Cycling has grown in popularity enormously over the past decade. Much of the surge in enthusiasm was generated by the ‘Bike for Dad’, mass event in 2015 when hundreds of thousands of people nationwide took to their bikes in honour and to celebrate the birthday of the much loved late King, Rama IX. Since then it has never looked back and cyclists can be seen everywhere from pootling around the Old City to huffing and puffing their way up the mountains.
Cycling is a great way to get around the Old City and see the sights. Wend your way through the labyrinth of sois (lanes) taking in the colour of temples, pagodas and local markets. Or use it as an opportunity to explore the many local neighbourhoods. Tourists can take advantage of the Chiang Mai’s mobike scheme or rent a bicycle for just a few baht a day.
If you are a serious cyclist, then you have the hills and vales of the foothills of the Himalayas at your doorstep. Please be cautious though as every year a fair number of cyclists get killed on Thailand’s roads. So make sure you wear all the lights and bright colours needed to alert oncoming traffic.
However, with proper precaution and awareness, you can really let free and cycle for dozens of kilometres in each direction of the city to find some great roads with fabulous views.
If you are not comfortable on the roads on your own, then join any number of cyclist clubs or organised tours: safety in numbers!