Season: All year.
Difficulty: Mildly strenuous to strenuous.
Total distance: 340 Kilometers (211 Miles).
Duration: Seven days. If you're fit and fast, it can be done in five days.
Accommodations: Air conditioned guesthouse/hotel each night.
Highlights: Great trails, friendly villages, awesome food, and stunning scenery.
Over two years and countless hours in the making, this route links many wonderful tracks and trails together to make a continuous mountain biking route from the Andaman Sea all the way to the Gulf of Thailand. In other words, you're riding all the way across the Malay Peninsula!
This trip is designed for those who truly want to get 'off the beaten' path. It is suitable for beginners.
Phang Nga Province offers mountain bikers the opportunity to experience the best that rural southern Thailand can offer. Ribbons of trails abound and cross the many rubber and palm plantations along with a blend of secondary growth, scrub, jungle, and charming villages.
It is best to run this cycling route from the east coast to the west coast. You can go to Surat Thani on your own or we can arrange to transfer you. We stay at the Wang Tai Hotel. This is just ten minutes from the official start of the route.
The start of the coast to coast route is at a small island in the main river running through Surat Thani. After that, there is a little bit of mixed dirt and gravel. The next stretch of this day is in a rather marshy area, so off-road tracks are at a minimum.
However, after lunch at a local roadside restaurant in a small village, the second half of the day's ride is on trails and dirt roads. Most of this stretch is in the shade. You will cycle through rubber plantations, past farms and villages and eventually on to a secondary road where we'll end the day.
You will board our support bus and travel back to the Wang Tai Hotel in Surat Thani for the night. There is a really nice riverside restaurant nearby where you will be treated to authentic Thai cuisine. Single track trails Thailand. It's where the local folks eat.
The next day’s cycling starts where you left off on the first day. You will continue on dirt roads and some secondary country roads.
The topography is rolling hills, but still quite easy. There is still a lot of shade.
Eventually, you will come to an area that is mainly single track trails. This is mostly flat and is one of the nicest stretches of dirt cycling on the entire coast to coast route.
After this, you come to a section of country road. This is easy cycling as you course through friendly villages.
There are mini marts in every village. If you get tired or want some snacks or drinks, we will stop.
Lunch is in a small town. There are no foreign visitors in this town. The food is exactly what the locals eat. Do not worry about having to eat spicy food if you are not into that. There are plenty of Thai dishes that are not hot.
After lunch you have a section of flat road. There is a point at which you will turn onto a rural road that is a mixture of concrete, gravel, and dirt. You will eventually return to a more major road for a short section before going on dirt roads again.
The next section of this route is a 3 kilometer gentle climb on a dirt road. It is mostly in the shade. Once at the summit, you have a nice gentle downhill of the approximate same distance as the climb.
You will cross a main road and take secondary roads all the way to a temple. This is the end of this day.
You will be transferred to a lovely family-owned bungalow operation that is just outside of Khao Sok National Park. Dinner is at a riverside restaurant just inside the park.
You will return to the temple to start this day's ride. Today is a fairly short day. By now you will likely appreciate the easy pace and shorter distance.
Starting off, you will ride for quite a ways on dirt roads. There is a bit of pavement in the form of rural roads before you hit some trails.
The highlight of this day for most cyclists is getting to cross a river twice. If the river level is more than waist deep, we will avoid it.
There is an option ride along a minor highway with a nice bike lane or you can have an afternoon to visit places of interest or just relax.
Night is spent at the same family-owned bungalows as the previous night.
This day starts with a transfer to mountain-top temple. This is one of the nicest temples in the region. The view from the top is superb. You can see all the way to Phang Nga Bay.
The ride starts off on roads, but quickly turns to rural roads and dirt roads.
Today is a day of elevation change. The first hill is on a gravel road. It's not too long, but it's slightly taxing. The downhill is easy.
Secondary roads eventually take you to some nice dirt tracks.
There is one stretch of dirt that is rather challenging, though not technically difficult. If there is going to be any mud, it's here... even in the dry season.
Lunch is at a waterfall that comes straight out of a mountain. The riverside restaurant overlooks the cascading river.
After lunch, you will have a bit of road work before hitting a lovely valley. Smooth roads will eventually lead you to a mountain pass. This is a very long gradual uphill climb on mostly dirt. You will come to a bit that is too rough to ride, though you are more than welcomed to try. The downhill after this is technical. You can ride it or easily walk it.
Next is dirt roads all the way to a stunning mountain cave temple. Climbing the many easy steps, you can ring bells for good luck along the ascent.
The view from the top is very pleasant as are the Buddhist statues and figurines.
Once back at ground level, you have a bit of easy road before you come to the first real challenge. You will ride over what is affectionately known as the 100 Curve Road. It is not overly steep, but it is very steady. This is the old route from Krabi to Phuket. You do not have to ride this is you are not into climbing hills, but if you are, this will be rewarding.
The downhill ride is superb! Once done, it is gentle undulations all the way to Phang Nga Town. You will stop before town to stay at some quaint bungalows.
Dinner is in town at one of the many fine restaurants.
For breakfast, you can visit a very friendly Muslim family-owned restaurant that specializes in Roti, middle-eastern fried flaky bread. You can have it with a light curry or they can make a sweet Roti for you with either egg, banana, condensed milk or any combination. There are other options if you do not want this, but not many visitors pass this opportunity up.
After breakfast you will ride from town along wonderful country roads.
Eventually, you will come to a fairy busy road. There are no trails or options on either side of this stretch, so we ride down the road. It is scenic, so it is pleasant. After the undulating road, you will come to what we affectionately call the “Fruit Loop”.
The Fruit Loop is a big “U” that leaves the main road and starts off as concrete, then gravel, then dirt, then single track. At the far end there’s a lovely cold creek where you can take a refreshing dip. You’ll deserve it by the time you reach it as there are some nice hills along the way.
There is a bit more easy road riding before you come to a very nice dirt/mud section. This includes single tracks and an interesting wooden bridge.
Once through this dirt section, you are on rural roads of various surfaces until you reach a temple. This ends your day. You will return to the bungalows just outside of Phang Nga Town by our escort vehicle.
After breakfast in Phang Nga Town, you will go by vehicle to the temple where you stopped on the previous day.
From here, you have some very nice dirt tracks, followed by gravel/dirt rural roads.
Eventually, you come to some country roads. This will take you to a roadside restaurant. Though this restaurant makes a variety of very nice rice dishes, they kind of specialize in noodles.
After a relaxing meal, it is back on roads for a bit. You will do some more dirt and then a bit of road before hitting the most challenging bit of the entire route... a mountain crossing that starts off with a difficult, though rideable dirt road. The road changes into single track.
Once over the top, it is dirt almost all the way to the small local school where you will end the day.
You will travel by vehicle back to Phang Nga Town. It is not actually that far as you would have done a big 'U' on this day. You will return to the same bungalows as previously. This is nice as you did not have to pack to change accommodations.
After being transferred back to the school, you will spend the last day riding on a lot of dirt. Much of this day is undulating and fairly challenging.
Single track trails through rubber plantations are plentiful.
Lunch is at a local roadside restaurant that makes dishes slightly differently from what you have had up to now. Everything that they make is good and they usually make too much.
After lunch, there’s a bit of road travel on secondary roads. About the time lunch has worked it’s way through your tummy, you’ll hit a very fun stretch of dirt tracks and single tracks. The terrain is fairly flat.
You finish with smooth riding through gentle terrain allowing you to enjoy the scenery and overall pleasantness of the environment.
You can finish at a local school or if time is not pressing, you can ride a bit further and reach a beach.
By now you are minutes away from the Sarasin Bridge, the bridge to Phuket.
Click here to see a video of a Coast to Coast Route from Sep 2010.
NOTE: If you wish, you can do this route in the opposite direction, starting on the Andaman Sea side and ending in Surat Thani. This works well for folks who want to visit the islands in the Gulf of Thailand or for those who would like to take the train back up to Bangkok. There is also an airport in Surat Thani.
We also offer an easy five-day trip that skips the hills, misses some of the more strenuous sections and includes accommodation in air conditioned rooms each night. This will take you almost all the way across the coast to coast route.
If you want a easy cross country cycling route, we have a tour from Nakhon Si Thamarat to Krabi. There are two mild mountain passes. The rest is fairly flat. This six day bicycle trip is suitable for beginners and up. It is not technically challenging... just very scenic. Click here to see a short video about this cycling route
Mountain Biking Trips include:
You should bring:
Note: Prior to the biking trip, you shouldn’t drink too much alcohol. You should make sure you drink plenty of water leading up to your trip, especially if you’re cycling soon after you arrived by air.
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