Back in February, our Programme Manager for cycling, James Adkin, flew out to Thailand to cycle the route of our new Southern Thailand by Bike tour. He was hosted by two local Tour Leaders and a member of our team on the ground in Thailand.
“You can’t go wrong with Thailand,” says James. “Great value, exotic, friendly, safe and relaxing. It’s just such an easy country to travel around. Nearly 27 million people visited in 2013, but fortunately the majority of those stick to the beaches of Phuket so it is easy enough to get away from the masses.”
So what is it that makes Thailand ideal for cycling? James gives us his top five reasons:
1) Real Thailand
Very few visitors to Thailand travel the overland route from Bangkok south, let alone by bike, so it felt like a genuine glimpse of life in Thailand.
2) Easy Rider
Our route completely avoided the main roads and the coastal roads we cycled were in perfect condition, not a pothole in sight and very quiet. In fact most of the route was a cycle path in the hard shoulder.
3) Pad Thai plus
With so many dishes to choose from, Thailand is foodie heaven and it was interesting to see (and taste!) how the food varies across the country. Most evenings we’d visit the local night market and flit from stall to stall trying a variety of delicious snacks. Tasty, healthy, great variety and great value.
4) Sunshine and scenery
I didn’t see a single cloud in Thailand. While it was hot, the breeze while cycling helped keep us cool and we stopped regularly to take on liquids and sit in the shade. The scenery was constantly changing as we cycled past vast plains of salt pans (the photo below is of the locals harvesting the salt), alongside pristine beaches, through pineapple plantations, on rolling roads through rubber tree plantations and amid the dramatic karst scenery of Sam Roi Yod National Park.
5) Make it what you want
Our nine-day Southern Thailand by Bike is deliberately kept short so you can have an exotic short break or extend your stay and choose from lots of other stuff that you can do in Thailand - hilltribe treks, jungle canopy zip-lining, culture vulture through ancient kingdoms or flop on a beach. I renewed my PADI certificate and enjoyed a four day live-aboard diving trip to the Similan Islands to see Whale Sharks up close over bright coral reefs.
James travelled on Southern Thailand by Bike.