Cycling tours in Asia are experiencing a surge in popularity right now. Why is that? Here are our 5 top reasons active travellers are heading to this part of the world to experience the region by bike:
1. Asia can’t be beat for authentic culture!
Think Angkor Wat, the UNESCO listed historical ancient city site that is a complex of amazing temples, pagodas and 16th century Asian architecture). Or bustling Saigon (Ho Chi Minh), in the cross roads of traditional Asia with street side stalls and rickshaws, mixed in with modern 5 star properties and upmarket culinary offerings. The energy can be starkly different to what we are used to, and this is what often makes travel so addictive and enjoyable. The food, the smells, the language, history, politics, architecture…are all so different to what most western travellers are used to, and it makes for a fascinating travel experience.
2. The food (for some) is surprisingly modern, and tasty!
Whilst ‘Asian’ food has always been popular with travellers, there is a growing gourmet scene in South East Asia. This has definitely captured our attention! From banh mi sandwiches to pho and noodle-based stir fries, Southeast Asian food has become trendy over the past couple years, led by renewed interest in Thai, Malaysian, and Vietnamese cuisines. There’s no better way to experience cuisine than in the destination itself. Check out this list of the Top 10 restaurants in Vietnam and you get a feel for the modern upmarket food scene emerging in SE Asia.
3. The Cycling in Asia is fantastic.
For some, a cycling tour destination is all about…well..the cycling! And that makes sense. South East Asia has great cycling covered. From the challenging ascents in central and northern Vietnam (think the jagged peaks of Sapa) to the gentle rolling trails along the Mekong Delta or the flat but incredibly fascinating cycling around Angkor Wat, there is a cycling tour in Asia for every level of rider. New cycling tour operators are popping up to satisfy the growing demand, and subsequently there is now a huge variety in cycling tour itineraries available. The only challenge now is sifting through the myriad of cycling tours in Asia and finding the right one for you.
4. It’s Cheap(er)!
South East Asia has always represented great value for money, and this is still the case with cycling tours. The reality is that labour is relative cheap, and so running cycling tours in Asia carries a lower cost for tour operators than similar tours say in Europe or North America. How long this continues for is anyones guess, but it’s great value right now.
4. It’s easy to get to.
Asia is central to a lot of places. Both the Australian and European traveller can get to Asia relatively easily, with a single albeit long haul flight. For Australians, the added bonus is the minor change in time zone, so you don’t have to get off the flight feeling like a zombie. This has the benefit of allowing you to be able to enjoy the destination straight away, and not wasting time and money on arrival trying to acclimatise to the local clock. Airlines flying to Vietnam for example from Australia include Vietnam Airlines (direct) and Jetstar, Singapore Air, Qantas, Etihad, Thai Airways, Cathay, Garuda and many others via other Asia cities. See a comprehensive list on Skyscanner.
So why not start planning your cycling tour in Asia now.
Tour de Vines offers a 7 day cycling tour in Cambodia, and 7 day cycling tour in Vietnam and a combined 14 day tour from Siem Reap in Cambodia to Saigon in Vietnam. Call 1300 665 330 or contact us to find out more.