Slowing life down on a bicycle has long been a vacation option in the States as well as in Europe. Now the pioneer of self-guided cycling vacations, Pure Adventures, says the time is right to consider bicycle vacations exploring culture and countryside in Southeast Asia.
“Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia are very affordable and accessible to cyclists,” says Loren Siekman, founder/owner. “Our knowledgeable bilingual, in-country guides help us arrange bike rentals, unique lodging, ride itineraries and local cultural experiences found nowhere else. All the new tours feel like self-guided trips but include a guide and support vehicle for every ride to enjoy two-wheeled explorations of brand-new worlds.”
Pure Adventures announces hand-crafted cultural immersions that are unique to this company and to the regions explored. Because these are not pre-set group tours, guests determine their own departure dates and are possible with just two participants. The trips can also be customized based on cultural and culinary interests.
Rates include lodging (upgrades available for an additional cost), all breakfasts, some lunches and dinners, luggage transfers from hotel to hotel, bikes and gear, sightseeing tickets, briefings, guides, support vehicles, airport transfers, and more. Inclusions vary by itinerary. They will even help manage tourist visas!
Myanmar – Cycling Discovery of Old Burma: Marco Polo called Myanmar (Burma) “The Golden Land.” From Mandalay to Yangon (Rangoon), guests pedal up to 55 kilometers daily over nine days, along the way discovering the secrets of gold leaf that embellishes statuary and temples and the secrets of gold that are the kindness and generosity of the people of this long-neglected country. Short flights, including by hot air balloon, reveal the temple fields of Old Bagan, the ancient capital of the Burmese empire. Village life comes into focus while pedaling by carts pulled by oxen, or climbing to an extinct volcano, Mt. Popa, home of macaque monkeys and nats (spirits), or exploring a wine making venture and traditional silk weaving techniques of the Inthar people near Lake Inle. The pastoral world fades in Yangon (Rangoon), a bustling city that mixes up the stupas of ancient and modern Burma with British colonial architecture and modern edifices. Here is the country’s holiest shrine, Shwedagon Pagoda, a golden stupa covered with 60 tons of pure gold. This trip, available from October through April, is priced from $1,287 per person, double. See: http://pure-adventures.com/show-tour/173/Myanmar+Cycling+Discovery+of+Old+Burma
Vietnam – Central Coast Highlights Bicycle Tour: In Vietnam, guests biking some 45 kilometers daily over eight days explore south from Hanoi along the Central Coast, passing through cultures spanning more than 1000 years and bisecting daily village life. Travelers may opt to swim and kayak on Halong Bay, where some 1,900 islands and islets create a marine landscape of limestone pillars. At Hue, the former royal capital, monuments, tombs and pagodas reveal a vanished feudal empire. In a region rarely visited by tourists, guests cycle around Hoi An Town, following small paths linking rarely-visited villages, rice fields, shrimp ponds and coconut palms. Privately hosted meals and carefully selected lodgings enhance this carefully textured journey. Available year-round, this trip is priced from $1,972 per person double. See: http://pure-adventures.com/show-tour/171/Vietnam+Central+Coast+Highlights+Bicycle+Tour
Thailand – Chiang Mai Cycling and Culture 7N Tour: Thailand unfolds while biking on average 45 kilometers daily over eight days. In Bangkok guests lodge overlooking the Chao Phraya River and pedal seldom-visited neighborhoods rife with open air markets and tea shops. A flight north to Chiang Mai reveals Doi Saket and the Lost City of Wiang Kum Kam, once the capital of the Lanna Kingdom. Guests have the fun of overnighting at a resort with treehouse accommodations. A morning cycle along Sri Lanna National Park secures a boat ride and transfers into kayaks, and perhaps a swim. This adventure is available from $1,250 per person double. See: http://pure-adventures.com/show-tour/170/Thailand+Chiang+Mai+Cycling+and+Culture+7N+Tour
Cambodia – Siem Reap & Angkor Watt Cycling: This is a five (or three)-day stand-alone tour or it can be combined as an add-on with another cycling vacation in Southeast Asia. Guests bike from 25 to 65 kilometers daily. After touring the temples of Angkor Wat, guests bike into the countryside where children practice English on visitors. One stop is at a floating village; another stop is the Roluos Group, a series of Pre-Angkor temples; and yet another stop is at the ancient ruins of Beng Melea, undiscovered and untouched for centuries and only recently accessible to the public. This tour is available year-round. The per person double rate is from $393. See: http://pure-adventures.com/show-tour/172/Cambodia+Siem+Reap+&+Angkor+Wat+Cycling
Seikman notes that these new biking programs, along with new self-guided walking tours in Japan, round out Pure Adventures’ calendar that now offers bicycle vacations year-round somewhere in the world.
For more information on all of Pure Adventures guided, self-guided and supported, self-directed tours, call: 800-960-2221 or 480-905-1235, Email: [email protected], or visit online: http://pure-adventures.com.