Indochina Cycling Guide
Lost to the world for two decades thanks to a combination of warfare and politics, the region encompassing Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia remains one of the most enchanting and enigmatic parts of Asia. With culture and nature in abundance, it's home to some of the world's most welcoming people. The region opened its doors to the world in 1990 and the initial stream of travelers has rapidly turned into a torrent of tourists. However, fear not, it's nowhere near as busy as Thailand just yet. The beauty of cycling through the region is the ease with which you can leave the tourist trail behind. Bicycle tourism is really in its infancy in this corner of the world, ensuring that cyclists are a novelty wherever they go.
Vietnam has the best roads in the region, but that still doesn't mean they are in great shape. The highlands of the northern parts, the red river delta, centre highlands or Mekong delta offer incredible scenery as well as climbs and descents to leave you gasping. The coastline is justly famous with many such beautiful beach and the stretch from Hanoi to Ha Tien is definitely the most popular cycling trip in the region.
In Laos, traffic is thin on the road, which somewhat alleviates the pain of the potholes. The scenery is often dramatic and the gentle people some of the most hospitable on the planet. Luang Prabang is the country's cultural heartland, brimming with historic Wats (temples), while the Bolaven Plateau to the south offers nature (and coffee) fiends the chance to get a fix.
Cambodia is frontier country for cycling tourists, a kingdom rich in history but blighted by brutality in the modern world. The roads are shocking, but the people's smiles more than make up for this - anyone on two wheels will be treated like royalty in the provinces. Angkor is unrivalled: a series of extravagant, inspired monuments dotted through- out the Cambodian jungle. For beach bums the south coast offers fun in the sun after a hard ride to get there.
As more and more visitors delve into this region, touring slowly but surely by bicycle ensures experiences that few others will have the opportunity to savor. Remember that just a some of kilometers off the highways and by ways lie villages that few, if any, Foreigners will ever see. This region offers a cycling adventure that will never be forgotten.