(meals key: B = breakfast; L = lunch; D = dinner:; S = snacks)
Day 1: Arrival on Phuket.
Being just five minutes from the international airport, one would expect Nai Yang Beach to be teeming with tourists. Fortunately, the reality is that most tourists pass Nai Yang by in a mad dash to the more hectic commercial beaches of the south.
You will be met on arrival at Phuket International Airport (HKT) and driven to our nearby joining hotel. All that is left for you to do is meet the tour leader and the rest of the group, and enjoy cocktails on the beach, watching the sky's endless palette of red hues from the setting sun, before our first meal together as a group.
Day 2: Depart Phuket to Koh Yao Noi.
After breakfast, we can become accustomed to our rental bicycles, or assemble our own machines and make final adjustments before setting out on the 20 kilometres ride to Bang Rong Pier. From here an hour at sea in a long-tail boat takes us to the relaxed island of Koh Yao Noi.
Our small family-run resort, just 5 kilometres from the pier, offers stunning sea views from the beach restaurant. Those with energy and enthusiasm to explore can join the tour leader and ride a lap of the island in the afternoon. Those still tired from a long flight can relax on the beach or in the guesthouse grounds, or enjoy a massage on the beach.
Cycling: ~30 - 50KMS.
Day 3: Koh Yao Noi to Ao Luk.
A short ride along the island's seafront road takes as to another pier where our long-tail boat awaits. The hour-long voyage, on an azure sea through vistas of stunning karst islands, is in itself a tourist highlight of Thailand.
Back on dry land, we cycle through a stunning green landscape of jagged rocks and cliffs as we head for the small town of Ao Luk, and our cliffside resort for the night.
Day 4: Ao Luk to Ratchaprapha.
From Ao Luk, our ride takes us on rural back roads, a mix of black-top, concrete, and some dirt path to add interest. We are passing through rubber and palm-oil plantations and experiencing a Thailand seldom seen by Western tourists. We should be at our out of town resort in time for a dip in the pool before heading up to Ratchaphrapa Dam where we can enjoy an evening drink as we watch the sunset over the stunning lake with a fairytale-like view of Kho Sok National park.
Day 5: Ratchaprapha to Lam Sai Beach.
A rural road with views of karst cliffs rising through the jungle leads us to the Gulf of Thailand. The tone for the next six nights is set here as we overnight at a quiet beachside guest house right on the sand.
Day 6: Lam Sai Beach to Paknam Lansuan.
Riding beachside, through rubber and palm plantations and past fishing villages, we reach our morning break spot at the foot of a sheer cliff. Here we can visit a meditation cave containing ancient Buddha statues. At the far side of the cavern, an enormous reclining Buddha is illuminated by a shaft of natural light from a hole in the cave's roof.
As we continue our rural ride passing coconut groves, don't de surprised to see trained monkeys riding on sidecars and clambering through trees harvesting coconuts.
Tonight's family-run and characterful poolside accommodation is once again on the beach.
DAY 7: Paknam Lansuan to Thung Wau Laen.
The longest day of the tour again passes through lush green vegetation as make our way north along the Gulf of Thailand on quiet rural roads. We have plenty of beautiful views out to sea as we trace a route around the provincial capital, Chumphon, on a series of byways without even realising the city is there. We should reach our rest-day destination, the seaside village of Thung Wua Lean, in time for a quick dip in the pool and a well-deserved beer at the beachfront bar before dinner.
DAY 8: Thung Wua Laen Rest Day.
Thung Wua Laen is a quiet seaside town 20KMS north of the provincial capital town of Chumphon. A popular spot for Thai families to picnic by the beach on weekends, it is little frequented by Western tourists who prefer to take a ferry to the bustling islands of Samui and Koh Pang Nang. There are plenty of opportunities here for more cycling, swimming, or during the season, kite surfing. For those inclined more towards relaxation, our resort boasts an infinity pool with beautiful views of the beach, which is just meters away. The town offers plenty of dining and relaxation opportunities ranging from traditional Thai seafood to pizza to a beachside blues bar.
DAY 9: Thung Wua Laen to Ban Bang Burd.
Ban Bang Burd is a small fishing village, little visited by foreigners, set at the north end of a long bay where colourful squid boats moor up during the day. The road that leads us there is again light of traffic and offers stunning views across an azure sea and emerald forests.
As we near our poolside resort, the road undulates, and atop one of the rises is a Chinese temple where we can take our final break of the day and visit the enormous statues of a wide selection of deities. The sea view is magnificent, and before leaving a visit the little theme-park with rather graphic depictions of the heaven and hell realms is enlightening, especially for sinners.
Come nightfall we can watch the bright lights of squid boats bob along the horizon as we dine beachside.
DAY 10: Ban Bang Burd to Ban Krut.
Leaving Bang Burd, we wind and undulate on quiet roads through rubber plantations and will have the opportunity to visit another Buddhist meditation cave adorn with countless Buddha images.
Our final break of the day is at a beautiful little cove where, with just twenty kilometres of flat beachside riding left, those needing to cool down can take a dip in the briny.
Due to the short distance today, we will reach our resort with plenty of time to unwind and relax. The struggle is, deciding whether to swim in the resort's pool or nip across the road and enjoy a swim in the sea.
Day 11: Ban Krut to Prachuap Khiri Khan.
Our final full day of cycling is a fascinating mix of smooth tarmac, hard-packed dirt trails, and concrete lanes as the route winds to and from the coast making its way south through coconut groves, palm oil plantations and a national park.
Again, with just sixty kilometres to cover we should arrive in time for a final splash on the sea and beachside sundowners.
DAY 12: Prachuap Khiri Khan to Bangkok.
Following a leisurely breakfast, we will transfer by minibus back to Bangkok. We should reach our hotel by early afternoon allowing time to explore the local neighbourhood before our final diner together.
Cycling: 0 KMS.
DAY 13: Finish - Transfer to airport.
The tour officially finishes this morning. For those who are flying out today, we will provide transport to Bangkoks International Airports. If you wish to stay on for a few extra days sightseeing in Thailand's capital, we will be happy to help with arranging extra nights at our hotel.
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