If your holidaying in Thailand or even taking a weekend trip away somewhere and live in Bangkok there’s a cool alternative to the typical adventure activities you can do. Forget the quad biking – four wheels is too stable, usually features boring routes (due to the size of the quads) and doesn’t give you the real thrill that dirt biking does!
Just outside of Pattaya is a certain little adventure tour company who offer dirt biking trips from half a day to 12 days long. Skip the half day one if you want to avoid the boring terrain. Opt for the full day tour as I did with my friend if you really want some fun or go beyond with a multi day trip. Especially if you are a beginner bike rider like me. Granted I drive a scooter in Bangkok and did so in Ho Chi Minh City for 2 years but I never dabbled in riding a geared bike or for that matter a dirt bike!
Taking a full day trip on the bikes with Enduro Madness will give you a real feel and practice on a geared dirt bike. This trip was like nothing I have experienced before. I have done Quad biking, Jet Skiing and Mountain Biking all over South East Asia but nothing topped being on a dirt bike in the hot sticky and slippy terrains of Thailand. The overall fun factor, varied terrain and above all the challenge, even on the beginner route is well worth your time and money.
The package is affordable too, if you book online up front it’s around 5,100 THB each for a full day with a guide. Lasting roughly 8 hours for the day trip they will take you out around the countryside near Pattaya and through the thick jungle.
If you go in the wet season it’s a lot more fun than the dry season. The slippery surfaces and big pools of water are far more satisfying to bomb through whilst keeping your balance in the mud than the dry terrain where it’s plain sailing all the way.
Some tips for beginners before you go:
- If you have little or no experience on a geared bike don’t pretend to be a seasoned biker – these dirt bikes even at just 250cc have rapid acceleration and you can come unstuck and crash them quickly, especially given the need to manage gears too! Plus there’s no insurance on the bike damage so you would have to then pay for the crash.
- Tell the company you have no experience with riding a geared bike, even if you have a little. This way it manages their expectations and means you can spend more time before you set off practicing riding one in their yard. I spent 20 minutes before I went out practicing and happily declared I didn't know what I was doing upfront. This way I felt more confident getting use to changing gears and handling the bike in general before we went off on the real tour.
- If your overweight, you won’t find this tour that comfortable. Your wearing full padded gear all day and in the Thailand weather you’ll soon start to feel dehydrated, hot, sweaty etc. I’d recommend slimming down before you try something like this or alternatively just go for a 3 hour run out.
- 2nd and 3rd gear are your friends as a beginner. I pretty much stayed in either gear for most of the trip apart from the odd long stretch of real road where you have the chance to try out 4th and 5th. The terrain and corner turning in the wet season can get rather tricky so moving up too higher gear and going too fast will lead you to stalling the bike when taking on some of the more challenging parts and having to brake.
- Take some small snacks! Although Enduro Madness provide lunch, you’ll be surprised how hungry you get just a few hours into the tour. The company give you a handy small back pack where you can fit snacks into.
I’d recommend this trip for anyone looking for a different sort of adventure and has already done the Quad Bikes, the ATV’s, the Mountain Biking etc. This tour will definitely give you a greater thrill than the former two. It’s a great day time trip to combine with a night out in Pattaya too rather than just sitting around the bars all day and night. You’ll be pumped up for a cracking night out if you do the bike trip before hitting the town!
As for my next trip on a bike, I am planning an excursion to Vietnam, where I will be planning a motorbike tour with Dragon Bike Tours from HCMC to Hanoi. I’ll be writing a diary about that trip here at Thailand Tours. I have a few mates who have done the trip and there’s some terrific coastal views to take in along the way north from HCMC.