by Harriet Bond
(San Francisco, CA, USA)
breathtaking rock climbing in Krabi!
With cycling growing in popularity worldwide, it is no surprise that more and more people consider touring Thailand on a cycle. Not only is it healthy and environmentally sound, it also guarantees meaningful encounters with local people along the way – just put a bike on a bus ortrain and head for quieter rural areas. The terrain is mostly cyclist-friendly, and several companies organize guided rides along country lanes.
Visitors considering a cycling holiday are advised to consult the websites of the “Thai Cycling Club” and “Biking Southeast Asia”. The best time to cycle in Thailand is from November to February; the worst is in the hot season between March and May. Cycling in the rainy season is also worth considering. Bike and Travel and Spice Roads are two recommended cycling tour operators with offices in Bangkok and Pathum Thani near Bangkok.
Those looking for an activity that gets the adrenalin flowing will find rock climbing hard to beat. Thailand is one of the most popular destinations for this sport.
Krabi is the epicenter of rock climbing, especially at Hat Rai Leh, where several companies offer half- to three-day courses for beginners and rent out equipment to experienced climbers; the more reliable operators include Tex Rock Climbing, King Climbers, and Hot Rock. More than 700 bolted routes in the region offer climbs which are graded according tothe French system.
Ko Phi Phi has a similar limestone terrain, and a few local companies, such as Spidermonkey Climbing, offer instructions for beginners at Ton Sai Tower and Hin Taek.
Visitors who want to go bungee jumping should head to Jungle Bungy Jump, a successful company operating in popular tourist locations such as Phuket and Pattaya. A certificate is issued on completion of the jump.
Horse Racing & Riding
As one of the few forms of gambling allowed in Thailand, horse racingattracts a strong local following, and the atmosphere is always vibrant. Races are held on weekends in Bangkok at the Royal Bangkok Sports Club and the Royal Turf Club. For a more hands-on equine experience, check out the activities on offer at the International Riding School near Pattaya and the Phuket Riding Club.