Day 1: Thailand. We’ll be waiting when your plane touches down, brush off the airline peanut shells and welcome you to the "Land of Smiles". Our local representative will escort you to your home away from home and introduce you to your surroundings. Sit back, relax, enjoy a swim and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.
Day 2: Bangkok. Today we’ll tick off five must-see sites, while using all forms of urban transport (tuk-tuk, motorcycle, rapid train and boats) in a citywide blitz of temples, alleyways, rivers, canals and fine eats to give you a true appreciation of the "City of Angels". Today you’ll see the Golden Mount, the stunning Grand Palace, Wat Po (reclining Buddha), Wat Arun and the urban-canals of Bangkok Noi, to name but a few of our stops. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 3: Ancient Ayutthaya. Prior to its sacking by the Burmese in 1767, Ayutthaya was the crowning jewel of Siam. We’ll board a private shuttle from Bangkok then use Mary-Poppins-style bicycles to explore the ancient ruins and stone palaces that make up this UNESCO World Heritage Site. The best part is there are no ropes between you and sites, affording an up close and personal look at these historic stone temples. After our day exploring, we’ll blast back to Bangkok in our private shuttle and catch an early evening flight to the country’s northernmost province, Chiang Rai, where we’ll spend the next two nights at The Legend, a beautiful Thai-style, boutique hotel. Riding: 20 km (paved roads). Includes: (B), (L).
Day 4: We’ll put mountain bikes on a longtail boat and head up river to a Karen elephant camp. You’ll get a chance to mount your very own jumbo and ride through the hills. After lunch we’ll ride picturesque country routes back to Chiang Rai city. Tonight is yours to explore, shop the Night Bazaar and even treat yourself to a traditional Thai massage. Tonight we’ll celebrate with a dinner of champions at a charming outdoor restaurant. Afterwords it’s up to you - peruse the Night Bazaar and maybe even treat yourself to a well-earned traditional Thai massage to soothe those legs. Biking: 20-55 km, depending on group abilities. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Chinatown. Today it’s off to one of Thailand’s most stunning destinations – Doi Mae Salong. Nestled amongst terraced tea plantations, this area was once opium country, but is now home to Thailand’s premier Oolong tea production, and Chinese who fled China during the Cultural Revolution. We’ll ride mountain bikes along a stunning mountain ridge while you try to keep your jaw from hitting the ground. The views provide an inspirational backdrop as we pass through several hill-tribe villages en-route to your mountainside chalet. Biking: 25 km. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Hill-tribe Hiatus. Put on your hiking shoes for a day trekking through terraced tea and rice plantations, hill-tribe villages and stunning rolling mountains around the Doi Mae Salong area. Today is a photographer’s dream and great shots abound. Locals are sure to be as curious about you as you are with them. We’ll also sample local teas, visit a mountain-top temple and local school. The evening is yours to explore other nooks and crannies. Hiking: 15 km. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 7: We’ll head into the mountains using ancient hill-tribe footpaths to make our way to the far-flung Thai/Chinese community of Thoed Thai – not found in most travel books. This outpost, just a few kilometers from the Burmese border, was a former hideout for drug lords and is seldom visited by foreigners. We’ll get dirty and truly ‘out there’. Upon arrival we’ll settle into charming creekside chalets and enjoy a wonderful Thai/Chinese feast. Hiking: 17 km (dirt footpaths). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: An early morning shuttle through the mountains takes us to one of the kingdom’s most renowned community development projects – Doi Tung, run by the Mae Fah Luang Foundation. Here we’ll learn about the foundation’s successful eradication of opium production, then head out for a challenging day in the saddle. We’ll pedal to the top of Doi Chang Mub, one of the province’s highest mountains and along a spectacular road that literally straddles the Thai-Myanmar border, passing through several military checkpoints along the way. Hang on to your handlebars as dramatic descents bring you to the country’s northernmost city Mae Sai. Here we’ll have lunch, stroll colorful markets and check out the bustling border trading. Then it’s back on the bikes for a final ride through flat farmland to the infamous Golden Triangle where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. Tonight we’ll sleep at the ‘Greater Mekong Lodge’, run by the Mae Fah Luang Foundation. Biking: 65 km (hilly paved, back-roads). Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Golden Triangle. We’ll start the morning with a visit to the fascinating "Hall of Opium". Here you’ll learn about the area’s rich historical importance and the role this illicit drug played. Next we’ll board a high-speed longtail boat, blasting our way (60 km/hour) down the legendary Mekong to a Laotian market for a look at things, then it’s back to Thailand for lunch along the river to fuel up for your final bike ride of the adventure. You’ll make your way through lush farmland, over a couple of small mountains and finally along the banks of the Mekong River to our destination Chiang Khong. Tonight we’ll stay in a riverside Thai-style hotel and enjoy the best Mexican food in Thailand! Biking: 60-80 km. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Mekong. Our final day in the far north is a great one to sit back, relax and take it all in. Chiang Khong serves as a border crossing point between Thailand and Laos. This small town is full of ultra laid-back characters and effuses a charming, quiet bliss. Enjoy the morning to do as much or little as you like. In the early afternoon we’ll shuttle to the Chiang Rai airport for our flight back to bustling Bangkok. Upon arrival we’ll transfer to a super-comfy airport hotel to recuperate from your northern escapades. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 11: Departure. After breakfast we will transfer you to the airport and try to avoid teary-eyed goodbyes. Includes: (B).
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