Cycling to Ranong
Cycling to Ranong from Chumphon took me exactly one day. Would I recommend it to do it in a day? Probably not. The distance is 120 km not including the few extra km's you have to cycle into the city.
Leaving Chumphon was not that difficult. All you have to do is cycling out of the city in the direction of Sarut Thani.
Just a kilometer out of the city there's the junction to road 4, 9 km to the main junction for Surat Thani (south), Prachuap Khiri Khan (north) and Ranong (west). Make sure you use the bridge otherwise you might have a problem to get back on the right trail!
I made quick progress on the way to Hin Dang, the first place to get some rest. Nothing much to see except countryside. Hin Dang was also no more than a 15 minutes break.
From here on some hills are starting to appear. It was really fine cycling to Ranong until Kraburi. This was obviously the easy part. There is a "resort" just on the north side of Kraburi town.
What to say about Kraburi? As I had been caught a cold, I wasn't sure if I wanted to stay in Kraburi or continue to Ranong. In the end, the town didn't look appealing at all and as it was only 12PM, I saw no reason to stay here. After a meal I left the town.
From here on the roads started rolling with some short nasty little climbs. This road is build on the Myanmar border. Looking left and literally on the west side of the road there is Myanmar.
I had met a German cyclist who had been cycling to Ranong before and had warned me: before Ranong there is one little hills that will break your legs. With 40 km's to Ranong to go I wonder where this hill would be. It seemed this was a road with only short nasty hills.
It's all not very high but the continuing climbs made me tired. From sea level to 100 meter or so sounds like nothing but it kept coming and going. There was really not much to see except an occasional temple on the road side.
When finally I went down I had only 15 km left to cycle and I thought it was all done. I was wrong! It all came when I passed the Punyaban Waterfall, which is visible from the road side. Just before the falls the (I hoped) last climb started.
And just after I passed the falls it also started raining which was nice as it cooled me down and wept the sweat of my body. The climb was about 2 km and quite easy but with 100 km already cycled it was challenging enough.
After reaching the top I expected cycling to Ranong would be all the way down. The descending took a few kilometers but with 4 km to cycle the rolling road started again.
By the time I was in Ranong I was happy to get a hotel room. For the most, travelers come to Ranong for renewing their visa. Thus there is a wide range of hotels in town.
The Ranong main street looks a bit like Khao San Road in Bangkok though less busy. There are several hotels and restaurants to explore. Just south of the city you will find several National Parks including Namlok Ngao and Khlong Nakha Wild Sanctuary. There are clear signs on the road to direct you into the parks and in some, like Leam Son, you can stay overnight. But Ranong city didn't appeal much to me. I left the next morning in the direction of Phuket but that is another story.
Accommodation and hotels in Ranong
There's some really nice places to stay in town. Check what Tripadvisor and Hotelscombined or Agoda.com recommend
Cycling Chumphon-Ranong in one or two days?
Back to my original statement: "cycling to Ranong from Chumphon in one day?" If you come from Chumphon, you might consider staying a night in Kraburi as the next 54 kilometers contain quite a bit of climbing. If you start in Ranong, you can easily do the trip in a day as the difficulties are in the first half of the journey.
If I had to cycle it again, would I cycle Chumphon to Ranong in a day? Probably I would stay a night in Kraburi. This time I did it in a day despite the cold I caught in one of the previous days in an aircon hotel room. It is certainly possible to do it in a day.
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