Day 1: Land of Smiles. We’ll be waiting when your plane touches down, brush off the airline peanut shells and welcome you to the "Land of Smiles". A private car will shuttle you to your beautiful home away from home at the Majestic Grande. Upon check-in you’ll receive your very own "Adventure Kit", full of lots tidbits, including maps, trip overview, tips to help you make the most of your time and even your very own mobile phone.
Day 2: Bangkok. Today we’ll tick off five must-see sites, while using all forms of urban transport (tuk-tuk, motorcycle, rapid train, boats and taxi) 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. Not only can you tick Bangkok off your list, but you’ll do it in swinging style! Includes: (B), (L).
Day 3: Ancient Ayutthaya. A short 90 km minivan ride from Bangkok takes us to this UNESCO World Heritage Site where we’ll mount Mary Poppins-style bicycles and explore four of our favorite historical sites. The best thing about these stone palaces is there are no ropes, allowing you to get up close and personal with Ayutthaya’s stunning temples. As the capital from 1350-1767, it was during this period that foreigners first set up diplomatic missions and the country grew to its largest size physically. Along the way we’ll enjoy an authentic "Isaan" lunch and fill you in on lots of nifty historical facts. This intimate exploration of Ayutthaya gives you a genuine appreciation for the city’s significance to the Thai people. After our day exploring, we’ll catch an early evening flight aboard Thai Airways to the country’s northernmost province, Chiang Rai. We’ll spend the next two nights of our northern cycling odyssey at a boutique riverside resort, The Legend. Tonight enjoy the herbal spa, a dip in the infinity pool or perhaps a traditional Thai massage. Riding: 20 km. Includes: (B), (L).
Day 4: Today we’ll cycle through the city of Chiang Rai then place our bikes on a private longtail boat and head upriver to a charming hill-tribe village. This Karen settlement is surrounded by limestone mountains and is an ideal venue for an elephant ride, some hill-tribe cuisine and the starting point for an epic day in the saddle. On today’s ride we’ll navigate back roads leading out of the village, up and over some medium-grade mountains on dirt road and blaze down some wonderful single-track, passing by Ahka and Lisu villages. The final push will see us enjoy a nicely paved sundown ride back to Chiang Rai city, stopping along the way for spectacular photos (known as rest stops to some). A day biking deserves a northern Thai feast; tonight we’ll sample local specialties at one of the city’s hippest restaurants. The night is yours: spend the evening bargaining at the Night Bazaar, sipping Thai whiskey, or top it all off with a traditional Thai massage to soothe those aching legs. Riding: 35-50 km. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 5: Chiang Rai - Wawi. Today we’ll head behind the Doi Chaang mountain range – famous for northern Thai Arabica-style coffee – and make our way to Wawi. This far-flung outpost is inhabited mainly by Yunnan Chinese and is not even on most country maps. The road here has only recently been paved and there’s still the odd stretch of rough dirt track. You’ll be a spectacle to the local hilltribe people as very, very few outsiders make it to this part of the country. Dig in for a challenging day in the saddle as you cruise flats and creep up challenging climbs that will leave you breathless and a wide-eyed from the incredible scenery and smiles around every corner. Tonight you'll enjoy staying at the Lau Lee Resort, a quaint, quiet and clean mountain hideaway in the wild western frontier of northern Thailand. Newly finished bungalows feature stunning views of Mother Nature as terraced tea plantations line the horizon. The atmosphere is one of a trekker’s mountain chalet. Delicious Thai-Chinese meals are served on a balcony over looking Wawi valley. Biking: 55 km, paved road. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 6: Wawi – Mae Salak – Tha Ton – Mae Salak. Mount your steed for a brilliant 20 km, hilly ride to the perfect country get away – the Huai Khum Resort. Run by Lahu hill-tribe people, this tasteful, comfortable resort is designed in traditional Lahu style. You’re bungalow is made entirely out of bamboo, overlooks the beautiful Mae Kok River and is surrounded by orange orchards. This is truly a far-out experience. After settling in, for those with some strength in their legs we’ll head out for an electrifying afternoon ride. Heading west we’ll make our way along the Mae Kok River to Tha Ton, a traditional stop along ancient Chinese and Burmese hill-tribe caravan routes dating back over 1000 years. From here it’s either a 20 km spin back to the resort or we can put your bike in a boat and send you down river back to Huai Khum Resort’s own pier. Biking: 20-70 km, paved road, some dirt road. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 7: 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. This region was settled first by indigenous hill-tribe groups such as the Ahka and Lahu peoples and more recently by Yunnanese from China, who fled the Communist Revolution. We’ll hike hill-tribe footpaths, through small villages, terraced tea plantations, to a mountain-top temple and even sample locally grown ‘Oolong’ teas. Today is a photographer’s dream as great shots and traditional cultures abound. An afternoon shuttle through the mountains takes us to our incredible digs at the stunning Phu Chai Sai Mountain Resort and Spa. Hiking: 15 km, hilly dirt footpaths. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 8: Mae Fah Luang – Doi Tung – Mae Sai. An early morning 30 minute shuttle takes us to Doi Tung Royal Royal Villa, the country’s premier reforestation and drug rehabilitation project (Mae Fah Luang Foundation). Enjoy a locally grown cup of coffee then it’s off and up, for a steady but moderate 12 km, 500 vertical meter climb to the top of Doi Chang Mub. From here, hang on to your handlebars for a dizzying 20 km descent along a road that literally forms the Thai-Myanmar border to Mae Sai, the Kingdom’s northernmost town. After perusing the border markets and enjoying a huge lunch, we’ll enjoy a final 30km, flat country ride to the world-famous Golden Triangle. Tonight we’ll sleep at the "Greater Mekong Lodge", part of the Mae Fah Luang Foundation. Biking: 60 km, thrilling descents, mountain passes, exhilarating climbs. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 9: Golden Triangle – Chiang Khong. 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 have lunch along the river to fuel up for one of the most epic rides in Thailand. Today’s pedal is stunning! You’ll make your way through lush farmland, over small mountain passes and weaving along the banks of the spectacular Mekong River to our destination town of Chiang Khong. With the sun at our backs and a cool breeze coming off the Mekong, the final 20 km into Chiang Khong, an ancient trading post at the heart of Indochina, will impart memories for years to come. Tonight we’ll stay in a riverside hotel and enjoy the best Mexican food in Thailand – no joke! Biking: 80 km, paved country roads. Includes: (B), (L), (D).
Day 10: Mekong - Bangkok. Late in the morning we’ll bid adieu to this charming town and shuttle to the Chiang Rai airport where we’ll board our Thai Airways flight to Bangkok. Includes: (B).
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