Touring Thailand

 

Touring Thailand is one of the great pleasures available to bikers and drivers alike. The open road, the distinct lack of traffic away from the cities and the scenery combine to make it an unforgetable experience. Once away from Bangkok and the tourist areas of the south, the roads are typically wide, well-maintained and comfortable.

Route Tours and Trip Reports so far, click on one of the links in the table below to jump right into a journey, alternatively browse the menu bar to the left to look into touring in a specific area of Thailand...

Thailand Trailblazing

Tak Outskirts, Highway 1

Chiang Mai to Bangkok - 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8

Mountain Mayhem!

Ranong to Chumpon Moutain Road

An Isaan Odyssey!

Hua Hin to Nakhon Phanom, the long way! 1 2 3 4 5

Way up North

Mae Sa Valley

Chiang Mai and Surrounding Provinces

Touring Highway 108
Touring Highway 118
Touring Highway 1006

 

Khon Kaen and Surrounding Provinces

Highway 2
 

 

Nong Khai and Surrounding Provinces

 

Udon Thani and Surrounding Provinces

A bit about the way OTRT works

 

Photo-Linked Exploration

On The Road Thailand is unique in having in-depth photographic aides and videos to help fellow bikers navigate Thailands roads. You could be a seasoned veteran interested in looking at old ground traveled or a rookie tourist cutting his teeth on the biking scene, unsure of a route.

Our roving team of bikers led by Watch-Rider are constantly busy photographing roads and routes all over the place. This will give vital clues and act as a snap-shot visual of a route. These pictures are all watermarked, however OTRT gives permission to print them out as a navigation aid to refer to.

When's the best time to tour Thailand?

This is a question that is open to debate.
WR recommends touring at the rainy seasons end, catching it so the overhead clouds give respite from the sun. Judging the actual end of Thailands rainy season is more of an art than a science though. You can expect to get a bit wet doing this approach unless you catch the weather right. It does, however, mean that the roads are quieter with less tourists and farang clogging the place up.
Quite a few other bikers recommend late-November to April as the prime season for travelling. The wet season is a no-no for offroad areas, unless you are going on an expedition or plan for extended delays. For on-the-road touring in Thailand it's doable, but incredibly challenging if you are setting yourself a deadline and are running against the clock.

Timewise, setting off early morning about 0630 to 0700 hrs is a good benchmark, any earlier and you run the risk of drunken drivers hurrying back home being in your path. Any later and the day heat will start to creep up as you progress further down the road.

So what are you waiting for? This next message goes out to all you expat sugar daddies in your air conditioned condos watching TV and lounging about with your mia noi's; 'Get on your bikes and ride!'
Theres a whole world out there waiting to be explored!

 

 Map of South East Asia Nakhon Sawan Chiang Mai Province Phitsanulok Bangkok Pattaya Chumpon Hua Hin Ayutthyaya Koh Tao Koh Pang Yan Koh Samui Udon Thani Province Khon Kean Ubon Ratchathani Phuket Chiang Rai Mae Sai Nong Khai Ranong Cambodia Laos Vietnam Vietnam Kamphaeng Pet Mae Sot Thai Seas

 

Routes and Tours Explained

When you start exploring the various 'Touring...' sections of OTRT you'll come across have brief summarys of what a certain and Road conditions are. Below are the summarys explained.

Road Conditions: This explains what OTRT considers is the level of inherent danger a biker will be exposed to. A rating of 'Excellent' means that apart from the odd bump or pothole the road is well suited to travel. A rating of 'Poor' means that the road is in a poor condition with potholes everywhere and care should be taken.

Road Congestion: How busy the roads are. This can be a variable entity and should serve only as a rough guide. Intense is the worse and applies to capital cities like Bangkok. Mild / Sporadic is the most desirable and is usually found in rural areas like Issan and Central and Northern Thailand.

Terrain and Features: What the predominant surroundings and landscape features are. What the lay-of-the-land is.

Road Lodgings: Life on Thailand's roads can be a real adventure, especially if you're having to sleep under the stars. For some though having a bed for the night to sleep in is a welcome respite from the days biking. Here I'll list any guesthouses that are in the area.

Bike/Parts Availability: In the event of a breakdown, damage/repairs or just a plain old tune-up a mechanic's workshop can be a godsend. It is here that villages and towns with a known mechanic will be listed. However, quality of service may vary!

Road Lore: Anything I notice or experience that can be of use to you I'll put here. Examples include : Directions to a landmark, temple. Or about a friendly local thai who is hospitable to bikers and travelers. It could even be about a dangerous area to steer clear of.

 

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