Bicycle Touring Experiences from Thailand

Thailand

On this page we attempt to make available the experience of individual bicycle tourists who travel to Thailand (you can share your experiences here).



Traveling with bike

So far no problem traveling with bike as is leaving from Bangkok to places that have planes large enough. Small cities like Nakhon Pahnom will not take bike as is.

Had to wrap bike and turn the steering bar sideways from Hanoi to Bangkok. Real pain in the *#s.

Mark Moran, July 30, 2012

Bicycle Touring in Thailand

If you are looking to do some bicycle touring in Thailand and really see the beauty of the country then check out Tour de Asia Bicycle Touring. You can join one of their many half day, full day, multi-day tours, or even try one of their epic charity rides. If you prefer, hire a bike from them and go it on your own. They rent a wide range of touring equipment as well as premium quality bicycles including Mountain Bikes, Hybrids, Road Bikes, Tandems, and even a Tandem Recumbent Hybrid. If you are looking to rent a GPS, Racks and Panniers, a "Bob" Trailer, a Child Seat, a Tag-A-Long, etc. just send an email and set it up. They have everything from fully supported tours to GPS routes that can be uploaded into your GPS or one of their rental GPS'. Now get out there and RIDE!

Christopher Byrd, October 02, 2011

Tandem on Train in Thailand

In 2008 we took our tandem on the train from Bangkok to Chaing Mai. The tandem had to go into the baggage car. There was no problem taking the tandem a train with a baggage car. Many trains, but no all, have baggage cars. Later in the trip we took the train from Ayutthaya back to Bangkok. We were incorrectly told that the train we planned to travel on had a baggage car. It did not. We had to wait about four hours until there was a train with a baggage car.

Greg Pottorff, February 22, 2011

Cycling South East Asia

I am building a touring resource for cyclist in South East Asia at www.silkwheels.com. The site is primarily my own routes but will be developed to hold other cyclists tales and experiences. There is also a forum for Q & A.

Simon Stewart, October 06, 2007

Airport bus Bangkok airport

From the Bangkok airport, you can take the Airport Bus (has a desk outside of the arrivals terminal) for 100 Bath per person, they take bikes on the bus for free. There are 4 routes, all going to the touristy areas of Bangkok (i.e. one going to Khao San Road, another to Sukkumvit Road, etc.). They leave every 15 minutes.

They are big modern white airconditioned buses, which have a big space with a luggage rack in the middle of the bus, big enough to put bikes into, since the buses are hardly ever full (the most people on the bus I saw was 10, while the bus can carry about 50 ot 60). Also good way to get back to the airport from Bangkok City.

The crew (driver and hostess) are very friendly and help carry stuff on and off board.

Christine, September 20, 2005

British Airways

I went on a flight from Sydney Australia to Bangkok, Thailand. My bike box, which I checked-in, weighed 25KG and I wasn't charged for any over-weight (although the luggage allowance was 20kg). Plus my hand bag weighed about 12 kg - but that was not a problem as well.

All in all a good experience.

and - the flight was excellent!

Yaron Orenstein, June 24, 2005

Bangkok, Thailand

You can only leave your bike at the left luggage store on the ground floor located between Terminals 1 and 2.

David, December 31, 2004

Train Thailand (Cambodian border to southern Thailand

We took the train from the Cambodian border to Bangkok and from Bangkok southbound to Suratani. Taking your pushbike on the train is easy. Buy a ticket at the ticket office for yourself, and then purchase one for your bicycle at the same counter or at the special ‘cargo desk’ (Large stations).

In a 3rd class train put your bicycle at the back side of the train, at the area where the train manager is sitting. In an ‘express’ train, place your bicycle in the cargo wagon at the front/rear side of the train and take a relaxed seat there the cargo master will take care of it (without difficulty). www.railway.co.th.

Expect to pay 70 Baht for the bicycle, what can be more than you pay for yourself on a short trip.

raymond thuring, August 23, 2004

Tandem Cycle Touring - Malaysia, Thailand, China, Mongolia, New Zealand

Freewheelers is a non-commerical website on tandem cycling in UK, New ZEALAND, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, China and Mongolia (still in progress). Contains route description and country info, equipment ratings, travelogue.

Alistair Morris, February 28, 2004

Bangkok, Thailand

We cycled from Old Bangkok to the airport on a Sunday morning at about 10-11am and it was fine. It is about 25km.

Bicycles are not allowed on the expressway nor the motorway underneath the expressway (plus these are very busy). We headed north along the Rama VI Road continuing on the Pracha Chun Road, then turned right down Ngam Wong Wan Road (signposted and has traffic lights for R turn unlike Ram Inthra Road). We took a road (Kamphaeng Phet VI Road) on the west side of the railway line (2 way and quiet)up to the Don Muang Station crossing shortly (km 24) before the railway station onto the motorway (has hard shoulder lane) to then take the ramp over to the international terminal.

You could cross the pedestrian bridge at the railway station if you didn't want to do this bit but it was OK. Coming into BK, probably best to cross the pedestrian bridge and walk your bike across the railway lines at the station then cycle south from there.

Bike boxes were available at the Qantas desk, Cathay Pacific does not store any.

Alistair Morris, February 28, 2004

Trains in Thailand

We did 3 journeys on trains in Thailand (Surat Thani-Bangkok, Bangkok-Practinburi, Phitsanulok-Bangkok).


  1. NOT ALL trains will carry bikes - need to have a guards van. eg Bangkok to Airport only trains before 0700 then next train is 1430!. However some smaller stations will say a bike can go on the non-guards van trains. We found this a little stressful but did manage. The bike can only go in the toilet (bungied to a coat hook) if not to block the corridor. It is difficult to get it into the train as there are no platforms of any height, and the train started to move which wasn't helpful. So I would go for a guards van train
  2. There is a charge of about 70-100Baht per bike and the luggage guys will put the bike on for you.
  3. We took a first class sleeper so we didn't have to worry about storing lots of panniers on the 2nd class sleeper whilst asleep.
  4. They take mopeds in the guards van so bikes are small fry
Alistair Morris, February 28, 2004

Koh Samui Thailand bike shop

new bike shop in Koh Samui Thailand contact me for Details!
they have tours, rentals and Cannondale sales too!
Also top noch repair.

Ms Ta prakang@hotmail.com

Samui, Thailand Mt Bikes Sales , February 05, 2004

Koh Samui, Thailand -- Cannondale and all supplies

Hello from Koh Samui, Thailand!

We got: Mt bikes (huge selection), bags, boxes (boxing), repairs, equipment, you name it we got it!

Can order any bike or what ever you need in 24 hours delivered here too! Best prices in the world and better than the States too for Cannondale. Save money and come here to buy a bike! Almost like a Free vacation.

Great Mt tours by expert guides too!

Cannondale bikes used on all tours with Expert local guides! See it all including durian forests and waterfalls!

It's nice and not expensive here for a relaxing and NATURAL VACATION
Also expert repairs and rentals ! cell # 09-594-9432 in Koh Samui, Thailand

We got it all in paradise! Cell phone # in Thailand 09-594-9432
prakang@hotmail.com

Samui, Thailand Mt Bikes Sales , February 04, 2004

Northern Thailand

In Jan, 2003, I biked a loop in northern Thailand (Chiang Mai-Mai Salong-Golden Triangle-Chiang Khong-Nan-Phrae-Lampang) on a Bike Friday folding bike (which I love). Fabulous trip, and no problems at all.

United Airlines got me to/from Bangkok, and Thai Airways got me to/from Chiang Mai. I had no problem with security to get my bike on the flights, though TSA opened and inspected my suitcase containing the Bike Friday when I boarded in the US.

I took 3 buses in northern Thailand with the bike, and the buses were very accomodating. I also took 2 short trips in enclosed pickup trucks which function as buses/taxis in rural northern Thailand. The bike went on the luggage rack on the roof. The drivers were very accomodating. Most roads were excellent. Drivers were polite.

The area around Mae Salong has absurd road grading; elsewhere the grading was decent. I suggest taking buses to get into/out of Chiang Mai, as the traffic is bad on roads approaching the city.

All in all, it was a very rewarding trip. Kind people, lovely scenery, interesting sights, & great food. Weather from Dec-Feb is near perfect. The rest of the year is much hotter & uncomfortable.

Neal Teplitz, March 31, 2003

Thai Airlines and China South West

I've just returned from Melbourne-Chengdu, Kathmandu-Bangkok, Bangkok-Melbourne with Thai and Chengdu-Lhasa with China South West Airlines.

Each time, I checked in four panniers weighing over 30 kilos in total. Plus the bike (unboxed) weighing another 13 kilos. And 10 kilos or mmore of hand luggage. Never had any problems with excess baggage or charges.

At a few of the airports, they tried to put the bike through their x-ray machine. Of course it wouldn't fit so they gave up. Most of them made me let the tyres down.

Jon Miller, November 11, 2002

Silk Air / Singapore Airlines (Chiang Mai, Thailand / Singapore / Sydney)

I flew Chiang Mai, Thailand / Singapore / Sydney, Australia in 2 hops in May 2002.

No bike box required. No handlebar straightening required. No pedal removal required.

Just had to ride-on-up and let down the tires.

Walter, June 29, 2002

China Airlines

At SFO I had to check bike in through Oversize Luggage station.

At the China Airlines counter they decided not to charge me when I said it was a bicycle.

From BKK, they decided not to charge me extra only after I insisted that I hadn't been charged extra on the flight to BKK.

Chris Norrdin, April 02, 2002

Transporting Bike from Singapore to Thailand

December 1998 : I wanted to go from Singapore to Southern Thailand to meet up with some friends for a cycling trip. They had put their bikes on the RTM goods train in Singapore the day before they themselves went on the train to Tumpat (near Kota Bharu) and then got the Thai Railways train to Hat Yai.

I could not leave until the following day so I cycled from Singapore via Johore Bharu, took a Malaysian Airlines plane from Senai via KL to Kota Bharu, and then cycled over the thai border at Sungei Golok.

I wasn't charged anything for carrying the bike so it cost me less than the train would have done. This is because internal MAS flights are much cheaper than international flights, even though the distance is almost the same. Other than letting some air out of the tyres I didn't have to do anything about the bike and it was transported unscathed. Ground staff at these provincial airports tend to be rather relaxed.

The 2-hour ride from Singapore to Senai (Johore Bharu airport) wasn't too bad other than the causeway, and the 2-hour ride from KB to Thailand was lovely. I had some suspicious looks from the customs at Sungei Golok who (looking at my passport stamps) thought that I had ridden from Singapore to Thailand in one day!

Lewis Meurig, January 06, 2001

Bike transport on train in Thailand

I have used trains in Thailand.

Travelled about a thousand miles in total, and every journey I slept with my bike in the guards van. I wouldn't like to leave my bike unattended on a Thai train. The guards actually asked me to stay with the bike. The bonus to this was that when the guards ate their meals I got some of their food -excellent!!

One journey cost $8.00 and travelled a distance of 700 miles in 18 hours (it stopped about 100 times). I used a map to show the railway ticket office which stations I wanted to get off at. Oh, I needed help lifting my fully laden bike the three or four feet up to the guards van door, but you will find everyone is willing to help out.

I had a friend (Carl Helliwell) who rode a train out of Calcutta with his bike and 'lost' a pannier , and another friend (Dave Collinge) caught the train from Malaysia into Thailand and had his camera whipped by organised thieves at the border crosssing (where passengers must get off the train).

Ian Yates
Blackburn CTC

Ian Yates, October 03, 2000

China, Thailand, Laos

OK here's a few more bits for your site - I'll leave you to put them in their respective places. In a week or two there will be a full SE Asia trip report up at the following link - www.trackster-man.co.uk (there's a bit of stuff there already):


Kunming Airport, Yunnan Province, China - the airport is an easy ride out from the city centre, adequately signposted, maybe 1/2 an hour's ride. It wasn't necessary to box up the bike (for a Thai air flight to Chiang Mai), just the usual handlebar/pedal/tyre business. If you want to smuggle a couple of kilos of hash out of China inside your frame this is the airport to do it from - the x-ray machine's too small to fit the bike through so it just got waved through security!


Chiang Mai Airport, N. Thailand - again, no problems. Easy, signposted ride, no need to box up. You can check your bike through all the way to its final destination (in my case, Manchester UK via Bangkok and Amsterdam), saving hassles en route. There are no shower facilities at Chiang Mai airport but you can get a shower at Bangkok - the Dayrooms in Terminal 1, although it'll cost you $10 for the privilege.


Land crossing: Thailand to Laos via the Nong Khai-Vientiane Friendship Bridge - you are ABSOLUTELY not allowed to cycle over the bridge. You have to put your bike on the bus at a cost of 10B and there are NO exceptions. Paperwork at each end is minimal. The checkpoint at the Thai side is right on the edge of Nong Khai. On the Laos side you've got a 16 mile ride to Vientiane's city centre once through customs.


Land crossing: Laos to China via Boten-Mohan - the 11 mile dirt road from the Boten turn-off to the border is very bad, chewed up by the cross-border lorries. The tarmac starts again at the border post, and is OK once into China. Paperwork on the Lao side was minimal - a passport stamp and a cheery wave goodbye. The guards at the Chinese checkpoint were a bit bemused when I turned up, wanting to see proof of onward flight tickets etc; just keep smiling and you'll be OK. There are no money changing facilities in Mohan (China) but there is a hotel - I'm sure you could change money on the Black Market, although I rode through to Mengla, the first major town 37 miles to the north. When leaving Laos you won't be able to get rid of any unwanted Kip (Lao currency) because it's worthless.


Bus journey, Jinghong to Kunming - the bike went on top of the bus for free and arrived undamaged (I tied it down myself). However, be VERY WARY at Kunming bus station - I had one of my panniers stolen while I was on the roof of the bus getting the bike. The ride through from Jinghong to Kunming would have been superb but I was suffering from hamstring strain; there are enough towns and roadwork camps en route that accommodation shouldn't be a problem if you're not carrying camping gear.


Flying with bikes - my tuppence-worth - the only time I've had a bike damaged in transit was when it was in a box: if it's boxed up it's just another piece of luggage and gets treated as such, buried beneath the suitcases. If it looks like a bike it gets treated with more respect. What I do is turn the bars round, remove the pedals and deflate the tyres - the tubes and bars sometimes get a bit of cardboard wrapped around them (which you can rescue from a dump or get from any shop). The advantage of this approach is that you can ride to the airport with the cardboard bungied onto the rack. It's a 5 minute job reassembling your bike in the arrivals hall at the other end and you can just ride away - no taxi touts, box storage logistics etc. Even when the bike's prepared for its journey you can still wheel it around with the panniers on, rather than messing about with trolleys.


Cheers Pete Jones
-----------------------------------

Don't believe the hype www.trackster-man.co.uk

Pete Jones, January 22, 2000

Jan Boonstra's touring site

Jan Boonstra's touring site specializes in Korea and the far east

Jan Boonstra, March 20, 1999

Hanoi -- Vietnam

From http://www.chariot.net.au/~gloria/vietnam.html:
"Hanoi airport is some 45 Km from the city centre, so it's best to arrive with plenty of daylight to cycle to the city. The alternative is a US $20.00 plus taxi ride that is best avoided for several reasons, apart from cost. The highway is tolerable to cycle, though it will be quite a shock at first ..."

Bicycle Fish / in Adelaide SA
web http://www.chariot.net.au/~gloria/default.htm
See notes on Thailand...and more!
South Australian Bicycle Camping Directory
http://www.bikesa.asn.au/camping/directory.html

Bicycle Fish, September 28, 1998

Bangkok, Thailand

Backpacker minibuses are readily available from Koh San Road to the airport. They have roof-racks and after a little negotiation will usually take bikes for a fee.

I cycled from the airport into the city and found it tolerable.

Sam Marshall, November 04, 1997

Thailand

There are two ways of getting into Thailand from Malaysia: through either Padang Besar or Kota Baru. These 2 places may be accessed by train, where you need to get off and pedal across the border. At Padang Besar, the border is just across from the train station; while at Kota Baru, it is about 15 km to the border. Border formalities are pretty straightforward.

Mark Grosse, July 11, 1997

Bangkok, Thailand

Well, we had anticipated it would be difficult to cycle out of Bangkok airport, so instead we took the train (leaves opposite the airport, you have to cross a pedestrian bridge over a highway and then take the bike to ground-level via the elevator of some hotel, a bit complicated) to Ayutthaya, where it was very easy to `hit the road'. Bikes are allowed on ordinary trains only, by the way, and there is a small fee. Getting back was harder, we came by train back to a station in west Bangkok and cycled through the traffic jams to our hotel. (Not recommendable!)

When we left for the airport a few days later, we had found out that trains to the airport leave from the other side of the city, that buses (airco luxury coaches for tourists only) would not take our bikes, so we decided to cycle there. It took us about an hour, and we had to cycle on 6-lane highways most of the way. Which wasn't for the faint-hearted, as there was a six-lane traffic jam through which we had to wring ourselves. The exhaust fumes were really killing, and of course we were the major attraction all the way. (We were offered bottles of water, people honked and waved at us,etc.)

In retrospect, I would advise other cyclists to find a different way of transport back to the airport. But of course they will not be able to tell afterwards that they cycled through the worst of Bangkok's traffic in the dark...

Best,
Esther Kraak

Esther Kraak, June 25, 1997

Auckland, New Zealand

I've been having my vicarious scroll through the archive and saw some stuff about crossing our borders and cycle touring here. Yes we are paranoid about pests. 80% of our economy is from agriculture or forestry and we don't have many of the pests, fungi, bacteria etc that live other places - the benefits of being an island nation. You are allowed to bring your bike and used tramping / camping equipment into NZ. You will be asked if its been cleaned and if you have been on a farm, orchard or rural place in the last 30 days. If you vow and declare that you have washed your bike, boots etc, you will probably be let in without inspection (please make sure you HAVE washed your bike).

Otherwise you'll have to unpack your bike for inspection. Last time this happened to me the Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries guy helped me assemble my bike. I have bought my mountain bike and camping equipment back from Australia (where nearly every insect species is represented), Bali, Fiji, and Thailand without undue hassle from customs. Returning from Canada last week, I watched a young German man and his bike go through the Ministry of Ag and Fish check, and they seemed more interested in the fruit in his muesli than his bike. Generally the Ag and Fish queue is shorter than the "nothing to declare" queue so you get through the formalities quicker.

They seem to have stopped that spray the inside of the plane thing for some flight originations now. I got sprayed arriving from Bali earlier this year, but not from Toronto via Honolulu and Fiji last week.

Absolute no-nos are fresh fruit of any kind (we had a bad fruit fly scare last year) and dirty bikes, shoes or boots from areas where there is foot and mouth disease or Tsetse fly. These will be impounded, fumigated and mailed to you (takes forever). Be extra paranoid about the clean thing if you are arriving from Africa.

Anyone who wants some info about touring in NZ, mail me and I will respond.
Brendajane
I spend more time on planes than on my bike!

Veale, March 07, 1997

Bangkok, Thailand

Notes: Your bike is put on the luggage transport belt. But the distance it travels on the belt is short and at the same level. Go and stand at the beginning of the belt to wait for your bike, to prevent damage to your bike and other"s suitcases. The employees might see you a hand the bike over to you. From the airport, you can start cycling right away (2 times experience) Jan Boonstra, March 05, 1996

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