North Thailand Cycling Tours takes us from the northern Thai city of Chiang Mai through the mountains to the Golden Triangle, where the Mekong River marks the borders of Thailand, Burma, and Laos. Heading north, we ride through the spectacular limestone mountains of Chiang Dao and the scenic village of Mae Salak, straddling the Mae Kok River. We follow wonderful trails and back roads that have little traffic and fantastic scenery and each night stay in charming, Thai style jungle lodges. On one day, we use a combination of bikes, boats, and elephants to reach a remote Lahu village where we experience a unique night as guests to a local family, sleeping in their long-house. Before arriving at the Golden Triangle we visit Doi Mae Salong, in a unique Chinese village, and ride up Doi Tung to visit one of the region’s oldest temples and check out the Burmese markets in Mae Sai. After a day’s ride along the Mekong River, we transfer back to Chiang Mai and hit the trails one more time as we ride down Doi Suthep. In addition to riding outstanding mountain bike trails, we sample some of the world’s best cuisine and stay in authentic and luxury accommodation.
Day 1 : We start our tour with a nice and easy ride along the Ping River to the arts and crafts center of Ban Tawai where you have time for some shopping before heading back to Chiang Mai.
Day 2 : Take a boat ride across a reservoir to the trail head where we ride an outstanding single track trail through a scenic teak forest to a waterfall. After lunch on the lake we ride an elephant trail to our resort near Chiang Dao.
Day 3 : Visit Chiang Dao caves and then ride through rice fields among soaring limestone cliffs before hitting dirt roads cut by local hill tribes — the Akha, Lisu, Lau and Palaung people.
Day 4 : Ride to Tub Tao Caves and temple retreat and continue cycling on back roads through small villages before lunching in Fang. A flat afternoon ride takes us to the small town of Mae Salak and our riverside resort.
Day 5 : From the resort we ride to a Lakhu village then hitch a ride on a long-tail boat (with our bikes) downriver and then cycle off road to Ban Ruamitr. After lunch we ride elephants up the mountain to a remote Lahu village where we spend the night.
Day 6 : Morning trek through the forest arriving at a scenic waterfall where we have a picnic lunch. Ride up Doi Mae Salong and down to Mae Salong and our overnight resort amidst tea plantations.
Day 7 : After a morning visit to a temple we descend through the forest along some glorious trails and arrive at our resort in time to enjoy the pool.
Day 8 : A spectacular day with an off road ride through lychee orchards, a visit to a horse temple, an uphill to Doi Tung, where the Thai royal family has a palace, a ride along a ridgeback road that ends with a fast downhill ride into Mae Sai and then to our hotel in the Golden Triangle.
Day 9 : Cycle a scenic loop deep into the heart of the countryside surrounding the Golden Triangle in the morning, a visit to Chiang Saen on the Mekong River before driving to Chiang Mai and a farewell dinner at a riverside restaurant.
Day 10 : Drive up to Chiang Mai’s most impressive temple, Wat Doi Suthep, then head down on Thailand’s most exciting mountain bike trail. a fitting finale to an amazing cycling adventure.
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- Transfers as mentioned above by private air conditioned car
- English speaking tour guide
- Accommodation one night in Chiang-dao at Padeng Lodge in private fan cooled room
- Accommodation one night in Chiang Rai, tourist class hotel, with air-cond and en suite bathrooms
- Meals as mentioned in program
- Elephant show, elephant riding, caves entrance fees
- Beverages, guide tips and personal expenses
- “Hall of Opium” museum entrance fees (optional visit, to be paid locally)
- Compulsory Gala Dinner at hotels (only during festive periods)