Information for cycle tourists

Italy General info for cyclists
Greece General info for cyclists
Bulgaria General info for cyclists, Svelingrad border info (Greece - Bulgaria)
Romania Introduction, Accomodation, Money, Bike shops, Trains, Weather, Highlights
Ukraine Introduction, Red tape, Weather, Accomodation, Food, Bike shops, Health, Meteor cycling club, Trains and buses, Language
Russia Introduction, Red tape, Trains, Health, Bike shops, Maps, Mobile phones, Post, Money, Language
Route and accomodation: Ural Mountains, Trans-Siberian Highway, Altai, Western Sayan Mountains, Tuva and Kharkassia
Mongolia Introduction, Red tape, Warning, Weather, Language, Food, Water, Navigation, Bike shops, Maps, Other shopping
Detailed route info for the cyclist, where to find food and water
China Introduction, Red tape, Closed areas, Maps, Money, Bike shops, Misc info, Chinese Spring Festival, Bus travel, Mobile phones, Internet, Camping
Route and accomodation: Inner Mongolia, Shanxi, Shaanxi, Sichuan, Yunnan, Guanxi
Laos Introduction, Red tape, Language, Maps, Money, Weather, Route and accomodation info
Thailand Introduction, Red tape, Bike shops, Maps, Accomodation and camping, Mobile phones, Health
Route and accomodation: Nong Khai to Sukhothai, Sukhothai to Kanchanaburi, Kanchanaburi to Hua Hin, Hua Hin to Chumpon, Chumpon to Krabi, Krabi to Satun
Malaysia Introduction, Red tape, Bike shops, Maps, Accomodation and camping, Mobile phones, Language
Penang to the Cameron Highlands, Cameron Highlands to Pekan via Taman Negara, Pekan to Singapore

Click here to dowload a zipped copy of the country info (3Mbyte)

And here are links to Palm Isilo docs for the country information: (Color Isilo Doc) (Grayscale Isilo Doc)

Everything here is just our opinions. Remember that we have only sampled part of each country and didn't speak much of the language. No responsibility accepted!

Country Scenery Road network Road quality Driving standard Map quality Food Camp sites Wild camping Getting water Dogs
Britain Lots of pretty countryside, good mountain scenery in Scotland If you choose the area carefully quiet roads can be found Usually excellent Don't expect great consideration for cyclists Excellent at 250,000:1 scale from the Ordnance Survey Solid and sustaining! Not that many. Can be expensive. Helps to have a map that shows where they are. Can be hard to find a good place due to population density Can be a problem, petrol stations are good. Often roaming loose.
France Whatever you want, from Alpine to rolling fields Excellent, lots of minor roads to avoid the traffic Usually excellent A little agressive, don't stop for Zebra crossings but consideration to cyclists is good Excellent at 100,000:1 or 200,000:1 from the IGN Gorgeous, pity the bread doesn't keep. Every small town has one. Cheap and good Quite easy and safe, no one seems to mind much Many villages have fountains or toilets. Almost always chained or behind gates.
Italy Either steep (beautiful) hills or flat (traffic choked) plains Either steep or traffic choked. Minor roads often potholed Agressive and fast. Moderately good, not very up to date, couldn't find any with contours. Restaurants quite cheap and good if you like pizzas, supermarkets can be expensive. Hard to find, expensive, closed out of season and at the top of big hills. Easy in the hills. Many villages have fountains, also try churches Almost always chained or behind gates
Greece Beautiful coasts, hills, mountains and some flat bits. Surprisingly quiet, even the main roads are OK in winter. Minor roads often potholed Very friendly and usually corteous Fairly good at 250,000:1 Cheaper than UK, most villages have small shops. Not many, most closed out of season Easy in most places, people friendly. Some villages have fountains, petrol stations are good sources. Frequently loose and agressive, especially in the northern mountains.
Bulgaria Ranges of wooded hills with undulating plains between. All but the biggest trunk roads are quiet. All roads potholed, but not usually too bad Usually quite corteous and slow 750,000:1, fairly reliable Very cheap (third the price of the UK) and as cheap to eat out as to buy food Not many except on Black Sea Coast. All closed Oct to May Easy in the hills, hope you're not scared of wolves! Upland villages have fountains, easy to find a cafe. Not much of a problem, perhaps the wolves have eaten them!
Romania Agricultural plains, beautiful mountains. The main roads are fairly busy, minor roads are often just tracks All roads usually bumpy, often badly potholed Altogether too Italian, fast and often close 700,000:1, fairly reliable Fruit and vegetables seemed expensive. Meals out were cheap. Not seen one yet Many roads have ribbon development. Ask to camp in someone's yard Many villages have wells. Few problems
Ukraine Rolling hills, mountains, industrial wastelands All but the biggest trunk roads are reasonably quiet. Roads quite well maintained and surfaced Usually OK unless they are overtaking 500,000:1, very good but no contours Ukrainian fare is sustaining. Cheap too. Not seen one yet Very easy and legal in the forests, or just the trees by the road. Even campfires are OK All villages have wells. Few problems
Russia Everything, desert to alpine. Lots of flat plains. Very variable. Very variable Usually OK unless they are overtaking 1:1,500,000 road atlas. Fairly accurate Cafes sell cheap sustaining food. Village shops are sparse. None Easy and legal, best to hide from the road. Normally easy to find good water. Only a problem in the mountains
Mongolia Alpine mountains, taiga and lots of desert Quiet Not much tarmac Usually OK Mediocre to bad! Cheap and sustaining if you like mutton None Easy and legal. A serious problem in the desert Scary but respond to stones. Ju was bitten.
China Everything Very variable Very variable Excellent, good consideration for cyclists Good atlases exist but are hard to find Wonderful and usually cheap None Difficult, illegal, rarely necessary Easy but always boil it. Only a problem in the mountains. Best stewed.
Laos Lots of tropical forest Quiet away from Vientiane Very variable Mopeds drive too close. Hard to find outside Vientiane Good and fairly cheap None Can be difficult Easy but always boil it No problems
Thailand Paddy fields, planations, forest, karst mountains Most roads are quite busy Usually very good Wide shoulders make it OK Good maps are available Spicy and tasty, small portions Only in National Parks Often possible Easy but always boil it Like to chase
Malaysia Palm oil plantations, jungle, urban. Most roads are busy except in the north. Usually pretty good Too close for comfort Reasonable maps are widely available Excellent range of great food Almost none Often possible Easy, may not need boiling No problems

See also Ju's chart of how to obtain meths (methylated spirits for our Trangia stove) in each country.