Koh Tao Biking
Although more and more pick-ups seem to appear on Koh Tao each day the island remains a haven for off-road bikers. The narrow paths and trails can take you to were no car or 4X4 can fit. In the low season the roads are very quiet for most parts of the day but in high season expect plenty of traffic from pick-ups and trucks transporting divers to and from the resorts.
Koh Tao Bike Routes
It's not just diving that Koh Tao has to offer a visitor there are some decent road routes and offroad trails that will challenge some of the hard-core bikers out there.
The Main Island Road.
The easiest route on the island is done by keeping to the main road that runs from the top to the bottom of Koh Tao. It starts at just before Rocky Bay and finishes at the north-west edge of the island. The road doesn't actually have a name and actually bypasses Mae Haad town and Sairee beach completely, effectively making it a by-pass. Theres no major hazards other than the occasional pothole and the storm drains that line the road in parts. Of course, remember that Koh Tao, while not notorious, is something of a party island so keep that in mind if your going for a night-time blast as drunken bikers and drivers are present here. I'll start the route from the southern point.
Setting off from Rocky bay you'll pass lots of resorts on your left and right. Presently you'll reach the turn-off for Chalok Baan Kao. if you take it you'll enter 'Buddha View territory', most of the restaurants and resorts tend to be affiliated to this diving resort. If you carry on the resorts will thin out a little bit. You'll reach a fork in the road at sooner or later and you have the choice of either taking the high road which is the left hand fork or the low road which is the right hand fork. The high road is newer and wider than the low road but is slightly longer and in the rainy season is often covered in sand. It's got some girly bars on it as well so expect plenty of traffic at night!
The main road then passes the turn-off for Mae Haad town center and then a second turn-off just after it will take you into Mae Haad as well. The terrain becomes more undulating and hilly from this point on.
It shouldn't take you long to complete the route as the road is only 4 miles long.
The Hin Wong Trail
Starting from the 7/11 in Sairee head straight towards the main road, once you reach the cross-roads head straight across.
From here keep riding, following the trail as it wends and winds around the jungle.
After this section the trail bends around to the right and you'll be right next to the coast! Welcome to Hin Wong Bay! From here just follow the trail to the nearby resort for a rest and a breather.
Road Lore: In the rainy season the road can be flooded in areas so watch out! Also be aware that the rain can spread sand and silt onto it making riding in dry weather a more dangerous feat altogether.
Here on Koh Tao though, the local police will turn a blind-eye to unlicensed bikes, but periodically the police from Surat Thani will show up and often 'take-over' sections of the road and impound bikes that are not road-legal. Their prime hunting ground is the main north-south island road into and out of Mae Haad, but they sometimes focus on Sairee.
They will threaten to impound and confiscate and remove them from the island if you do not pay a fine.
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