Weekend Cycling Tour: Laser Buddha

Our weekend’s mini cycling tour was a blast yesterday!  We loved riding through the rural roads to explore.  I think we covered around 50 km, just going easy most of the time.  Cycling in our slippers can be a challenge sometimes but doable.  We past a few tourist spots like the Sheep Farm that had a make believe Swiss village and the upside down house attractions but our real destination is the Laser Buddha or Khao Chi Chan Buddha.

The ride started our on Jomtien Beach all the way to the end then we hit a little bit of Highway 3.  It’s not tough to find the turn to the Buddha because there were so many tourist buses that make the turn and signs of the Buddha everywhere.  The day was gorgeous, it felt like in the mid-70’s temps with a slight head wind which was really nice.  Once we made that turn to 1003, the roads were much more quiet.  On the way to the Buddha which you can see from afar, we saw lots of groups cyclists.  It looks like the area is a popular for group rides on the weekend.  Right at the entrance of the Laser Buddha, it looks like heading towards the East there are bike lanes.  That is awesome!

Right after we got back, I was curious about those bike lanes and found this article about Siri Charoenwat Forest Bicycle Path Project in Chonburi Province.  We both got even more excited about all the possibilities of training on our bikes while we live here in Pattaya.  That led me to running events, cycling routes and more information about cycling in Thailand.  More exploring and more riding…

Just as we left the parking lot filled with Chinese tourists buses, we saw a group of cyclists riding up so we tagged along.  The group had a motor pacer but she was behind the group, looks like more of a sag.  We followed them because for sure they have a nice route, no doubt.  They made a turn into Silverlake and into a bike lane path by the lake.  It’s beautiful there and we stopped at the intersection to check on Google map where we are.  We continued to explore ourselves and ended up in a Botanic garden by the lake.  There were vendors selling fish food and bread for tourists to feed the fish in the lake.  The botanic garden had a lovely pond filled with Lotus flowers and a little hill with exotic gardens and temples.  We saw a couple in their traditional Thai wedding clothes taking a photo shoot, it was lovely.

One thing I forgot to mention is, there is bike racks to park the bikes at the parking lot at the Laser Buddha.  It was just us yesterday but always glad there are bike racks.

We took road 1008 towards the main highway 3 or Sukhumvit Road.  1008 was really nice and wide.  It’s a quiet back roads that we plan to take next time rather than 1003.  It’s just one exit before the Laser Buddha turn or 1003 road.  Sukhumvit is a very busy highway with lots of trucks and tour buses speeding along, however riding on the left most side along with the scooters and other cyclists is quite okay.  Believe me, this is better than riding in Vietnam specially Ho Chi Minh City.

We decided to take a small backroad to see if there is any small road at all along the beach back to the edge of Jomtien Beach.  We ended up on a road with a lot of street dogs, a small market and a dirt path leading to the marina.  There was a boat show that weekend with a display of very nice looking motorcycles and big boats!

Right by the marina harbor, there were local fishermen’s boats and children playing in the water.  At the end of the harbor, we stopped to enjoy the nice breeze and a view of Pattaya.  The entrance of the boat show is Sukhumvit Road so we rode out then headed back to Jomtien Beach, not too far.

Jomtien Beach was nice yesterday and lots of people out walking, swimming, cycling and eating.  It was 3 hours later so we were both hungry.  There are restaurants, lots of them but we often pick the rugged street food vendors because it’s also good food without pretentious prices.  We got chicken feet and pork blood noodles soup, bbq chicken liver and gizzards skewers and Thai ice tea.  Each of the food were from three different vendors all lined up on the side of the road.  It was delicious!  We sat by the waters along the side of the road and enjoyed our lunch!

It was a fantastic day and Pattaya have opened our options to many other activities that we love to do like cycling and running.

Now that we can train even more with a variety of activities while living in Pattaya, we signed up for a trail running race in Rayong in February.  Rayong is on the south east of Pattaya, a little over 60km.  We are going to ride to the race the day before, run the 32km race then cycle back to Pattaya the next day.  It’s our favorite thing to do, back to back endurance days!

We look forward to training those running legs once again!  32km is a sweet spot distance for us in a trail race, it should be fun and going to be more intimate with the trails in Rayong, Thailand.

 

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