Khon Kaen City Bike Routes

If you were to be plopped right down in the middle of Khon Kaen you would never guess what a great city it is for cycling. You don’t need to ride very far to leave the busy main roads behind and find quiet low-traffic realms with rice paddies and villages.

woman biking on elevated path through a park

All four routes (really, it’s eight since each has a long and short option – the purple line is the recommended shortcut) are loops sticking to small roads as much as possible. They are best done counterclockwise. They’re easy rides with no big hills – only the northwest route through Khon Kaen University has any significant incline at all. Road surfaces are generally quite good, though some of the ruralest roads are rather rough in places and there are a few short stretches of dirt road, which can get muddy if it rains.

All routes start at Rak An Coffee, housed in a renovated historic building next to Khon Kaen’s large City Pillar Shrine. It’s central, a good spot for a post-ride relax, and as I post this there is a plan to offer bike rentals.

Southeast

Distance: 29 km
This route starts out around Bueng Kaen Nakorn lake, home to several beautiful temples, including Wat Nong Wang and Wat Pho Ban Nontan; a replica of Hanoi’s iconic One Pillar Pagoda; and many dinosaur statues. The quieter eastern end of the route passes Wat Thung Setti temple and its unusual stupa rising out of the rice paddies.

temple on far shore of a lake
Wat That
motorcycles parked in front of large mural
The Wall
stupa at the back of a rice paddy
Wat Thung Setthi

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Northeast

Distance: 46 km
This is the longest and most rural of these four bike routes, with lots of rice paddies, lotus ponds, and tree-lined canals. While there’s no actual wilderness, parts of this route do feel a little remote. Attractions of particular note along the way include the Khon Kaen National Museum, the historic ubosot at Wat Po Si, the large sculpture garden at Wat Pa Sunthon Wanaram, and a pair of vibrant Hindu-focused shrines.

woman riding bike past suag palms and rice paddies
Farmland road
large Hindu god statues
Wihan Maha Thep Shiva Bratonpon Shrine
Khmer sculptures in display cases
Khon Kaen National Museum

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Northwest

Distance: 27 km
This route passes primarily through Khon Kaen University, the largest campus in Thailand (880 hectares), with its abundant greenspace. But it also goes into the fast-growing villages and remaining countryside beyond it. This trip’s main attractions are the many small museums and art galleries, although some, like the Puttasin Museum with its Buddhist art, have very limited opening times.

naga in front of a building with a large roof
Khon Kaen University Cultural Center
tree-lined country road
Khon Kaen University
Buddha statues outdoors
Wat Pa Maha Wanaram

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Southwest

Distance: 21 km
Admittedly, this is my least favorite of the four bike routes because it spends the least time in the countryside and the most time in traffic, but it’s still a pleasant ride overall. Two sites are noteworthy: The large wooden Thai-Lanna House is beautiful and Wat Jomsri has shrine made out of bottles.

moat with many lily pads
Sri Than ancient moat
entrance with naga
Wat Jomsri bottle shrine
large wooden building
Thai-Lanna House

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3 thoughts on “Khon Kaen City Bike Routes

      1. Yes looking better now !
        I haven’t been in Khon Kaen for 20+ years. Would love to be able to try some of these bike routes.

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