Our bicycles experiment great adventures in Asian transports. We wanted to tell you a little bit about our multi-modal experiences 🙂
The cost of the train in Thailand is 100 baht (equivalent to 3 euros) per bicycle regardless of the journey.
An hour before the train departure, we have to check our bikes at the baggage counter.
The bicycles are then loaded into the specific car at the end of the train. The teams on board in charge of baggage management at each station must therefore be trusted. Bikes cannot be attached because they sometimes have to be moved when loading new packages.
In Malaysia, Cambodia, and Laos, we did not take the train because these countries unfortunately have (almost) no railways or they have been under renovation for several years.
Fun story: For our night train to Bangkok, we arrived 2 hours before departure, then waited another 1 hour due to a technical problem. When we got on the train, we were told “full full” and someone showed a phone on which Google translation displayed “bicycle later?” There was no question of separating us from our bicycles, so after a few short minutes of talks, we took a look in the luggage car and saw space available between a few packages and 2 motorbikes.
Let’s go! We put the bicycles in the train, and quickly look for our place so as not to delay the departure of the train any longer.
Hell yeah, our faithful destrier are with us! This overbooking of luggage was weird…
Boat / ferry
To cross rivers, we sometimes use small boats to avoid bridges that are often unsuitable for cyclists and very busy. Those are often accepted for 5 to 10 baht (about 30 euro cents).
In Bangkok or Ayutthaya for example, the crossing with a bicycle is very simple, there are loading ramps and the crossing takes only a few minutes.
We have not transported our bicycles on island ferries, but it is also possible to load them on board for a few euros in order to reach islands off the coast of some countries (Malaysia, Thailand).
In Laos, we went to the island of Don Khone in the middle of the Mekong on a small boat planned for 4/6 people. Our bicycles were boarded without too much difficulty because the boat is empty. And indeed, we pay for the whole boat which is still accessible (5/6).
We have not yet tested the bike buses in Asia, this should happen soon in Laos to reach Vientiane.
Bicycles and saddlebags may seem cumbersome, but we find deposit solutions either for a few hours in hotels, or at local contacts or through knowledge. This allows us to explore other areas in “backpack” for a few days.
Bike-free breaks are beneficial because they allow us to rest our legs and travel in another way, often walking to explore cities or lush jungles.