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Uthai Thani, Thailand

Old 12-07-18, 09:21 PM
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Default Uthai Thani, Thailand

Few pics from my last bicycle trip, following the Chao Phraya river in the heart of Thailand. Uthai Thani was the main destination, what a beautiful place, fantastic people, splendid nature, quiet and soul soothing.
I shall return!

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Old 12-10-18, 11:28 AM
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Wonderful shots!
One of my wants back when we visited her family in the countryside of Kagoshima was to bicycle through that area. So many parts that whiz by in a car (even though they drive slow) or by train that are gorgeous. I can see that for other regions when traveling too. The bus tours just dump people at the largest spots.

More?
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Old 12-15-18, 07:19 PM
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Very true, the bicycle is a great way to go local, fast enough to cover a bit of distance over several days, slow enough to stop everywhere. I usually plan my routes on Google Earth, using small roads and trails. Mountain bike, luggage kept real small, easy to do here as there's affordable food and accommodation in every minor town or even along the highways. No need for tents and cooking equipment.

Uthai thani is a great little town along the Sakae Krang, a tributary to the Chao Phraya River. There's an evening market in the town center along the river, little traffic, floating houses, and lush green countryside beginning right at the opposite side of the river.

10. Uthai Thani


11. Evening Market


12. Floating Houses
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Old 12-18-18, 11:51 AM
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Super cool! Been watching the NHK series on Cycling Japan. The thought of being able to stop and enjoy a location that way is Even nicer when the basics are accessible. What would you say is an average cost if hanging over?
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Old 12-21-18, 10:31 PM
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If hanging over?
As in including a hang over or just to be on the relaxed side?

Biggest part of cost is accommodation, if you're on your own, or share the room.

In general I would say my cost is around:

3 large beers (0.65L) in the evening: 300 baht
Lunch/brekkie/coffee/soft drinks during the day: 200-350 baht
Dinner, big meal: 350 baht
Accommodation, aircon, ensuite bathroom: 400-1500 baht.

So that's about 1250-2500 baht per day if traveling alone. As most rooms are in the 600-800 baht range I would say 1500 baht as day is a good average.
That's about US$45.

It includes a light brunch (don't like to cycle with heavy stomach) and soft drinks and coffee during the day.
Full, yummy dinner with beers.
Good, clean room, functional but sure nothing fancy.
If I up the room to 1500 then it buys you rather nice rooms, often with pool in the resort - if that kind of resort is available to begin with.

Cycling with friends doesn't make it much cheaper really as in resorts with smaller rooms we tend to take two rooms, and in other places we might opt for a nicer resort at 1500-2000, so the shared room isn't really cheaper in the end, you up the quality instead.

50 bucks per day is not expensive for an all in trip in my opinion, and of course you could go much cheaper if you wanted.
Eating basic dishes plus opting for cheapest accommodation could get you down to US$ 30 per day average, and that still would include the beers!
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Old 12-21-18, 11:06 PM
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Unlike most touring cyclists I avoid main roads and prefer to ride small daily distance. 30-50km ideally per day, sometimes 60-70 if required by available accommodation (or even 90 or 100 but I avoid it as much as possible).

Focus is on ''rural roads", I avoid everything that has got a number.
This requires detailed planning as otherwise you will get into dead ends in a maze of paths and trails - and if you had to backtrack and detour 10-15km a few times you will quickly give up on those little paths and trails and stick to ....roads with numbers.
No Thanks, I prefer the planning in detail, it's fun, I'm already halfway there when planning, and there's much to discover on Google Earth if you zoom in close. When tracing routes and options I look for shade, tree lined trails, plantations, and other interesting stuff, villages, temples, rivers, little bridges, lakes and ponds.
I try to trace my routes along interesting looking scenery.

Looks like this in a medium zoomed view:
13. Uthai Thani medium zoom

As you can see I avoid all numbered roads. Single digit is highways, btw, than double/triple/quadruple, which is a well paved provincial two lane road, but little traffic. I still avoid those as you can see.

14. Uthai Thani zoomed out


This shows a bigger picture, how my routes are criss-crossing the country side, where the roads have no numbers...
Final route varies from traced ones of course, sometimes things don't work out, sometimes there are interesting options coming up.

The little river ferry in picture 6 for example altered the route in medium zoom 13, crossed the main river there to the east and linked up with one of the route options further South.
Great fun and my Google Earth trail data base starts to cover more and more of Thailand.
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Old 12-24-18, 01:05 PM
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Wow! Being able to pre-plan with the available tech is really great! The prices you mention are very attractive. When you have these rides, what are your usual distances and days spent for these outings?
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Old 12-26-18, 05:06 AM
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Yes, it's great fun, I sometimes go down to street view, if available, in google maps as well, then hop along a stretch in street view, to check out signs indicating the existence of resorts or hotels (I read enough Thai to do that and know how such signs look like).

Outings are often 1-2 weeks, my preferred time, but can be less. Last trip was with my cousin, just to show her something different, give her a taste of rural Thailand. Was just four days including in and out of Bangkok, but still fun.

Distances are 20-35km as the crow flies ideally, which results in 30-50km effective distance cycled, about 3-4 hours of cycling per day. Going is 12-15km/h average, depending if more dirt road or more concrete. I like those short distances as it gives you time for stops as you like, time to try to find new paths and ways, no probs if you detour and backtrack at times, go swimming or simply arrive early at the destination, time for a nice shower and snooping around locally afterwards to find the best dinner spot.

Longest distance I ever did was 60-70km as the bird flies, which is 90-100km on the road, but I try to avoid that.
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Old 12-29-18, 06:07 PM
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As a result of the pre-planning those are the roads traveled:

15. Along the Chao Phraya river


16. Reliable Italian ride


17. Paddy express lane


19. Bamboo tunnel


No, traffic isn't a problem.
80-90% is done on such little roads, the rest on real two lane roads, usually in and out of the towns along the way or crossing larger roads.
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Old 01-04-19, 11:49 AM
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That's really cool scenery to ride through Envious of being able to ride and take in the scenery like that.
A completely different world to my on paved road experiences in So. Cal.
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Old 01-05-19, 12:30 AM
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Well, compared to Switzerland, where I used to live, there are certainly some advantages here. Apart from the bike friendlier terrain without all the up and downs (apart from the North and some others hilly parts), all year round cycling weather and an absence of traffic/bike bans on those little routes makes it great biking country.
There are plenty of bike routes in Switzerland but you can't just go and map your own route, too many sections will ban all traffic (including bicycles), apart from agricultural, and as Switzerland has it chances are good that you run in some dude in uniform if you decide to go for it, even if it's in a rather remote place.

Parked my friends Macan once in front of a garden restaurant, no parking sign, for a cup of coffee, lady from the restaurant told us she had a free spot behind the house, better to use that one, as the cops usually show up within less than five minutes if someone parks the car on the road side.
And that was in a rather small mountain village...
Thinking getting away with it is definitely not an option there.

No probs in Thailand, no no-go signs in the country side, terrain is the limit, lot's of fun trying to find passages across creeks and streams or paddy and bamboo groves. Sometimes the bush makes it impossible to advance, even if you can see on the satellite image that the trail continues in the open a mere 50 meters away. That's why I plan alternative routes for locations where passage is doubtful. One involved carrying the bike down a small cliff to the beach, pushing it along the beach for about a click, across the shallow mouth of a creek, and back onto the path through the jungle. Whats a splendid detour that was, fantastic beach, swimming, not a soul in sight!
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Old 01-08-19, 12:26 AM
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Seeing bike trips like this where you get to see the countryside and other areas less traveled makes me want to do a similar trip...then I remember I cannot bike.
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Old 01-11-19, 12:07 PM
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My alter ego has some adventurous side though now I would dream of such cycling trips. The side trips can bring some pretty great experiences. Japan has a show titled Cycling Japan, watching that is fun. Keep the pics of your rides coming.
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Old 01-11-19, 11:06 PM
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Crucial is detailed planning, both, route, what's there and staying options, in my opinion.
There are lots of cycling tourists who think paper maps are good enough, or they just plan their daily route while on the go.
This is what posted in another forum:
"When you travel by bicycle you simply end up somewhere non-descript to have a break or to spend the night. Sometimes because you pass through and it looks nice, sometimes because it looks like a dump but you have few options. You have a stroll through town and approach people with a purpose to eat, drink, find a place to sleep"

That's what happens to those who don't plan in detail. They miss the beautiful little country lanes, they miss a lot of local sights, they miss little gems of resorts and restaurants as their hush-hush route is usually direct from town to town along major roads.
If you go unprepared into the maze of country lanes you will rather sooner than later end up in a dead end (usually creeks, rivers, paddy, bush) and after backtracking for 5 or 10 clicks one or two times they stick to those main roads.
Non-descript, flat, and boring has been mentioned to report on areas as the one covered in this little trip of mine above.

But then one has to remember that a lot of cycling tourists are there rather for the cycling than the country. It's important to cycle a good distance, every click counts, they often have to cover the entire country in a few weeks. My approach is different, I want to see the scenery, and photograph it, and enjoy whatever beauty is there along the way.

The fun part is that this can be even done for short trips. Above was a 3 nights trip out of Bangkok - leaving Bangkok in the evening of day 1 by night train and returning late in the evening by day 4.
Other trips are usually about 10-14 days - and mostly followed by some relax time on a beautiful, quiet beach.

then I remember I cannot bike.
Why not? Some condition or simply never got on a bike?
Never to late to learn...
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Old 01-13-19, 05:48 PM
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Ha! I just never bothered to learn.
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