Cycling the South Coast’s Villages & Temples
Cycle through this area of coconut plantations, past sacred temples, Buddhist effigies, small communities and narrow roads through tall palms, a pagoda, a rum distillery and beautiful bays, before coming to rest in the far west of the island at Ao Phang Ka, one of the quietest stretches of sand on Ko Samui.
Ban Hua Thanon
First explore the Muslim village of Ban Hua Thanon, walking down the main market street, admiring the mosque and exploring the beach through the palm trees beyond, where the traditional boats lie in shallow water. The huge statue to the north of the village is of Guanyu, a Chinese hero and deity.
Koh Samui Rum
Head out along the 4169 and then turn left down the 4170, passing a sign for Ban Thong Krut (8km). For a short diversion from here, you will see a sign for Wat Samret to your right along Th Proo-Na-Muang, otherwise continue in the same direction to the Koh Samui Rum distillery, which is well worth exploring. If you want a coffee, stop off at the nearby Sweet Sisters Cafe, near the corner of Th Ban Kao.
Laem Saw Pagoda
At the Sweet Sisters Cafe junction, you can turn right and cycle up the 4173 for a short distance and find a golden seated Buddha effigy beneath a pavilion on the left-hand side of the road. Backtracking and continuing along the 4170, look out for Lam Sho Road, which turns off to the left and leads down to the sea. At the end of the road stands the Laem Saw Pagoda, with superb views out across the water.
Ao Thong Krut
Keep cycling along the 4170 till it runs into the community around Ao Thong Krut on the bay. Walk along the beach, or stop in Hemingway's on the Beach, an excellent choice for lunch or a drink. Look out for signs for long-tail boats making the trip to the islands of Ko Taen and Ko Mat Sum.
Ao Phang Ka
Continue along the 4170 and cross the crossroads with Th Keeree Mas (Keeree Mas Rd) and go straight on, without turning left or right. The road will bring you to the lovely bay of Ao Phang Ka, which will – if you time your journey for the late afternoon – reward you with a delightful sunset. Out on the sands, you'll feel a million miles from frantic Chaweng.
- Wandering Ban Hua Thanon and its beach
- Exploring Ao Phang Ka
Start Ban Hua Thanon
Finish Ao Phang Ka
Scooter Along the 4169 to Ban Hua Thanon.