Biking past mountains and fields in Chiang Dao, Thailand. Photo via Flickr: fulloftravel

Different artwork to be found in Thailand. Photo via Flickr: echiner1

Northern Thailand Bike Tour

Thailand Bike Tours

A bike tour in the land of a million rice fields!

  • This exotic bicycle tour in Northern Thailand is as diverse as the landscape. You will cycle, hike, and boat your way through spectacular scenery, following wonderful trails and back roads with little traffic and fantastic scenery.

    The acccommodations are varied as well. You will overnight at the charming Huai Khum resort, the beautiful Puchaisai Resort, the comfortable Imperial Golden Triangle Resort, and also lodges that are in tune with Northern Thailand and its traditions.

    Your adventure will include visits to two former capital cities of the former Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Rai and Chiang Rai. Translated, Lanna means "a million rice fields" which is a fitting name as you will encounter rice fields at every turn! You will also discover yourself why Thailand is called the “land of smiles”.

    Highlights:

    • Spectacular limestone mountains of Chiang Dao
    • Scenic village of Mae Salak
    • Doi Mae Salong, unique Chinese village
    • Burmesse markets in Mae Sai
    • Regional cuisine
    • Authentic and luxury accommodations

    Check out all of our bike tours in Thailand.

  • Price £ 1786 $ 3,958 2102 $ 3167 NOK 19792 kr 18269 $ 2,375

    Single supplement: £ 346 $ 767 407 $ 613 NOK 3833 kr 3538 $ 460

    please note

    Rates are per person based on double occupancy.

    Information to read before you book.

    We recommend purchasing bike trip insurance.

    Please see our FAQ.

  • Travel

    Fly to Chiang Mai International Airport

    Local Travel

    Airport transfers are not included. You are advised to take a taxi to your first hotel and from your last hotel.

    Climate

    Northern and Central Thailand has a tropical climate with fairly high humidity. There are three seasons: from March to June it is hot and dry, with temperatures between 27 and 40 C, with night temperatures in the 20s. The rainy season is from July to October, but temperatures are slightly lower, because of the effect of the rain. During this time it will not rain continuously, but in sharp bursts, and the sun can come out quickly. The cooler season is from October to February, with average temperatures between 20 and 30C.

    Remarks

    Arrangements can be made for a shared room with another solo traveler (of the same sex) at no extra cost. If there is no roommate available, no single supplement will be incurred.

    Travel Documents

    Before you travel, please check your country's passport and visa requirements and the passport and visa requirements of the country/countries you plan to visit. All nationalities require a passport for entry into Thailand. Please ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of your stay in the country.  For US citizens, the US Department of State website is a good source of information. The Country Information tab in the International Travel section provides details about passport validity, blank passport pages required, etc. For our other international clients, please be sure that you research your own country's travel requirements. It is each traveler's responsibility to ensure proper documentation.

    *Important note: Beginning July 1, 2021, additional documentation from the European Travel Information and Authorization System (ETIAS) will be required to visit any of the 26 Schengen-member countries for tourism, business, medical, or transit. This is an additional check on security rather than a visa.

     If staying less than 30 days then a visa in advance is not required by European, North American, Australian, and many other nationalities.  You will need to show proof of an onward flight out of Thailand to be eligible for the visa on arrival. This is strictly enforced.


Skill Level

You will ride a total of 553 km, about 30% off-road, in 10 cycling days. Please see each day’s details regarding distance and elevation in the Day to Day itinerary. There are some first-class single-track trails to gentle back roads. Northern Thailand is a mountainous region, and there are very few flat rides, however, most of the big climbs are optional and on tarmac. Many roads and trails traverse the mountains, and the route winds up and down hillsides. There are some outstanding descents and stunning views across rolling hillsides and valleys at almost every turn!

Where You’ll Stay

You will stay in carefully chosen accommodations that are the best available for the location and offer a good mix, from home stays to luxurious lodges.

What’s Included

  • Overnight accommodations for the duration of the tour
  • Air-conditioned vehicle for transfer and back up
  • Snacks, local fruits, and water provided throughout the day when cycling
  • Mountain bike rental
  • English Speaking Guide
  • First aid kit
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Sightseeing tickets where mentioned in the itinerary
  • Boat fee

What’s Not Included

TourBike
TypeGuided
SkillDifficult
Length10 days
From$2375 Rates
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Tour Dates

2019 


December 22, 2019

2020

December 29, February 23, May 3, June 7, October 4, November 15, December 20, 2020

2021

January 17, June 13, October 10, and November 29, 2020

Day-To-Day Itinerary

Northern Thailand Map

Day 1: Arrival Chiang Mai, ride to Ban Tawai and return, 25 mi. (40 km)
Day 2: Teak Forest Ride, 37 mi. (60 km)
Day 3: Chiang Dao Tribal Trails, 47 mi. (75 km)
Day 4: Mae Salak, 51 mi. (82 km)
Day 5: Bike and Boat to Chiang Rai, 30 mi. (48 km)
Day 6: Doi Mae Salong Ascent, 20 mi. (32 km) 
Day 7: Doi Mae Salong Descent, 30 mi. (48 km)
Day 8: Ride to the Golden Triangle, 61 mi. (98 km) 
Day 9:  Mekong River Ride, 18 mi. (28 km) 
Day 10: Doi Suthep Downhill, 26 mi. (42 km)
  
This cycling adventure goes beyond the beaten track and the rides are not always predictable. Due to these reasons, it is occasionally necessary to reroute or update itineraries. The guarantee a trip will not be changed unless for safety or to improve it.

The listed hotels are always accurate at the time of writing, but if a change is necessary, the replacement will be an establishment of equal or higher standard.

Day 1: Arrival Chiang Mai, 40 km
The group meets in the afternoon for a briefing and bike fitting, after which, there will be a short transfer out of town. As an introduction to cycling in Thailand, there will be a  nice, easy ride along the Ping River to Ban Tawai, he “handicraft village". Once famous for teak carvings and wood, it now offers a wide range of handicrafts and artisanal creations now on offer here, ranging from rough country-style furnishings to meticulously crafted objets d’art, and from dusty antiques to modern designer products. All kinds of wood are now employed including bamboo and rattan for furniture as well as ceramics, silk, hemp, silver, cotton, plastic and glass. You will have time to browse the stalls before heading back to Chiang Mai.

Accommodation:  Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel
Elevation gain/loss:  +155 m/ -155 m
Meals:  D

Day 2: Teak Forest Ride - Chiang Dao, 37 mi. (60 km)
Once again, riders are transferred out of the city to a nearby reservoir and a boat ride to the cycling route. Consisting of dirt tracks, the trail leads through a scenic teak forest to end at a waterfall where the support truck awaits to replenish water supplies and provide a snack. More biking ensures to  a great little restaurant overlooking a reservoir for a lunch stop. After lunch, the cycling involves both country roads and off-road trails, including an elephant trail through the forest to the overnight destination, to the Royal Ping Resort, near Chiang Dao. There will be time for a refreshing swim before dinner. 

Accommodation: Royal Ping Resort
Elevation gain/loss: +731 m/ -755 m (B L D)
Meals: B, L, D

Day 3: Chiang Dao Tribal Trails, 47 mi. (75 km)
Today’s ride is a real treat for mountain bikers! First, there will be a morning transfer from the resort to Chiang Dao Caves for the start of the ride which leads through rice fields and among soaring limestone cliffs before hitting the dirt path. This trail has been cut bye the hill tribes of the Akha, Lisu, Lau and Palaung people. The colorful Palaung are recent migrants and you will see their women adorned with heavy brass waist-bands working the fields. Lunch today will be at a Forestry Camp, followed by a  memorable afternoon ride on outstanding mountain trails. The support vehicle will be waiting at trail end for transfer to the Saimoonburi Resort, a comfortable Thai-style inn.

Accommodation: Saimoonburi Resort
Elevation gain/loss:  +855 m/ -819 m
Meals: B, L, D

Day 4: Backroads - Thaton, 51 mi. (82 km)
After an early breakfast, you ride to the Tub Tao Caves and temple retreat. Cycling on backroads through many small villages to Fang, you stop for lunch. In contrast to the previous day, much of the ride is flat, and you will make the distance quite quickly. The ride is scenic, passing farmlands and orchards. You end at Thaton along the banks of the Mae Kok River where your resort with a swimming pool awaits.

Accommodation: Maekok River Village Resort
Elevation gain/loss: +374 m/ -522 m 
Meals: B, L,  D

Day 5: Bike and Boat to Chiang Rai, 30 mi. (48 km)
An 8 km off-road ride directly from the resort begins the morning to a Lahu village, followed by a boat ride on a long-tail boat, with bikes, to a scenic riverside area and then another 20-km off-road ride.  It's just about 20 km more to the provincial capital of Chiang Rai. You can relax at the hotel, La Luna, go out in the city, see the famous night market, or just enjoy the lively downtown area.  

Accommodation: La Luna Hotel
Elevation gain/loss: +609 m/ -645 m
Meals:  B, L, D

Day 6: Doi Mae Salong Ascent, 20 mi. (32 km)
After breakfast we cycle 14 km along dirt roads flanked by ride paddies to Chiang Rai's spectacular white temple, Wat Rong Khun. Be sure to have your sunglasses on as you will take in the splendor of one of Thailand's most famous edifices. Following lunch, there is a transfer to the foot of Doi Mae Salong to conquer the first big mountain climb in the late afternoon. It is 18 km up and down through magnificent scenery to Mae Salong. Almost entirely populated by descendants of Chiang Kai Chek’s Chinese Nationalist Kuomintang Army, the village has the look and feel of China’s Yunnan province rather than Thailand. The night is spent at the simple resort, Mae Salong Flower Hills, with a swimming pool that has outstanding views across the tea plantations. 

Accommodation: Mae Salong Flower Hills
Elevation gain/loss: +915 m/ -703 m 
Meals: B, L, D

Day 7: Doi Mae Salong Descent, 30 mi. (48 km)
First on the agenda today is a visit to the temple at the very top of the hill and then, the trail! A 30-km (14 km) off-road descent through the forest along some glorious trails. will eventually spill out onto the road and a short ride to Phu Chaisai Resor resort,  one of north Thailand’s best kept secrets. Built by a well-known architect this charming resort fuses western comforts with Lanna design to provide a delightful refuge for weary cyclists. The afternoon is free to enjoy the resort’s facilities, laze by the pool or explore the surrounding countryside.

Accommodation: Phu Chaisai Resort
Elevation gain/loss: +1,240 m/ -1,903 m
Meals: B, L, D

Day 8: Mae Salong - Golden Triangle, 61 mi. (98 km)
Get ready for the longest ride of the tour and also the most spectacular. First, you will enjoy an off-road ride through lychee orchards and have a chance to visit the only horse temple in Thailand. Then you tackle Doi Tung, where the Thai royal family has a palace. The climb is on the good tarmac and the rewards are amazing views and lunch on top of the mountain. The temple here is said to contain the Buddha’s clavicle. An amazing ridgeback road comprises the afternoon cycling. Finally, there is a fast downhill ride into Mae Sai and then a nice flat ride alongside the Sai River to Sop Ruak, the site of the Golden Triangle, and the Imperial Golden Triangle Hotel. 

Accommodation: Imperial Golden Triangle
Elevation gain/loss: +1,914 m/ -1,969 m 
Meals: B, L, D

Day 9:  Mekong River Ride, 18 mi. (28 km)
After breakfast,  you ride on a very scenic loop deep into the heart of the countryside surrounding the Golden Triangle. You will return to the hotel to refresh before heading to Chiang Saen and have lunch. There will be an opportunity for sightseeing in this ancient town, one of the first Thai Kingdoms and then a transfer back to Chiang Mai (approx. 3 hours). Once checked into the hotel, there will be a farewell dinner at a great riverside restaurant.

Accommodation: The Rim Resort
Elevation gain/loss:  +228 m/ -230 m
Meals:  B, L, D

Day 10 - Doi Suthep Downhill, 26 mi. (42 km)
Saving the best for last, today you will experience an outstanding off-road ride for your last day. You can begin with a climb (or transfer) to Chiang Mai’s most impressive temple, Wat Doi Suthep, which is perched on a hilltop overlooking the city. Then, you embark onThailand’s most exciting mountain bike trail. Winding for 30 kilometers through spectacular mountain scenery, this ride is a fitting finale to an amazing cycling adventure. The support vehicle awaits at a picturesque reservoir to transferback to the hotel or to the airport for your onward travels.

Elevation gain/loss: +1,699 m/ -1,652 m
Meals: B, L

This tour ends in Chiang Mai. Perhaps you would like to extend your stay in Thailand or the region. Chiang Mai Airport is an international airport with regular flights to Singapore, Hong Kong, Mandalay, Luang Prabang and many other regional destinations. 

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