When I saw rave reviews of Hua Hin Tours – which has been awarded a Certificate of Excellence from Tripadvisor – I couldn’t resist getting in contact with them while we were holidaying in Thailand. We wanted to get out of the city and explore the surrounding areas without being stuck in the car all day and felt a Hua Hin Bike Tour was the perfect way to do this.
Hua Hin Cycle Tours
After speaking to helpful Chris in the office, he suggested that his most popular trip, The Dolphin Bay and Kao Kalok Tour, would be the most suitable for us and, because we had Monkey, it would be a private tour with our own guide and support vehicle. We laughed and told him we weren’t that unfit, but he assured us this was standard.
Dolphin Bay Hua Hin
A few days later after an early pick up from The Centara Grand Beach Resort, we were introduced to our guide Yo and our smiling driver, who couldn’t speak a word of English, and scrambled into our minibus to travel 50 minutes out of the Hua Hin towards the start of our route in Dolphin Bay, situated near Khao Sam Roi Yot National Park. Pulling up on a quiet road, the guys unloaded all the equipment and fitted us with our bikes and helmets – Monkey was provided with a trailer on the back of Daddy’s bike. Once we were all comfortable, we set off gently along a virtually traffic-free road. The weather was blisteringly hot even though it was still early morning.
Our route was approximately 15 miles in total, a gentle cycle mainly along the seafront – with sandy beaches stretching as far as the eye could see and barely a soul in sight. We even stopped off several times to enjoy the stunning landscape and given fresh fruits and ice-cold water courtesy of the support vehicle – which I hasten to add, is where Monkey decided he would much prefer to be because it was too hot for him. We then cycled through several fishing villages and got off our bikes to take photos and to watch the men working and repairing their nets.
Our next stop was at a stunning Hindu Temple where Yo explained this was quite a rare sight in Thailand as Buddhism is the dominant faith. He also explained that all Thai boys must follow The Sangha and become Monks at some point in their lives. We never realised this. It was enjoyable just wandering around and watching some of the monks going about their daily duties.
We got back on our bikes again and finally reached Kha Kalok, where Yo gave us the option of trekking up a nature trail to a mountain view-point. It wasn’t ideal for Monkey, so while hubby volunteered to stay with him, I took up the challenge of this little hike. Luckily, it wasn’t too difficult, but the terrain was uneven and uphill, and I struggled in my flip flops – totally the wrong choice of footwear! Once I caught my breath, the view was pretty spectacular of Kha Kalok and its beach below. After making our way back down to our bikes, we continued cycling along the coast towards Pranburi Beach where we stopped a small, nondescript beachfront restaurant. We left it up to Yo to order several dishes for us – and when I saw ‘grandma’ going into the kitchen to help cook, I knew we were in for a treat. It was delicious and spicy, and just what we needed after a morning of cycling. Our favourite was the fried red snapper and the stir-fried crab. Monkey’s favourite was the ice-lolly. After lunch, we continued along another stretch of beautiful beach and passed by some luxurious hotel resorts. This didn’t take too long – and we were warned that we would be veering off the quieter roads in order to cycle through the busy town of Pak Nam Pran (Mouth of the Pranburi River). This was a little hair-raising as mopeds and cars were overtaking us.
Pranburi Mangrove Forest
But it was so worth it because our final destination, Pranburi Mangrove Forest – the largest Mangrove Forest in Thailand, was a really interesting and educational experience. It’s an ongoing environmental project to prevent flooding, but began after Her Majesty Sirikit of Thailand saw the devastating impact of a prawn plantation which left the land polluted and unusable. She spearheaded the Mangrove Forest project – mangrove trees can grow in coastal habitats – and planted the first one over 20 years ago. I could scarcely believe this once ravaged and desolate land is now a beautiful, natural wonder. Following the nature trail through the mangroves trees meant we had some much-needed shade and, because it was low tide and the tree roots were exposed there was plenty for Monkey to look at. He adored trying to spot the mud-skippers and crabs. But the best part of our walk was climbing a four-storey observation tower, which gave us a birds-eye view of the whole forest. The cool breeze was also welcome and we spent a while up there just taking in our surroundings. Yo asked if wanted to continue cycling another 15km as an extension to our day trip, but we politely declined. After all, it was late afternoon and, even though we had plenty of breaks along the way, we were pretty shattered from our excursion. It was time to head back to the hotel and enjoy a beer and a swim.
Final thoughts on our Hua Hin Cycle Tour
We couldn’t have been more impressed with our cycle tour. Yo really looked after us, made sure Monkey was okay and was a great guide, who shared funny and interesting stories. I also liked how we didn’t have to worry about pick-ups, equipment, drinks or food – they were all included in the price.
But best of all was seeing the wonderful landscapes and natural environment along the way – and just spending a few hours like we were the only people on the planet.
*Cost of the private tour inclusive of bikes, equipment, drinks, food and pick-ups was £53 per adult and £39 per child. See Hua Hin Bike Tours for more details