Phuket is a place known for its many beaches and party areas. Brits, Americans and other nationalities flock here to check out one of Thailand’s most popular tourist destinations. I had never been to Phuket before but heard many stories about the infamous Patong Beach and many other iconic tourist spots. All this sounded interesting but I wanted to do something different so I started looking for things to do in Phuket that were outside of the “norm”. This is when I first came across Amazing Bike Tours Thailand who had a variety of experiences but one, particularly the cycling on Koh Yao Noi caught my fancy.
Koh Yao Noi Cycling Experience
We only had 3 nights in Phuket and decided to stay in Karon at Doolay Hostel. If you haven’t decided on a hotel or hostel yet, you should check out our Best Places to stay in Phuket article. Pick up times vary depending on the location of your hostel but we were promptly picked up at 7.15am and transported to the pier, which took around an hour. During the transfer, our guide for the day introduced himself to us and told us the plan for the day. His English name was Fluke and told us he got that name because his mother was told she would have a girl and then he arrived….hence Fluke.
Amazing Bike Tours Thailand Cycling Gear
We arrived at the pier around 8.30am and were asked to select a helmet and remember our bike number, which had already been selected/provided based on our height and weight. This was a great start as there is nothing worse than having a bike that doesn’t fit right. Soon, the bikes were loaded onto the boat and were each given top quality helmets. During our experience we had no issues with any of the bikes and were each quite comfortable. Attempting to do a cycling tour with cheap low quality bikes is just a disaster waiting to happen so we were pretty happy with the equipment provided.
Quick Scenic Boat Ride to Koh Yao Noi
After some breakfast and a coffee, we hopped on the boat and opted to sit on the roof to take in the view. With in minutes of getting on board, we set off towards Koh Yao Noi. The boat journey took around an hour and was really scenic. Do what we did and sit on the roof to take it all in-you can thank me later.
The Rubber Plantation and the First Half of the Day
When we arrived at Koh Yao Noi, we got off the boat and got acquainted with our bikes for the day. We quickly set off and headed for our first stop, the rubber plantation. To get to the center of the plantation there was a mix of flat roads and off roading through the islands jungle. When we got there Fluke, (our guide) explained the whole process of making rubber and how they extract the latex from the trees which will later on be processed for commercial use.
After visiting the rubber plantation, there was some more off road cycling where at one point I have to admit, I almost took a tumble… almost! Good thing my spidey sense kicked in just in time and I was able to catch myself from falling. After some nice photos and a few more stops we got back onto the roads and continued cycling into the center of the island.
The views are insane so don’t forget to really take them in every now and then. Also keep your eyes out for a range of animals. We saw cows, bulls, water lizards and even a cobra!
After around another hour, we pulled over at a locals house where we were greeted and given free fresh coconuts to try. If you are not a fan of coconuts I would still recommend you gives these a try. My sister was hesitant as first as she is not a fan, but after 2 sips she was instantly converted and finished the whole thing, including the coconut meat with a makeshift spoon.
Our Lunch Stop
After leaving the lovely local ladies place, we continued our cycling experience and headed for lunch. We first stopped at one of the piers for some scenic photos where Fluke jokingly said, “Ok, the good news is, Lunch is served soon. The bad news is, we have two hills to climb first”. Now before this point we hadn’t really encountered many hills so we thought, how bad could it be, right?
Well it turns out, the hills were steep but actually really fun! It was nice that the whole cycling experience was both scenic and challenging at the same time. After these two hills, we gladly rocked up at our lunch spot. It wasn’t long before we were served a range of food from beef cooked in a red curry paste, to the traditional Massaman curry, Tom Yum Soup, and a typical western favorite dish of chicken and cashews. Of course on the side we had rice and a well deserved (in my opinion) cold bottle of Chang.
As soon as the food arrived, we all realized how hungry we were. After almost no talking with the exception of the occasional food moans, we finished everything. I have had my fair share of Thai food but never had a Massaman as good as this. Props goes out to the guys at Amazing Bike Tour Thailand for organizing such a fantastic lunch. Trust me, you won’t be disappointed!
The End of the Day on Koh Yao Noi
As if planned you don’t have long left to cycle after lunch. This is a good thing as I was feeling quite stuffed! When I got back on my bike I felt twice as heavy and knew straight away that this last leg was not going to be as fun. However, like I said you know the guys at Amazing Bike Tours have planned the last bit to be short for this reason. You just finish off with a few more kilometers on flat road and before long you are back at the boat.
After a fantastic day out, we were ready to head back. I got two tips for you at this point:
Number 1. Do not fall asleep in the sun, on the roof of the boat on the way back.
Number 2.Lessons learned.
Koh Yao Noi Cycling Experience Full Plan and Cost
For the package we did, the cost was 3200 Thai Baht per person but for more up to date information and group discounts I would check out Amazing Bike Tours website which can be found below. For the full package, you will receive the following:
- Pick up from Hotel/Hostel (times below)
- Transport to pier
- Boat ride to Koh Yao Noi
- Cycling around Koh Yao – The total distance we covered was around 31 kilometers but varies depending on tour.
- Tour around the plantation, local community and island
- Full lunch and refreshments (fresh coconut)
- Boat ride back to Phuket
- Transport back to Hotel/Hostel
Koh Yao Noi Cycling Extra Information
Pick up times for cycling tours:
Rawai/Nai Harn: 7:10-7:20am
Surin/Bang Tao: 8:20-8:30am
Pickup time is 20 Minutes earlier for the following tours:
Koh Yao Noi day trip
Koh Yao Expedition
Andaman Bike Adventure
For more information about this tour or their other cycling tours and packages, check out their webpage below
Overall Cycling Experience
The day cycling on Koh Yao Noi is a great experience and the guys over at Amazing Bike Tours Thailand are awesome, which made the whole day even better . If you are looking for something active to do and something slightly different while in Phuket then this is perfect for you. I have no doubt it will be one of the highlights of your trip as it was ours. The trip was very well organized and the tour of the island was very fun! We felt that we had really experienced a more local and authentic side to the place which is always nice.
Please note that despite receiving complimentary services from Amazing Bike Tours Thailand, all opinions are ours and remain completely unbiased.
Looking for Other Things to Do While on the Islands? Check out these articles:
- 10 Crazy Extreme Adventures to Do in Thailand
- Best Scuba Diving in Thailand: Dive Sites You Just Can’t Miss
- 10 Awesome Things to Do in Koh Phangan, Thailand
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