We have compiled a list of a few cycling-friendly countries around India that you can explore with your two-wheeled best friend. Pack your bags, and get ready to explore a new country on your bicycle.
Located on the Southern slopes of Eastern Himalayas, Bhutan offers an ultimate cycling experience to both the off-road and on-road cycling enthusiast. Home to steep, high mountain ranges crisscrossed by a network of swift rivers that form deep valleys, exploring the country on two wheels is sure to be the best way to take in all that this country has to offer.
Depending on your budget and the time you have, you can spend anywhere between a few days to a month, and explore the roads of Bhutan. It is suggested that you arrive at Paro and make your way around from there. Places to visit on your cycling tour include Paro, Thimphu, Punakha, Trongsa, Wangdue, Bumthang and Ura.
Bhutan’s rugged mountains scape offers adventure off-road cycling experiences too which are recommended for experienced and professional off-road cyclists. These trails are sure to give you the rush of adrenaline you’ve been looking for.
Best time to visit: March - May, September - November
Currency: Ngultrum (1Ng = 1INR) Note: Rupees can be used in Bhutan
Air: New Delhi/Kolkata - Paro (Bhutan)
Road: Bagdogra - Phuentsholing (Bhutan - Thimphu (Bhutan) 320 kms
Guwahati - Samdrup Jongkhar (Bhutan) 150 kms
Located in Southeast Asia, and bordered by Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, Cambodia has much to offer to the cycling tourer. Cambodia's landscape is characterised by a low-lying central plain that is surrounded by uplands and low mountains, making it an ideal destination for a relaxed cycling vacation. Places to explore in Cambodia include Phnom Penh, Kampot, Chi Phat, Trapueng Rung, Koh Kong, Sihanouk, Battambang, and Siem Reap.
It could take you a few days to a few weeks to explore the home to the famous Angkor Wat. It is highly recommended that one spends a couple of days exploring Angkor Wat, while on their cycling tour.
Due to the terrain, and the roads in Cambodia, it is suggested that one rides an MTB or a hybrid capable of off-road touring too. This is owing to the fact that some of the roads maybe more rugged and resemble beaten paths.
Best time to visit: September - December, January - February
Currency : Cambodian Riel (1INR = 59.6 KHR)
Air: Siem Reap, Phnom Penh
Road: Shared borders (Thailand, Vietnam and Laos) Note: Permits and Visa maybe required.
Situated between the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean, Indonesia is the world’s largest island country. Home to over thirteen thousand islands, this is one country you do not want to miss when planning an international cycling vacation. With a vast range of terrain, exciting landscapes and breathtaking views, Indonesia has lots to offer to every kind of cyclist out there. Imagine exploring volcano peaks, craters, canyons and beaches on your bicycle.. Quite an adventure, isn’t it?
Places to explore in Indonesia include Java, Bali, Sulawesi, Jakarta, Banten, Riau islands and Sumatra,
Located at the equator, Indonesia is warm year round. The only two climatic seasons that are
experienced here are dry and wet(monsoon).
Best time to visit: April - October (Dry season)
Currency : Indonesian Rupiah (1INR = 195.59IDR)
Air: Bali, Jakarta
Home to the highest mountain peak, Mount Everest, and seven other of the top ten highest peaks in the world, Nepal is a must visit for cycling enthusiasts. This country is not only geographically diverse, but also culturally diverse. We feel the best way to experience and immerse yourself in the diversity this country has to offer is to explore it on two wheels.
Mount Everest is the reason my outdoor enthusiasts, and serious trekkers and climbers visit Nepal. That said, enthusiastic mountain bikers take to the foothills and the lowland areas of The Everest too.
With intense climbing, varied terrain and gorgeous landscapes of mountains, valleys and lakes, Nepal should be a sure list topper when it comes to planning an international cycling holiday.
Places to explore in Nepal include Patan, Lakuri Bhanjyang, Chobar, Champadevi, Kathmandu, Nagarkot, Trisuli Valley, Gorkha, and Pokhara.
Best time to visit: March- May, September- February
Currency : Nepalese Rupee (1INR = 1.60NPR)
Air: Tribhuvan International Airport, East of Kathmandu.
Road: India has 6 points of entry to Nepal via land. Buses also ply from Delhi.
Known as the ‘Teardrop of India’, Sri Lanka is a flamboyant country. Home to ancient cities, breathtaking countrysides, and serene beaches. The spectacular colonial outposts left by the Dutch, British and Portuguese enhance the Sri Lankan experience. With an impressive network of roads and connectivity, Sri Lanka is a must visit for a cycling vacation to remember for a lifetime.
With its varied terrain that boasts of hills and flatlands, Sri Lanka has tons to offer to all types of cyclists.
Whether you decide to spend a couple of weeks or months, this country is sure to make you want to ditch your job and stay on your bicycle forever. If you have the time, a coastal ride, around the circumference of this Island is highly recommended. Places to explore in Sri Lanka include Colombo, Kandy, Galle, Anuradhapura,Jaffna, Negombo,and Dambulla.
Best time to visit:
Coastal Sri Lanka: May - September
Hilly regions: December - March
Currency : Sri Lankan Rupee (1INR = 2.19 LKR)
Air: Colombo Airport
Known for it’s tropical beaches, ancient ruins and ornate temples, Thailand is rich in History and culture. Whether it is the mountainous Northern region, or the relatively flatter and beach filled Southern region, this country has loads to offer every type of cyclist.
Characterized by crystal clear waters, mesmerizing landscapes and gorgeous limestone scenery, the south is any cyclist’s vacation paradise. The Mountainous landscape of Northern Thailand is a perfect mountain biking destination for the mountain bike enthusiast.
Places to explore in Thailand include Bangkok, Pattaya, Phuket, Chiang Mai, Mae Klong Delta, Khao Lak, Ban Nam Khem, Chiang Khong, Hills of Wawee, Isthmus of Kra, and Hua Hin.
Best time to visit: All year round
Currency : Thai Baht (1THB = 1.91INR)
Air: Six international airports
Land: Border crossings at Laos, Malaysia, Burma and Cambodia. (Note: Permits and visa needed)
What are you waiting for? It’s time to start saving and planning out that international holiday you have been meaning to take. These destinations are close to India, and offer a great deal to see, explore and experience. Make this year a year of international travel - for you and your bicycle!