Touring Thailand

Cycle-touring, Expeditions, Adventures, Major cycle routes NOT LeJoG (see other special board)
kimcycle
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Touring Thailand

Postby kimcycle » 6 Jan 2017, 11:53pm

My friend and I are planning a trip to Thailand at the end of this year hoping to cycle from Bangkok to the south islands. Any advice would be great as it is our first time doing a long tour.

Also, as it is only the two of us, we hoped to try and find others who want to do the same and was wondering what the best/safe way is to find fellow travellers before we leave.
Thanks :)

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Heltor Chasca
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby Heltor Chasca » 7 Jan 2017, 8:22am

Great trip. I've backpacked the area and loved it. I would hook up with bicycle tourists when you are over there. Travelling in groups has many disadvantages so I would leave yourself as much flexibility to 'duck out' as possible. You are more likely to enjoy the many nationalities of people traveling by bike too.

Also: keep your bikes out of the water and salty spray on the longtail crossings! What an adventure.

simonhill
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby simonhill » 7 Jan 2017, 11:13am

I've cycled in Thailand tens of times and think that overall it is one of the best places in the world to cycle. Its an excellent place for your first trip to far flung lands and you should have a great time.

My last trip was a month ago where I was warming up after a long and chilly trip to Japan.

I am happy to answer any questions you may have, but it is easier to answer specific questions rather than tell me alls. Also, I am happy to chat on the phone as that is often easier than lots of typing. No rush, plenty of time before you go.

Having said that my first piece of advice is choose your airline carefully. I always use Emirates as their luggage allowance and bike policy are excellent.

I also agree that 2 people is plenty, I usually travel on my own.

khain
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby khain » 7 Jan 2017, 12:30pm

What's the best time to go?

simonhill
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby simonhill » 7 Jan 2017, 1:17pm

Warning: This is a generalisation, for more detail look at detailed weather sites eg wunderground or accuweather.

In the South, the high season starts in December, but this is still on the cusp of the wet season. I was in S Thai early Dec this year and after a few good days I had days of torrential rain. It was so bad that the train track was flooded and my train back to Bangkok was cancelled. Generally I have found it OK in Dec, this year was particularly bad.

The best time is probably Jan and Feb when it is hot and dry, although early Jan will be tourist busy. March is also OK, but its starting to warm up a bit, but not as much as in the North. The Peninsula South (nearby coasts) generally has a more equitable temperature than the inland north.

If going to the North, you can usually go anytime after early October up till end of March (best Jan or Feb). By April it is getting very hot and then the rains come. Some parts of the north can be smoggy, dusty, etc in Feb and March due to dry season and crop burning. I'v never had a problem, but it can be problematical, particularly near big towns like Chiang Mai.

Much after May anywhere in Thailand will be hot and it will be the wet season, which is cyclable but not recommended , floods, high humidity, tourist areas closed, etc.

Incidentally, when they cancelled my train due to floods, I booked a plane. It was a cheap budget flight, but they INCLUDE baggage and one bike for free. Eat your heart out Easyjet!

khain
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby khain » 7 Jan 2017, 3:54pm

Thanks for the info. I'm looking for somewhere to go this summer so Thailand is probably not the best place.

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Sweep
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby Sweep » 8 Jan 2017, 1:18pm

For anyone interested (maybe no longer the OP) part 2 of a 3 part series on BBC2 tonight - will I assume be on iplayer and maybe also part 1.
Sweep

simonhill
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby simonhill » 9 Jan 2017, 6:09pm

Sweep wrote:For anyone interested (maybe no longer the OP).


Good call Sweep, i should have looked more closely at the OP, posted at 11:53 pm. What I call a PPP (post pub post).

I have recorded the first of those Thailand programs and watched the second one last night. Very good.

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Sweep
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby Sweep » 10 Jan 2017, 8:30am

simonhill wrote:
Sweep wrote:For anyone interested (maybe no longer the OP).


Goomd call Sweep, i should have looked more closely at the OP, posted at 11:53 pm. What I call a PPP (post pub post).

I have recorded the first of those Thailand programs and watched the second one last night. Very good.

No probs at all simon - your posts are very interesting and thanks for the encouragement to watch the progs - good recommendation from someone who knows the area - i often mean to watch iplayer stuff but let it go.
Sweep

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SimonCelsa
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby SimonCelsa » 12 Jan 2017, 11:56am

Could anyone with recent experience of touring Thailand advise on the availability of spares for a bike running 700c wheels i.e tubes, tyres, rims & spokes. Obviously if I flew my 700c bike out there for a jolly I would ensure the wheels were in A1 condition on departing UK. However if I were to trash a rim (for example) could I obtain a spare locally. I would carry a few spare spokes & a couple of tubes but would not fancy lugging around spare tyres/rims on the offchance of a failure.

I would try and google this information for myself but am now back at sea and our internet is pretty damn slow. Anyway, look forward to any brief advice,

All the best, Simon

simonhill
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby simonhill » 12 Jan 2017, 1:39pm

You can certainly get 700 stuff in Thailand. Not in every small town, but certainly in the bigger ones.

Cycling is becoming very popular in Thailand and although many on road riders use high end MTBs there are also plenty of road bikes.

In Dec I needed a bike box in Trang, a town in S Thai. I found 3 bike shops within 100 metres of each other and another 2 just round the corner. All were selling high end (for Thailand) road bikes (carbon frames, etc).

If flying into Bangkok, there are some top shops to fix any baggage handling damage. ProBike is the number one, but more expensive than some others.

Generally 26 is more common but worry not.

bikepacker
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby bikepacker » 12 Jan 2017, 3:37pm

Trang is a great place to find bike bits (and spectacles), it is one of my favourite cities in Thailand. If anyone is intending to tour around this area with limited time, the overnight sleeper train from Bangkok if a good means of getting there. Yes bikes are carried on the train.
There is your way. There is my way. But there is no "the way".

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SimonCelsa
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby SimonCelsa » 12 Jan 2017, 7:57pm

Thanks for the advice,

All the best, Simon

simonhill
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Re: Touring Thailand

Postby simonhill » 16 Jan 2017, 4:52pm

If anyone is thinking of heading to Southern Thailand at the moment it is worth checking out the current flood situation. Extremely heavy un-seasonal rain is still causing bad flooding in the south.