Motorcycle Tours and Adventures in South Asia

asiamotorcycle

Author Biography

 asiamotorcycle2 Over the past 10 years, Laura Knight has been a motorcycle rider. She has built up an incredible passion for travelling by motorbike and always wishes to contribute to motorcyclist and traveler community. This is the reason why she created MotorManner.com where her passion is turned into useful and interesting information to the motorcyclists and travel lovers. Visit her blog to read more articles about motorcycle traveling gear reviews and helpful tips!

 

South Asia is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world because of the area’s outstanding natural beauty, rich historical landmarks as well as unique culture. But taking a trip to South East Asia isn’t just about tasting the incredible local foods or lying on the sunny sandy beaches. Actually, there a number of fun-filled activities that you can choose to do in South Asia that will make you active while on your trip. From kayaking and river rafting to rock climbing and scuba diving all through to trekking and motorcycle travelling, you can never miss an activity that will get your heart pumping.

Depending on the country you choose to visit, you can enjoy a combination of different activities when you travel.

Unique Activities to Engage In While On a Trip to South Asia

The adventures in South East Asia are endless, whether you’re a local or international tourist. You can decide to go on a trek adventure to the steaming volcano in Indonesia, Scuba diving in the turquoise water of South Thailand or enjoy canyoning in Cebu Philippines. And how about taking motorcycle adventure trips when you visit Indonesia, Thailand, Laos or Myanmar? If you want a guided motorcycle tour motorcycle touring holiday, then there are plenty of things to enjoy in South Asia.

What Is Motorcycle Touring Holiday All About?

Motorcycle tours and holiday are perfect for travelling to the countries’ unseen places, old Buddhist temples, the local markets and experiencing the warm culture of the people around the Peninsula. To ensure you enjoy a well organized biking tour in Thailand, Burma, Laos, China or Cambodia, you need to work with a local motorcycle tour company. As a motorcycle traveler, you understand the joy and freedom that comes with riding through the midst of nature. But you should be aware that road conditions in these countries may vary from graded red dust highways all through to tarmac roads. Hence you should know what to carry along while on your trip.

asiamotorcycle3

Important Tips to Consider When Taking a Motorcycle Tour in South Asia

One of the most important tips you should remember as a motorcycle traveler is to have all your gear in place. Whether you’re travelling under the guide of a motorcycle travel agency or with a group of friends in the region, you should have essential gear such as a motorcycle helmet, motorcycle boots and wind jackets. The majority of motorcycle travel agencies carry out tours ranging from one day to 16 days tours, which most of the time requires planning. When planning to go on a motorcycle tour, it is important to consider working with a motorcycle tour agency because:

-They’ll direct you to fun areas where there’s no traffic, no chaos and no trouble

-You’ll receive special accommodations, meals and airport transport

-Your travel motorcycle is fueled, oiled and fully insured

-They make sure you see the real countryside, interact with indigenous local people and experience the real beauty of nature

-A well-guided tour means you’ll avoid difficult off-road riding making the adventure less stressful

asiamotorcycle4

-Visitor Pass to major historical sites like ancient temples, parks and other historical landmarks

-Group motorcycle travelling which makes the experience even more fun

-Excellent packaged motorcycle travelling adventures at reasonable rates

Sandboarding Adventures in Philippines and Vietnam

While you might have tried all the other adventures in your trip, you can endeavour to try something new. And sandboarding in Vietnam and the Philippines can just be the thing to set your mood high as you wind up your trip to Asia. Just like snowmobiling, where you need a snowmobile helmet, sandboarding requires some head gear for safety purposes. One of the best places to slide down is in the Laoag La Paz sand dunes in Philippine and the sand dunes of Mui Ne in Vietnam. Always remember to close your mouth while sliding down these areas! Sandboarding can be an exhilarating activity to engage in after a hefty hike or trek.

Conclusion

Motorcycle tours can be one of the best ways to get into the native villages and tropical forests of South Asia. It not only makes maneuvering through the dusty and sometimes bumpy terrains easier but it presents a cost-effective option of moving around the native markets and local historical sites. And with the help of motorcycle touring agencies, the tour can even be more fun because you’ll have many places to visit with a well-defined itinerary. And after you’re done with motorcycle touring, you might find sandboarding as a fun activity in your trip calendar. A trip to South Asia has just never been this fun!

asiamotorcycle5

Advertisements

The Past and Present Come Together in Shanghai

A visit to Shanghai is an absolute must and belongs on your bucket list without question. Where else can you blend real history with the present while getting a glimpse into the future as an added bonus?

Shanghai is China’s largest city and the most populous city proper in the world. Its roots date back to the fifth century, and over many years, it has developed itself into a strong economic, financial, and international trade center. Shanghai is also well known for its influence on culture, science, and technology. Shanghai blends traditional culture with today while also blending east with west. It has something for everyone including hotel accommodations, dining, shopping, nightlife, attractions, and more.

Where to Stay 

Image via Flickr by Gokurakuzukan

There is a great choice of Shanghai hotels within the city proper. Hotels blend familiar brand names with modern conveniences as well as old-world service and charm.

Location is everything. Stay in central and downtown Shanghai for easy access to all the city has to offer including restaurants, shopping, nightlife, and clubs; or stay on the outskirts for access to central Shanghai and the entire city.

Dining

Image via Flickr by SteFou!

If you like Asian food, you’ve come to the right place. If you really like Asian food, you’ve definitely come to the right place. Shanghai’s food and restaurants focus on the culinary traditions of Beijing, Sichuan, Hunan, Guangzhou, and Benbang and are among the finest in China. There are so many dining choices — the list is endless. If by some chance you must have Western food, you’ll find a number of Western restaurants in the central downtown area to please your palate.

Shopping 

Image via Flickr by IceNineJon

Shopping in Shanghai is a must-do activity. There are many commercial streets and shopping centers including the must-visit Nanjing Road. The world’s first Barbie Flagship Store has opened in Shanghai, occupying an entire five-story pink building along the shopping mecca of Huaihai Middle Road. Huaihai Road has many upscale and leading fashion designers, while North Sichuan Road meets the demands of more ordinary folk. Jiali Sleepless City, Xujiahui Shopping Center, and Yuyuan Shopping City are busy and popular with tourists and locals.

Nightlife

Image via Flickr by trioptikmal

Shanghai’s decadent nightlife dates back to the 1930s and has become a modern and dynamic party en masse. As the world’s fastest growing city, Shanghai nightlife is fast paced and has many hot spots, clubs, and pubs to party the night away. The Bund is an absolute must stroll for visitors along its promenade. At night, sparkling colored lights are everywhere along the fast-moving Huangpu River, the landmark buildings on the West bank, and the ultramodern skyscrapers on the East bank. An evening cruise on the Huangpu River is a great way to see the city.

Hengshan Road and Xin Tian Di also offer a variety of nightclubs, discos, and bars at a more relaxing pace. For art lovers wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of these spots, the Grand Theater and Oriental Art Center are must-visit places.

Shanghai is really in a class all its own with its rich history and modern world conveniences. It is one of the world’s great cities and a must visit for any world traveler.

How to Enjoy Tokyo Without Going Broke

Tokyo1

It won’t be the bustling metropolitan that will be the first thing that will get to you in Japan, it will be the politeness of it’s people. They take more care of respecting their visitors than any other culture in the world and if for no other reason, you should visit Tokyo to learn a lesson in good manners.

But all that aside, Tokyo is a bustling metropolis center with so many different travel tastes to offer that I could spend months there and never feel like I have exhausted all the secrets of the capital city. From street markets to beautiful gardens breaking up the concrete jungle, it’s a beautiful place to just breath it all in. So take my tips for saving a little here and there that can make a budget trip feel more like a luxury holiday—it’s easy and won’t feel like skimping!  

Tokyo3

1. Choose Your Dates With Care

Like any travel hot spot, the time you decide to take your trip is critical and with Tokyo it’s no different and you can save a bundle if you go in the off-season. I personally prefer to travel when it’s off-season anyway because it means getting to take my time visiting the big things and fewer lines to get into the hot spots.

When it comes to Tokyo, spring means cherry blossoms and makes April and May really busy times to be in the city, as well as the end of summer, and around the holidays for Christmas and New Years, so if you want to make a go of it without the huge prices, go on an unassuming week in October, November, February, or March—it’s the best way to see your money stretch a little further.

Tokyo8

2. Take Public Transport

There’s no denying that taking the subway in Tokyo is an adventure all on its own; with many different lines, crazy rush hours, and more, it’s a no-brainer that you have to have your wits about you as you grab the Ginza line at Omote-sando Station.

But the other no-brainer is that there’s no better, or cheaper, way to get around the city, so grab a map and practice your breathing exercises; it might take a few times to get used to the sardine like conditions if you hit morning traffic from Nakano to Shinjuku or from Kawasaki to Shinagawa.The Pasmo Card is the rechargeable version of the Tokyo Subway ticket system, or you can get passes for specific routes all along the way and it’s much cheaper than taking a taxi anywhere, especially in a city sprawl that means you can’t walk everywhere you need to go.  

Tokyo6

3. Eat, Stay, & Play In A Neighborhood

Tokyo is full of picturesque areas and if you’re going to save a couple of dollars here and there, stay in a place outside of Shinjuku or Harajuku, which will be big cosmopolitan areas that will have the highest prices. My favorite place to stay in is Shibuya and travellers benefit from the great nightlife that surrounds the student and young office worker neighborhood. Its got the “Times Square of Tokyo” location and is close to other big areas so it makes grabbing a train ride to the neighboring district is no big deal.

Tokyo

I also suggest to look for alternative ways of sleeping: home shares, hostels, Airbnb, and if you’re travelling solo and want a unique take from a local, couchsurfing. Hotels can be expensive in prominent areas, and the share economies in Tokyo are also helpful for getting a bird’s eye look at the local goodies—hosts are always great resources for good finds and it’s good for the finances as well.

Pro-tip: In Tokyo there are really cool, really cheap ways of travelling if you’re trying to cut on spending and they’re called capsule hotels. With just enough space to sleep, and freebies like personal televisions, spots to lock up your stuff, and shared bathroom facilities, it’s for people who like hostels but are light sleepers and prefer to have their own space. But be warned, it’s not for the claustrophobic! Also, if you book using a Japanese site, you’ll get a better price.  

4. Buy A Local SIM Card

My personal money saving tip for most travel destinations is to let go of your cell provider’s international plan and opt for a local SIM card instead. I have an extensive collection with the tiny tech cards from all over the world to prove it, because not only does it save you money in roaming charges, but you also get cheap rates and great bars because you’re tapping into the local providers. What’s better than that?

The first thing I do when I arrive at the airport (or train station, or bus station) is immediately make my way to a cell phone station to purchase the card. Not only will the cards be cheap here and you can get started being connected immediately, you can have the employees help you install. If you grab it at a convenient store and want to do it yourself though, it’s really easy. Just pop open your phone, put in the card, and viola! If you have any trouble getting your phone to start, you might need to unlock it first, but most phones come already unlocked and you can skip this step.  

And the best part is that using a SIM doesn’t interrupt your regular service, so no need for extra hassle or price hikes—it’s a do-it-yourself that will save you and it’s easy.

5. Use Your Credit Cards

While it’s never a bad idea to have a little cash with you wherever you go, I do think it’s a much better system to travel with cards rather than a wad of cash. The charge per transaction from your bank or credit provider is going to be anywhere from 3%-5%, which is going to be a lot cheaper than the price of commission at a exchange center. Not only will exchange places totally rip you off (and doing it at home with your bank requires a lot of planning) but many credit cards offer reward programs for flights, meals, hotels, and more, when you use them abroad so you can get cashback on coupon deals for the next time you travel while you’re abroad.

Also, it’s a great way to keep track of your expenses and doesn’t require that you save all of your receipts. All it takes is one call to your credit card company to make sure they don’t put a hold on your account (I usually authorize a region, just in case I’ll decide on a day trip around) to get started.

Tokyo7

6. Be Judicious With Your Souvenirs

I’m already one to be totally against the bad practices of tourist traps that sell Bangladesh made goods in Paris (like shot glasses and desktop Eiffel Towers), but it will save you a lot of money if you make some smart choices. There are some really great buys, like Kokeshi dolls, that will make you want to throw down the yens.

First, I’m a big fan of Ink Cards and Postagram, two apps that change your photographs into beautiful postcards that can be sent internationally right from your phone, as well as Social Print Studio’s square magnets that make great souvenirs that mean you aren’t carrying around presents in your limited space.

My other souvenir tip is to get small things that represent Japan but won’t be found in the shops—chopsticks, packets of ramen noodles, and stamped subway tickets are great little trinkets that can save big in the long run but also have a personal touch of Tokyo.  

7. Eat Street

Sushi in Tokyo is beyond amazing, and if you’re a lover of the American or European Japanese sushi, let me tell you something: you know nothing. In Japan, there’s no spicy mayo on anything, just fresh fish, sticky rice, and perfect ingredients all around. And that’s why at least one meal you need to make a stop a verified institution for some great Tokyo cuisine. But this is not a wallet-friendly adventure, and the rest of the time, you should definitely save with cheap eats because not only are they good for the budget but they’re delicious as well.

Tokyo5

Supermarkets, street food stands, convenient store, and even ticket machine restaurants can make for a delicious meal that can counteract the fact you dropped a lot of money at dinner Sukiyabashi Jiro because you watched Jiro Dreams of Sushi on Netflix too many times not to.

Tokyo4

Whether you’re headed for the Harajuku fashion, the Shinjuku vibes or the serene temple gardens, Tokyo is a place that everyone should visit at least once in their lives and with a little smart navigating, it can be a trip that everyone can take as well, no matter the budget. So book your flight and get to packing, Tokyo is calling!

Bon voyage!

This post was written by Claire Lovesti; traveler and chief blogger at www.traveltio.com.

All images via shutterstock