There’s nothing like having the freedom to explore a location on your own, and finding hidden gems in the nooks and crannies of the unbeaten paths rarely visited by tourists or tour buses. It would be best if you had your own mode of transport. A car is too expensive and motorbike is too dangerous. But you can always rent a bike – even on a tight budget. From the city of Bangkok to outside cities and national parks, these are the best places to cycle in Thailand.
This may sound crazy, but there are some green spots in Bangkok’s concrete jungle with a few decent cycling routes. Bang Kachao, located roughly 10 kilometers from Bangkok, has great cycling paths that weave through small villages with traditional wooden homes on stilts. Additionally, Rot Fai Park, not far from the famous Chatuchak Market, also has a tree-lined 3-kilometer track.
Not far from Bangkok is an artificial island called Ko Kret. The place is is filled with greenery and local sights, from temples to stilted homes, so there’s plenty to explore. You can even stop by one of the riverside restaurants for a bit of a nibble and drink. And, if you’re there on a weekend, make sure you check out their colorful weekend market.
Around 70 kilometers north of Bangkok lies the ancient kingdom of Ayutthaya, sacked by the Burmese in 1767. Although most of the structures were destroyed by the fire, you can still find the remains of the age-old temples as well as the restored palace. Filled with trees and accompanied by the sound of birds, you can have chilled time cycling around the flat roads of Ayutthaya while exploring its ancient past. If you’re a hardcore cyclist, you’ll also get a kick out of cycling from Bangkok to Ayutthaya.
The first kingdom of Siam – the cradle of Thai culture – Sukhothai was established in 1238 during the Golden Age of Thailand. Filled with the fine architecture of this period, exploring the Old City on a bicycle would allow you to move from one ruin to another in the vast Sukhothai Historical Park. Another possibility is taking the 7-kilometer route from the park to Old Sukhothai. With flat roads and rural landscapes, this will surely be an easy ride.
KHAO YAI NATIONAL PARK
Not far from Bangkok is Khao Yai National Park’s well-marked bike trails that will take you through forests and grasslands. Just make sure you watch out for the wild animals roaming! A popular trail outlined by banana trees and coconut palms leads to the Heo Naraok Falls.
Inside the wall is a charming city filled with temples and upbeat cafes. Aside from the flat inner city, you can continue your exploration of the north by riding all the way to the top of Doi Suthep, a national park with a famous Buddhist temple on its peak. Slightly challenging, cycling to its peak, which is 1,676 meters from the ground, can be your challenging cardiovascular workout for the day.
DOI INTHANON TO MAE CHAM
Just outside Chiang Mai is the impressive Doi Inthanon National Park. With a height of 2,565 meters, riding to the peak of Doi Itananon is a huge feat. A good reward after such an exhausting bike ride would be a refreshing dip in the Mae Klang Waterfalls. From Doi Inthanon, you can head to Mae Cham, a hidden valley with 7 temples and stunning landscapes of rice fields and rivers. Take quick breaks and have a nice dip in the hot springs or waterfalls in the area – Hot or cold? Your choice.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVOURITE BIKE TRAIL IN THAILAND?
And, here are our favorite places to cycle in Thailand. Check out outdoor apps like Wikiloc or ViewRanger to find more trails to follow. If you are an avid cyclist, do let us know about your experience cycling around Thailand by commenting below.