Thailand Bespoke. QQ22/2 cycling holidays banner image

Thailand Bespoke. QQ22/2

Coastal Southern Thailand. Phuket to Bangkok.

If you are looking to see the Thailand your friends visit on holiday, if you want the same experience as 99% of Westerners in Thailand, then this cycling holiday is not for you. If however, you are looking to see a Thailand that is still the land of smiles, where Thai people are friendly and interested in why you are travelling through their country, a Thailand of fishermen and farmers and small seaside towns revolving around the laid-back local people, then it is difficult to think of a better way to see the country than cycling south Thailand.

If you wish to truly experience Thailand then this tour could well be for you.

At a Glance


Total Days: 13

Cycling Days: 10

Difficulty: 5/10

Daily Average: 70km

Off-Road: 5%

Max. Alt.: 300m


2022: 20 Mar - 01 Apr: $2500.00


Overview

The design brief for this tour was to keep it light and fun. An evening or pre-breakfast swim, relaxing on the beach plugged into an iPod, or simply enjoying the late afternoon sun with an ice-cold beer and good company is as much a part of the character of this tour as the cycling.

Once we leave Bangkok most nights are spent within a stone's throw of a beach, sometimes right on the sand. Those overnight stops that are not beachside are chosen for their stunning location.

The roads we ride are in the main part quiet and generally well surfaced. We worked hard to plot a route that avoids the main highway and as a result, we have some wonderful winding trails, sometimes tarmac, sometimes concrete, and sometimes hard-packed dirt running through banana plantations and coconut groves. 

The route is as flat as any two-week cycling tour could be, although there are of course some climbs and on a couple of days, there are rolling undulations.

Accommodation is always air-conditioned with en-suite bathrooms in guest-houses and hotels picked for their location and character.

 

This was my second tour with Painted Roads and I was certainly not disappointed. Having come to expect a real focus on delighting the customer, Walks and his crew went out of their way to ensure our every desire was catered for. From the pre-tour communications to the on-tour briefings and support by David and the local guide Nat, nothing was left to chance, and we could just immerse ourselves in the local culture and scenery while riding. While this tour is long and hot, there were plenty of stops for refreshments and the cold beer at the end of the day made the whole ride worth it. I would definitely recommend this tour to anyone who enjoys good company, good food and accommodation and of course some great cycling. Well done David Walker. See you on another tour soon

David Dowling on Thailand Bespoke. QQ22/2

 

Highlights

Bangkok’s charming Samsen neighbourhood, sunset over the fairytale-like view at Ratchaprahpa Dam, the tranquil island of Koh Yao Noi, and Phuket’s lovely Nai Yang Beach. But above and beyond all a series of coastal roads tracks trails and beaches, Thai cuisine, and the ever-friendly people of Thailand away from the tourist trail.

 

Included in this tour

All accommodation, English speaking Thai guide and tour leader,  support vehicle (1 or 2 depending on group size), meals on cycling days, snacks during cycling days, drinking water whilst cycling, ferries to and from Koh Yao Noi.

As always with PaintedRoads, this tour will be accompanied by David

 

he tour was everything the brochure said, possibly even better. The tour leader and his assistant were always available for any assistance, giving answers to any queries one might have. The support vehicles and drivers were also very helpful, nothing was a trouble. Would definitely recommend this tour

Angela Rayner on Thailand Bespoke. QQ22/2

 

Joining instructions

Phuket International Airport (Code: HKT) is five minutes from our joining hotel close to the beach. You will be met by a driver at the airport and driven to our hotel where your tour leader will meet you. If you are arriving on another day or are not flying in please let us know so that we can help with arrangements. Full joining instructions will be given during the week before the tour begins. Typically though the group will meet the tour leader in the hotel lobby early evening (between 5 and 6) for a briefing before heading out for dinner.

 

Difficulty

As two weeks cycling holidays go cycling south Thailand is fairly easy. The route is to a large extent flat, although there are one or two days with undulations. It should be noted that there are three days with a distance of between 90 and 110 KMS, so it is not a ride for the complete novice.

 

Absolutely bloody marvellous. To have the pleasure to meet such wonderful people, to visit places some people only dream about, to enjoy the commradery which evolves during the tour is something I will never forget. The expertise shown by the tour guide and his staff was exceptional. At no time did I have concerns. A trip I would have no hesitation in recommending. Thank you David for giving me a wonderful experience and memories I shall never forget

Eric Lay on Thailand Bespoke. QQ22/2

 

Bicycle advice

At PaintedRoads we hold firmly to the opinion that using your own bike, the bike on which you feel at home and comfortable is the finest way to enjoy a cycling adventure.

Most kinds of bicycle, except light-weight racing bikes, are suitable for this tour: touring bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids or cyclocross bikes are all fine. Road conditions vary from asphalt to gravel and some hard-packed dirt tracks. Tyres from 35mm in width upwards will be fine but we recommend 35mm on 700c, 40mm on 650b/27.5, and 2” on 26” wheels as a minimum.

South-East Asia is generally a warm place so the ability to carry one or two water bottles is essential (either on your bike or in a backpack). Our back-up vehicle carries water and tools although for those competent with tools bringing your pump, puncture kit, and multi took is recommended as it would speed up repairs and minor adjustments. If bringing your own bike please bring along a few spare spokes that fit your wheels (please note that different wheels have different size spokes). If your bike has disk brakes or hub gears please bring any components that you feel may be necessary. We carry some spares for our hire bikes but we cannot guarantee that we will have any tubes other than 26” car type valves. Tyres and tubes other than 26” can be difficult to come by in many parts of the world so please make sure you have spares. If in doubt please ask at your local bike shop. A means of carrying your camera, sunblock etc is also useful – either an on-bike bag, handlebar or saddlebag for example or a lightweight day-pack.

ESSENTIAL! Please be sure that your bicycle is in perfect condition before you leave home. Again, if in doubt please consult your local bike shop.

 

If I can think of a negative I will write again.. Bloody fine tour.

Mike Albrecht on Thailand Bespoke. QQ22/2

 

Rental Bicycles

 

Rental Bikes: If you wish to hire a bicycle we can arrange for the hire of good quality cycles from our in-country agent. Typically these bikes are mountain bikes, often Trek 3 series or similar. Please request a hire bike at the time of booking. Payment for hire bikes can be made with the balance of the tour payment or in cash on arrival.

Rental Bicycle Recommendation. Although our hire bikes come equipped with a saddle if you have a saddle you use and are happy with it is strongly recommended that you use it on tour. If you use SPD type shoes please bring your own matching pedals. We are happy to fit these for you. You may also like to bring bar ends if you use them at home.

Print Itinerary

(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.

Cycling: 0KMS.

Meals:   D

 

Day 2: 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.

Meals:    BLDS

 

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. 

Cycling: 50KMS.

Meals:    BLDS

 

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.

Cycling: 75KMS.

Meals:    BLDS

 

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. 

 

Cycling: 100KMS.

Meals:    BLDS

 

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.

Cycling: 105KMS.

Meals:    BLDS

 

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.

Cycling: 110KMS.

Meals:    BLDS

 

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.

Cycling: 0KMS.

Meals:    B

 

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.

Cycling: 70KMS.

Meals:   BLDS

 

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.

Cycling: 60KMS

Meals:   BLDS

 

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.

Cycling: 60KMS

Meals:    BLDS

 

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.

Meals:   BLDS

 

DAY 13: Finish

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.

Meals: B

 

 

 

 

Key

Markers below are clickable as are the markers on the map itself.

    Check trip dates and availablility below. Click the Book This Date button to go ahead and make a booking, alternatively you can make a no-obligation request for us to keep you informed about the status of a trip or changes to a trip by clicking the Register Interest button against a date.

    £ Pound Sterling Payment Option

    Our prices are all in US dollars but we can offer you the option of paying in GBP (£) based on the exchange rate at the time of booking. You can choose on the booking form, adjusted prices will be shown there.

    Dates Price Availability

    2022: 20 Mar - 01 Apr

    $2800.00
    **Early bird: $2500.00
    *Single Suppl.: $400.00

    Full

    Bicycle Hire

    Rental bicycles are available for this tour at a price of US$250.

    *Single Supplement.

    The prices quoted above are for a twin room share basis. If you are travelling alone you will be paired up with another lone traveler of the same gender to share with. Single room occupancy can be arranged, the single supplement rate shown is per person.

    ** Early Bird Discount.

    Book with a deposit four or more months prior to the tour running to secure your place at this discount price.

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