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Avoid wasting precious holiday time by renting a bike; not only will you travel further than on foot, but you’ll see far more than from behind a car window! Who needs air conditioning when you’ve got the wind in your hair? Drop into tiny pagodas, make friends with villagers, try new food at the locals’ market and take in scenery that feels a million miles from Southeast Asia’s big cities.
8 of the best bike rides in Southeast Asia
1. Morning cycling tour of Hanoi, Vietnam
Wake up early and take to two wheels to see a different side of Vietnam’s capital. Veer off the main roads – away from the tangled telephone wires and stream of mopeds – to meander past serene lakes with fishermen searching for the catch of the day, and markets where unhurried locals gossip over grocery shopping. With the help of a guide you can also follow your nose without the risk of getting lost! Find out more.
2. Cycling tour of Luang Prabang, Laos
The UNESCO World Heritage Town of Luang Prabang is one of Laos’s loveliest corners. Don’t miss a thing with a bike ride to the main highlights to the stupa at Wat Visoun, the Royal Palace, the gilded Wat Mai Temple and Wat Xieng Thong.
All that culture is hungry work! Take a ride to Phosy Market to pick up a snack or two before heading to Ock Pop Tok, a non-profit organisation that seeks to preserve traditional cultural activities and the Traditional Arts & Ethnology Centre. Find out more.
3. Cycling at Angkor, Cambodia
As Cambodia’s most popular attraction, you won’t have the Angkor temples to yourself, but it is possible to escape the crowds by cycling to the outer reaches and quiet corners of these ancient Khmer ruins. Top tip: Leave Angkor Wat until last – it tends to be the first stop on most itineraries. Find out more.
4. Cycling around the imperial tombs of Hue, Vietnam
History lovers shouldn’t leave Hue without visiting the beautiful tombs of the Nguyen Emperors. The tombs are in the surrounding countryside – the perfect excuse to hire a bike, passing the imposing French-built Quoc Hoc High School, Catholic Quarter, daily market at Phu Cam Church and Quoc An pagoda as you leave the city. As well as seeing the tombs, you’ll also whizz past Buddhist pagodas and shrines, visit craft villages, and take a short boat trip across a reservoir. Find out more.
5. Mountain biking in Sapa, Vietnam
With rolling hills, terraced rice paddies and tiny villages, the mountainous area of Sapa is one of Vietnam’s most picturesque areas. Whether you fancy a gentle half-day jaunt or a multi-day adventure, the mountain bike trails around the Hoang Lien Mountain Range are a great way to see more of these scenic vistas and meet some of the minority hill tribes. Find out more.
6. 4000 Islands by bike & boat, Laos
The 4000 Islands is a serene backwater that teeters on the border with Cambodia. Hire a bike and hop on local ferries to see how many you can explore, taking on the winding dirt roads and passing temples, lush countryside and fishing villages. Find out more.
7. Soksa bike tour of Battambang, Cambodia
With flat paths, quiet countryside and rural communities, Battambang is one of the best places to take a leisurely cycle ride in Cambodia. For the best experience, team up with a guide; not only will you be able to meet villagers without awkward phrase books, you’ll also have chance to learn about local cottage industries. Find out more.
8. Biking the Islands of Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Take a short ferry on the Mekong River to swap Phnom Penh’s big city buzz for the pretty stilted villages, small pagodas and lush rice paddies of rural Cambodia. Despite being so close to the capital, few tourists explore the surrounding countryside so you may well have these sprawling landscapes all to yourself! Find out more.
Whether you’re longing to see Luang Prabang or hankering after Hanoi, our Southeast Asia experts can help, get in touch to find out more.