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Cycling through Thailand

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Cycling through Thailand

Hi,
I'm looking for some advice regarding cycling through Thailand please.
I will be coming from China and heading for Singapore.

Ideally, I want to take the most direct route but don't really want to be cycling on busy roads. Can anyone suggest a route to take with this in mind?

I have been told that as a UK citizen I don't need a visa, is this correct?

Does anyone know a good internet source for buying maps of Thailand?

Wild camping en route, is it safe to do so?

Many thanks in advance.
Rob

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Cycling through Thailand

You`ll have no problems with the traffic even on busy roads. There are everytime a wide shoulder.
Between Bangkok and Hua Hin there`s just one road.
It`s better to have a visa. Think so, you get then just 2 weeks.

Nelles has a good map of Thailand. No problem to get there. What`s your entry point? Friendship bridge?

peter

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Thailand

Hi Rob,

I have cycled in Thailand extensively and have a girlfriend in the South now. I never had problems there. I even cycled a lot on the motorways, the outer lane is used by small motorbikes and cyclists and is the fastest way to travel, the slipstream of the lorries and buses pulls you along nicely.

I never tried camping because almost nobody there camps and the guesthouses are very cheap if you look around a bit. I had a nice map Made in Germany, not very detailed but it worked and is very rugged and waterproof.

I think that British citizens need visa like everybody else, Thailand has never been a colony, only in (ex-) Commonwealth countries like India you don't need visa.

Why not travel via Laos (my favourite Asian country), I've cycled there for a month, it's like paradise, all traffic is really slow and considerate - Cambodia is very dangerous, I saw a couple of accidents happen before my eyes.

Good luck and happy trails, Jörg.

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Trip through Thailand

Hi Rob,

I've cycled last year parts of Laos (really recommend!!) and headed from Vientiane, capital of Laos, to Bangkok. Was fantastic too. The route: Vientiane- Nong khai- Udon Thani-Wang Saphung-Phechabun (over a pass with severe gradiants, but beautiful)-Wichian Buri-Saraburi-Bangkok. From Bangkok to south Thailand is basically only one larger road. In Malaysia I suggest Cameron Highlands. Have fun!

Chris

P.S.: Thailand is very safe to cycle and I think camping too, except the Bangkok area.

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thailand

Hi rob

maps for thailand is an interesting topic! The country is developing SO fast that most maps are out of date and new roads do not appear on maps you can buy out of the country. On the other hand local maps were useless in details BUT i found the local road atlas to be amazingly accurate. The full thing is heavy so I ended up tearing out relevant pages to take with me. You definatly need maps with both english and thai script as all spelling is phonetic meaning that you are directed to a place and it can be spelt many different ways.
Of course make sure you get an idea of gradients to go with the road atlas otherwise you get sruprise hills :)

Google maps are good but not brilliant in northern Thailand it went all empty on me...

I would not camp as guesthouses are so cheap $5-10 for good room but I would take emergency sleeping bag liner and a mosquito net.

Best wishes
cindy

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oh and you definately need a

oh and you definately need a visa

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Cycling through Thailand

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to reply, it's much appreciated.

Regarding how safe the roads are, I'm getting conflicting information across various forums. Some people say stay off the busy roads as they can be dangerous, whilst others are saying all roads in Thailand are safe? Confusing :)

Everyone seems to be in agreement regarding not camping though. Is there anything I should be aware of when looking for guest houses? Do they usually allow you to take your bikes in?

Regarding the visa, if I can get a 90 day visa then I would like to cycle from the North of Thailand to Malaysia, as part of my ride from the UK to NZ. I phoned the Thai Consulate in the Uk and they didn't have a clue as to what I should do. I then phoned the Thai Embassy and they said it is possible to get a 60 day visa in China but didn't know anything about a 90 day visa. Could someone tell me what is involved in obtaining this visa please?

If anyone who has cycled in Thailand can suggest a route from north to South I would love to hear from them?

Thanks again
Rob

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research

OK Rob
I could give you road by road advice from north to south but as I said in my last email it will be out of date very quickly SO I suggest you research a website called
www.crazyguyonabike.com
search 'thailand' in 'journals'
and you will find blogs of recent trips through the areas you want to ride.

My own blog there shows you road numbers from bangkok to nothern thailand Chiang Khong
www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/7575

As a summary about roads
superhighways look horrendous BUT they have big cycle lane and hills are smoothed out and they have no dogs but on the down side they are boring and noisy.

Backroads are generally the best as they are good quality but quiet.
Some main roads get horrible near big towns but are fine in between towns.
My suggestion is to take secondary level (B) roads all the way but use the faster bigger roads to make distance.

Guesthouses are easy to find (just ask when you get into town). the word 'guesthouse' is budget whereas the word 'hotel' is expensive.
YOu will often be directed to out of town brothels but even as a solo woman there are fine.

Your main problem in Thailand will be DOGS rather than roads. Think about how you will deal with them. Again my blog discusses this.

best of luck, cindy

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Cycling through Thailand

The Tour de Thailand is an organised ride from Chiang Mai to Phuket and their website gives you the route they take over 30 days. I am riding this next month and bought the international travel map 1:900000, not sure how much use its going to be.
If you enter Thailand by flight you get a 30 day visa, if you cross on a bike you get a 2 week visa, these would need to be extended while you are there.

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Riding through Thailand

You might want to try looking at Mr Pumpy's site at:

http://www.mrpumpy.net/

I want to do SE Asia next year and I think he has a lot of very good advice.

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Cycling Thailand

Hey Rob

There are very nice and traffic free roads in Thailand. Cycled this winter from south to north Thailand.
You can see or download the tracks on my website www.farang.be
http://www.farang.be/thailand-dec-2011-feb-2012.html
you can buy local maps in "7-eleven shop" or get it even for free in tourist office

I use gps garmin 450 oregon with:
ESRI Thailand Street Map 10.1
Good news for the owners of handheld units ( Gpsmap 60 .... ) with ENGLISH SOFTWARE AND MAP. Very good.

You can stay for free in any temple, just ask it.

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Cycling through Thailand

Hi,

I initially also wanted to cycle from China to Singapore, but China is too chaotic for me. So I start in Bangkkok, then Cambodia, up to Noth Laos and then to Singapore. I'll be in noth Thailand in a month I guess.

If you are still looking for a windshild contact me
Cheers
Chris

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maps and cyclig in Thailand

maps from petrol stations that have 7/11. bilingual best of course.

lots places to stay fro $12 to $20 so no need to camp

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info on cycling in NE Thailand
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info on cycling in NE Thailand

Thanks for the link to your posts. Are you a Manchunian? I have family in Manchester and have lived in Los Angeles for the past 42 years. If you come this way, let me know. —Barry

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thanks Barry

no only been to Manchester a couple of times

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Advice for Nong Khai to north Thailand

anyone got info on best route and accommodation? would like to avoid worst hills please. also not much habitation from the look so not sure if can find places to stay

I leave Nong Khai tonorrow

cheers

paul

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Hi Paul, I cycled the road

Hi Paul,

I cycled the road alongside the Mekong river from Dan Sai to Nong Khai which is amazing (best of the nothern part of Thailand I cycled), especially the part in between Dan Sai and where the Mekong starts to be a border river.
This part is totally amazing, savage and remote from civilization. Make sure to have enough food (even though village people invited me for food),water and your camera. The road isn't in the best shape, but the scenic view rewards this a 1000000 times.

Enjoy your trip
Chris

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Nong Khai to Nan

thanks Chris. you can see my route on www.cyclethailand.wordpress.com
went via Na Haeo, Ban Kok and Na Noi. bloody hard and sometimes just jungle and no habitation for 20 km

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Hi

Are you passing through Malaysia? I'm from Malaysia and could give you some information. The road in Malaysia is quite safe and not so busy, except in the city of Kuala Lumpur. I suggest that you could go through the village route, as it is safer and you can see the different of each state, from a chinese village to malay fishing village, it is a great way to explore Malaysia.

There are two different route in Malaysia, the west part is much more developed, you can go Penang, Taiping, Pangkor, Malacca through that route. While east part is much village feel, you can explore the typical Malay village culture and of coz beach!

Sorry that I could not provide you any information of Thailand, but wish you will like Malaysia too. Have a nice trip.

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cycling in Malaysia

thanks for the information. appreciated