan View Post
As of today (2022) it is not possible to tour in Myanmar. Last I checked they were not allowing tourists at all.
Myanmar reopened to business tourists on 1 April 2022. On 15 May 2022 tourist visas were being issued for visitors to travel to Myanmar. Foreign expats living in Myanmar were able to remain in the country unhindered despite some changes in the political parties running the country. This has remained unchanged for many years.
SpeedyBlueBiker is offline  

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information -

Copyright 2021 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.