Cycling around Thailand can be a lot of fun.  However, it’s wise to fully prepare for the adventure ahead of you.  Whether you’re an expat who’s been living in Thailand for a long time or a traveler on vacation, you can be sure of a completely different cycling experience than what you’re used to.  Want some tips on how to have fun while navigating the Thai roads?  Keep reading as we’ll divulge all.

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Be Prepared for the Heat

Temperatures in Thailand regularly exceed 35oc, with humidity regularly over 65{28e5c1f4ca6cfd88556cf657ac2f33436f895838cf453c7c50375a3d0663a0e5}, and this can make cycling hard work.  If you can, it’s wise to plan your trips to occur between dawn and 9 am, and between 4 pm and 7 pm, as this is when it’s coolest.  If this isn’t an option, there are alternatives.  For one, you can make use of the numerous 7/11s and Family Marts along your route.  These are a great place to stop for a few minutes, enjoy the air conditioning, and pick up something cool to drink.  You can also purchase one of these Brompton accessories if you are taking your folding Brompton bike.  Carrying a cool pack around with you containing ice packs and cold water is a must.

Buy a Local Map

While it can be tempting to buy a Thai road map from your home country, it’s an even better idea to buy one in the area you can plan to cycle.  There are two reasons for this.  First of all, the international maps don’t tend to have all the roads listed, and if you want to get off the beaten track and away from the busy roads, this is important.  Secondly, if you get lost en route or need directions, you’ll want to be able to converse with the Thais.  While many Thais in Bangkok and the islands do speak English, in rural areas they won’t.  Being able to point at a map in the Thai language will make navigation a lot easier, even when conversing in broken language.

Beware of Dogs and Monkeys

It sounds funny, but it’s best to be prepared for the wildlife you’ll encounter on your route.  Thailand is home to a large population of feral dogs, and if you’ve ever wondered what their favorite pastime is… well, it’s chasing cyclists.  There’s nothing like pedaling faster while a pack of dogs barks and chases you.  The only way to deal with them is to cycle out of their patch.  Monkeys can also be an issue, especially around temples and tourist sites.  Ensure all food is packed away correctly and they should, hopefully, leave you alone.

Don’t Worry About Tents

Finally, while it may be tempting to carry a tent with you and camp on your trip, the great thing about Thailand is that there is cheap accommodation everywhere.  With the heat, the last thing you want to be doing is carting around camping equipment, so leave the tents at home and spend your nights in a range of eclectic accommodation.  From backpacker hostels to beach bungalows and large hotels, you’ll find plenty of options, no matter where you travel.