Discover hidden Thailand! The Northern hills are the perfect place to relax! Both Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai are fun and bustling, but small enough to discover on foot. This is a tour to simply ENJOY; from the endless massages, the amazing spas and delicate food, to the verdant and misty jungle just outside the city gates! This tour can be tailored from novice to pro-riders, as it can feature incredible HC climbs to the highest peak in Thailand! For those looking for a relaxed ride, we can choose flat terrain along lazy rivers.
Northern Thailand is a place to lose yourself! In hindsight, almost all travelers wish they had spent more time there. It’s an ideal place to embrace the concept of slow travel. Less IS more. Spend a week, spend two, there’s no better place on earth to delve into a culture, and re-discover the spirit of travel!
After welcoming you from the airport, settling into your hotel, and enjoying a refreshing massage, we’ll venture out to discover Chiang Mai, city of a thousand temples! The historic center of the ancient capital of the Lan Na kingdom is perfect to discover on foot. Our local guide Mr. Mai has a thousand stories to tell about the city, but we’ll also spend some time discovering Thai Buddhism with local monks eager to trade their knowledge of Nirvana for your knowledge of english!
On our second day we’ll venture out into the northern countryside. Cycling out of Chiang Mai and into the hills of the Doi Ithanon national park, we’ll first pass rice paddies and orchid farms before entering an ancient preserved jungle. The ‘Roof of Thailand’ at 2565m is the country’s highest peak, and an HC climb we think is one of the best in the world. For mere mortals, our support van will be right behind with hot beverages, snacks and blankets, it gets cold towards the top! If we’re in luck, the views are spectacular! Otherwise the misty atmosphere along the nature trails is the perfect way to enjoy this natural wonderland, home to over 300 bird species. On our way back down, we’ll stop at the Elephant Sanctuary, where we each get a large friend to play with! The elephants are rescued and cared for, and spending some time up close with these magnificent giants is a once in a lifetime experience!
After some well deserved R&R, we’ll take another stroll around Chiang Mai, followed by a climb of the local Doi Suthep for some views. It’s not as long as our previous effort, but a still respectable 18km 7% grade climb! As always our support vehicle is at the ready, and we’ll pass temples and waterfalls that make this climb worth it! Tonight we’ll enjoy the famous Chiang Mai night market, a bustling mix of food vendors and artisans, it’s the best place in Thailand to bring back gifts and mementos!
Today we leave Chiang Mai behind, and head into another beautiful park, Chae Sorn. The small windy roads are the perfect place to interact with locals, and we’ll get to see how local spices are cultivated. The ride culminates with the Chae Sorn Hot springs, where we’ll enjoy a private bath in naturally heated waters. Massages and snacks are also on the menu! Rested and relaxed, we’ll transfer to our Hotel in Chiang Rai.
Today’s ride will take us around the major sights of Chiang Rai, from the quirky White Temple at Wat Rong Khun, to the more traditional Wat Phra Kaew. The city is small and ideal to cycle in, it’s also a great place to buy traditional Thai crafts! We’ll also venture out into the surrounding countryside: flat terrain peppered with jungle-covered rocky outcrops.
The Chiang Rai province is famous for its hills, and hill-people. It’s harder and harder to find an authentic experience as the Hill-tribe tourism completely eats itself out of existence and becomes a circus attraction. Instead we’ll spend the day with our hilarious Hill Tribe ambassador Kaus, a well traveled Hmong native with a unique insight into the history and current reality of tribes in Northern Thailand. Our ride will take us to a large Tea Plantation, where we’ll sample, pick, and learn all about Thai Tea.
End of the tour: We can say goodbye at your hotel, train station or airport. Ask us about transfers to your next destination.