Shimanami Kaido, Japan
ROUTE Starting at Onomichi in Hiroshima Prefecture and ending at Imabari in Ehime Prefecture, the Shimanami Kaido offers a ride that takes you across six islands and seven bridges on the Seto Inland Sea.
SIGHTS If you don’t have the stamina for the full route, there are shorter options that cover the main sights. For instance, the 17km route takes you to Mount Shirataki, famed for its 700 Buddhist statues and striking views. The 40km route involves cycling across the Kurushima-Kaikyo bridge – the world’s longest suspension bridge.
BEST FOR The well-paved routes and varied distances make it ideal for everyone from recreational cyclists to dedicated hobbyists.
RIDE WITH Hiroshima Optional Tours offers guided tours of varying distances, so you can opt for a relaxing cycle or a leg-sapping ride. hiroshimatours.info
Angkor Wat Grand Circuit, Cambodia
ROUTE Escape the crowds on two wheels with this cycle tour that encompasses several of Angkor Wat’s lesser- visited temples.
SIGHTS Explore the ruins of 12th-century Preah Khan, once thought to have been a religious university. Then, check out Neak Pean, a small temple surrounded by a tranquil pond. Ta Som, meanwhile, is the site of a famous doorway that’s covered in tree roots.
BEST FOR While the terrain here is relatively flat, cyclists should be fit and experienced enough to handle the heat and navigate their way in and out of Siem Reap’s chaotic traffic.
RIDE WITH Grasshopper Adventures runs several cycling tours around Angkor Wat. grasshopperadventures.com
Shenzhen Bay Park, China
ROUTE This scenic coastal path takes you from the wetlands of the Hongshulin Coastal Ecological Park (located within Shenzhen Bay Park) to the Sea World area in Shekou, a bustling enclave filled with lots of galleries, restaurants and bars.
SIGHTS The mangrove area of the park is a resting site for close to 100,000 migratory birds – such as egrets and white piano herons – during the winter months from November to March. On the route, you can also pause to admire the views of Hong Kong and Macau across Shenzhen Bay.
BEST FOR Flat and paved all the way, this is for those who don’t want to overexert themselves.
RIDE WITH There are no guided tours available, but you can make use of bike-sharing platforms like Mobike to explore the park on your own. mobike.com
Kathmandu to Nagarkot, Nepal
ROUTE Setting out from the capital, this mountain biking trail involves an arduous ascent to reach the scenic, if often cloud-shrouded, village of Nagarkot.
SIGHTS Once you reach Nagarkot, you’ll be rewarded with a 360-degree view of the snow-capped Himalayas and, weather permitting, a glimpse of Mount Everest. Most visitors aim to get there at the crack of dawn in time to catch the spectacular sunrise over the Kathmandu Valley.
BEST FOR Experienced cyclists familiar with riding at high altitudes on steep, rugged terrain.
ROUTE Start your ride at Punclut (short for Puncak Ciumbuleuit Utara or North Ciumbuleuit Peak), a recreational zone located 7km from Bandung’s city centre. While the cycling track is asphalt, it comes with many sharp turns, climbing steadily uphill toward the town of Lembang.
SIGHTS Stretch your legs at Taman Begonia, a prettily sculpted garden full of colourful blooms. Upon arrival in Lembang, take a tour of the floating market, where you’ll find everything from delicacies to souvenirs, or indulge in some star gazing at the historic Bosscha Observatory.
BEST FOR Novice cyclists with a sense of adventure.
RIDE WITH Happy Sparrow Adventures offers full-support cycling tours in Bandung that include porter service, as well as a professional mechanic throughout the journey. happysparrow.com.sg
This article was originally published in the March 2018 issue of Silkwinds magazine