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Home » Travel Tips

Top Cities to Explore by Bicycle in South East Asia

Submitted by on 04/06/2013 – 5:54 pmNo Comment
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Photo from Flickr by AdamCohn

Photo from Flickr by AdamCohn

Where ever you travel, you’ll meet backpackers who talk about ‘getting off the beaten track’. It sounds ideal, but when your main form of transport are buses, trains or (for the flashpackers amongst you) planes, it can be pretty difficult to get away from the most popular routes. But that doesn’t mean it is impossible, especially if you choose a more independent way to travel… like a bicycle.

There are a plethora of reasons why exploring places on a bike is a good idea: you cut down on your carbon footprint, it’s good exercise, you decide your own schedule and never have to wait hours for a bus that was definitely going to be there at 8am. But talk to anyone you meet who’s cycling and they’ll tell you the same thing- cycling means getting to explore places other travellers might never actually see. Planning a whole trip by bike can be really rewarding (check out Explore Adventure Holidays if you think it’s for you), but it can be equally enjoyable to rent a bicycle for a day or two, to explore the city you’re in. Especially if it’s one of these cities:

Battambang, Cambodia

Extremely flat, with not-too-crazy traffic, Battambang is an amazing place to get on your bike. The largest province in Cambodia, it doesn’t take long to get out of the town centre and discover rice fields, small villages and locals going about their daily business. There are loads of places in town that rent bikes for a dollar or two a day, or you could check out one of the local eco-tour companies who organise tours of the surrounding villages-‎ or‎ are your best bets.

Hoi An, Vietnam

The ‘Venice of South East Asia’, Hoi An Old Town is an idyllic place to explore by bicycle. No cars are allowed in the area around the old market and along the riverside, so cycling is pretty safe compared to many of the busier Vietnamese cities. It’s also only a half hour ride along relatively quiet roads to the beach, where you can laze in hammocks and drink fresh coconuts!

Don Det & Don Khon, Laos

One of those places still sometimes described as ‘off the beaten track’, Don Det is one of the small islands in the middle of the Mekong in Laos. Renting a bicycle is popular with backpackers who make it here, as the path around the island is only about 7km. It’s also worth paying the small fee to cross the old railway bridge from Don Det to Don Khon, which is not only very picturesque, but is the way out to the temple and large waterfall on Don Khon.

Kampot, Cambodia

The sleepy town of Kampot is a great place to mooch around on two wheels, stopping off at any one of the many great cafes if cycling along the river gets too much for you. If you’re feeling a bit more ambitious, head over the old bridge away from the town centre, take a right and keep going up into the hills. A few kilometres out there’s a bathing spot in the river, where you’ll find local kids playing with inner tubes and splashing around, whilst women sell iced coffee and fresh seafood.

Da Lat- Nha Trang, Vietnam

For the more adventurous among you, one of the most stunning routes to cycle is the mountain roads from Da Lat to Nha Trang. Winding, with some steep climbs, this isn’t something to do on a whim. The guys at can arrange good quality bikes, plus a support vehicle that travels with you (in case of any problems), but if you are up to the challenge, the views are unbelievable.

So, what are you waiting for? Get on your bike and get out exploring, whether it’s for a day or two leisurely cycling, or one of the many cycling holidays abroad available all over the world!

Writer Details: Laura is a backpacking freelance writer, blogger and sometimes-telly-maker. Twitter: @iamlaurad Blogs at:



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Blanche has written 758 articles. +Aaron Bradford is the leader, mentor and chief geek of HappyTimeblog. He put together the crack team of writers known by codename “The Firm“. He's a permanent traveller and a lifestyle hacker. Wanna know more? Check out my Bucket List or my About page... I'm here to show you how to live a Life Less Ordinary

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