Asia, the oriental motorbike travel dream
By motorbike to Asia: You think you know something of the adventure, of the famous friendliness of the people, of the magnificent views that await you and your motorbike there? Great. Then you will be overwhelmed by the magic even more unexpectedly.
By Susanne Goertz*
Hardly anything in "the East" is comparable to what we are so familiar with from Western cultures. The traditions, the landscapes, the roads, the food, the diversity of peoples: there is nothing that doesn't give you new sights and insights - and therefore hardly any other continent that offers motorbike travellers so much exoticism and uniqueness.
Let's start with the possibilities for a motorcycle trip right in the East. Here, the enduro-riding motorcyclist's heart rejoices over winding mountain tracks through jungles and rice terraces in Cambodia and Vietnam. By plane, you can be catapulted within a day into this Far Eastern world with its pristine villages and its ubiquitous, overflowing greenery. Off-road motorbikes are available on site, and you don't have to worry about maintenance and service. Instead, you can indulge in the enchanting landscapes, interesting trails, delicious food and Asian friendliness during a two- or three-week motorcycle tour.
Yes, and then Asia opens up the great opportunity to turn from tourist to traveller - if you want, on the really big ride, the motorcycle tour, which can become the tour of a lifetime: along the legendary Silk Road. At the latest when you have passed Turkey - and it alone is worth the trip! - you will become an explorer. The rugged mountain landscapes and almost endless deserts and steppes of Iran are the motorcycle touring country par excellence, especially because of its incredibly helpful and hospitable people. Have you ever smoked a water pipe in Shiraz? Or parked your motorbike in the shadow of a world-famous mosque to have a tea chat with an Iranian trader and his family? Or have you ever cruised along fantastically winding mountain roads in the early morning mist, past fragrant rose gardens?
Oriental cities like Isfahan, Bukhara in Uzbekistan and Kashgar in China breathe millennia of history. In the morning light, buzzing with hundreds of swallows greeting the new day, it is an experience to wander through the original villages and old towns. Life behind thick clay walls awakens, here water is fetched at the well, there cattle are driven through the whole village to the barren mountain pastures. The bazaar opens, cloths are pulled from huge sacks and you breathe in the scent of hundreds of spices. The carpet traders are displaying their most beautiful wares, the precious shimmer of silk makes you marvel. The tea boy has long since loaded his tray with jars and sugar and hurries from one stall to another to supply the merchants with their favourite drink.
Sounds like something out of a storybook? Then don't forget that this is a motorbike trip. A glance to the side reminds you: your two-wheeler is ready to go. Let's visit the world-famous monuments of Asia, many of them on the UNESCO World Heritage List: the Registan Square in Samarkand, the Blue Mosque of Tabriz, the medieval philosophical schools of Bukhara and the wind towers of Yazd - we are on the famous Silk Road! Ancient paths through mountains and along raging rivers let you travel through indescribable landscapes. You have to see it with your own eyes, enjoy it and breathe in the unknown, beguiling scents.