Lots of us have ridden all around the world but how many have done the Land of Smiles?
The notion of riding in SE Asia is not going to take most of us by surprise. Many of us have already ridden in places like India, Mongolia and Vietnam - and come home with all sorts of stories.
I was recently invited to sample some riding opportunities out of Bangkok with local operation Ride Asia and was pleasantly surprised. How so? Well; the quality of the bikes (predominantly late model BMW GS) was the first thing I noticed and the obvious professionalism of the overall operation.
Run by local entrepreneur, Prasit Aphiphunya, from his base in Bangkok, Khun Prasit offers itineraries not only in his native Thailand, but also Laos, Vietnam, Cambodia and a special one-way program to Lhasa, Tibet.
“We are an official partner of BMW Motorrad and I lead every ride personally to ensure trouble-free experience for our clients,” Khun Prasit tells me, “particularly when it comes to navigating the complexities of visas and border crossings throughout the region.”
Coping with Asian traffic can be a daunting affair, especially in built-up areas in places like India and Vietnam. While my riding experience may not be extensive, I have spent many hours on the roads of South East Asia and Thailand is something of a sanctuary both in terms of road culture and tarmac quality. I swear I heard more horn-honking leaving the taxi rank at Delhi airport than I did in two weeks in Bangkok.
My ‘sampler’ route took me on a three-day loop firstly south to the coast, then northwest to Kanchanaburi and a lap of the Sinakharin Dam National Park where near-deserted roads twist and turn through mountains and valleys before we crossed over by ferry Ban Tukkata, clearly a popular riding route going by the gallery of decals on the metalwork.
Normally riders will meet their guide and mounts well outside the city limits and conclude in the same way. Riding the Bangkok rush hour is not going to be anyone’s highlight and Khun Prasit has cleverly designed his routes to avoid this.
So if you are mulling over your next overseas ride with your restless mates, contact local rep and Ulysses Club member, David Reeves at Ride The World for info on the next departures beginning September 2024. For the particularly enthusiastic, Tibet departures start in May.
Ride The World Motorcycle Tours
M: +61 452 528 958 or +61 404 878 958