Day 1: Fly to Chiang Rai – soak in the northern vibe
In the afternoon we’ll board a Thai Airways flight from Bangkok to Chiang Rai city. Take in a casual evening in your luxurious villa along the Mae Kok River getting into the groove for the next five days. Enjoy the herbal spa, a dip in the infinity pool or perhaps a traditional Thai massage. We’ll spend the first two nights of our odyssey at The Legend, a stunning boutique riverside resort.
Day 2: Bikes, Boats and Elephants
Using bicycles, then a longtail boat we’ll head up-river to a Karen hilltribe elephant camp. Mount your very own pachyderm, ride through the hills then enjoy a light lunch along the river. We’ll then set off on a beautiful country cycle back to Chiang Rai city, passing through quaint villages and quiet temples. This active, yet unobtrusive means of transport gives us a natural glimpse into Chiang Rai’s enchanting rural communities. Tonight we’ll celebrate with a dinner of champions at a charming outdoor restaurant. Afterwards it’s up to you - peruse the Night Bazaar and maybe even treat yourself to a well-earned traditional Thai massage to sooth those legs. All meals are included.
Biking: 20-55 km (paved/dirt roads, depending on group experience). Bicycles are high-performance, with front suspension, helmets, gloves and safety light provided. Note: non-cyclists can enjoy all of today’s activities by private van/jeep transport.
Day 3: To Chinatown
With our comfy private van we’ll make a spectacular ascent to a stunning Chinese mountain village. For those who wish to summon their sense of adventure, strap on a helmet and learn how to ride a Thai motorscooter! We’ll lead you through a comprehensive and safe training program then head off on our "hogs" and accompanying van to one of the Kingdom’s most stunning destinations – Doi Mae Salong. Riding roughly 75km, stopping at your will for great photo-ops, we’ll ride up and over spectacular jungle-covered mountains and past many hilltribe villages enroute to this enchanting retreat. Once opium country, Doi Mae Salong is now home to Thailand’s premier Oolong tea production and Yunanese who fled China during the Cultural Revolution. This charming township exudes a special, quiet energy that will leave you reflecting on your time here for years to come. We’ll spend tonight in a beautiful Chinese villa, perched on the mountainside, overlooking terraced tea plantations. All meals are included.
Van/scootering: 75 km (paved roads and dazzling turns). Note: non-scooter-riders can enjoy all of today’s activities by private van/jeep transport. Motorscooters are new, well-maintained Honda bikes, equipped with safety helmets and comprehensive training program.
Day 4: Over the Hills and Far Away
It’s back on the mountain roads for a spectacular day of upcountry cruising. This 105 km ride takes us places most visitors simply don’t make it. We’ll have a royal feast at Doi Tung, the country’s premier royally-initiated development project where spectacular mountaintop botanical gardens are one of many attractions. This afternoon we’ll wind up, down and around a twisty mountain road that straddles the Thai-Myanmar border to Mae Sai – Thailand’s northernmost point. This fascinating town where traders from countries around the Golden Triangle converge to ply their wares and eek out a living is the perfect place to pick up interesting souvenirs and people watch. In the early evening we’ll shuttle to The Greater Mekong Lodge situated at the world famous Golden Triangle, where we’ll spend the night. All meals are included.
Van/motorscootering: 105 km (paved roads and spectacular twists). Note: non-motorcyclists can enjoy all of today’s activities by private van/jeep transport.
Day 5: Golden Triangle
This morning we’ll visit the world-class "Hall of Opium" museum to learn about the historical importance of this distinctive region and the role this illicit drug played. Next we’ll enjoy a relaxing riverside lunch along the mighty Mekong, then gear up for some real excitement. We’ll board a high-speed longtail boat and blast our way (60 km/hour) down the legendary Mekong River to a Laotian market, then on to the charming town of Chiang Khong. Tonight we’ll rest our heads at a wonderful Thai-style resort right on the river. All meals are included. Boating: 50 km (twisting down the mighty Mekong).
Day 6: Mekong Life
Chiang Khong sits on the banks of the Mekong with Laos facing her from the east. This sleepy town serves as a border crossing point between the two countries. It’s also home to uniquely delicious food and authentic fun. You’ve heard of table-side dining; well let us introduce you to a personalized Mekong riverside cookout. We’ll take a private boat to a secluded sandy beach between Thailand and Laos where we’ll grill some delicious northern treats, watch ‘the lack of it all go by’ and maybe even tube down the river. A reflective afternoon on the Mekong rounds out this northern Thai experience and affords an opportunity to get up close and personal with the many colorful characters that call this region home.
An early evening private shuttle takes us to the Chiang Rai International Airport for your flight back to bustling Bangkok. As we say goodbye you’re bound to be thinking about your next adventure! Meals: (B) and (L).
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