Six Cycling Routes in Asia With the Most Stunning Views

Six Cycling Routes in Asia With the Most Stunning Views

Gorgeous views of a country are best enjoyed while on two wheels. Take a look at these scenic cycling routes in Asia.

Why sit inside a stuffy old bus when you can be out and about on two wheels and in the sunshine? Cycling has become a popular way of touring a country, and avid cyclists appreciate the freedom they have to get off the beaten track and also the ability to stop anytime to appreciate amazing views.
For all you cyclists out there, we’ve compiled a list of cycling routes in Asia that will make your jaw drop with the stunning views they offer. There is a cycling route for everyone, whether you are an absolute beginner or a seasoned cyclist.

1. The Sun Moon Lake, Taiwan

Image Credits: Mark Kao
The Sun Moon lake has captured many a traveller’s heart with its crystal clear waters and the best way to enjoy its beauty is to go biking along the circumference of the lake. With cycling being an activity that has gained a following in recent years, those looking to cycle around the Sun Moon Lake can now rent bicycles from the Shuishe guest centre.

Image Credits: pang yu liu
Cyclists should also take a moment to admire the forests surrounding the Sun Moon Lake. With signboards along the biking route showing the different plants that can be found in the forests, cyclists can learn to appreciate the rich ecological diversity of the forests around the Sun Moon Lake. If you are cycling in the summer after dark, you can also admire fireflies while cycling!

2. Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Image Credits: Christian Junker – AHKGAP
Have you heard others complaining that one day is not enough to explore the gigantic Angkor Wat temple complex? Well, why not explore the Angkor Wat Complex by bike then? If you’re staying in Siem Reap, you can cycle eight kilometres on a fairly easy trail to Angkor Wat. Although you will still have to be selective about the temples that you are visiting if you only have a day, having two wheels will allow you to visit more temples in the complex. You might even find the time to visit some of the lesser known temples in the Angkor Wat complex like Ta Keo. Also, bike rentals in Siem Reap cost a mere USD 1 to USD 2 per day, which is much cheaper than renting a tuk-tuk.

3. Shimanami Kaido, Japan

Image Credits: peaceful-jp-scenery
The Shimanami Kaido connects Japan’s main island of Honshu to the island of Shikoku and it is the only land connection between Honshu and Shikoku that allows cyclists to make the journey on bike. The bicycle route along the Shinami Kaido is well marked and maintained, making cycling on the Shimanami Kaido fairly easy. Additionally, rental terminals for bicycles are also available at both ends of the Shimanami Kaido so it is convenient for any potential cyclists to get their hands on a bicycle. Choose the cheaper rental option as there are more terminals along the Shimanami Kaido for you to return your bikes at should you get tired and decide to take a bus for the rest of the way.

Image Credits: Kzaral
The panoramic views of the ocean that this route has to offer are amazing and will allow you to truly appreciate the azure waters of the open ocean. An added bonus is the breeze, which will cool you down as you cycle along the Shimanami Kaido. And when you are cycling along the islands, you can admire views of the verdant bamboo forests and orange groves on the islands.
All potential cyclists should note that you will have to pay a small toll (which will come to a total of about 500 JPY) to cycle across the bridges of the Shimanami Kaido.
Also read: 10 Mountains to Climb in Malaysia With the Most Incredible Views

4. Ilju Road, Korea

Jeju Island is one of the most bike friendly cities in Asia, thanks to the well-developed cycling infrastructure. With many routes all around the island, cyclists will be left spoilt for choice.

Image Credits:
Can’t decide which route to pick? Then go for cycling along the Ilju Road. The Ilju road is Jeju Island’s oldest coastal road and this route will provide stunning views of the coastline.
The Ilju road is a very safe cycling route as there are very few cars on the road. The only thing that cyclists have to watch out for is the piles of produce that the farmers of Jeju leave out to dry on the roads.

Image Credits: Wilson Loo
You can also make a few detours to examine natural wonders close to the Ilju Road such as the Jusangjeolli Cliff.
When you want to venture closer to the water, be sure to take a look at the Haenyeo at work. The haenyeo are freedivers who make money from catching valuable seafood like abalone.

5. National Highway 1, Vietnam

Image Credits: Loi Nguyen Duc
National Highway 1 in Vietnam, which is 2300km long, connects Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. This highway is also one of the most popular scenic cycling routes in Asia. The highway has a wide shoulder to accommodate cyclists as cycling is a popular way of commuting in Vietnam. As such, National Highway 1 is quite safe for cyclists even when the traffic is heavy.

Even from the highway, cyclists can get a variety of amazing views. Enjoy the view of lush green paddy fields, mountains and even the azure sea as you cycle on National Highway 1. Along the way between Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, spend some time in cities such as Danang, Hoi An and Hue.
Should your time be limited, opt to cycle the southern half of Highway 1 instead of the entire highway as the southern half of Highway 1 is the more scenic half.
Also read: 15 Best Family Adventures in Europe

6. Qinghai Lake, China

Image Credits: Rudy R
The Qinghai Lake is situated at the mind-boggling altitude of 3000 metres above sea level. This makes the biking route around Qinghai Lake one of the more difficult routes on this list, as cyclists might have to deal with the effects of high altitude. That said, the biking route itself is smooth as the roads are well maintained for the yearly “Tour de Qinghai Lake” biking competition.

Image Credits: Linglong Tan
Enjoy the awe-inspiring scenery of mountains in the distance, vast open fields and the still, blue waters of Qinghai Lake. With few people around, you will get a sense of calm from being completely isolated from the modern world while cycling around the Qinghai Lake.

Image Credits: Cloudywind
Do you enjoy bird watching? Then you have to make a detour and visit Bird Island, which is home to many different species of birds. Come between March and June and you will get the opportunity to see thousands of birds nesting or making a migratory stop.
I hope you enjoyed this list of the best scenic cycling routes in Asia! Which cycling routes are you keen to try out? Tell us about it in the comments below.

About Author

Yi Shao
Yi Shao

Yi Shao is constantly on the lookout for new adventures, which had led her from the mountains in Salzberg to the bustling night markets of Taiwan. While she is currently in Singapore finishing up her university education, she still seeks out the lesser known places in her hometown before she embarks on her next big adventure.


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