Noticed some good looking bikes on display along the main roadway the past days, and made arrangements to rent two quality TREK bikes from Lanta E-Bike Tours and Rentals. The owner (Tim) and his partner were fantastic, and set us up so we could be off on our way. We really enjoyed the well serviced and quality bikes for our outing!
Our destination for the day was to head south to the National Park, and Tim mentioned this would be a great destination, and ride along the coast – though we were warned there were three ‘sporty’ hills near the end before, so prepare for a challenge. Donning helmets, we were off! The ride along the roadway was with light, mostly scooters and a few vehicles – always giving us plenty of space. As the only cyclists we saw that day, we definately stood out. The day was warm at 30C, but the breeze from the ocean helped temper the efforts. Hills were in fact sporty, and I have to admit we did walk up portions rather than try to grind up in the lowest possible gear.
Arriving as we approached the Mu Ko Lanta National Park, the forests would increasingly jungle like, and we definately saw monkeys… lots of monkeys on the road, and monkeys checking out the trash cans. Yep, we discovered ‘bad monkeys’. Arriving at our destination, we payed the park entrance fees, and make our way to the parking area: mostly scooters! We locked our bikes to a handy papaya tree, and headed off to the water front and ocean view for shade and the beach. The views were stunning, and the trails fun too. There was a park ranger keeping track of who went onto the trails – I’m guessing so everyone came back out. Enjoying ourselves in the ocean to cool down, we quickly realized we need to protect our gear from the eyes and hands of the monkeys lurking in the trees!
After the beach we took to the waterfront and trails. the lighthouse at the tip of the park on the cliffs are a natural destination, as well as a Geocache site! There is also a spectacular view onto the Andaman sea and the marine park has an unspoiled waterfront. There is an obvious photo-op spot, and we exchanged camera with other tourists for a rare team shot! The hike along the ocean front trail is also epic, and we had additional viewpoints there. There was a park ranger taking names of folks heading out on the trail, and checking us off when we returned – I guess you don’t want to lose anyone on these trails!
The cycle home was also challenging, with “the three sporty hills”. . . though we did have an advantage that they did provide an exciting decent along the way! There was also cheering from others on scooters, and locals along the way – we were the only cyclists we saw today! We did take advantage of the coastal route, and explored one of the beaches we pass along – nice spot for a swim and cool down more after getting out of the park and the hilly section. We really enjoyed getting to the next little town, and we quickly zeroed in on getting a cold beverage. Our hostess and her friends had a great laugh when we arrived on our bikes and leaned them against their restaurant – as the hills are impressive! Her first jest to us was “Do you need gasoline”, as this is the common tourist query for their scooters. “Ye!s” we said, “Gasoline for us – two icy pineapple shakes please”. This created a great laugh from the crew, and these were freshly made for us. Best frosty pineapple shake ever! After that pause, we continued our ocean side journey back to Lanta E-Bike tours and Rental.
It was another great day, and we’ve definitely fell into a groove for evening dining. There was a small family run restaurant right on the end of the beach amongst the rocks. We got to know the owners, and also put them on google map: “Moomsabai Food & Drink on the Rock” to help promote their business. This was a husband and wife team that made amazing meals – my favorite was the Massaman curries loaded with fresh spices and seasonings with rice. Best meals we had while in Thailand! Always washed down with fine large Chang Beer! The asian tables were relaxing and the sunset views with the distant shrimp boats priceless.