Let’s face it, Bangkok and it’s environs are not particular suited for cycling, the capitol sits in a basin devoid of hills, the traffic in the city is awful and the roads are not the safest for cyclists. Despite this, avid cycling fans have developed and routed a number of trails within a short driving distance of Bangkok that make for a fun day out.
Khao Ito is perhaps the most famous mountain biking day trip from Bangkok for good reason. Located on the outskirts of Khao Yai, one of the oldest and largest National Parks in Thailand, Khao Ito is a small mountain with dozens of trails suitable for XC mountain biking, all of which are well maintained so that you don’t spend half the time pushing through brush or getting lost.
The downhill from the top of the mountain is a good 10 minutes non stop pure adrenaline rush and there is the added bonus of a car park, restaurant and scenic lake at the base. Khao Ito is located 2-3 hours North East of Bangkok, depending on traffic conditions making a trip to this trail a full day out.
Khao Mai Keaw
Located in Chonburi province, 1-2 hours from Bangkok, Khao Mai Keaw or Tam Pratoon as it is also known is another well known mountain biking track in Thailand that is popular with XC riders. Although the maximum elevation is not high, there are some nice downhill sections and a good combination of terrain and variety of trails to make this a great mountain biking track. Khao Mai Keaw is located on the Eastern seaboard of Thailand, also within close proximity of Pattaya and Rayong.
Wat Suwankhiri is situated on a small mountain in Chachoensao province, East of Bangkok. The trail starts in the grounds of a temple (Wat means temple in Thai), and forms a 10km loop around the mountain which can be done either clockwise for fast downhill sections, or counter-clockwise if more technical uphill is your thing.
Few people make it out here so it is likely you will have the trail to yourself but the journey will be worth it as you cycle through jungle and bamboo plantations through some exciting single track. The trail is an hour and a half from Bangkok and lies just off the main road connecting Prachinburi and Chonburi.
Khao Yai Da
One of a number of mountain biking trails in Rayong, Khao Yai Da is a dream for downhill fans featuring huge jumps, ramps, drop-offs, berms and fast decents all packed within this short 2km downhill trail. Downhill fans park their cars at the bottom and cycle/push their bikes up a paved road up the mountain to the start of the downhill before the quick descent to the bottom and often repeat several times.
Khao Yai Da is not recommended for novices despite trails going around some of the ramps, and the cushioned trees give an indication as to how dangerous this trail can be. Reaching Khao Yai Da is quite a drive from Bangkok in the region of 4 hours, however an early start and a combination with other trails in the area can make it worth the effort.
Perhaps the most accessible mountain biking track from Bangkok, Khao Kheow is in Chonburi province, around 1 hour from Bangkok and situated near the Khao Kheow Open Zoo and Flight of the Gibbon, two popular tourist destinations in the area.
There are various mountain biking trails in Khao Kheow suitable for XC enthusiasts and a number of different terrains, from riding through farms and forest, to open mountain top and fields. A bike ride at Khao Kheow can be accomplished in half a day leaving plenty of time to explore the open zoo or even do some ziplining!