Kaeng Krachan Circuit is delightfully an amazing circuit with its very quirky style which can only be Thailand. Cha-am is located 2 1/2 hours by bus, south of Bangkok. Let me just add that the bus drivers has absolutely no regard for their passenger’s lives or their own. They had a need for speed which is greater than my own.
Kaeng Krachan circuit is privately owned and built by a local rich businessman who loves racing cars. Only recently did he decide to open it to the public for car and motorcycle track days.
My track day was scheduled through High Side Tour which is owned and operated by an Englishman named Graham and his Thai wife, Fon. Graham is easy going and amazingly friendly. Fon is unbelievably friendly and charismatic as she is cute. Graham had her airbrushed on his helmet.
At first glance the track looks tight, technical, and confusing. After a few laps, I found it smooth, flowing, and straightforward. It’s the kind of track with lots of subtle, little secrets that will keep you interested after multiple visits. We had the entire track to ourselves, all 5 rental bikes, Kawasaki ER6N (Ninja 650).
Throughout the day, a few other bikes showed up randomly for a few sessions and left, and towards the end of the day 2 cars show up randomly claiming the track. We protested and they allowed us to share the track. I had asked Graham about an ambulance on hand and corner workers. He responded with an overwhelming sense of logic, “They’re more trouble than their worth.” I looked at him and nodded.
In the morning, I was standing on the tower overlooking the layout, when we were attacked by a swarm of locus flies. During our morning sessions, there were landscapers trimming the bushes and picking weeds right at the edge of the track a few feet from the race line.
Later in the day, I was coming at the end of a straight and noticed an 8 foot long branch in the middle of the track, then I noticed it was moving in an “S” motion. Also, a large black crow was hit by one of the cars which laid dead on the track for the remaining of the day.
Throughout the day, I noticed many locals crossing through the track on their scooters as a shortcut home. There was even a dirt bike that crested over the hill in front of me, almost running on the track and directly into me!
I must say the lunch they provided was the best I’ve ever had at any track day: chicken basil stir fry with rice and a sunny side up egg.
Thailand is a very hot and very, very humid country but for some strange reason, my track day was absolutely perfect. It was about 70 degrees, dry with a slight cool breeze. As I raced up the back straight, dropping my knee into a fast, left hand sweeper at the top of the hill, I had a perfect view of the sun’s rays beaming through the clouds during sunset. In that moment, everything was in slow motion, everything was beautiful, and it was perfect.
As I left the track, we hit some traffic, turned out a truck tipped over in front of the track. These things can only happen in a place like Thailand.