Whenever I share my enthusiasm for cycling in and around Pattaya, the response is: “How can you cycle in this country? It’s too hot!”
Yes, it is hot, but as soon as you get moving, you create your own breeze. Never forget to wear sunscreen, cover as much of your body as possible and be prepared to sweat - a lot!
The reward comes from experiencing rural Thailand. I like to cycle in the countryside east of Pattaya on quiet, winding country lanes and off road on dirt farm tracks and footpaths.
My favourite off road route is 33km up the polo club hills. From Lake Maprachan I use a quiet lane to climb uphill to The Plantation Golf Club. From here I start the 20km route off road to return to the reservoir. Starting on dirt tracks up through pineapple, tapioca, coconut and rubber plantations I finally reach the highest peak exhausted. At this point it is well worth taking a few minutes to enjoy the 360 degree view out to the coastlines of Pattaya and Sattahip and the hills of Huai Yai and Nikhom Phatthana District. From here you have the choice of three routes down for adrenalin filled, rugged downhill riding past the polo club and then remaining in the fields through eucalyptus forests and passing charcoal pits until the lake appears.
For road riding I take a longer 65km route passing the Maprachan lake and polo club and heading south to Huai Yai and beyond to Silverlake. These quiet roads are popular with club cyclists. They are all friendly and wave or nod. They even ask you to join them. Along the way it is fun to chat with people and children at little shops whilst enjoying a rehydration drink and snack. They are still amazed to see a ‘farang’ out here. There are several temples and view points along the way and at Silverlake you are spoilt for choice.
There is so much to see out there, and on a bike you have time to take it all in; so my advice is simple: Get up and go!
Also read: How service and action really can help. Poppy Mulford's reflection on her big challenge cycling from Ayutthaya to Angkor Wat.