Category Archives: Asia

Skedaddle Twaddle about our trips in Asia

Explore vibrant Vietnam on two wheels

Head to the very heart of South East Asia and take a two-wheeled tour of vibrant Vietnam! Our journey takes you from the South to the North on a journey of incredible contrasts, from bustling cities to stunning coastline. En route you’ll encounter…

1. Ho Chi Minh City
Still known locally as Saigon, this is the starting point of your adventure and offers a great introduction to the country – perfect for finding your feet and discovering a bit more about Vietnam’s complex history.
2. DalatPositioned in the foothills of the central highlands and surrounded by farms and tropical scenery, your rides in and out of the town will give you the chance to head off the tourist trail in search of a more rural pace of life.

3. Hoi An
Listed as a UNESCO site, the old town is famed for its traditional vibes and is a delight to behold! We’ve arranged a free day here so you can fully immerse yourself in its atmospheric charms.

4. Hue
Straddling the ‘perfume river’, the former capital of Vietnam is studded with imperial treasures that provide a fascinating insight into its rich, dynastic past. You’ll enjoy many of the highlights on a specially designed city tour…by bike!

5. Hanoi
The final stop on your Vietnam itinerary is one of the country’s most charming cities! Hanoi’s mix of colonial architecture and eclectic energy really has to be seen to be believed. The perfect end to a spellbinding adventure…

Are you ready for an adventure in Vietnam? Click here for further information about our Mountains and Coast adventure.

Customer Story: Discovering Sri Lanka

Located in the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a diverse destination with an amazing range of experiences for such a small island. Whilst we could chat for hours about the beauty of this part of the world, we thought on this occasion we will let our customers do the talking! Here’s a story from Sam Crooks, who recently headed here with us, to give you a flavour of the trip…

‘It was the turn of the New Year in 2017 and as many of us do, I was googling holidays as a way of escaping the January blues. Looking for something a bit different I’d been searching ‘active adventures’ and was surprised to see that The Guardian recommended a company, Skedaddle, that was right under my nose on Newcastle Quayside – how had I not come across this before? It was a sign!

I was soon lost in the trip notes of the cycling adventures, longing after the scenery they describe with my mouth watering at the thought of Asian cuisine but I couldn’t shake some niggling worries – I’m not a cyclist (at least not your typical Sunday ride kind), will I fit in, will I keep up? How many consecutive days in the saddle? I’d also never travelled on my own in this way before.

Running along the quayside one day a friend kindly reminded me of a saying, “it’ll be a good experience or a great story”… The next day I found myself sat with the dashing Mr Andrew Straw in Skedaddle HQ talking sunsets and Sri Lankan cuisine over a free coffee! Andrew set my worries at ease. Despite what people may believe it’s not all about the bike! The bike has a key role but it’s as much about travel – experiencing a country, meeting new people and making great memories (at least that’s what I took away from our chat). Within a few days I was signed up.

Sri Lanka is a country of beauty! The tagline, ‘beaches and backroads’ was exactly what we got – and everything in between. We cycled our way from Chillaw through rice fields, wound our way up some cheeky climbs to the tea plantations, and back downhill through National Parks, sugarcane fields and cinnamon plantations, finishing on the coast in Mirissa.

There are so many highlights from the trip but some of my favourite moments included taking in the views from Sigiriya Rock, having to abandon a day of cycling 10km earlier than planned due to a wild elephant being in the road, randomly meeting a local cycling champ and stopping off for a cup of tea and a savoury do-nut as the weather was building to a cyclone!

Off the bike we saw wild elephants, crocodiles, monkeys and an array of birds during safari, learned about Buddhist philosophy through visiting temples and enjoyed the contrast of city stays and beach huts. Don’t get me started on the plentiful, delicious food; I’ll be here all day!

So Sri Lanka gave a lot but the cherry on the cake was the group members and the guides. Our local guides were just brilliant. Whether on foot, on the bike, playing paparazzi or driving the bus they had our every need catered for. Full of fun, energy and keen to help us learn about and enjoy Sri Lanka we couldn’t have asked for more. The group itself were a font of travelling knowledge and experience, I enjoyed learning of people’s lives and their travelling tales and who knew how creative we would become at getting our cycling kit washed and dried for the next day!

So, if you’re reading this as a first time ‘Skedaddler’ and you have some of the niggles I had, just go for it! You could have an amazing experience too. And if you need any more recommendation or persuasion, I’m now signed up for Swaziland in September!’

Feeling inspired? Lush beaches, awesome scenery and amazing wildlife await you as we check out the ancient temples, tea plantations and lush forests during or cycling adventure in Sri Lanka.

China: 5 Fast Facts

Chopsticks at the ready! With Chinese New Year celebrations about to kick off for another year, we thought we’d take a closer look at this enthralling country and its fascinating customs.

Most of you at some point will have gorged on a lip-smacking Chinese takeaway and been left baffled by the trademark fortune cookie saying at the end of your meal. Some of our favourite ‘wise words’ over the years include, ‘a very attractive person has a message for you’ (oo-aa) as well as ‘a good way to keep healthy, is to eat more Chinese food’ (oh fortune cookie, why can’t you be true?!) Little did we all know that this novel end to our Asian feast was but a cheap rip-off, conjured up on shores far from China (America to be precise) and never to be actually seen or served in a traditional Chinese restaurant. Well, we knew it was wishful thinking to believe that good-looking individual existed anyway!

Casting aside your newfound doubts as to the foundations of one of your favourite take-out options, it’s safe to say China has so much more to offer us than their endless buffet dishes. Oh yes, alongside Babylon, India and Egypt, China is considered one of the four ancient civilisations of the world, according to the scholar Liang Qichao. Whilst we can’t back up this claim outright, this is certainly a land where ancient history still radiates in everyday life. So, for those interested in learning more about the home of chopstick dining, here’s our fast facts to get you up-to-speed with all things Chinese…

New Year Celebrations last for 15 days…
If you thought one night of celebrations was enough, the Chinese put us to shame by spending over two weeks rejoicing this special time of year. For westerners the classic Chinese New Year see’s the streets bursting with noise and colour, and legend has it that this way of celebration was to keep the monster Nian, who would return at this time of year, at bay. With close ties to ancient tradition, many still like to honour their ancestors during this time too.

Red is the national colour of China
Their flag may give this away a little, but red is also considered the countries luckiest colour! From lovely lanterns hanging in the streets to the top colour of choice for Chinese brides (there’s no white frocks here!), you’ll be greeted with a splash of red wherever you go in China. Believed to represent happiness, beauty, success and good fortune, we can see why the streets are literally bursting with this shade.

China has 52 national heritage landscapes…
The UNESCO World Heritage Site has awarded the country many worldwide treasures and comes second only to Italy. Sites of note include the impressive Great Wall of China, Protected Panda sanctuaries and the ethereal peaks and caves of the Bajiaozhai National Park (also explored during our cycling adventure to Guilin and Guangxi). With so many stunning gems to explore, this really is a photographers dream destination.


For the love of tea…
China is one of the biggest tea producers in the world and is considered one of the first countries to start drinking this now classic beverage. Chinese legend has it that Emperor Shennong (said to have lived 5,000 years ago) discovered this pick-me-up when leaves from a tea bush fell into the water his servants had been brewing for him. At first considered a purifying tonic, used for medicinal purposes only, it has since grown into one of the world’s most favoured thirst quenchers.

The Great Firewall of China…
Don’t panic, the iconic Great Wall of China hasn’t gone up in flames! This fantastic pun plays on China’s internet ban on the wests popular digital feeds. Blocked by the government since 2009, travellers here will have to manage without their daily newsfeed updates. Oh well, sounds like a fab reason to really disconnect from your everyday lives and get connected with the people and places that matter on your adventure.

Want to find out more fascinating Chinese facts? What better way to put your new found knowledge to the test than by heading to China for yourself. Our cycling adventure here takes place in Guilin and Guangxi and explores some of the countries most beautiful natural landscapes, including the stunning Li river and the rural communities that call this part of the world their home.