Best Motorcycle Destinations In Asia
With the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Indian Ocean to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the east and Europe to the west – The world’s largest continent boasts an incredible geography that ranges from the rainforests of the Malay Peninsula to the highest peaks of the Himalayas.
And as diverse as this continent is, so are its regions for touring. Be it a laid-back cruise along the coast of Kerala or an extreme Himalayan motorcycle expedition, you will find everything you can possibly think of on this amazing continent. For here is always something new to discover.
So, based on your preferred riding style, we have come up with some of the best destinations in Asia that you can pick for an incredible motorcycle tour. Let’s check them out.
10 Best Motorcycle Destinations In Asia
Khardung La, Himalayas
The first one in our list is undoubtedly the most extreme and the most adventurous destination in Asia. Listed amongst the highest motorable roads in the world, Khardung La Pass (Elevation 17,582 feet), serves as a gateway between the Ladakh region and the valleys of Nubra and Shyok which lie in the Karakoram Mountains of the Great Himalayas.
This entire Himalayan region features spectacular barren landscapes and ancient monasteries reminiscent of Tibet.
It is indeed a completely different world, where the untainted wilderness and age-old traditions are entwined. The life is more relaxed as compared to the other parts of the world and the hospitality extended by the locals is truly amazing.
And while you may get swept off by the beauty of this region, make no mistake: the ride is not for the faint hearted. From tight hairpin bends to deep river gorges, a ride to this pass will definitely test your skills.
In addition to the extreme terrain, altitude sickness makes this expedition even more challenging.
However, compared to the other Himalayan regions occupied by China or Pakistan, the Khardung La region of Ladakh (India) is quite easy to travel.
And we guarantee that you will meet a lot of like-minded riders, as this region is supposedly home to many adventure enthusiasts (Fact: Ladakh welcomes thousands of motorcyclists every year).
With panoramic vistas, white desert, blue skies and lakes in all shades of blue, surrounded by the snow-capped pinnacles of the Himalayas – there is nothing more spectacular than the Khardung La!
And besides the Khardung La, there are about ten more high mountain passes in and around the Ladakh region that you can admire and ride through if you choose to embark on one of our guided Ladakh motorcycle tours.
Hải Vân Pass, Vietnam
We can only second the words of former Top Gear host, Jeremy Clarkson, as he states “Hải Vân Pass is a deserted ribbon of perfection – one of the best coast roads in the world.” (Click to watch the video).
Hải Vân Pass, or the Great Ocean Road of Vietnam, is a 21km long mountain pass along the National Route #1 of Vietnam. At 1,627 feet above sea level, we agree it is not particularly high, but those who venture through the pass on a motorcycle are rewarded with a breathtaking view of the Annamite Mountain range and the sandy beaches of the South China Sea.
In addition, from the highest point, there is a panoramic view spanning across the ocean, towards Đà Nẵng and the Son Tra Peninsula.
Above all, this pass serves as a climatic divide between the subtropical north and tropical south of Vietnam!
And since 2005, when the tunnel was put into operation, most public transport as well as four-wheeled vehicles stopped using this pass. Thus, making the pass wonderfully quiet and perfect for motorcycle touring.
The route through the pass winds along the coast over the mountains, and offers fantastic vistas all along the way. But do keep in mind that there is often cloudy at the top of the pass, which is why the pass is also referred as “Ocean Cloud Pass”. So, it is advisable to check the weather forecast in advance before planning to ride here.
Strategically, this pass is of great importance for Vietnam. But for motorcycle enthusiasts, this pass is all about breathtaking landscapes!
Chiang Mai, Thailand
When one thinks of Asia, the first place that comes to mind is Bangkok. Which is understandable, of course, as Bangkok is known for its cosmopolitan flair, throbbing nightlife, and stunning architecture, including some of the country’s iconic temples and palaces. However, if you’re looking for an offbeat destination in Thailand or want to experience a different side of this country, Chiang Mai is the region you should definitely explore.
Nestled alongside the Ping River, boasting winding mountainous regions and diverse landscapes, Chiang Mai abounds plenty of scenic vistas and cultural landmarks, including countless religious monuments and historical sites.
Numerous temples steeped in history await your visit in Chiang Mai. Among them, the most famous is Wat Phra That Doi Suthep; a Theravada Buddhist temple which is considered to be the most important temple complex of the north.
But, it’s not just about the city either, for you can experience impressive attractions outside this historic city as well by exploring the nearby hilly and green regions. In fact, the region around Chiang Mai is known for its natural paradise and is home to several national parks, the most famous being Doi Suthep-Pui and Doi Inthanon.
And, owing to the mountains, you can find an amazing diversity in vegetation, abundant oak trees, and countless waterfalls.
Of course, there is much more to experience in this amazing city. And there are plenty of motorcycle rentals in and around the region if you prefer to travel on your own. However, the best way to explore Chiang Mai is to join one of our guided motorcycle tours of Northern Thailand, where you can ride amidst a group of like-minded riders.
Orkhon Valley, Mongolia
There is probably no other place in the world where the words adventure and freedom are as befitting as in Mongolia. Bordered with China on the south and Russia to the north, nowhere else on the planet would you find such a sparsely populated country. On an average, 2 inhabitants live per square kilometer in a land area of about 1.5 million square kilometers!
And what’s more astonishing is that about half of the country’s population lives around the capital, Ulaanbaatar. As for the rest, they are mostly nomads and derive their main income from livestock farming.
It was believed by the Mongols that dominating the Orkhon Valley, which was said to be home to the spirits of the ancestors, gave the ruler the divine powers to rule the world. And this meant that its possession was considered absolutely crucial for any emperor. Consequently, this mountainous region possesses a plethora of fascinating historical monuments and cultural landmarks.
The monuments of Orkhon from the 8th century, the monastery of Tövkhön, the ruins of Karakorum and the Erdene-Zuu Monastery being the most impressive.
In short, this valley is nothing less than a breathtaking natural wonder carved by the magnificent Orkhon River, Mongolia’s longest, which meanders its way through the lowlands of central Mongolia.
And since 1992, around 121,967 ha of grassland along the Orkhon River together with a 61,044-ha of buffer zone have been listed as protected sites by UNESCO.
All in all, this culturally beautiful and geographically scenic region of Mongolia is definitely worth a visit and, in our opinion, should be visited before the landscape loses its originality.
However, keep in mind that Mongolia is quite an unfamiliar destination for many. So, the best way to explore this country is yet again on one of our guided motorcycle tours through Mongolia. Which, allows you to explore this no-man’s land in just 14 days!
Discover the fascination of northern India’s Rajasthan with its diverse culture, marvelous nature and incredible tiger safaris. There is no other place where the colors of India shine so brightly, so vividly and so stunningly as in Rajasthan.
And there is a reason why this is so: Dating back to 5000 years, this region was formerly the main site of the Indus Valley Civilization. Subsequently, Maharajas (Kings) and Royal families ruled several parts of this state, which is why, Rajasthan is home to numerous forts, castles and palaces.
Most of the motorcyclists who travel to Rajasthan usually start their trip from the capital city of Jaipur. Surprisingly, all the houses in this city are colored in pink, a color that symbolizes the warm hospitality of the locals. For this reason, the capital city of Rajasthan is also called “Pink City”.
Besides the capital, Rajasthan has many other jewels that are worth exploring, including the city of Udaipur, Jodhpur, Ajmer, Bikaner, Jaisalmer, as well as 26 national parks and wildlife sanctuaries that cover a total area of 9,395 square kilometers.
In short, stretching from the sand dunes of the west to the forests of the east, you will be awestruck throughout your journey.
And while the Maharajas built magnificent palaces and forts in their respective territories, their heirs did the same by building equally impressive Havelis. These wonderful mansions can be found throughout Rajasthan, most of them transformed into 5- and 7-star hotels by the Indian Government. So, don’t forget to experience the opulent lifestyle of this Indian state once in your life by venturing on a luxurious motorcycle tour of Rajasthan!
Mustang Valley, Nepal
The former kingdom of Lo offers much more than just an arid desert landscape. Nestled on a remote plateau that lies hidden behind the mighty peaks of the Himalayas, a ride through the Mustang region is nothing less than a journey into a different dimension of time.
Considered to be one of the most restricted regions in the world, the upper Mustang Valley stands out like a beautiful green island surrounded by a desolate landscape.
The mountain ranges of Annapurna and Dhaulagiri towering more than 26,000 feet rise over Mustang from both sides. And winding between the peaks of this valley, the Kali Gandaki River, graces this region’s inhabitants with its pure water.
And when you ride over 14,000 feet into this valley, the view opens up to a magnificent expanse of vistas often referred to as “Shangri-La”, which means – a beautiful place far away from the world, like a paradise.
A motorcycle tour through the Mustang region is a unique opportunity to experience genuine Tibetan culture and ancient history. This is because Buddhism is deeply rooted in the lives of the people here. Being Tibetan ethnically, they speak traditional Tibetan, practice Tibetan Buddhism, and still live by the ancient Tibetan beliefs.
Even today, all of their traditions and customs have remained untainted & unaffected by modern influences. And tourists from all over the world are welcomed with an open heart. Some of the 16th century monasteries, including Kag Chode Gumpa, Tsrang and Thubchen, all adorned with beautiful murals and paintings, continue to uphold the ancient traditions.
So, if you have the desire to explore this region of Himalayas, you can do so with us on our 15-day motorcycle tour of Mustang valley!
The picturesque Paro Valley is home to a number of ancient temples and monasteries. And the most spectacular, both in terms of location and significance, is the ride towards the Tiger’s Nest Monastery.
Locals believe that the great Indian Guru Padmasambhava (Guru Rinpoche) flew on the back of a tigress to where the monastery is located today, back in the 8th century. This is why the Tiger’s Nest is considered to be one of the most sacred places in Bhutan.
And while there is no road leading up to it, it is possible to cover half of the distance by motorcycle, while the rest can be done on foot. Nevertheless, any hardships are compensated by beautiful views of the valley and, of course, the monastery.
For those who want to have an authentic insight into the daily life of the locals, there are many accommodations around the valley that welcome tourists in their houses for a small fee. These types of houses are ideal for someone who is easy-going and open-minded & wishes to get a deeper knowledge of Buddhist customs.
In short, Paro Valley boasts a unique culture as well as architecture. There is a lot to see and experience here: From riding through the dense forests to trekking towards the ancient temples and monasteries.
So, what are you waiting for? Be enchanted by the natural beauty of the valley, mingle with the locals and understand why this land is called the “happiest place on earth” – on a motorcycle tour of Bhutan!
Until recently, Myanmar was unrecognized in many of the world’s travel books. Things have changed beginning the new era and you can discover this part of Asia all by yourself!
The charismatic city of Bagan has been given many names over the centuries, such as Arimaddana or “City that Tramples on Enemies”, Tambadipa or “The Land of Copper”, and Tassadessa or “The Parched Land”.
However, none of these names describe the true glory and magnificence of the mighty temple complex. In fact, the rulers of Bagan were considered very religious and associated their dynastic power and influence with their faith in Buddhism.
During a period of peace that lasted about 250 years, nearly 6,000 ornate pagodas were built, more than 2,000 of which have survived to the present day. It is to this magnificence that Bagan has earned the status of being the bridge between heaven and earth.
But apart from architecture, the city is also famous for its lacquer work, giving you the opportunity to visit one of many workshops and learn about the intricate process of making it.
And when the day draws to a close and the sun sets below the horizon, a ride towards one of the coasts will certainly remind you of how beautiful life is when you choose to see it.
Amed is located directly on the east coast of Bali and offers a magnificent view of the vistas right from the saddle. This region is actually constituted by the seven small villages, which are very well known among travelers: Amed, Jemeluk, Bunutan, Lipah, Selang, Banyuning and Aas. With a long coastal road winding along their bays, beaches and hills, these villages are intertwined and integrated as region of Amed.
Inns, cafes, bars, restaurants and diving schools are scattered along the coast around Amed – many overlooking the sea or the majestic Mount Agung volcano.
As a matter of fact, this region is a thousand times more beautiful than it looks in the pictures. And the most brilliant thing about all this is that the road leading from Amed to the easternmost point of Bali is mostly paved right along the coast. This allows you to ride your motorcycle along the sea in many places.
And in between you will witness different hues of nature and the eternally wide sea. Moreover, the traffic here is very low compared to other places in Bali. All the more reason to take a motorcycle tour here!
As per locals, the clock in Amed ticks a bit slower than on the rest of the planet, and that makes it an ideal place to relax and rejuvenate as well. With little to no chaos, excellent accommodations, fine restaurants, and the beautiful beaches – you are in for a treat on this amazing destination.
But for those who would rather get adventurous, the region is quite popular among divers and snorkelers too, which is why you will find many diving schools at reasonable prices.
So, if you want to immerse yourself in the authentic Balinese life and experience the welcoming hospitality of the island, don’t think twice and start packing right away!
Vang Vieng, Laos
Coasts with karst rocks, river of Nam Song winding between rice fields, tones of all shades of green all around, chirping of crickets and the sweet sound of the temple gong. This is the last recommendation we have for you, and probably the wisest choice for anyone in search of a diverse experience ranging from rejuvenation, celebration, and recreation.
The region of Vang Vieng has many places of attractions and you will find incredible beauty on every corner of this town.
There are three Blue Lagoons in total (which are actually named Blue Lagoon 1, 2 and 3), of which the most beautiful Blue Lagoon 1 is the easiest to reach on a motorcycle. The 2nd and 3rd on the other hand are a little further away, but they too impress with their sparkling blue waters and comparatively less visitors.
As a destination, Vang Vieng has a varied history: it was once a secret getaway, then a backpacker’s heaven, which eventually became a great get-together hangout for motorcycle enthusiasts.
One of the first things apart from riding in and around this region you should indulge in is tubing on the Nam Song River. This is a popular pastime that has been practiced for a long time in Southeast Asia.
Besides enjoying the Nam Song River and the Blue Lagoons, you can visit one of the many interesting caves and organic farms if you wish to discover more about the culture and tradition of Laos.
And if you have some time left after exploring the city of Vang Vieng, be sure to ride towards Luang Prabang – a beautiful destination at the confluence of the Mekong and Nam Khan rivers.
The continent of Asia occupies about 30% of the total land area, making it the largest and most populous one, with about 60% of the world’s total population living here.
Which is why you will find everything here: right from the most fascinating temples to beautiful beaches and untainted nature. Every region of this continent fascinates in its very own way.
This list is a collection of some of the most beautiful and interesting destinations in Asia intended to inspire you for your next motorcycle trip. And while we have narrowed down the list to the places that we personally like, feel free to write us back in case you think that there are more places well worthy of this post.
If you enjoyed reading this blog, you will probably love our article on best motorcycle destinations in India. Do take a look.
With this we have come to an end of this post. Have a great time in Asia. Take care 😊
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