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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Hanoi, a City of Many Colors

I had given a great deal of thought about traveling with my young son to Hanoi, Vietnam. After all, it’s not exactly one of the spots that most people consider when planning a family vacation; however, I knew that getting off the beaten path and exploring some of the wonderful sights and cultural differences that Hanoi has to offer would not only be fun and exciting, but it would also be a wonderful opportunity to open my son’s eyes and give him a first-hand look at how people of an entirely different culture go about their day-to-day life.

Vietnam is an incredible country filled with the contrasts of a people and country scarred by years of war with China, France and the U.S., yet it is still able to present a positive and warm face and openly welcomes visitors from the west. You’ll definitely find a great deal of French influence, especially in the amazing loaves of French style bread available along almost any roadway as well as in the architecture and even coffee.

Hanoi Traffic

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A trip to Hanoi will definitely delight the senses. From the constant noise of the buzzing traffic to the sights and sounds of street vendors selling their wares, flavorful food and the genuine sense of caring the Vietnamese people possess. After settling into our hotel, one of our first adventures was to head out into the street and get a taste of the street food that is known worldwide for being some of the very best.

A traditional bowl of Pho Ga, a chicken soup with noodles, herbs, chicken and jalapenos, was first on our list of must-try specialties. I have to say, calling this “chicken soup” does it an injustice. The complex flavors and exotic aroma are something one needs to experience in order to understand. Top that with the experience of squatting on small plastic stools on the side of the road as motorbikes and bicycles somehow twist and turn in the mass frenzy and you’ve got an experience that is uniquely Vietnam.

Hanoi Food

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After a satisfying bowl of Pho, my next stop in our adventure was to explore the Old Quarter. While there are taxis roaming the streets, the easiest and most Vietnamese way to get from one place to another is by hiring a xo om. This is a driver with a motorbike who is willing to take you to your destination for a very small fee. Simply jump on and you’re in for the ride of your life.

Once making it safely to the Old Quarter, every turn brought us down another narrow road and winding alley way. There was the excitement of brightly colored flowers, toys, silk, jewelry, fruit and just about everything imaginable. The Old Quarter is where you can find everything from household essentials to custom made silk shirts and ao dai (the traditional dress worn by Vietnamese women). The Old Quarter is certainly a destination that every visitor to Hanoi should experience.

Hanoi is situated in the Red River Delta and is a fertile ground where it is common to see rice fields, water buffalo and Vietnamese out working in their traditional dress, including the non la, a conical hat common among workers and often one of the most popular tourist souvenirs.

While seeing the sights of Hanoi and experiencing the wonderful food is certainly something every visitor should embrace, the surrounding countryside is beautiful and is an essential part of understanding the Vietnamese culture.

Of course, a visit to Hanoi wouldn’t be complete without seeing the world-famous water puppets as well as Ho Hoan Kiem Lake, the Turtle Pagoda and Hanoi’s beautiful Opera House. Stroll the streets, take in the beautiful sights and enjoy the warmth and hospitality of people who are more than willing to help.

When we arrived in Hanoi, I didn’t know how I would be able to get by without knowing the language, but I found that even though most of the people spoke only a few words of English, if any at all, it was still possible to communicate by pointing and with gestures. If you can learn a couple of simple phrases, such as hello and thank you, this will go a long way in breaking any barriers. Additionally, if you’re traveling with kids, don’t be surprised if complete strangers approach your child, the Vietnamese love children. I was shocked at the number of people who would touch my son’s head or smile at him and say “lucky”. Yes, most westerners are viewed as privileged and lucky and there is a great deal of poverty throughout Vietnam, but this doesn’t seem to affect the ability of the Vietnamese to enjoy life.
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Depending on the time of year you intend to travel, be sure to plan for the weather. I knew that arriving in June would mean hitting the hottest part of the summer; however, even though we were accustomed to long, hot summers, nothing prepared me for the heat and humidity of a summer’s day in Hanoi. It will be hot. There are stalls and little restaurants that will offer iced beverages, especially the wonderful Vietnamese iced coffee, made with a strong drip coffee and sweetened condensed milk, but refrain from using ice unless you know that it was made from filtered water.

Carry bottled water when you are out sightseeing and wash all produce before eating, especially if you purchase it from a street vendor. If you’re hot and thirsty, be sure to try a refreshing coconut water, a street vendor will simply cut off the top of the coconut and slip in a straw and you’re ready to go. Other refreshing drinks include the juice extracted from sugar cane, there will be vendors pushing little carts with a machine that will extract the juice from the cane. Other vendors will make a marvelous watermelon juice by juicing the whole fruit. Eat like the locals and enjoy the wonderful flavors that make Vietnam so memorable. There’s a lot to see in Hanoi, but some of the best sites will be found by simply sitting at a sidewalk café or strolling aimlessly through the city.

Bio: Natalya Pobedova is a travelling nomad and backpacker from beautiful Brno, Czech Republic. She is 27 and makes a living as a freelance web developer to support her traveling needs. She also runs a budget flight search website for backpackers as a hobby: http://www.travelsiders.com/. She dreams of visiting Brazil and speaks Portuguese fluently. She has visited 14 countries already and most of them are in Europe.

The Amsterdam Series (Part 1) – Beer

Amsterdam is known as a town that likes to have a good time – drink being one of the ways to help in having a good time. With bars open virtually all day, some only open from 2am – 6am, getting a drink is not a problem.

As a beer guy, I’m a fan of Heineken. Although I may be one of the world’s most disloyal beer drinkers (if it’s in a bottle and cold, I’ll try it), I have been drinking Heineken since my late teens (that’s a few years ago). The Heineken Experience (don’t call it the Heineken Museum) makes a worthwhile visit if you are visiting Amsterdam. http://www.heinekenexperience.com/AgeCheck. You walk through the former brewery location and wind your way through an interesting interactive tour. The history of Heineken, the family, the beer and the making of beer. Of course, the best part is drinking the beer – the 2 Heinekens at the end of the tour.

Heineken casts a large shadow in Holland and Amsterdam in particular. Heineken is everywhere, followed by Amstel. In the interest of variety, I stumbled upon a small brewery called “Brouwerij De Prael”. The brewery occupies a building that dates back to 1300. Prael makes you think you are back in the day between the wood interior and the historic brewing methods. Absolutely delicious and authentic. They have 4 different beers to choose from- Johnny (5.7%), Heintje (5.4%), Mary (9.7%) and Willeke (7.5%). They all have a kick for sure but without the harsh strong beer taste. You can take a tour and taste all 4 beers for 10 Euro. Or just sit down and pick one and have a great Dutch meal. Great atmosphere and beer made with traditional methods. Well worth the visit. http://deprael.nl/