There are so many places to explore in Southeast Asia and a great way to see them is on a motorbike. This type of journey allowed you to connect with a place and its people in a way that you wouldn’t be able to if were locked away on a bus. Not to mention the simple pleasures of feeling the sun’s warmth against your back and the wind in your face. If this sounds like your type of adventures and you’ve had Southeast Asia on your mind lately, here are 3 trips that may be worth considering:
Flickr Creative Commons License 2.0 – Nathan O’nions
Thailand: Mae Hong Song Loop
Starting in Chiang Mai head toward Doi Inthanon National Park. This beautiful stretch of highway leads you to the highest point in Northern Thailand at Doi Inthanon Mountain. The roads dips into beautiful valleys just to rise right back up again. Consider spending a night in Mae Sariang where you can go trekking or relax and watch the beautiful sunsets. Mae Hong Son should be your next destination where you will want to leave time to visit the historic monastery. Cave Lodge is a great place to stay where you can arrange for tours to the nearby minority communities or go whitewater rafting. The last stop on this tour is the hippy enclave of Pai which is an interesting place to meet visitors from around the world.
Laos: The Thakhek Loop
Start in Thakhek heading along the scenic highways to Tham Konglor. The old-growth forests that you pass are interesting places to see wildlife This cave is one of the best parts of this tour, so make sure to take the 30 minute boat tour through this huge karst limestone cave. Plan on staying with a family in Ban Konglor to get a real taste of family life in Laos. This is a beautiful community where you can watch traditional weaving and rice polishing. Like with any other bike trip, make sure you are wearing appropriate motorcycle apparel before hitting the road.
Vietnam: Ha Giang Province
Start this tour in Ha Giang City by heading to “Heaven’s Gate Pass” along the Chinese border where the Vietnamese minorities live. Plan your first night’s stop in Dong Van with its amazing Sunday market which is a great place to pick up authentic souvenirs. Finish this journey by going on the Mai Pi Leng Pass which has been literally carved into the side of a mountain to Meo Vac before returning to your starting point.
These three motorcycle tours gives you the opportunity to explore a part of Southeast Asia that most tourists never get to see. Enjoy your time learning about the unique culture, soaking in the breathtaking scenery and being one with the road.