Tag Archives: bangkok cycling forum

Deep Southern Thailand- Songkhla to the Tak Bai border (Thailand) into Kota Baru, Malaysia

(once again this map doesn’t show our exact route since google maps can’t be that precise. There were tons of unmarked back roads through this section and they were incredibly enjoyable!)

Distance– 287 kilometers

TOTAL distance of the trip 1,372 kilometers

# of flat tires still only 1 this entire trip (….annnnnd we just jinxed it)

The “deep south” of Thailand is quite a bit different from the areas that we have traveled thus far. For starters it is a more politically charged region. There are a couple of separatist groups that want various degrees of autonomy from the Thai government and law. Over the years this region has seen its share of conflict amongst the Thai authorities and the mostly Muslim population. There have been attacks across the region to create chaos and make it difficult for the Thai authorities to control the region, but these attacks haven’t been targeted at tourists. Still the presence of military tanks and regular police checkpoints gave this area a different vibe than anywhere else we had traveled through in Thailand. In fairness many of these checkpoints were unmanned painted blockades made of old logs.
All of the people that we met along the way were very friendly and very curious about our journey. They were excited to see foreigners traveling to this part of Thailand. Even those who spoke no English were able to express their amusement with our trip. We even got to take part in a couple of photo shoots with women working at our hotels who all  on us wearing our helmets and standing with our bikes  for the full effect.

They're all matching! Mikes photo shoot with the women working at our hotel in Yala.
They’re all matching! Mikes photo shoot with the women working at our hotel in Yala.

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Day 16- June 20, 2015- Songkhla to Sakom

Distance: 49.3 km

Since the real bridge was out we got to use this alternative route instead.
Since the real bridge was out we got to use this alternative route instead.

We woke up this morning to heavy rain storms, which was a great reason to extend our rest day for a few more hours. By the time the storms cleared up it was nearly noon, so we got some delicious sandwiches from a shop as we headed out of town. The ride was unremarkable and uneventful – flat and hot. The sandwiches were the most remarkable thing about this day actually! We knew that we were not going to be able to make it to our intended destination because of the late start, so we started to look for hotels on the side of the highway.
During this ride we started to notice that many of the road signs were now marked with another language in addition to Thai characters and the rough English translation we were now seeing Arabic on many signs.

The welcome sign at Leela Resort- seemed pretty self explanatory
The welcome sign at Leela Resort- seemed pretty self explanatory

We ended up staying at a Muslim resort that was not only welcoming and comfortable but also quite conservative, another reminder that we had entered a new region of Thailand. Our room was discounted because of the Ramadan holiday, which coincidentally started on the day that we started cycling in a Muslim region (more to come on this in Malaysia but suffice it to say that we will be spending ALL of Ramadan cycling in Muslim areas). We shared the empty beach with a lost herd of cows that afternoon as we enjoyed one of our first days on the beach.

Day 17- June 21, 2015- Sakom to Yala

Distance: 83.7 km

One of the first roadside tanks we saw outside of Yala
One of the first roadside tanks we saw outside of Yala

Today we made a game-time decision to change our route and head inland for a bit towards the land-locked province of Yala. Coming off of the large highways we were able to stay on back roads almost the entire day. These roads wound over and around farmlands and past the bases of some beautiful hills. The best part was we didn’t have to share them with any other vehicles for most of the day.
We chose one of the first decent looking hotels when we reachedYala. As we began to do some long-overdue maintenance on the bikes, we came across our first big technical challenge of the trip – one of the spokes on Mike’s rear tires had broken!

Finding the broken spoke in Yala
Finding the broken spoke in Yala

We knew that this was an issue that had to be fixed before going on any further. However that evening as we read the recent news in Yala and learned of explosions that had been going off last month in the town we were a little wary of venturing around the town to fix it.

But as we had said before, these smaller attacks weren’t new to the region, we knew what we were getting into, and across the board our experience in the region had been positive. In general world news tends to focus on the negative and scarier aspects of a region, and those stories end up overshadowing the many bright points of a place and the people who live there. That’s not to say one shouldn’t be wary of these reports, as we obviously were. It is to make a point that if you go into a place with a sound knowledge of the recent events, and the underlying tensions with the understanding that events like these are out of your control and shouldn’t control your actions (and don’t stay in the sketchy areas of the city) you could end up coming out with some really wonderful experiences.

Day 18- June 22, 2015- Yala to Narathiwat

Distance: 79.8

A view of downtown Yala from the hotel room
A view of downtown Yala from the hotel room

We identified some good cycle stores in Yala that would hopefully be able to fix Mike’s broken spoke so that we could get back on the road today. Mike rode Kiri’s bike around town with his wheel looking for cycle shops. He passed by people casually opening up their shops as pickup trucks carrying armed policemen whizzed by. Although most of the cycle shops weren’t open at 9 am, he was able to find one later in the morning – and the mechanic did a great job fixing the spoke! Turns out that absolutely no English is needed to get such a job done, cyclists all over the world are always willing to help out.

Our hotel for the night. When we checked in we were asked how many hours we wanted the room for.
Our hotel for the night. When we checked in we were asked how many hours we wanted the room for.

Once this was fixed we were eager and ready to get on the road so even though it was noon we loaded up the bikes, took some pictures with the excited hotel staff, and cranked out 80 km in the afternoon! The ride was scattered with some gentle hills but was absolutely beautiful, minus the military compound that was directly outside of Narathiwat. For our last night in Thailand we stayed in one of the Thai “24 hour” hotels that was on the outskirts of town – clean and cheap!

Day 19- June 23, 2015- Narathiwat to Kota Bharu

Distance 74.4

Our last breakfast in Thailand was yogurt, peanuts, and a pastry on the side of the road- in honor of Ramadan.
Our last breakfast in Thailand was yogurt, peanuts, and a pastry on the side of the road- in honor of Ramadan.

Our last day in Thailand was filled with mixed emotions. We were sad to leave a place that had been so hospitable, friendly, and even forgiving in the most difficult of situations (rainstorms, broken spokes, etc). Regardless, we were excited to experience a new country. The ride to the border brought us through a series of police checkpoints along a highway and was pretty unremarkable, as we were pretty used to seeing these by now. The border town of Tak Bai seemed pretty interesting and we stopped for our last Thai iced coffee 😦

The border at Tak Bai was not only extremely easy and straightforward, but was also lots of fun! But when you get to take a ferry to cross a border and don’t have to pay anything to enter a country, it’s pretty much guaranteed to be a great experience.

Exiting Thailand for the first part of what we agreed was the easiest border crossing we've done.
Exiting Thailand for the first part of what we agreed was the easiest border crossing we’ve done.
The ferry border crossing that connects Thailand and Malaysia
The ferry border crossing that connects Thailand and Malaysia
Enjoying the ferry ride
Enjoying the ferry ride
The big buddha statue about 10k in from the Thai-Malaysia border
The big buddha statue about 10k in from the Thai-Malaysia border

During our ride to Kota Baru we found ourselves passing more buddhist temples than we had seen in our last three days in Thailand, which we hadn’t really expected since, you know, Malaysia is known for being a pretty highly Muslim country.

Later that evening once we had arrived in the conservative Muslim city of Kota Baru we found ourselves at a night bazaar that, despite the different food, looked suspiciously like the night markets in Thailand. Starving from a long day of cycling where we hadn’t been able to find too much food we bought all the new treats we could find-  murtabak (a malaysian stuffed pancake), fried noodles, blended drinks, grilled fish, stuffed squid- all ours for the buying! But unlike in Thailand, people just seemed to be sitting down and staring at their food. So we settled in and joined them in the countdown to sundown when this Ramadan fast-breaking session could finally begin. No we certainly weren’t in Thailand anymore.

Some Malaysian treats at the Bazaar
Some Malaysian treats at the Bazaar
Counting down the minutes until we can break the fast
Counting down the minutes until we can break the fast

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Bangkok to Bali Week 1: Hua Hin to Surat Thani, Thailand

Week 1- Hua Hin to Surat Thani

Biking along the Thai coast!
Biking along the Thai coast!

TOTAL KILOMETERAGE– 667.4 kilometers (414.7 miles)
Average distance per day– 95.3 km (our shortest day was 50.1 km, the longest day was 128.2km)
TOTAL hours cycling– 30 hours 30 minutes
Average speed– 15 kph (9.3mph)
# of days on the bikes– 7
# of flat tires– 1 (and it was a very slow leak)

Day 1- June 5, 2015- Hua Hin to Dolphin Bay

Breakfast on the beach at Dolphin Bay
Breakfast on the beach at Dolphin Bay

Distance- 50.1 km
2:30pm-6:30pm (3.5 hours of actual riding time)
Average speed- 14.3 km/h

After spending our morning getting our bikes checked out and looking over our routes one more time we still wanted to get started- this meant we rolled out of Hua Hin around 2:30pm. In general, it isn’t a great idea to be riding in the heat of the day in a place where it is around 100 degrees and humid every day. We had been advised to take a nice long break from 11:00am to about 2:30pm every day to avoid the worst parts of the day. As you’ll see, we still haven’t necessarily learned that lesson quite yet.

Outside our bungalow in Dolphin Bay
Outside our bungalow in Dolphin Bay

Despite the heat, we made it it Dolphin Bay relatively quickly. This is more of a touristy area which in this part of the world doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s geared towards western tourists. Many Thai’s travel locally, as well as Korean, Japanese, Chinese, and other Southeast Asian tourists. March through November is considered  “low” season, as the weather ranges from hot and humid to monsoon-like rains. For us this means either discounted prices on hotel rooms or less options for places to stay and eat because so many places are closed. So far that hasn’t really been a struggle. After checking at a few places we ended up at Moddang Resort (all their signs are in Thai but their logo is what really caught our eye- the jolly ant schlepinng the rolly suitcase around). We were the only guests at the resort, but the staff were friendly enough and the air conditioned room is exactly what we needed for a good nights sleep.

Day 2- June 6, 2015- Dolphin Bay to Prachuap Kiri Khan

Same same but different!
Same same but different!

Distance- 68.6 km
9:00am-2:30pm (4 hours 15 minutes of riding time)
Average speed– 16.2 kph

Today we fell back to our trip-leading roots and decided to implement the role of BOD (“biker of the day”). The BOD’s duties include setting the morning alarm, dragging the other person out of bed, remembering to take our malaria medicine, oh and paying for everything that day! Other duties as required. Since there are two of us, we just switch off every day. This should be a great way to balance out the expenses and to make the other person bring you snacks, water, and to find a place to sleep after a long day of biking. We are also going to try and learn a little bit of Thai, so the BOD’s responsibility is to find a word of the day.

Today as we stopped for snacks at noon we realized we were only 20 kilometers away from our destination. While the sun blazed down on us and heat waves radiated off the paved road we made the decision to just keep biking through the hottest part of the day. This led to many many sunburns.

Night Market in Kiri Khan
Night Market in Kiri Khan

We stayed at Maggie’s Homestay- Maggie wasn’t there but an older man whose done a lot of bike touring was. He gave us some tips for things to see around town including a Saturday night market where we filled up on chicken and noodles and fried fish cakes and ice cream! Night markets are everywhere in Thailand and feature some of the greatest street food we have ever had!

Coincidentally we stumbled into town on the same day as a jet skiing tournament. Unfortunately we were too busy napping to watch any of it.

Day 3- June 7, 2015- Prachuap Kiri Khan to Baan Krood

Dusky Langur SELFIE
Dusky Langur SELFIE

Distance– 73.3 km

10:00am-5:30pm (4 hours of actual riding time)

Average speed- 15.2 km/h

In case you haven’t noticed, our daily start time keeps getting later. You might be thinking that by now we would have learned that later starts mean hotter days. Today, however, we had an essential stop to make- we had to visit the dusky langurs at the airforce base outside of Prachuap Kiri Khan. These wide-eyed fuzzy playful hungry monkeys are what you would call “aggressively friendly” especially if you have anything that they think would taste good. One also played with Kiri’s iPhone for longer than expected, resulting in a curious monkey-selfie. Definitely worth the later start time on the road.

The bike shop that fixed Kiri's problem that wasn't even a problem
The bike shop that fixed Kiri’s problem that wasn’t even a problem

Today we learned an important lesson (which we’re sure we will be re-learning over the course of the trip)- any mechanical problems you are having are probably way simpler than you think they are. When Kiri’s rear shifter would no longer shift up she assumed a cable was clogged, or loose, or something was disconnected. After not being able to fix it on her own she just biked for the rest of the afternoon with it stuck in one gear. She was maybe a little cranky about this.

Before we stopped for the night we pulled off at a bike store where the owner (who spoke zero English but definitely knew what he was doing) took apart the changing mechanism on the front of my bike. After puzzling over it for a few minutes he started laughing. It turns out the bike bell I had recently fastened to my handlebar had been getting in the way of the gear shifter. All he had to do was turn the bell a tiny bit, the service was free of charge. The two of us now know a bit more about bike mechanics.

Day 4- June 8,2015- Ban Krood to somewhere outside of Chumpon town

Buddha watching over the bikers
Buddha watching over the bikers

Distance- 128.2 km

6:30am-6:00pm (8 hours of actual riding time)

Average speed- 16.2 km/h

For most of this week we have been following the routes that Chris, the owner of Tour de Thailand, gave to us. These are the routes he uses when he takes clients on trips. The GPS track that he gave us is lined with the resorts they sleep at (far outside our budget), places to stop and eat along the way, and over 100 kilometers of riding per day. His tours can do this because their clients aren’t carrying panniers and they are being supported by a van that can pick them up and drop them off wherever they please. Today we decided to attempt their suggested distance of 128 kilometers. Because we had no support vehicle and were on our fourth day of riding this wasn’t really that easy. That being said it was a beautiful day.The nice part about the routes he gave us was they got us off the highways here and took us through beautiful backroads that are much more beautiful and pleasant than the semi -filled highway. Every day so far we had spent rolling past empty beaches and palm tree forests and massive granite cliffs. And because we were cruising down quiet side roads we were able to ride side by side and make jokes about how our bike shorts make it feel like we’re wearing full diapers- as most mature adults do with their significant other.

DSC04885DSC04872DSC04871One interesting thing about the bigger roads here is that many of them have really good bike lanes and the drivers actually respect these lanes. The infrastructure for cyclists here is pretty impressive. You can count on a tire repair store (which is usually just a shack marked with a big painted tire in front of it) and a coffee or food stand (or a woman selling a bowl of her home made noodle soup) at least every 20 kilometers. The lesson we’ve learned so far is that whenever you really need it a bottle of water, cup of coffee, bowl of noodles, or bed to sleep in will appear for you in Thailand. This has so far made our first long-distance cycling adventure easier and smoother than expected, as we dont need to plan too far in advance.

Day 5- June 9, 2015- outside of Chumpon town to Kai Karnchang

Our private dock for the night
Our private dock for the night

Distance- 77 km

8:00am-3:30pm (5 hours of actual riding time)

Average speed- 15.3 km/h

Today we started out thinking we’d just take it easy. Then we started riding, and our legs and butts weren’t hurting as much as we thought they would so we just kept going. We didn’t know how far we were trying to go or where we would end up looking for a place to sleep. At this point we hadn’t had internet for four days, and were relying on the maps on Mike’s GPS- which shows roads but doesn’t really indicate towns. You kind of just have to guess if a place is a cluster of roads it probably has a guest house/hostel. Today we made an uninformed decision to follow one of these roads as far as it could go to a small fishing port marked on the map that looked like it was in the middle of nowhere. As we rode further and further into this town the road got skinnier and skinnier- the perfect biking width.

The "beautiful place"  in the Gulf of Thailand
The “beautiful place” in the Gulf of Thailand

We stopped at a few places that looked kind of like hotels- they also could have just been really lovely wooden seaport houses. After a few failures (which could have been translation failures- Mike was either asking for “water” or “hotel”) we got to the absolute end of the road. And there we found a woman who had a beautiful room balanced on stilts above the shore with a dock looking out over the sunset. So we went for a short walk around the edge of the port to a place she recommended- the “beautiful place” and watched the sun start to set on some beautiful islands in the Gulf of Thailand. It was an unexpectedly beautiful place we just happened to be lucky enough to stumble upon. Once again, our lack of planning was paying off.

Day 6- June 10, 2015- Kai Karnchang to somewhere north of Tha Chana

Biking into a storm that we never actually hit
Biking into a storm that we never actually hit

Distance- 78.2 km

7:00am- 4:15pm (5 hours 45 minutes of actual riding time)

Average speed- 13.6 km/h

Today was a slow day for many reasons- Kiri was not feeling like moving anywhere fast today. We probably haven’t done an adequate job of emphasizing how bloody hot it is here right now. When you ask any guide or guide book when to visit southern Thailand (or southeast Asia in general) they all tell you NOT between May and July. But here we are, sweating from sun up to sun down, finishing the day with heat rashes and exhaustion from the heat and sun. We have been covering ourselves with sunscreen that gets sweated off immediately, wearing silk black biking sleeves (they look like they would be extremely hot when they get soaked with sweat and the wind is whipping past you they actually cool you down). We’ve also been drinking loads of water and eating tons of snacks! To put this in perspective imagine that feeling you get when you’ve spent the day at the beach- you’re covered in a layer of salt and sweaty grime that you’ve locked in from multiple applications of sunscreen- that’s how we feel pretty much at the end of every day.

One of the small towns we passed through during this first week
One of the small towns we passed through during this first week

We tried to start this day earlier, in anticipation of the long route ahead of us. Going up a bunch of hills to start the day without much energy is a good way for someone to become cranky. We found a mini-supermarket after some of the hills and got our morning energy from a bag of peanuts, stale popcorn, and a cup of noodles.

After the morning of hills the afternoon leveled out a bit, although we faced yet one more challenge. There seemed to be a storm heading directly our way, and we were still some 30 kms from our destination.

Breakfast of cup of noodles and instant coffee at a roadside shop
Breakfast of cup of noodles and instant coffee at a roadside shop

We both wanted to push on until we got there, but we ended up finding a reasonably priced bungalow on the beach and decided that we would finish the remaining 30 km in the morning. The storm never actually rolled our way, but we were both happy that we pulled off to relax for the evening. Turns out that we were the first Americans to visit this resort as well!

Day 7- June 11, 2015- outside Tha Chana to Suratthani

One of the many roadside temples
One of the many roadside temples

Distance- 94.8 km

8:00am- 6:00pm (6 hours of riding time)

Average speed- 15.3 kph

Our one goal today was to get to Surat Thani, a larger city near the coast where we could at the very least rest, do some bike maintenance (Mike’s rear tire had a slow leak), find some wifi, and take and a day off. There also is still the possibility that we can use this city as a jumping off point to get to Koh Samui- an island in the Gulf. And so the miles kept rolling along and before we knew it we were here.

After a few days off we’ll be setting off further south through Thailand. Another ten days should see us at or near the Thai-Malaysia border. But we’ll let you know what we’ve stumbled on in a week.

We're not sure what the story with these is but we have been riding past these coconut collection centers daily!
We’re not sure what the story with these is but we have been riding past these coconut collection centers daily!
Noodle soup with tiny shrimp that we got at a local mamas house
Noodle soup with tiny shrimp that we got at a local mamas house
Artsy fartsy picture at a dock after lunch
Artsy fartsy picture at a dock after lunch
Bike maintenance on our off day
Bike maintenance on our off day
Off the dock in Prachukap Kiri Khan
Off the dock in Prachukap Kiri Khan

How (NOT) to Start a Cycling Trip in Bangkok (hint: go to Hua Hin instead!)

So we’re meeting up in Bangkok- I’m coming from Cambodia, Mike’s coming from Tanzania. The plan is to embark on our first bike trip together- from Bangkok to Bali- 2 months- just us and the bikes. Half of that equation was still missing.

Starting a month before getting to Bangkok I spent HOURS online trying to figure out if this plan was really possible. Could we actually find bikes in Bangkok that would carry us for at least 2 months? And I read many blogs like this one that said “yes, of course” which reinforced my pre-perception of Bangkok being this magical place where you could find everything your heart desires!

Bangkok skyline on the loveliest of days
Bangkok skyline on the loveliest of days

Initially we were looking to buy used bikes because that was much more “in” our price range. To do this we would have to go through Craiglist or one of the many local markets. This was going to be difficult for the following reasons:

  1. I don’t speak Thai
  2. I don’t know my way around Bangkok AT ALL so couldn’t find people on Craigslist even if I tried
  3. The local markets are really hit-or miss. People report finding great deals on there, they also report finding unicycles. Cute one-speeders are the most popular city bikes in Southeast Asia which was not really what we were looking for.
  4. I didn’t have a ton of time to devote to this search

So my last option seemed to be to visit all the bike stores I had found (again, through blog posts like this one) to see if I could find us some new bikes that weren’t outrageously expensive. In three days (in between site-seeing and searching for a bagel) I managed to visit 3 locations:

  1. Probike- located near Lumphini Park- this store mostly offered Trek bikes- all were new and shiny and beautiful. The cheapest hybrid/touring bike was around  $500 but that price went up quickly as you looked at road bikes or mountain bikes. They sold Ortlieb panniers for around $200 for the pair. They also had racks, tools, apparel, etc. They were busy and no one in the store seemed terribly concerned that I was there, and I was terribly overwhelmed so I left.
  2. Just an example of one of the crazy malls in Bangkok that you might have to sift through to find what you're looking for
    Just an example of one of the crazy malls in Bangkok that you might have to sift through to find what you’re looking for

    BikeZone- located next to Amarin Plaza right off the Chitlom BTS stop- this store was actually closed when I visited but I didn’t feel any great desire to return primarily because it didn’t look like they sold bikes there. It did sell cycling accessories but from what I could tell from pressing my nose against the glass peering into the dark store- their prices were comparably high to ProBike. This visit was worth it because there is an AWESOME bagel cafe- the BKK Bagel Bakery– which I highly recommend!

  3. Grasshopper tours- located near the Democracy Monument- this stop was more out of desperation. I remembered reading somewhere that sometimes Grasshopper tours sells their used touring bikes and/or accessories so I stopped in. They weren’t selling anything at the time, and didn’t seem like they ever did. The women working their gave me the name of a local market and that was all I got out of that.

Backup about a month before I even arrived in Bangkok- I had put a message out on a Bangkok Cycling Forum looking for a class or someone to teach me basic bicycle mechanics (I figured it would be important for one of us to have some knowledge of this before we headed off on a two month trip). I had gotten John’s name- the mechanic associated with a company called Tour De Asia– a touring company/bike shop based out of Hua Hin- a beach town that’s a 2.5 hour bus ride south of Bangkok.

After setting up a two-day course with John (which was an amazing decision- it was one-on-one hands-on instruction on everything from changing a tire to identifying and mitigating issues with the front or rear derailleurs to daily preventative upkeep of a bicycle) he offered to set me up with one of his company’s lightly used touring bikes for around $500. Because that price seemed kind of high and I hadn’t even tried looking in Bangkok yet I turned that offer down.

The Hua Hin skyline- just a tiny bit calmer!
The Hua Hin skyline- just a tiny bit calmer!

Fast forward to a few days ago- I have found NOTHING in Bangkok, Mike is getting here in a week, we’re trying to start this trip in a week in a half- I was supposed to find us bikes and panniers and I had found nothing. I am supposed to be learning how to fix this imaginary bike in a few days and I had NOTHING. I asked John again if he has any leads- he connects me to Chris- the owner of Tour De Asia- who offers up some great deals from his shop- which I realize is in Hua Hin. So rather than spend the next two days frantically scouring local markets only to probably end up buying a fancy new bike and fancy new panniers- I jumped on a bus down to Hua Hin- which turned out to be an AMAZING DECISION!

I arrived and called Chris- he came by my hostel and drove me over to the Tour De Asia shop which was filled with almost new Marin bikes. He started talking about his company- they lead tours across Thailand and through other parts of Southeast Asia- they’ve got a ton of experience with cycling in this region- they’ve got routes that get you off the main highways and onto more scenic back roads. They’ve got accommodation recommendations for the whole Thai peninsula as well as the names of bike shops across Thailand. They sell used bikes, used panniers, rear racks, helmets, multitools, hand pumps, cycling jerseys, butt cream, bike locks, etc. All of these “used” items have been “used” once or twice on one of their tours, impeccably maintained by John, and are resold at a great price. He offered me the bike, panniers, rear rack for a great package deal and threw in a free water bottle- all for around $550.

The Marin bike that I ended up buying! She's a beauty!
The Marin bike that I ended up buying! She’s a beauty!

As if all that wasn’t enough- they offered to let me store my bike there while I had to go up to Bangkok to extend my visa and pick up Mike, and also offered to let us keep all of our extra baggage at their shop which is much better than our original plan to leave them at our hostel.

So our current plan is this- once Mike get’s here we will take a bus down to Hua Hin, pick out a bike for him, pick up my bike, and start off on this trip! Easy peasy!

Here are the biggest reasons why you should go to Hua Hin before starting a cycling trip in Thailand- especially one that is going south:

  1. It is NOT  BANGKOK- you don’t want to cycle in Bangkok- it’s a huge city with insane traffic that you don’t want to navigate on a bike. Hua Hin is more laid back, there’s only two huge roads going through it and those are avoidable, and once you get past those you are on to the pretty cycling of Southern Thailand (so I’ve heard).
  2. Tour De Asia is based here! I seriously cannot emphasize enough how wonderful Chris and John were- they were like our trips guardian angels. No one knows cycling around this region better! (Even if for some reason you want to check out your other options- I saw three other bike shops along the main road going through Hua Hin).

Approximately one week until take off!

(Some of those blog posts I was relying on are listed below:)