Having roads with good surfaces and varying terrain, Thailand is an excellent cycling destination for travelers who like to cycle for leisure. Up in the North, which is a training base for the Asian professional cycling team, the trail is winding, while down in the South you can find flatter trails across the countryside.
However, cycling trips require good preparation beforehand. In this comprehensive guide you can learn about why people love cycling in Thailand and how to prepare for a cycling trip.
- Escape bustling Bangkok for a short cycle tour in Bang Kachao.
- Envision ancient Thai society beyond your pedals in Ayyuthaya.
- Visit a coffee plantation and engage with the Hmong people when cycling in the Doi Suthep Mountains.
- Explore the rain forest at the most northern part of Thailand.
- Soak yourself in the fresh water of a secluded waterfall after a half-day cycling trip in Khao Lak.
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Why cycle in Thailand
There is more than one reason why Thailand is considered the best cycling destination in Asia. Find out below:
Great road conditions
Hundreds of kilometers of smooth roads are the main reason why Thailand is perfect for cycling. In northern Thailand, the mountain trails are winding with moderate to steep climbs, such as in the Doi Suthep Mountains, while down in the South, the trails are considerably flatter, with warmer scenes of paddy fields and local people's houses.
Rich landscapes and experiences
Cycling to your next destination or going for a short bike ride undoubtedly is the best way to explore Thailand's nature and culture. It gives you deeper experiences and will let you explore hidden, beautiful spots.
Good availability and information
Good quality yet inexpensive bikes, cycling gears and cycling maps are easy to find. Accommodation is also available along the tracks; we can help to arrange it all for you.
Local maps are recommended, as they include small tracks that may not be included in your international maps. They also have Thai writing on it, to help you when you need the help of local people.
A good cause
Downtown Bangkok is infamous for its floods of mopeds and its traffic jams. By choosing to go on a cycling tour, instead of other means of transportation, you help to reduce pollution, and directly prosper local businesses along the biking track.
Support from Asia Highlights
Our local and knowledgeable tour guides who specialize in cycle tours are ready to provide invaluable support, clear, safe guidance, and insightful introductions to enrich your experience.
How to plan a cycling trip in Thailand
A cycling trip in Thailand requires careful planning beforehand. Here is what you should consider:
Decide on your travel time
You may want to refer to information on the climate in Thailand before planning a cycling trip. Generally, the best time for cycling trips is between November and February, when temperatures are quite low and you don‘’t see much rain. Check our weather information here (link).
However, we are ready to arrange a tailor-made cycling trip for you, whenever you plan to visit Thailand. We will help you choose a suitable route and offer a car for support to ease your trip.
Choose your route
The cycling routes in Thailand range from easy to difficult, suitable for people of all ages and in different physical condition. If you‘’re sufficiently adventurous and well prepared, a winding mountain trail will satisfy you.
If you favor more relaxed, unhurried trips then rural flatlands, mixed with local experiences in Thai villages, will suit you better.
Pack for the trip
Your cycling route is the main consideration for the things you put in your backpack. Bring only what you need most, as it might weigh you down, especially when encountering a hilly trail.
We are ready to provide a car, should you need support in carrying luggage, or for eventualities.
Pay attention when purchasing your travel insurance
Insurance is vital in order to be prepared for the unexpected. It is important to make sure your travel insurance can cover injuries or accidents that may occur during a cycling trip.
Talk to a local expert
There is no better option to get information than from the expert, who is surely a local! Consult us for your desired cycling trip; we are ready to answer your questions regarding destinations, routes and amenities along the way.
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Recommended cycling routes in Thailand
Choosing a cycling route depends on your own personal taste. Here we list six routes that may inspire you:
Bang Kachao - Cycling in Bangkok
Distance: 27 km
Duration: 4 hours
On the map, Bang Kachao is the section near Bangkok where the Chao Phraya River snakes. Six miles away from fast-paced, bustling Bangkok, Bang Kachao with its weaving cycling path is a great choice for a short escape.
Its cycling path is quite narrow and has no path guardrails. It goes along a canal, passes through foliage, swamps, and small villages with wooden homes on stilts.
Ayyuthaya - Cycling Near Bangkok
Distance: 60-80 km
Duration: 3-4 hours.
Ayyuthaya once was a mighty ancient capital city in the 14th century. Now it has not only rich history but is also a geographical adventure. You can envision ancient Thai society while cycling to historical sites, listening to its history and exploring the small town, surrounded by lush vegetation.
The ancient Siamese capital city is quieter than Bangkok. Listen to the profound stories of historical sites, such as at the Pot Phet fortress, the Somdet Phra Srinakarin park and the famous Buddha image at Wat Mahathat, Wat Chai Wataranam and the Reclining Buddha at Ayutthaya historical park
Eagle Route in Chiang Mai
Distance: 25 km
Duration: 3-4 hrs
In Doi Suthep National Park, there are dozens of cycling tracks with different degrees of difficulty that you can choose from, based on your physical condition. The Eagle Route is a great introduction to off-road mountain biking. The trail starts on Doi Pui Mountain, 1600m above sea level.
Although it is a downhill track, but the steep downhill has different kinds of challenging terrains such as dirt road, rocky sections, and sandy patches. The highlight of the trip is the visit to a coffee plantation and the engaging with the locals, the Hmong people, who live and farm on the hillside.
Doi Suthep Mountain Cycling in Chiang Mai
Distance: 6-22 km
The Doi Suthep mountain tracks are not for the fainthearted. There are tougher trails with many climbs. The trails are surrounding the mountain in 100 km, across the Suthep - Pui National Park. The most popular trail is the Bamboo Trail, a 6 km downhill path with fast and furious pace. This path is only recommended if you‘re well prepared.
Enjoy the scenery before pedaling up the tough slopes and downhill to the Peng River. Continue your trip to the ancient tour of the ruins of Wiang Kum Kam. You can always tailor-make your own tour, starting from 6 km up to 22 km across the jungle.
Golden Triangle Cycling in Chiang Rai
Distance: 118 km
Duration: 4 days
The Golden Triangle is where Mekong River and Nam Ruak meet, the border between three countries, Thailand, Burma and Laos. Located in Chiang Rai, the Golden Triangle is the northern-most part of Thailand, mostly covered with thick forests, coffee plantations and villages of the local tribes, with panoramic views of valleys as its background.
The trail is long, but you can take it at your own pace to soak in the tranquil atmosphere of northern Thailand. The highlights of the Golden Triangle cycling trip are the nights, after the tiring trip, when you stay at local homestays; you can interact with the locals and spend the night as they do.
Khao Lak Cycling
Distance: about 15 km
From a pristine beach to a waterfall, cycling in Khao Lak is recommended for tourists of all ages who are interested in easy to moderate trails with few steep uphill parts, while engaging more with nature. The Khao Lak tour starts from Memories Beach, then passes along rain forest trails. Different trees, like coconut, rubber, pine, fruit and palm trees, will accompany you along the way to a temple.
The highlight of the trip is at the next destination, the secluded nameless waterfall. Flip-flops are handy if you want to dip in it. Climbing the waterfall may be refreshing but it can be dangerous as it is very slippery.
Cycling in Thailand with Asia Highlights
Whether you are a hard-core cyclist or just an occasional biker, Thailand has a particular cycling route for you. Let us know if you decide to give Thailand a go with cycling. We will provide you with a plan that will suit your strength, interests, and budget.
Can I bring my own bike? Is it possible to cross borders from Laos on wheels? Find out the answers by a click now: