The average Koh Phangan local would probably scratch their head at the prospect of choosing to get on a push bike and see the island. Why not use a moped like everyone else? These farang are a strange bunch – deliberately choosing the hard option.
And the local Thais have a point. By 9am the sun is up and at full blast. Any physical exercise is going to see even the fittest souls pouring with sweat. And there is sunburn and heat stroke to contend with. And yet…
And yet there is the love of mountain biking, the fun of technically challenging off-road trails, and the chance to explore places that mopeds struggle to get to. Not to mention the great work out and the chance to save the environment the carbon and pollution from combustion engine fumes.
Phangan Bicycle Tours has been around now for a couple of years. The fact that they continue to get good reviews on Tripadvisor suggests they have a viable business. At the time of writing they had 220 ‘excellent’ scores and 3 ‘very good’ scores. No one has marked them as ‘average’, ‘poor’ or ‘terrible’. That is quite a feat. Nearly all popular restaurants and resorts have a handful of unsatisfied customers.
Here are the tours available:
- Classic. This is from 8.45am to 1.15pm and covers 19 kilometres. The course includes roads, dirt tracks and jungle trails. The tour takes in a coconut pressing plant, a rubber tree plantation, a temple and Phangan Animal Care in Wok Tum. This is a tour of the West coast of Koh Phangan which gives visitors a chance to see aspects of the island economy that were vital until tourism. The tour includes snacks and drinks and costs 1,150 Thai Baht per person.
- Family. This is from 9.45am to 2pm and covers 13 kilometres. The tour is on roads, dirt tracks and jungle trails. Sights passed include a school, the police station and a local market. The cost is 1,200 THB per person and includes snacks, drinks and lunch.
- Explorer. This is from 3pm to 7.30pm and covers 18 kilometres. The tour is on roads, countryside tracks and through the jungle. The tour takes in Phangan Police Station, a temple, a coconut processing plant, a rubber tree plantation and the night market. The cost is 1,250 Thai Baht a person and includes drinks, snacks and dinner.
There is a pick up / drop off service for all the tours. It is free from Thongsala, Baan Tai, Baan Kai and Wok Tum. Further away an extra fee of 100 THB is charged (except for Thong Nai Pan and Than Sadet that costs 200 THB).
All tours include mountain bike, helmet and first aid kit. None of the tours are neither particularly demanding nor dangerous. For the Family Tour there is the option of hiring a kid’s trailer (800 THB), kid’s bike (800 THB) or child seat (400 THB).
The company is run by Mark and Soren. They are 2 devoted cyclists who have been at the vanguard of developing the mountain biking scene in Koh Phangan. You can book online or visit their shop in Thongsala. See below for the location of Phangan Bicycle Tours.
The tours are as much about experiencing another side of Koh Phangan and Thai culture as they are getting a workout on a bike. If you are really keen for thrills and spills on a mountain bike then speak to Mark and Soren and they might be able to sort out a more adrenalin inducing tour for you.
Address: 99/121 Moo 1, Tambon Koh Phangan, Amphur Koh Phangan, Suratthani 84280
Telephone: +66 (0)89 593 9732