India, Rajasthan, Enfield
India, Hampi, bicycling
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Tracks in Thailand
download the tracks as garmin recorded gpx format
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Bike Tour Thailand North day 1 (Preperation and train)
My girlfriend and I bought two bicycles and planed to cycle around Asia for 3-4 month and then to Poland and back home to Germany. So far we cycled up to the north of Thailand and then along the Border to Vientiane and up to the north of Lao. We enjoy the trip a lot and are so happy that we bought the bikes. We met a lot of people who are doing the same we even met a guy who bought a very similar bike in the same shop.
We bought our Trek bikes in Bangkok in the big Probike (+13° 44' 29.89", +100° 32' 22.18") shop near Lumbini park. We also went to the Seangthong trek bike shop a little bit outside from the center of bangkok, which is recommended by many other travelers. The shop owner was ill and his wife could not help us a lot. Also they have less bikes than Probike so if you are tall like me (185 cm) and need a big frame (21”/22”) your chances are better to find what you need in the Probike shop. We also went to the canondale shop Cannasia (GPS: N 13 43.282 E 100 34.199, ) to get a bike tool, because the bike tools have been sold out at the Probike shop. In this shop you will find very good bikes but at a much higher price than Trek.
At Probike it was very easy. They are used to Tourists who wants to buy bikes for cycling around Asia. We felt like in a Supermarket with our basket collecting all the stuff we need:
- 16" Trek 3900 with V-Brakes
- 22" Trek 3900 with disk-Brakes (V-Brakes where not available)
- 2 rear racks rack for Ortlieb classic bags
- 1 Pair (right and left) Ortlieb classic bag rear (we already had one pair)
- 2 reserve tubes for the bikes
- repair kit for the tubes
- 1 bump
- 2 large bottles and possibilities to fix them on the bikes
- 1 basic tool kit for repair
- 2 click pedals
- 2 click pedal shoes
- one helmet
- one bicycle trouser
- 2 bicycle gloves
We already had one petzl zip head torch and 3 pepper spray to protect against dogs. We never used it in Thailand and Laos but it is a good feeling to have one when a dog is after you. You could also attach stick to your frame which could do the same job.
Whenever we see a bicycle shop which is not very often, we have a look and sometimes buy something. During our tour we bought the following very useful stuff:
I wanted V-Brakes because they are easier to maintain. They had only disk brakes but at least it does not need Break fluid. It works mechanically so the big trouble with getting air out of the break Liquid will not be a problem. We decided to buy the trek 3900 because we heard a lot of people cycling around Asia use it. It is a cheap bike, so you do not have to worry that it will be stolen. It is a simple bike so you or at bicycle shops in Asia, they should be able to repair or maintain it. Of course you will feel the difference to your 2.000 Euro bicycle at home but I think it will do the job. There is also a little bit higher version of this, the trek4900 with a little bit higher quality parts.
There is a 3000er and a 4000er Series of the bikes. The next digit the nine tells in which year the bike was released. I could not figure out what the difference is between the release years. The 4000er Model has better Gear shift and better front suspension. After 1,5 month my left suspension made strange noise when I changed the strength of the suspension on the right side. It still works and I can live with that without any problem. At home I have a 500 Euro Suspension an it also had a Problem after half a year.
In total we paid around 40.000 Baths. The V-Break bike cost 10.200 and the disk-Brake bike 2000 Baths more. They gave us a discount of 15 % on all items and gave us 2.000 Bath for each bike off from all the things we bought.
While we collected all the parts the technicians mounted them and prepared our bikes. After one hour the bikes had been ready for cycling. They did a very good job.
We arrived around 15:00 in Phitsanoulok with the train at 7:00. The Train was a little bit late. On some trains it is not possible to take your bike with you, so we checked it one day before we left and bought the train tickets in advance. The tickets for the bikes we had to buy on the day we leave. We stayed in Phitsanoulok because we did not want to cycle in the midday heat. We stayed in a very clean and new hotel for a good price (350 Bhat). We do not know the name because everything was written in thai Language and the staff could not speak English. The Position is N 16°49´24.8”, E 100°15´08.8”. Or download the latest OSM map.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 2
Phitsanulok – Sukhothai
Time 6:45 – 13:00, 3 breaks
Distance 69,6 km
We started early at 6:45 in the morning after a cup of coffee in the hotel and some cookies. The first part of the route and the last part we had a big street, but most of the time it was a very quiet street. We stopped for a coffee and a morning soup after 2 hours at a very friendly shop. With another break at 11:00 we arrived without any hurry at 13:00 at Sukhothai. We stayed at the very nice, relaxed No 4 Guesthouse with very friendly staff and very good meals. You will find the Guesthouse on the latest OSM map. I always update OSM after my trips.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 3
Sukhothai – Thung Saliam
Time 8:30 – 14:00, 2 breaks
Distance 73,3 km
Most of the time the streets have been bigger than yesterday and therefore more Traffic was passing us. At the end we had a nice quiet street through a town. I searched a lot but I could not find smaller streets between this two cities.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 4
Thung Saliam - Thoen
Time 7:00 – 15:00, 2 breaks
Distance 70,7 km
Most of the time it was not a small street, but there was not a lot of traffic, so it was nice to cycle. There was one pass at the end which was hard in midday heat. In Thoen we searched a lot for a place to stay. Everybody send us to a hotel near the big and loud number one highway. It was too loud for us and we found a nice homestay in the village street.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 5
Thoen - Li
Time 7:00 – 14:00, 2 breaks
Distance 51,3 km
The beginning of the track was a very small road but the condition of the road was not good so we decided to go on the main road again. The road climbs up to over 500 hm and it will go down again to around 400 hm. We started too early. It was freezing and we had to stop soon for a coffee. We stayed in a nice Bungalow which we liked a lot.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 6
Li – Ban Hong
Time 9:30 – 14:00, 1 breaks
Distance 89,4 km
After a nice Breakfast which was included we started in the warm sunshine. We found a road which was running next to the 106 road. This road was very quiet and we enjoyed the landscape around us. The road finished soon and we had to go back to 106 again. We did not know the roads to get off the 106 and into the countryside but we think there are nicer roads that goes up to Chiang Mai. We stayed in the only Hotel that is outside Ban Hong.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 7
Ban Hong – Chiang Mai
Time 8:15 – 14:30, 2 breaks
Distance 89,2 km
We cycled along the river ping and enjoyed the small and quiet streets. Streets with three digits like 3003 are the best to cycle for us. They are paved, small and less traffic. Streets with three digits like the 106 have more traffic and are big. They sometimes have an extra lane for bicycle and scooters. Streets with one digit like the 1 we did not use because it is a highway and I think bicycles are not allowed on that street anyway. The area today was flat and there are no big hills to climb up. In Chiang Mai we cycled around a lot to find a hostel we like. We stayed in Chiang Mai for three nights and then took a bus to the border of Burma because our visa exemption run out and we have to leave the country and come in again. We booked a bus ticket with the bus company golden triangle and they put our bicycles in the bag storage of the bus. I only had to remove the front wheel.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 8
Mea Sai – Chiang Sean
Time 8:30 – 14:30, 2 breaks
Distance 57 km
The day before, when we arrived in Mea Sai with the bus we went for 2 Minutes to Burma and payed 500 Bath to Burma. We did this because our 30 day visa exemption we received when we entered Thailand by air run out. When we came back over the boarder to Thailand we received another 15 days visa exemption. We are only allowed for another 15 days because we entered by land. By air it would be 30 days. This is the cheapest way to stay longer in Thailand when you run out of time. All the procedure including all the formalities and queuing we finished in just 15 minutes.
The road used to be a small road but at the time we cycled the built it new. We cycled a lot through the dirt and our bikes where very dusty on the end of the trip. It looks like they build a very big road to transport all the tourists to the golden Triangle. We visited the golden Triangle Museum which is very interesting. After we checked in we did a short tour to the small lake but it is nothing special. All the tiny street restaurants where you seat on the ground next to the Mekong looked very charming.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 9
Chiang Sean – Chiang Rai
Time 9:00 – 16:00, 3 breaks
Distance 86,4 km
The roads where very nice most of the time until we reached the crowded number one street close to the city. We stopped at a trek bicycle shop to buy some stuff for our bikes and we visited the nice lake on our route.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 10
Chian Rai – Chiang Kham
Time 8:30 – 16:00, 2 breaks
Distance 105,8 km
The roads have been okay today. The last part of the road was very new but not a lot of traffic on the road and a big lane for motorbikes and bicycles. We first planed to ride road number 1020 but it had 2 lanes and there was too much traffic. The landscape remembered us a little bit at Phuket area only the sea is missing.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 11
Chiang Kham – Fasitong
Time 9:00 – 15:30, 2 breaks
Distance 92,5 km
The roads have been Ok. We did not find a place to sleep which we liked and in the very small town Fasitong we met a german speeking couple. They invited us and we stayed in the Guesthouse of the temple. The Guesthouse cost 500 Bath for the night which was compared what you get for 500 in that area a lot but we thought it was a kind of donation for us.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 12
Fasitong – Song
Time 8:15 – 15:00, 2 breaks
Distance 88,3 km
There where some hills you have to cycle up. They are not very steep and you can speed downhill on the other side but still they are hard when it is hot. There is not a lot of traffic on the road but they drive very fast sometimes and there are some trucks on the road as well. The road leads to an area without a lot of villages so we always had a full extra bottle of water with us. We cycled a little bit further on the big 101 road to find a good accommodation.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 13
Song – Den Chai
Time 6:45 – 14:30, 1 breaks
Distance 76 km
We went up early because in this area it is not so cold in the morning. Also we planed to catch an early train in Den Chai to get to Phitsanulok. We had to rush a little bit because of our visa. We took the train at 11:30. The roads have been beautiful. Very small roads leading through small villages. Only the last part we cycled on the crowded 101. The last recorded part of the track is already part of the train journey.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 14
Phitsanulok – Ban Wan Kabak
Time 10:00 – 16:00, 2 breaks
Distance 81 km
We cycled a long time on Roads called ARD. Very small roads with not a lot of traffic leading through small villages. We liked that part of the track a lot. At the end we had to cycle along the very busy Road number 12. We had a look at some resorts away from the road but the have been to expensive for our budget. We started so late because we had a problem with the bike to fix.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 15
Ban Wan Kabak – Nong Kathao Dan
Time 8:00 – 15:00, 2 breaks
Distance 56,9 km
We tried to escape the Road number 12 once an it was a nice trip but instead of going straight we done a big circle and had to cycle more. We did not make a big distance because we had to climb a lot of hills. Also the street is very busy and it is not nice to cycle road number 12.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 16
Nong Kathao Dan – Dan Sai
Time 8:15 – 14:00, 2 breaks
Distance 63 km
Another day with a lot of height meters and not a long distance. There is less traffic on the road than on number 12 but it is not a quiet street.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 17
Dan Sai – Chiang Kham
Time 8:00 – 16:30, 3 breaks
Distance 129,3 km
This was our longest distance till yet because at the end of the trip there is nothing to sleep. Take a lot of water with you because before you reach the Lao friendship bridge (the one for local people to cross the border) there is even no shop to buy water for a long time. The road leads to a beautiful landscape next to a river. The condition varies and sometime the road is unpaved. It is impossible to drive it with a road bike but with our mountain-bikes it was no problem. There is no traffic most of the time. It was a hard ride because of the long distance but it was worth it. Also Chiang Kham is worth to see. It is a touristic place for Thai people.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 18
Chiang Kham - Bhan Sam Khom
Time 9:00 – 15:30, 3 breaks
Distance 104 km
It is a quit street next that leads always next to a river. Some up and downs but at the end of the day you do not have a lot of height meters in total. It was not a hard day. The road number suggests that it is a heavily used good road but it is not. Parts of the road are with big holes and even some parts are unpaved. That is the reason why there is nearly no traffic on the road. We took a rest day in Bhan Sam Khom because the Boys Bungalow are so relaxing and with a good and cheap massage in the town it was a perfect possibility to recover after so many days of cycling.
Bike Tour Thailand North day 19
Bhan Sam Khom – Nong Khai
Time 8:30 – 15:30, 3 breaks
Distance 85,7 km
The road becomes a little bit more busy but it is still nice to cycle. Sometimes this road is even unpaved on very short parts. When we came close to the city there is too much traffic on the 211 but we found some nice side roads to escape.