I will come from Poipet border crrossing and am going south in Thailand. I want to avoid heavy traffic as much as possible. Is it a good idea to cycle via Ayuthaya and around Bkk or are there other options?
I wrote about this area a year, or so, ago for a friend from Malaysia who was making a very similar journey as you, but in the opposite direction. In the text I included a link to a webjournal with a good description of the trip out of Bangkok heading east.
You might want to put your bike on a train (for example, at Chachoengsao Junction) and avoid negotiating your way into Bangkok. Probably better for your lungs, as well.
When you reach the main train station in Bangkok, Hua Lamphong, you will be less than a 4 km ride to the Banglampho area through, mostly, narrow streets (some with bike paths). This is a very good area to stay in, especially if you're going to be on a bike.
Taking the single-line Thonburi-Mahachai-Mae Khlong train southwest out of the city is a very interesting, fun, and inexpensive way to begin the journey south. If you'd like more info on this, let me know.
Tnx,but any other ways of transport would be cheating. :-)
I did read the links you posted already, and i am looking closely at maps and google earth to find a way around Bkk. Problem is maps dont tell me anything about traffic.
Seems like circkling via Ayutaya will be an option.
What if you sit on your bike while on the train??? Still cheating?
Going around Ayuthaya is an option, and traffic isn't too bad east and west of the city, but between Ayuthaya and Bangkok the traffic is ugly. You will also be going quite far north.
Another option would be Highway #3 that runs along the water. It keeps you well south of the city, and away from many of the larger traffic arteries and industrial parks. You'd have to go north of Samut Prakan to avoid the thruway and to catch a ferry across the Chao Phraya. Near the ferries is a place called Bang Kachao near Phra Phradaeng, where there are places to stay. Mostly homestays, I think. It's a very green area.
From there you can go back south to get onto #3423 which will take you straight into Samut Sakhon (Mahachai).
Highway #35 can be quite awful to ride on, especially on weekends and holidays as half of Bangkok seems to be heading south. Try to avoid it if you can. #3403 to #3092 are much better options for getting to Samut Songkhram.
I am guessing that you don't care if you go into Bangkok or not?
Tnx. I will have a closer look at the #3 south of Bkk. Thai people tells me it is quite boring,but i prefer that to crazy Bkk traffic.
( i am really not going into Bkk....)
After crossing Chao Praya going further south to Hua Hin should be ok on the highway? I was driving there in june,and as far as i remember it should be ok. Or do you have other options. I wish to do around 150 km pr day....
Frankie Roettgen covers a great deal of this area in good detail in his webjournal ... http://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/page/?o=1&page_id=281796&v=Pz
This has very up-to-date information regarding places to stay, road conditions, misleading signs, avoiding Highway #4, etc.
I used to live for 5 months in Ban Khao Takiab, just south of Hua Hin, though I never cycled there, so I cannot comment. I am planning on being in that area with my bike in January, though.
Wishing you a great trip. I will follow you on your blog to see how things go.
Happy Riding og har det bra.
Just created a profile on crazyguyonabike,and will make updates along the way. I know road situation is changing fast in Lao and Cambodia....
Planning to do a Yangon-Krabi-trip later this winter.
Yangoon-Krabi by bicycle along the andaman coast. Wanna check out some islands along the way.
Unless things have changed drastically, I don't think it's possible for foreigners to go south of Setse. Do you have up-to-date info on this? If it's possible, I'll be changing my winter riding plans.
p.s. Can't get onto your Crazy Guy page.
You're right ... it would be a brilliant trip, as would kayaking the coast. However, that part of the country is completely off-limits to foreigners. I don't think that there are any exceptions, however you might dig up some new info. And, if you do, I hope you share it. Best of luck with that.
Have you cycled along the Mekong on the Thai side? Fantastic riding!
My plan is to cross from Vientiane to Nong Khai and ride trough Isaan and cross back into Lao by Sawanakhet. Understand i will miss something? I know it can be really boring on the Lao side..... (To bad we cant cross into Cambodia by Preah Vihear...)
So you will come into Thailand from Laos, and then go back into Laos 3 or 4 days later, and ride south to Cambodia via Pakse, Champasak and Si Phan Don?
The stretch of road between Chiang Khan and Nong Khai is absolutely fantastic for cycling. Beautiful scenery, nice towns and villages, very little traffic, and inexpensive places to stay in. If you can turn right after you get off of the Friendship Bridge instead of left, you will have a couple of great days in front of you. It would even be worth going west to Chiang Khan and then turning around and going back towards Nong Khai and beyond, or south to Loei and then across Issan to Mukdahan.
Down around Khong Chiam is also quite beautiful. Perhaps you might consider staying on the Thai side and then crossing into Laos via Chong Mek and then into Pakse? Very nice riding!
Do you mean the 212? I don't know the 2112.
2242 is a good road until you get about 20 klicks south of Chanuman. After that it's somewhat beat up (but still serviceble). Traffic isn't that heavy either, between Mukdahan and Khmmerat at any rate. For cycling that's a plus.
The 212 isn't too busy from Nong Khai to NKP. But after NKP take the river road down to That Phanom and Mukdahan. More scenic and also far less traffic (though the road is beat up in parts too). From NKP to Mukdahan the 212 is a real highway, with high speed psycho Thais driving.
2112 runs south from Khemmara and end up in Ban Nong Pheu where it is 2135 to Chon Mek. Looks good on the map.
Beat up road? But still paved? I am cycling a cyclocross with Schwalbe Durano Plus semi-race-slicks....