Source: L’Etape Thailand by Le Tour de France via Facebook
Thailand is one of the most-visited countries in the world and, in 2018, the tropical country welcomed 38.28 million visitors. It attracts tourists due to the exotic climate, delicious food, and lovely people among other things.
But, in the past, it hadn’t been recognized as a classic spot for cycling. There are thousands of keen cyclists in the country, though, and the recent L’Etape Thailand has helped people realize that it is a prime spot for cycling.
Now, it seems as though more cyclists will be attracted to the country and there could be other major events in the future. Here we take a look at how cycling is growing in popularity, and where the best places to visit are.
Thailand Becoming a Popular Cycling Spot
Thailand is certainly gaining recognition as a prime spot for cycling events. For the first time ever in 2018, L’Etape by Tour de France was held in Southeast Asia, with the Land of Smiles chosen as the location for the event. This was considered a huge milestone for Thailand, which is working towards becoming a major sporting events hub of the world.
The Tour de France is possibly the most famous cycling event on the planet, and there is already hype surrounding this year’s event. Currently, Chris Froome is considered the favourite to win, and can be backed at 9/4.
The British cyclist is in good form and came third in last year’s event. Those odds present a tantalising opportunity to stake on the cyclist using a free bet, such as the bet £5 get £20 free offer from Ladbrokes listed by Oddschecker.
Being linked to the paramount cycling contest has certainly boosted the appeal of Thailand as a destination for cycling. The event took place on Phang-nga last October for three days. It started at Khao Lak and finished at Ta Kua Pa.
Where are the Best Places to Cycle?
While the L’Etape Thailand event was held along some of the most beautiful coastlines in the south of the country, the north of Thailand is arguably the better place for cycle tourism. This is where some of the most eye-catching scenery in the whole country can be found, but the landscape can also be quite gruelling. Here the cycling is challenging, but it is definitely worth the rewards.
For cyclists, Chiang Mai is a much better holiday option than the bustling capital of Bangkok. The quaint and friendly city is small and can be easily traversed by bicycle. It is also at the centre of a mountainous region with plenty of opportunities for bike rides into the wilderness.
One of the most backbreaking rides on offer here is the trip up the mountain of Mon Jam. The all-round trip back to the centre of the city would take around seven or eight hours, but the breath-taking scenery on offer makes it all worthwhile. Cyclists can take a break at a number of local coffee shops on the mountain road, all of which offer stunning views over endless sloping fields of vegetable plantations.
If you do find yourself in the capital for a few days, however, there are some hidden gems to be found if you know where to look. One of these is the huge, yet secretive, park known affectionately as Bangkok’s Green Lung.
Here, visitors are able to hire bikes for the day and cycle around the many small parks and ponds. There are beautiful flowers at every turn, and it really feels as though you have escaped the city. This is more of a relaxing experience for those who prefer not to go on extremely challenging rides.
Some other great spots for cyclists in Thailand include Ayutthaya and Sukhothai, which are both former capital cities of Thailand. As you may imagine, there are some interesting ruins and historical sites to visit at both of these places, and they welcome cyclists fondly. Thailand is swiftly emerging as one of the best places for a cycling holiday in Southeast Asia, and if you haven’t visited yet you should place it high up on your to-do list.