Thailand’s South – 2020/1

Phuket, Phang-nga, Chiewlarn, and Krabi November 2020

On November 22, 2020, Big Foot’s daughter will be racing in the Phuket Laguna Triathlon, so we decided to make the southern areas the first Thailand Big Foot eMTB Tour.

Big Foot’s goal is also to help grow the interests in this type of tours for local tour companies so Big Foot is working with :

Friday November 20, 2020 – Travel and half day eMTB by Two Monkeys

We flew down from Bangkok to Phuket, picked-up a rental car and checked into the Dusit Laguna Resort.  Siwai drove the Big Foot Trailer down the day before and met us at the resort.  The rain stopped just right before we started riding so the weather was nice and cool.

As our guides have never tried eMTBs and have never ridden with our group, the first ride was a fairly easy and mostly on quiet roads with up and down hills, as a getting-to-know-you warm up ride.  The guides were quite impressed by the eMTBs.  The area is in the northeast part of Phuket

BFT Route Rate : B Guide Rate : B+

Saturday November 21, 2020 – Full day eMTB Tour by Two Monkeys

The original trail that was surveyed and planned by the Two Monkeys for the full day was fairly short (12 Km) but has two very steep mountains with narrow singletracks.  I looked at the profile that has two downhill sections with vertical drops of over 450 meters in less than 3 Km distance.  I have decided that the downhills were too dangerous for our group, especially if we get caught in the rain.  So we decided not to ride that and Two Monkeys were very efficient to change the ride  to Koh Yao Noy (เกาะยาวน้อย) instead.

So we drove about 90 minutes to the pier in the northeast part of Phuket.  It turned out that the road to the pier was quite narrow and being a long weekend, it was crowded so we had some trouble looking for the parking spot for the trailer.  The lesson learned here is that we need to study the roads and parking carefully as it is easier to park on a wider road, offload the bikes and ride to the destinations than to try to move the trailers through narrow roads.

Anyway, we loaded the bikes into a long tail boat for a 45 minutes ride to the island.  The rides were mostly flat and a mix of dirt trails through the rice fields and very quiet country roads.  Had a great lunch there.  The boat ride back was a bit “exciting” as the wind picked up and the boat was swaying quite a bit more with the additional weight of the bikes tied on top of the roof.

BFT Route Rate : B- Guide Rate : B+

Monday November 23,2020 – To Phang-nga and half day eMTB by Two Monkeys

After spending Sunday cheering for Big Foot daughter racing in the Phuket Laguna Triathlon, we drove up to Phang Nga (พังงา), checked into the gorgeous Baba Beach Club Natai ( https://www.bababeachclub.com/natai ).  After lunch we drove another 1.5 hours to the Klong Phanom National Park ( อุทยานแห่งชาติคลองพนม – ภูตาจอ ).  The ride was really fun with 90+ on dirt trails trough rubber and palm plantations.  The stop included a stop at a hot spring ( บ่อน้ำพุร้อนปลายภู่กระปง ) where the guides used it to cook Onsen Eggs for us.

ครัวไม้ขอ

BFT Route Rate : A- Guide Rate : A-

Tuesday November 24, 2020 – Phang-nga eMTB and Kayak by Two Monkeys

This morning we drove up to a pier in Ta Kua Pa (ตะกั่วป่า ) to have a short 10 minutes boat ride to Koh Kho Kao ( เกาะคอเขาhttps://th.readme.me/p/32289  ) and rode in a pickup truck to kayak through the mangroves at Bangneang Canal ( คลองบางเนียง ).  It was a beautiful kayak route.  Unfortunately by the time we got there, the tide was already low so many of the routes were not accessible (so please check the tide table and try to kayak at high tide).

After kayaking, the biking section totally failed.  The trip spent too much time on the back of the pickup truck, too much riding on paved roads, and cannot control the time of the tour.

I talked with to Two Monkeys what adjustments are needed.  As we agreed from the beginning that this trip is an exploratory trip, so Big Foot is not blaming the guides for the failure.

BFT Route Rate : Kayak A-/Bike F Guide Rate : Kayak B+/Bike C-

Wednesday November 25, 2020 – Chiew Larn

Today we headed to Rachaprapa Hydro-electric Dam ( Chiewlarn Dam).  We stopped for lunch at this really good restaurant just outside the dam’s gate : Wang Wa Hope Restaurant ( หวังว่า  https://wangwa-hope-restaurant.business.site/ ) and the food was so surprisingly good that we went back there again the next night for the untraditional Thanksgiving Dinner.

We were staying at the gorgeous and spacious EGAT’s accommodation.  We took a short ride around inside the dam’s grounds and just relaxed.  More on the ride description on the next day.

Thursday November 26, 2020 – Boat tour and ride around Chiew Larn

So the morning we took a boat ride at 6 am into the reservoir to see the surrounding mountains that are considered to be as beautiful as Guilin in China.

Then after breakfast, we spent the morning riding 28 Km up and down the almost-carfree roads within the EGAT’s land.  We did find one short off road single track but after about 1 Km, the forest became too dense to go further.  Although the the rides were on paved roads, but the slopes are steep enough for us to feel grateful for the assistance from the eMTB’s motor and fast downhills.

Friday November 27, 2020 – To Krabi and Harintara

Today was just a travel day from Chiew Larn to Krabi but along the way, we dropped by the newly built temple, Wat Maha That Wachiramongkol, and what a stunning site it was in the middle of all the rubber plantations. Definitely worth a visit if you are in the area but try to get there early in the morning so you can get stunning pictures with few crowds.

Another worthwhile stop nearer to Krabi town is ท่าปอมคลองสองน้ำ. You can walk through the mangroves on wide well-made concrete walkways and you can see either clear green or blue water depending on the tide.

Saturday November 28, 2020 – eMTB by Krabi Ecocycle

On this last day of the trip, we asked Khun With from Krabi Ecocycle (who guided us on a half day trip two years earlier) to take us on a longer one day ride with eMTB. It was a fabulous day with a perfect guide. We rode through rubber plantations, quiet sides roads, and even went by the sea. We even met a small boy taking a gigantic elephant out to graze.

Anyone wanting to explore Krabi by mountain bike should definitely contact Khun Wuth.

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