Motorcycle Tours and Adventures in South Asia

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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.

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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

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-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!

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10 Ways To Prep Before A Trip To Malaysia

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Ready to pack your bags to leave? Make sure you take a look at this list of things to be on the lookout for before you book!

Land of food so good you’ll never want to leave, home of beautiful landscapes, Malaysia may well be Southeast Asia’s best kept secret.

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While the hordes may head for Bangkok, give the Thai’s a rest and search out another paradise (a better paradise if you ask me) on one of Malaysia’s exquisite beaches, or perhaps on top of Mount Kinabalu, and everything, everywhere, in between.

But before you head out and pack up, make sure you take heed for getting a couple of things out of your way before touching down—Malaysia, and anywhere you travel, is always better with a little extra prep. Between dodging the rainy season to figuring out currency exchanges, take my tips to heart and you’ll never find yourself down and out (at least not while taking my advice!).

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  1. Pick the right time to go.

There are two monsoon seasons in Malaysia, and you certainly don’t want to plan a rainforest trekking, beach lounging, cocktail drinking vacation whenever they’re scheduled to make landfall. Going by the very special names of Southwest Monsoon and Northeast Monsoon, there’s torrential downpours scheduled from May to September, and then again from November to March, making the times you should head to the country very specific. Better to be prepped and not end up wearing a poncho your whole vacation!

  1. Multiethnicity is a great thing to remember.

Outside of speaking great English (seriously, colonization left it’s mark with excellent English speaking skills), a lot of Malaysians can be anything from Chinese to Indian, and even these multiethnicity vary between East and West Malaysia. It means there’s plenty of great food, excellent cultural experiences, and the rich diversity means there’s a lot of languages floating around all at once. All in all, it’s an incredible place to be every way you look at it.

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  1. It may be surprising, but Malaysia is a Muslim country.

While there are a larger number of Christians in East Malaysia, it’s predominantly Muslim, meaning you’ve got to keep yourself on your toes when it comes to what is proper (and frowned up) in terms of politeness. First, public displays of affection are considered very rude if you’re out in public, so refrain from kissing or holding hands while out in the streets. And while you can wear whatever you want, don’t go out topless gents, it’s just not considered good taste!

Another hint: this affects their drinking habits a bit as well, liquor can be expensive if you can find it. But there is some good news: there’s plenty of beer!

  1. Eat your fill of the cheap, great food.

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Restaurant service can be spotty and underwhelming at best, but it’s not a problem because the food is excellent, in the shop or on the street. From Filipino to Chinese, Indian to Singaporean, the cuisine is built with many different flavors, and the Nasi Lemak, the national dish of Malaysia, is the greatest thing you can probably order. Outside of the fruit—it’s fresh, perfect, and excellent snack to have absolutely whenever.

  1. Stay away from cheap electronics.

You may see vendors selling Blueberrys (not to be confused with Blackberrys) or iPhones that look above board, but what you might be purchasing at those tiny shops can range from cheap knockoffs to stolen phones (if it’s got an iCloud lock on it, definitely stolen) so it’s better to skip these stalls and head for handmade arts and crafts. Handmade baskets or Malaysian batik are better alternatives, so just stick to things that don’t require battery power.

  1. Public transport is the way to go.

Taxis can be astronomically expensive in Malaysia and they don’t have tuk tuks like Thailand, but never fear, the buses are easy to use and will definitely help you get around. Usually the service is pretty quick, the equipment modern, and it’s mostly pretty uncrowded (nothing like Tokyo or Bangkok). The underground in Kuala Lumpur is specifically spectacular, but you can always grab a car if you’re really set on going exactly where you want whenever you want. A word of warning though: Malaysian drivers almost never follow street signs so don’t expect anyone to stop!

  1. Internet is going to be a problem.

While Kuala Lumpur is generally pretty good with internet, the rest of the country is sadly very, very far behind the city so don’t plan on taking your work on vacation with you, it’s just going to work. To get the best service in the country, try working with Maxis. But even with this company (which to me, is the best in the country) you can expect the service to be stronger and faster in West Malaysia than East Malaysia so plan accordingly!

For the intrepid smartphone traveller, here’s a great list of apps that can make or break your trip, so consider checking them out before heading out.

  1. The people are friendly (and honest).

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A lot of touristy places can be a little on the seedy side, in that they are actively trying to dupe tourists out of a couple of bucks whenever they can get the chance to. But in Malaysia, that would definitely not be the norm; as a whole, the people are incredibly polite and very honest. No one but the taxi drivers are likely to overcharge you so you can trust that you’re getting the best deal wherever you go. The people are also really laid back in addition to being friendly, so make sure you’re on island time—it means don’t try to be in a hurry!

  1. Prepare for the bathrooms.

Malaysia has an interesting bathroom situation, sometimes in Kuala Lumpur, and certainly in the rest of the country, and it goes like this: the bathroom amenities can be both squat toilets and Western style toilets, or one or the other. And another note to make is that you can often, like in Europe, pay for access to toilets in malls, high tourist areas, or museums and the like. What does it mean? Not much, except you can practice squatting in your yard with the dog before you leave if it suits you. Only kidding!

  1. Learn the exchange rate.

Malaysia can be an incredibly affordable place to be, but it’s still no reason not to make sure you know exactly how many ringgits equal a dollar. It’s constantly changing so my suggestion to stick to a budget (if that’s what you’re trying to do) is to keep a currency calculator app on your phone that doesn’t require wifi (refer to #7 for further discussion on why). As it is now, it’s a little over 4 ringgit per $1, and you can spend about 10 ringgits on a meal from McDonalds (which is some of the more expensive food available).

If you’re headed to Malaysia for the first time, you’re really in for a treat, and everywhere you turn is another adventure. So don’t waste time on any of these mistakes—take my tips to heart and be prepared early on! It’ll save you a lot of time, money, hassle, and you can get back to what you really want to do—enjoying Malaysia!

Bon voyage!

 

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

All images via shutterstock

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