Mountain biking in Thailand is the eco-friendly way to get from one place to another, but the scenery, food, local culture and sheer joy of the ride make it the vacation of a lifetime. Guided tours through several provinces on excellent mountain biking routes let you get close to nature including the wildlife as well as live with the locals and enjoy the breath-taking scenery including mountains, beaches and tropical rain forests.
The Southern Provinces
The mountain areas in the southern part of Thailand include Khao Sok and Cheow Lan Lake. There are waterfalls and national parks as well as ancient Thai villages and a huge lake. Bikers can spend time at the lake to swim, hike, kayak and ride in long-tail boats on the lake to see the local wildlife. There are many birds including hawks and hornbills as well as monkeys, elephants and possibly a tiger.
The biking is on surfaced roads and off road trails through the Khao Sock National Park. Organized tours on mountain bikes are followed by a support vehicle with refreshments and spare parts whenever possible, and when the bikers go off road the vehicle stays within radio contact. Chao Lan Lake with its steep mountain sides and deep caves has floating bungalows where bikers can spend the night.
This trip is full of modern history as well as ancient sites. It takes you to the famous River Kwae Bridge, Kao Poon Cave, Chung Kai Cutting and the Death Railway Museum.
The cave is the first stop with Buddha statues and rock formations inside as well as bats. After a short ride with a spectacular view, bikers pass through a local market to the railway track. You will need to push your bike along the tracks and will go over a bridge where you will see some elephants and through the Chun Kai Cutting. This massive cut was made into the mountain by WWII prisoners of war.
Cycle from one Coast to the Other
Beginning on the shores of the Andaman Sea and traveling to the Gulf of Thailand, the coast to coast route travels along back roads, dirt roads, secondary roads and many single track trails. The terrain is slightly hilly but the ride downhill is well worth the ride up. Tours can take four or five days or up to ten days. Bikers have top guides through the rubber plantations and farm land and are introduced to the local people and their delicious food.
Bikers travel concrete and dirt roads that are mostly flat. There are stops for cold drinks and food. Part of the way is on the old road from Phuket to Krabi called the Hundred Curve Road. It’s a bit challenging and riders can be taken to the top, so they only bike on the downhill side. There is a fascinating cave temple on the way and a creek that flows through a mountain. An interesting temple called Wat Bangriang is high on a mountain.
This trip can be more or less strenuous as bikers choose. Some of the more difficult roads can be avoided and air conditioned rooms are available each night.