Thailand is a mountain biker’s dream come true, and local cycling agencies have responded with well-tailored tours and all the equipment you’ll need. Most of the hills are in the north, especially on national parkland, but there are also a few daytrip possibilities from larger cities like Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Ko Samui.

Favorite cycling territory can be found in Khao Yai National Park, where keen bikers can discover Thailand’s wildlife and forests on two wheels in between overnight stays in park accommodation. Doi Suthep is a great daytrip from Chiang Mai and a fun ride down rewards those who make it to the top.

  • Best in: Northern Thailand

  • Chiang Mai: Chiang Dao is hilly and perfect for anyone looking for a mild challenge. This area offers a good mix of sealed roads and dirt paths so there are plenty of options available, including a side-trek to Chiang Dao Caves. Doi Pui has the best downhill tracks in the Chiang Mai area. Riders speed through lychee plantations, over streams, and end up at a reservoir. The mountain tops out at 5,500 feet and offers plenty of high-octane descents. Doi Suthep is Chiang Mai’s most famous mountain and another good venue for those looking for a short diversion. It’s possible to arrange transport up to the temple with your bike, only seasoned riders may wish to grind the climb out on their own. Several tracks have been cut through the forest for a rapid descent.

  • Kanchanaburi: Khao Khitchakut is a small national park with a few choice off-road trails. The local highlight is abundant wildlife, including elephants, barking deer, Malaysian sun bears, and countless bird species. Chalerm Rattanakosin National Park is the perfect place to escape the tourist scene and enjoy Thailand’s natural landscape at its best/most remote. The top trails pass through caves and visit waterfalls, following a stream that cuts into a lush ravine.

  • Ko Samui: This may be the leading resort destination on the gulf, but that doesn’t mean you can’t escape the tourist scene and enjoy the outdoors. The interior of the island is mountainous, cut by rugged trails that are perfect for moderate mountain biking. To reach the interior, visitors have to coast through a few inland villages.

  • Thung Salaeng Luang National Park: Experienced mountain bikers gravitate to this park in Phetchabun province. The trails are demanding and require a reasonable skill level. For wildlife viewing, follow the path to the Pong Sai saltlick, where it’s possible to spot large animals such as wild boar, elephants, tigers and gaur.

  • Kaeng Krachan National Park: This park borders Prachuap and Petchaburi near the Gulf of Thailand. The trails are cloaked in a canopy of evergreens and are home to several endangered plants and animals. Caves, waterfalls and a large reservoir can all be incorporated into mountain biking tours.

  • Khao Yai National Park: This park boasts a great set of rugged trails, many of which have been designed especially for mountain bikers. The park is full of wildlife, and riders have plenty of scenery to enjoy along the way. Khao Yai is large and conveniently located within reach of several cities in Thailand.

  • Prachinburi: Just over two hours from Bangkok, Prachinburi holds a cluster of hills that are perfect for mountain bikers on a daytrip. The trails vary in difficulty, with the best and most challenging skirting a peak called Khao E-To. The most technical trails include jumps, stream crossings and steep single tracks.

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