Home Across Asia Getting off-the-beaten-track comfortably with cycling

Getting off-the-beaten-track comfortably with cycling

by Nick Clark
Cycling in Laos, Southeast Asia

Cycling in Laos

With many keen cyclists in our London office, we have always believed that cycling can be a great addition to any holiday in Asia – no matter if it’s simply a half day cycling tour in a city or a full on two week cycling adventure.

We’ve even launched two new cycling holidays in Thailand; a deluxe cycling holiday, and a family adventure including a three-day bike tour.

But why cycle around Asia? Well, in addition to being fun in itself, it can add a whole new dimension to your experience of the country you are visiting and contributes to that feeling of discovery that you get with any Experience Travel Group holiday.

One of the real highlights of cycling in Asia is the ability to interact with and get under the skin of your surroundings. Most tourists will spend large swathes of their holiday cooped up in a vehicle, which results in limited opportunities to take in and absorb what is going on around you. Cycling allows you to get a more interesting and authentic take on the local way of life, take in the scenery and get to areas that you could not otherwise visit. It is always hugely enjoyable to cycle through small Asian villages and interact with the locals who will stop, smile and wave to you.

Something we have worked hard on at Experience Travel Group is promoting cycling as a great way to escape the crowds when visiting the major (and busy) sites. Being on a bike means that you can get to places that the big tour busses cannot access, and that allows you to enter sites from different entrances, go further than a normal tour group or see it from a different angle. For somewhere like the Temples of Angkor, this can be absolutely priceless. While there, you can suddenly get a feel of the rural and remote setting of the temples and the magically atmospheric nature of their designs. Cycling past a big group getting out of a bus whilst heading into a quiet jungle to visit a majestic temple with no other tourists in sight is a fantastic feeling!

Angor Bayon, Cambodia, Southeast Asia

Angor Bayon, Cambodia

For those travelling with children, cycling is also a great way to make the ‘boring’ bits of the holiday more appealing to the family. In our experience, children are much more receptive to being told that during a day’s cycling you will be exploring the hidden depths of temples as opposed to telling them that you will be traipsing around temples, driving from one to another all day. Furthermore, the benefits that I mentioned above, in terms of interacting with the local population, getting an understanding of the way of life and enjoying the scenery, are accentuated even further with children.

With this in mind we have recently designed our new family holiday in Thailand. Along with visiting the main sights of Bangkok and Chiang Mai in a ‘regular’ fashion and of course having a relaxing time on a beautiful Thai island at the end, we have worked with our local partners to design a three night cycling themed tour of Kanchanaburi. You’ll be supported by a driver and vehicle, so it’s entirely up to each of you how much time you spend on your bike and at what pace you travel. You’ll have the chance to explore caves, villages, waterfalls, hot springs and lakes as well as some poignant World War II sights such as ‘The Bridge Over The River Kwai’. Beyond cycling, numerous other fun adventures are included such as canoeing and the chance to zip-line through the treetops. The accommodation is part of the experience here too and includes a stay at Hintok River Camp in a luxury safari tent and at The Floathouse where you’ll stay in a floating villa.

Thailand is really suitable for family holidays

Thailand is really suitable for family holidays

We have a huge range of options to include cycling in our holidays, covering all of our destinations and to suit all fitness levels and cycling ability so please speak to one of our experts if you would like to incorporate this into a holiday in Asia. Not only will it be great fun and enhance your experience, it is a great way to feel slightly less guilty about the excessive holiday eating and drinking… We’re on 020 7924 7133 and we love to talk about travel.

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