Motorbike is the most popular in Southeast Asia, and also the best mean of transport for travelling. On it, you will be free and easily stop for shooting and discovery. Specially, a motorbike will make you become more familiar to locals as that you travel like them.
For the purpose of understanding most authentic corners in Southeast Asia, let try these amazing routes.
Ho Chi Minh trail
A cave on side of Ho Chi Minh trail
Known as the legendary road, Ho Chi Minh trail spreads from the north to the south of Vietnam, the shaped countries and run along the Vietnam’s mountainous border with Laos. This trail used to be the supply line from North Vietnam to South Vietnam during American war. Soldiers, ammunition, weapons, medicine, clothes, rice, food and other essential things were transported by hand, bicycles and trucks over hundred kilometers through highly thick jungles.
Run along the length of Vietnam, this trail offers best pristine and beautiful beaches with white sand and pure water. It meanders around rolling mountains and a lot of slopes that bring riders free feelings. On this odyssey, you will be deep in the atmosphere of Vietnamese countryside. Peaceful villages, simple but cozy houses, lovely children always smile and wave hands whenever seeing strange travelers, all will make you surprise. Find for yourself some taciturn moment when reaching ancient trading towns (Hoi An, Khe Sanh), old imperial citadels (Hue, My Son) and historical sites of American war, then listening to extraordinary stories. Everyone on Vietnam traveling on Ho Chi Minh trail also drops in martyrs’ cemeteries to worship for safe and sound during the journey. You will witness this holy and beautiful custom if being on a Ho Chi Minh trail motorcycling tour. With this adventure, it is possible to reveal most hot-spots in Vietnam such as Ha Noi capital, Mai Chau, Phong Nha – Ke Bang national park, Hue citadel imperial, Hoi An ancient town, holy My Son sanctuary, exotic Central Highland – the land of coffee and elephants, Dalat – the city of thousands of pine trees, and vibrant Saigon.
The dizzy route in Ha Giang
Imposing mountains, colorful ethnic minorities, dizzy routes with numerous slopes and hairpin turns, along with spectacular terrace fields, these are wonderful things you will expect on a motorcycling northern Vietnam trip. Mountainous North is the most majestic region in Vietnam, which is the home of hospitable people. They are willing to invite remote guests to enjoy a cozy meal with their family.
Although everywhere is mountains and forests, scenery in northern Vietnam is diverse in a private way. Road to Mai Chau are set off by limestone mountains and powerful Ma river. Mai Chau is a highly peaceful area with lush rice fields, gentle streams and slow bamboo water wheels. Scenic tea plantations are the remarkable point of Moc Chau plateau in Son La. If you ride here on spring, a pure white sky of plum blossoms will unfold before your eyes; and in November, it will be poetic white mustard flower fields. Going further up to north, the ride is more spectacular with meandering roads. In Dien Bien, the adventure becomes really impressive as passing over Pha Din (means Heaven-Earth) in the altitude of 1000m above sea level, which is the frontier between heaven and earth according to the local legend. On spring, northwestern Vietnam is embellished with forests of peach blossoms, white and red orchid flowers that makes the scenery extremely radiant and splendid, especially in Son La and Dien Bien. Sapa has the reputation of stunning rice terraces, cool climate and colorful minority groups. Famous in recent time, Ha Giang is praise for its dramatic roads, towering and colossal rock mountains, and the untouched traditional life. Let expect for interesting stories concerning revolutionary historical relics in Cao Bang. Reaching Ba Kan, you can drop in and acquire an amazing boat trip or a kayaking tour on Ba Be lake, so-called as “another Halong bay”.
Encounter elephant on a Lao motorcycling route
Landlocked Laos, fortressed by mountains and dissected by the mighty Mekong river, is best to be free on roads. Its gripping routes twist sinuously over jungles, rice paddies and karst. Beyond its principle cities – Vientiane, Luang Prabang and Savannakhet – four-fifths of the population live off the land. The country is still thickly carpeted in forests that harbors tigers and leopards. To best explore this mysterious world, let be on a motorbike and drive around the country.
This Laos adventure tour can commence from Champasak province, get a short stop to admire vigorous Khone Phapheng waterfall, the greatest cascade along Mekong river. The journey continue by boat to Don Khon island. Don Khon, Don Det and Don Khong are three largest islands of Si Phan Don riverine archipelago on Mekong river. As the name means “4000 islands”, Si Phan Don has numerous islands, half of which are submerged on the flood season. Si Phan Done comprises two main waterfalls: Khone Phapheng and Somphamith. This area still maintains the first railway in Laos bypassing Khone Phapheng fall and permitted vessels. That is Don Det – Don Khon narrow gauge railway, built by the French for freight and passenger transport. On Mekong river, you will have some rare chances to see Irrawaddy, the highly endangered species. When your wheels are still on territory of Champasak, remember to visit Wat Phou, a ruined Khmer-Hindu temple complex and a World Heritage Site.
Keep on heading to Pakse, you can visit Tad Phasuam waterfall. The next destination is Savannakhet, where you can stop to take a stroll at local markets. Riding further to the north, motorcyclists will reach Thakhek of Khammouane province, a nice area for exploring exotic caves: Tham Pha and Konglor. The Buddha cave Tham Pha contains 229 Buddha statues over 450 years old, while the karst cave Konglor is cited as one of Southeast Asia’s Wonder, and the most spectacular cave in Laos. Taking a simple drive to Pakxan then subsequently, the odyssey will end in the languid capital Vientiane.
Given that dusk comes around 6 pm, try to travel early if you do not want to collide with an errant water buffalo. Also many Lao roads lack bike lights, and dogs have a suicidal leaning to sleep in the centre of the road.
Eventually, affordable satellite navigation technology is actually needy on this adventure. Thanks to Don Duvall taking 10 years to map every corner of the country, the possibility of getting lost in jungles is now nearly impossible.