Great Days, On The Road

Day 39 – Samut Sakhon to Samut Prakan

Today was 67kms and we successfully made it all the way to the edge of Bangkok without using the main highway road. We came over on the ferry to the Eastern side of the Chao Praya river in Pak Nam, Samut Prakan. This locations is only 8kms from the BTS line (Bearing station) and would make a great escape route for pretty much anyone wanting to get out of Bangkok and down the coast.

I’ve always wanted a way out of Bangkok, many cycling tourers get the train to Petchaburi because they’ve read the main road is terrible and that it’s just logical to avoid it. After living in Bangkok and Hua Hin I knew there had to be a half decent way to get out of town.

The road was mostly long and straight with a crazy little curly section in the middle, enough to get anyone lost without a GPS (but manageable with smartphone), but I’m happy. We only took one wrong turn that had us traveling down 500m of wet dirt, it was an area which was under construction that should be completed in a few months and will be cement roadway like the rest. One other section of around 2-3kms was hard packed road-base, smooth enough for a road bike tire to make it down, so it is certainly usable for 99% of bicycle tourers.

I can imagine sometime soon the road will run the whole length of the canal, it will then become more heavily trafficked. Currently the road is light on cars and trucks. We rode it between 7am-9am so the sun was low and it was cloudy, but I can imagine if one tackled it at noon it would be very hot indeed.

Anyway, I’ve just got to put together a link from Amphawa to Samut Sakhon, then I’ll pretty much have a main/highway road free path all the way to Cha-am or Hua Hin. You do have to cross the main road a couple of times but it would be something that anyone could do. Making Amphawa the half way point you could make Cha-am in two days, 100-ish kms per day, something that most people can manage. Then just enjoy yourself at the beaches of Cha-am or Hua Hin for a few days.

Just a note – It is possible, at this time, to take your bicycle on Bangkok BTS (skytrain) for free. It’s open at 6am, so you could be over the river from the ferry and on your way to Amphawa by 7am if you were at any BTS station as soon as it opened.

Then ride 8km down the lower end of Sukhumvit, which would be very low traffic before 7am. I’ve done it before and it was relatively painless. Pak Nam has signs pointing to the pier where you can take the ferry for only 4 Baht per person and 10 Baht for the bicycle. SUPER CHEAP!

I’m always in favour of an early wake up. Getting up at 5am (with my bicycle packed from the night before), putting some cold water into my bottle, and riding off early is much more appealing to me than getting a late start. I like to arrive at my destination before the afternoon sun has time to cook me on the bike. An early start gives me enough time to enjoy a great meal upon arrival and allows me time to relax and have an entertaining evening.

I will string together all the GPS routes I have and make a plan for anybody who wants to download it. I use a Garmin 60cxs. This Garmin model is sturdy, waterproof(ish), and uses AA Batteries so it never goes flat on a long day’s ride.

I hope someone will find this article useful when they are trying to plan their next cycling escape from Bangkok. I think cycle touring in Thailand without a GPS (the model I use cost only US$200) means you may miss out on the best back roads. Having one will make your cycling life more awesome.

In a few days I will put together a little plan on how I make my daily GPS routes (so simple and it takes 10 minutes using Google maps). These we use as our base guide every day. We don’t follow it like it’s god, but it really gives us enough of an idea to get us where we want to go, with a little help from our translator (Natt).

GPS Route from Samut Sakhon to Samut Prakan

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One Response to “Day 39 – Samut Sakhon to Samut Prakan”

  1. On กรกฎาคม 9, 2012 at 10:40 am