Cycling tours can be an excellent way to soak up some of the scenery and culture of Thailand. And don’t be put off the idea if you think you’re going to need the fitness levels of a Tour de France rider. There are many Thailand cycling tours which can be enjoyed by novice riders and families. Routes are carefully chosen so that riders get to experience the local culture and way of life. The Hua Hin Cycling Explorer tour is an excellent introduction to the delights of cycling on Thailand’s quiet rural back-roads away from the traffic. During the 3-day, 2-night Hua Hin Explorer trip you’ll get to experience floating markets, stunning national parks and glorious sea-views.
Damnoen Saduak Floating Market
Before you start your ride around the Hua Hin area, you will visit the famous Damnoen Saduak Floating Market. Located approximately 100 kilometres south-west of Bangkok, the Floating Market at Damnoen Saduak is a colourful and fun way to start the tour. The canals form the ‘streets’ for the market with vendors selling their produce directly from their boats. If you’ve seen photos of a Thai floating market in magazines or on travel websites, there’s a good chance the photos were taken at Damnoen Saduak which is the biggest and best-known floating market in Thailand. Vendors sell fruit, vegetables and all manner of goods and souvenirs from their boats whilst the walkways on either sides of the canal are lined with small open-sided restaurants and food vendors.
Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram
From Damnoen Saduak Floating Market you’ll enjoy a leisurely longtail boat trip via the canals that criss-cross the area. Arriving at the elegant temple of Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram is where you will start your cycling adventure. This temple has long-established connections with the early kings of the Chakri dynasty. Wat Amphawan Chetiyaram was formerly a royal palace and it is here where King Rama II was born in 1767. Thai visitors to the temple continue to pay their respects at the statue of King Rama II in front of the temple.
A comfortable day’s riding takes you along quiet trails and traffic-free back-roads. Cycling through fruit orchards and plantations provides a gentle introduction to the quiet charm of the Thai countryside.
Kaeng Krachan National Park
The second day of the tour includes a visit to the picturesque national park, Kaeng Krachan. This is the largest national park in Thailand and a premier location for bird-watching and butterfly enthusiasts. Riding the lakeside trails and enjoying the peaceful atmosphere and scenery is the perfect combination for a carefree day of cycling.
Sea Views at Khao Kalok
The final day of your bike tour around Prachuap Khiri Khan province takes you south of Hua Hin to a stretch of coast favoured by locals. Khao Kalok translates as ‘skull mountain’, but the area is far more picturesque than the name implies. This quiet stretch of coast is blessed with a beautiful beach and some excellent seafood restaurants. Riders have the chance to enjoy the sea views and taste the local specialities as you enjoy dinner with views over the Gulf of Thailand.
Bicycles and guides
Thailand cycling tours arranged by TourChoice use the services of experienced and professional local English-speaking guides. The guides are trained in first-aid and are knowledgable about the history, culture and attractions of the region. Being experienced riders themselves, they are also able to handle any minor repairs that may be needed during the ride or arrange replacement bikes if required.
Food and drink
The price of the tours includes all meals, fruit, water and soft drinks. If you have any special dietary requirements, please advise them at the time of booking.
The tour includes stays at two hotels in peaceful locations. The first is at Chotika Riverfront House, a quaint and quiet water-front wooden house with comfortable guest-rooms. The hotel is located in Amphawa in the province of Samut Songkhram, south of Bangkok. The second day of the tour ends close to Kaeng Krachan national park from where cyclists are driven to the peaceful Petchvarin Hotel where you’ll have time to swim, have a massage, take a sauna or simply sit back with a drink and enjoy the landscaped gardens before dinner.
How fit do I need to be?
In terms of difficulty, the Hua Hin Cycling Explorer tour is classed as 2 out of 5. This means it isn’t too difficult and can be enjoyed by people of all ages with a reasonable level of fitness. There are some small hills on the trip, but nothing too strenuous. If riders do feel tired at any stage or in need of a rest, they can jump in the support van which is always on hand and follows the group.