Thailand is one of the best Southeast Asia countries for cycle touring. Thanks to the thriving tourism industry, the accommodation is cheap and abundant and you can easily find modern conveniences. Plus, who doesn’t like Thai food? Even though some places are a bit touristy, Thailand has a lot to offer.
Road condition: wide shoulder, smooth surface. We never encountered any bad road in Thailand. But the garbage on the roadside was a constant turn-off.
Culture: Thai people are very laid back. Northern Thai are more reserved compared to the extremely out-going southerners. Their proficiency in English provides us more opportunities to get to know the locals. Also, there are many expats here to make us less of a novelty item.
Terrain: mountainous up north, and it gets flat around Bangkok and flatter all the way down to the coasts.
Grocery shopping: 7/11s are everywhere. There is no need to stock up and toll extra weight around.
Accommodation: price from 200 Baht to 500 Baht. The rooms are clean and almost always come with wi-fi. Budget hotels in southern Thailand usually have cold shower and fans only. It takes a while to get used to the cold shower, but it is essential to stay cool in a fan room. Most likely you will find very cheap sex motels in touristy towns, and it is common to find complimentary condoms in most hotels too.
Food: our first choice was always bagged food from local markets. Freshly cooked during the day, they are very tasty and always come with a great variety . It usually costs 20 Baht per bag and you can get a good meal for two under 100 Baht.
Nakhon Phanom to Crazy Horse Buttress, Mae On – 958km
Crazy Horse Buttress in Mae On District was our first rock climbing destination in Thailand. The cycling journey from Nakhon Phanom to Mae On took us through some very mountainous roads in northern Thailand, but it was very rewarding.
- Stunning views of the colorful forests;
- Cooler weather in the northern mountains, the temperature was around teens in the morning during the winter;
- Less touristy than the south.
Chiang Mai to Satun, via Krabi – 1,751km
Krabi was the second rock climbing destination for us in Thailand, and it was a perfect tourist destination for my parents to join us for a vacation.
From Chiang Mai, riding towards the south was much easier since the terrain flats out. With the mountains behind our back, the first sight of turquoise ocean in Hua Hin marked the new stage of the journey.
- Riding along the picturesque Thailand coastline;
- Riding through Bangkok in rush hour traffic – drivers were exceptionally patient and courteous;
- Visiting Khao Sok National Park;
- Delicious Phad Thai everywhere.