In fact, this season is a great one for cyclists, when cooler cloudy weather dominates and the opportunities for clean, green, well-oxygenated riding abound. Sadly, that is not the case on the busy, traffic-clogged and polluted main roads around Phuket itself.
The recent World Health Organization bombshell that a full 90% of the world’s population are breathing air that is actually damaging their health is very worrying. What a sad inditement of the last 300-year, post-Industrial Revolution, history of our species!
In Phuket we are blessed with natural forces, such as cleansing sea winds which ameliorate the effects of gathering air pollution, but any island cyclist will tell you that our ever-busier roads are not only very dangerous, but also that the air quality is getting progressively worse.
With this in mind, I headed off the island seeking clean, green, fresh air cycling and stumbled upon a superb little hideaway north of Khao Lak named Haadson Resort. To get there you just turn left off the main Highway 4 road running north to Ranong at the signs for Bangsak Beach, 10 kilometres south of Takuapa Town, and you can’t miss it.
The resort sits in beautiful, dense greenery, astride a number of cool, natural lagoons right on the perfect golden sands of Bangsak Beach. Here a combination of chlorophyll, oxygen and ozone-laden sea breezes engulf the cyclist, providing health-inducing, fresh-air riding conditions that cannot be bettered.
The ‘Haad’ in the name Haadson is derived from the Thai word for sandy beach, “haad-sai”, and the ‘son’ is derived from the Thai word for pine tree, “ton-son”. So the name of the resort translates as ‘Pine Beach’ and there couldn’t be a more appropriate name for this lovely little treasure of a hideaway.
Haadson Resort is located in a natural setting of 48 rai of landscaped jungle and access is from the beachfront promenade, where Bangsak Beach offers the longest stretch of sand in Khao Lak, stretching from Pakarang Cape northwards to Thap-Tawan Cape. Ideal for quiet, fresh-air cycling.
With just 49 rooms deeply integrated into abundant nature and verdancy, the resort complements the natural environment and offers a truly unique setting.
My own cottage was right beside a lagoon, with a stunning balcony overlooking the greenery and placid waters… ideal for post-cycling relaxation.
The restaurant serves reasonably-priced, delicious fare and the spa is situated amongst the trees, filled with birdsong, and offers superb treatments for cyclists’ weary legs and backs.
This region provides an abundance of leafy, quiet rides around the backroads, but my favourite was a mountain bike trip along the hard-packed beach sand at the edge of the crashing spume, as sunset approached. I rode north from Haadson for several leg-pummeling kilometres past the Ban Tap-Tawan headland and along the lovely, empty beach sands towards Takuapa.
Cycling on sand of course burns over 50% more calories than on hard roads and the fresh sea air is negatively-charged which helps neutralise our bodies’ damaging free radicals, while enhancing our ability to absorb oxygen. The crashing waves also produce ozone, which quickly dissociates releasing high levels of oxygen – a bonus for riders with low energy or chronic infections.
The sunset was truly spectacular and sitting at a little ramshackle beachside bar with a cold post-ride drink, it seemed to last forever.
It was truly an amazing end to an amazing ride and literally a breath of fresh air!
30/1 Moo 7, BangMuang, Takuapa, Phanga Nga, 82190 Thailand
T: +66 (0)76 406 450
M: +66 (0)86 378 2565
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