Thailand mountain biking

Mountain biking is a sport increasing in popularity in Thailand , both among Thais and young international tourists. It is an ideal means of touring Thailand 's spectacular natural environment; safe, cheap and fun, and environmentally green. Biking is an ideal way to explore the country's diverse cultural and natural heritage. Mountain-bikers both novices and veterans will find challenges galore in the mountainous terrain of the North. The Central Plains, with its archaeological ruins and cultural attractions placed close together in historical parks, offer leisure-biking opportunities.

The hilly North of Thailand is most suitable for mountain biking. The best time to visit is November to February, when the weather is cooler. A number of companies offer well-organised biking tours, most include guides and, on certain tours, back-up vehicles carrying food and overnight equipment. Bike are also widely available in major tourist destinations, where they can be rented at extremely reasonable rates on a daily basis

Preparation

There are biking tours to suit all abilities and levels of fitness. Some mountainous routes are best suited to more accomplished riders. Unless you are used to long periods in the saddle, some of the longer tours will leave you a little sore. Bikes should be in good working order and bikers capable of handling the terrain they intend to cross. They should carry enough tools and spares to repair minor mechanical problems, as will as first-aid kits in case of a spill. As with trekking, a small problem when you are far from civilisation can be a big headache, so make sure the tour organizer is well-prepared. In the heat of the tropics and at altitude, consume plenty of water and make sure you have hats and sunblock to protect you from ultraviolet radiation.

Climate

In Thailand, the best season for biking is definitely November to February (coolest months). September and October can reveal muddy trails... challenging and fun to ride! From March to June it is hot and dry - temperatures can reach 40°C during the day - but there are occasional refreshing rainstorms. July and August is the rainy season and we usually do not run off-road Mountain Biking. We run our regular trips with small itinerary changes, riding more on paved roads. Cycling is however enjoyable since generally it doesn't rain all day long. As is usual in tropical climates, rainfall is mostly short and sporadic, followed by sunshine again.

Thailand biking routes

Mae Hong Son
The centre for mountain biking adventure is Pai District, where several bike shops rent out bikes and gear to tourists. Bike tours explore nearby and remote hilltribe villages, waterfalls and hot springs . The best time is November - May. Experienced guides are ready to lead biking parties through breathtaking back-country trails for up to a week. There are natural cycle paths through the forest, first trod by animals, then beaten by man. They range from as narrow as a single person's stride or as wide as an elephant or ox cart.

The Golden Triangle
Near the borders of Laos and Myanmar, Thailand's Golden Triangle is a region of jungle-filled valleys, meandering rivers and fascinating cultural encounters, where indigenous tribes still thrive on isolated mountainsides and time seems to stand still.

Chiang Mai
The centre of biking activity, the most scenic route is from Doi Inthanon to Ob Luang George via Mae Chaem. The first leg, a route of about 20 kilometres, is strictly for experienced mountain bikers while the second section, 30 kilometre long, is less demanding and suitable for bikers of intermediate skills and higher.

Sukhothai & Ayutthaya
At the ancient Siamese capital of Sukhothai, there are dedicated cycle paths to take you round the majestic ruins, temples and palaces. Further south, a bike is the ideal way to see the sprawling remains of the kingdom's once great capital Ayutthaya .

Nakhonnayok
Just north of Bangkok , Nakhon Nayok has designated off-road biking trails through the foothills of Khao Yai National Park . Khao Yai itself, with its 13 marked trails, is another magnificent mountain biking site.

Other fine biking routes are in the parks of Khao Sam Roi Yot in Prachuap Khiri Khan, Khao Kichakut in Chanthaburi, Chalerm Rattanakosin and Saiyok in Kanchanaburi, and Kaeng Krachan in Phetchaburi.

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