Nong Yai Ridge

Mountain Biking at Nong Yai

We recently ventured to Nong Yai for the 4th time on our mountain bikes to explore the many hills in the area. Located 2 hours from Bangkok, it is easily reachable taking the number 7 highway towards Pattaya, and taking a turn off at Chonburi town, from the town it is about 30 minutes to the little known district of Nong Yai. I have yet to come across a fellow mountain biker and indeed everyone we come across looks in awe at a couple of foreigners on their mountain bikes, all adding to the appeal of the place. Another bonus is that the trails are in great condition and not heavily pitted from motocross riders, as at other trails such as Khao Kheow and Khao Mai Keaw.

So far each trip to Nong Yai has been more of a reccy looking for the best route, there are hundreds of acres to explore and countless trails so it has certainly become my favourite mountain biking area around Bangkok. This time we covered 25km in 38 degree heat which was tough going, the trails cover various terrains, the first few km was on paved road, dirt trails through rubber plantations, then through open field trails and into jungle. The heat was getting to us after just 6km so we took a break under some trees overlooking some fantastic scenery.

Nong Yai MTB

After taking a break we continued to explore, the route was new to us so there was a bit of backtracking every time we ran into a dead end of impenetrable jungle but from the top of the hill there was a steep bit of downhill to get the adrenaline pumping. This then led back onto a paved road which we were familiar with from previous trips. After another 10km of trails we found an old abandoned building and stopped for another break, we were getting exhausted by this point but incredibly an ice cream vendor must have seen us cycle past and seeing an easy business opportunity he drove right up to us no doubt seeing the expression of pain in our faces and offered some refreshing ice creams! The sugar rush gave us a boost and we continued to what was the most difficult part of the trail, through some dense woods and tall grasses, a lot of which was burnt by farmers clearing the land. This would likely be impassable in the wet season with dense vegetation covering any trails, the hill is only around 400m in altitude but it was tough getting to the top.

MTB in Nong Yai

The views on top were again stunning, 360 degree views of hills dotted around with the odd farm in the valleys. The silence was a welcome break too coming from Bangkok and the fact that we were alone made it all the better. We chilled out for about 30 minutes to enjoy the view before making the final 5km back to the cars through what was the best section for downhill fun. From the top of the hill, the trail – a mixture of single and double track ran unbroken for several km twisting through the woods and through farms until we ended up back on the road just 1km from the cars.

MTB Trails Near Bangkok

Our original plan was to find a ridge on an adjacent mountain which has an even better downhill stretch and ends in the area we part the cars. We were simply too exhausted to cycle up another mountain and do this though so the plan is to go back soon and make this trail. I have ridden for years at Chachoengsao, Khao Mai Keaw, Khao Ito and others which are great fun but this area has the most potential I have seen within a day trip range of Bangkok, the more familar areas have well known trails, often signed which make them preferable for most people who don’t want to end up lost or bushwhacking through jungle, but for anyone who wants a bit of adventure, some amazing mountain biking and stunning scenery, Nong Yai is the perfect place to check out. Action Sport Asia promotes companies offering cycling tours in Thailand as well as provides details for those wanting to venture out by themselves, please contact us for more details.