Here are the suitable routes for visitors to start their bicycle excursions.
After 2 long years of closing tourism due to the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic, many countries and territories in Asia have reopened their borders, making travel easier.
Many travelers seek to take advantage of the opportunity to go far away, taking on a long cherished adventure. From the high peaks of the Himalayas, the road through the arid desert to the tropical forests of the equatorial belt, the countries of Asia deserve a place you should explore after the epidemic season.
SCMP takes a look at 5 of the continent’s best cycling adventures.
Around Mae Hong Son (Thailand)
The length of the road is 620-720 km
Around Mae Hong Son with rolling hills is a typical bicycle route in Northern Thailand.
This is not a trek for the faint of heart as the 12km uphill climb is fraught with difficulty. Daytime temperatures here are high and stable all year round. Therefore, to complete the task, you need to bring an ultra-light backpack.
The route of 620 km Chiang Mai – Mae Tang – Pai – Mae Hong Son – Mae Sariang, then back to Chiang Mai is a great journey that adventurers cannot miss.
The best time to take a trip on this route is from mid-September to mid-February, when it’s cool at night. From February to the end of April is the hot season and is best avoided. Itinerary lasts 7-10 days depending on the schedule and plans of visitors.
There are many steep climbing roads when conquering Mae Hong Son Palace, northern Thailand. Photo: Steve Thomas Images
Around Taiwan (China)
The length of the road is 968 km
Taiwan truly deserves the name “Bicycle Island”. Not only holding a large market share in the production of quality bicycles, Taiwan also creates many favorable conditions for the development of cycling activities. As a result, solo or group bicycle tours are easy at this site.
Route 1 launched a few years ago allows visitors to start from Taipei and cycle around the island. On the road, you can easily find accommodation, food, as well as bicycle shops and rental services. Whenever you are tired, you can catch a train to rest for the day.
Route highlights include rural southeast Hualien and the dramatic coastal road to Kenting National Park.
The ideal time to cycle around the island is from October to March next year, when the air is cool and dry.
Manali – Leh (India)
474 km long road through the Himalayas and some other areas
The rugged journey from Manali to Leh has been a challenge for adventurous cyclists for decades. Many tour companies organize trips for visitors to conquer this route.
In total, there are 5 main passes on the route. In which, Khardung La, 5,359 m, is the highest pass visitors need to pass.
After 7-10 days of cycling, you can spend at least an extra week continuing to explore the Spiti valley and reach Zanskar, which possesses breathtaking and wild landscapes.
The best time to join the experience is between June and September.
Shangri-La Road (Yunnan, China)
265 km long stretch of road through the high mountains of Yunnan
This is a challenging trip, suitable for those who are physically active and love to explore. Surrounding the road is a majestic natural landscape and imbued with cultural and historical values.
There are many locations that are said to be Shangri-La appearing in the novel Lost Horizon (1933). However, many believe that the place in Yunnan was the inspiration for James Hilton’s book.
Starting from the historic town of Lijiang, following the mountain road about 85 km to the Tiger Deer Gorge, visitors officially begin the adventure. The path through the canyon makes for the most beautiful bike ride in the world.
Some of the highlights of the trip include the snowy mountain of Cap Ba, the idyllic plateau in Deqin (where some people say Shangri-La).
Visitors are advised to pedal gently, avoiding overexertion if there is no support person because the high air is thin and the climbing time is quite long. Don’t forget to bring cold gear and go cycling in the fall or spring instead of winter with cold snow and icy roads.
Pamir Highway (Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan)
A 1,200 km long stretch of road through the high mountains of Yunnan
The Pamir Highway, which traverses the wide open Pamir Mountains from Dushanbe (Tajikistan) to Osh (Kyrgyzstan), has been the route of choice for many adventure cyclists in recent years.
Ak-Baital is 4,655 m long, the highest pass in this arc. Visitors are advised to choose mountain bikes and bring camping gear. Other items can be purchased along the way.
The route is most beautiful when traveling in late spring or early autumn. Visitors should choose to go to the east for favorable wind and easy movement.