Leg2 – Thailand – From the Malaysian border up the eastern coast

This page describes my bicycle trip from the southeastern entry point in Thaliand (Narathiwat) up to Surat Thani, that works as a port for the islands og Ko Tao, Ko Pha Ngan and Ko Samui.
I did the trip in December 2009.

The road and route
The road is very good and there is not much traffic. The road is well paved and has a wide paved shoulder the whole way.

I used the Lonely Planet guide for Thailand, and have only mentioned the accommodation situation in the towns that are not mentioned in the guide. All towns mentioned on this leg have accommodation.

The route in detail

Narathiwat – Pretty big town with guesthouses and hotels. There are some nice restaurants, but it is not a place I would spend more than one night. I stayed at a rather nice guesthouse (‘Ocean Blue Mansion’) overlooking the river (reasonable priced) along the main road.

Narathiwat – Pattani is 107km

Pattani – I walked a bit around town, but there was nothing special to see. The town is quite large (~45000 people). I tried getting a room at the “CS Pattani Hotel” (it is expensive, but should be worth it) but this was full (or so they said when they saw me in my cycling clothes). They followed me to another hotel very close by, that was quite nice and a lot cheaper (500baht/night), no signs in english though.

Pattani – Songkhla is 107km

Songkhla – Lots of expats, lots of guesthouses and lots of bars/gogo bars/restaurants. I stayed for 2 nights (there are good restaurants and a night life not normally found in Muslim areas). The seaside (look north) is very nice for a stroll in the evening. From the northern tip of Songkhla it is possible to take a ferry to the other side of the river, this is nice if you are going to Hua Sai.

Songkhla – Hua Sai is 107km

I cycled north to the terminal and took the ferry over the river. This saved some kilometers and I find that boat transport is nearly allways nice.

Hua Sai – nothing to see here! There is a guesthouse (resort-style), that does not advertise in English, about 1 km south of the t-junction (not far after the bridge when arriving from the south) that is Hua Sai. The resort is on the beach (however most is concrete or rocks). I did not see any other places to stay (but Mr. Pumpy reports another guesthouse). Restaurants; nah, more food stall type of eating.

Hua Sai – Nakhon si Thammarat is 80km

Nakhon si Thammarat – Expats here also, which means lots of guesthouses (I stayed in ‘Thai Hotel’, and can highly recommend this), good food and a nightlife. There are also one of the most important temples in southern Thailand, if people are in that mood.

Nakhon si Thammarat – Surat Thani is 75km

Surat Thani – I did not stay here I took the ferry straight to Koh Tao (ferries every night to all 3 islands). But this town has got it all: Cinemas (Thai language spoken :|), guesthouses, hotels, restaurants, malls etc. But I am not sure how nice it is to stay here…

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