About this Cycle Tour
From the mountains and jungles of the North to the temple-filled plains of central Thailand, cycling through these regions offers unforgettable scenery and cultural experiences.
The total distance is 925 km in 10 riding days. This tour is 100% on roads, and we designed the route for cyclists to see the best of Thailand. If you are looking for a more leisurely ride with more stops at sites, then please consider our River of Kings Ride tour that is along the same route. We start in the north, so there are a few climbs on the first two days as we go over the foothills surrounding Chiang Mai. The central part of Thailand is flat, and after the third day, we do not see any more hills.
We travel south and east as we ride from Chiang Mai down to Sukhothai, Nakorn Sawan, and Ayutthaya before ending in Bangkok. All our rides are point to point, and there is only one transfer to avoid the worst of Bangkok traffic. The riding days are not overly long, and we don’t drag you out of bed at dawn. But we do ride every day, and some of the rides are definitely tough.
The trip is fully supported, and your guide’s expert knowledge of the area and terrain means that you always know what is coming up in terms of distance and difficulty. This makes a tremendous difference, as does the constant supply of cold drinks and fresh fruit.
Suitability: Fitness, of course, will be a huge asset, but as the tour is fully supported, the bus is always close at hand.
Biking Conditions: You can expect a few tough rides due to the daily distances, but they will all be on tarmac. There are some climbs in the first few days, after that the route is predominantly flat all the way to Bangkok.
We meet at 13:00 at the hotel where the guide will brief everyone thoroughly and make sure the bikes fit. Then enjoy Chiang Mai or go for a warm-up ride in the area.
After we leave Chiang Mai's traffic, we head towards Lampang on the old highway, a tree-lined boulevard that is a real pleasure to ride along. The terrain is rolling on this section of the ride, and at just past the halfway point, there is a longish climb that gets quite steep at the end. Lampang is called the cowboy town – you can still see horse-drawn carriages as a means of transport. On the way, we stop and visit one of the oldest and most religious chedis in Thailand, Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, built around 1044, and the well-preserved fortified Wat Phra That Lampang Luang.
Today is tough, as we have a long distance to cover and some hills to go over. We have three sets of hills and lots of undulating countryside. Some of the hills get steep towards the end, so take it easy, but the support vehicle is not far away and ready to give you a lift if needed. We pass through teak forests, past reclining Buddhas and some beautiful temples. We are now truly into provincial Thailand, and we won’t see many other tourists here – giving you a real Thailand experience!
We really head off the beaten track today as we ride on some of the most secluded and beautiful roads in Thailand, as a canopy of palm trees provides some natural protection from the hot Thai sun. We pass lush green paddy fields and many villages as we wind towards the first capital of Thailand, Sukhothai. The 13th-century reign is generally viewed as the “Golden Age” of Siam due to the fact that its influence spread as far west as Burma and east as far as Cambodia and south down into Malaysia.
A day to enjoy the original capital of Thailand by taking a ride round the historic park. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, there are more than 193 ruins surrounded by three moats and bridged by four gateways. Bikes are the best way to enjoy this ancient city, and you won’t want to forget your camera to capture some of the stunning Buddha statues. Or simply have a day off the bike and enjoy the town of Sukhothai.
Khampeng Phet, also known as the “Diamond Walled City”, was a military fortress used to help defend Sukhothai from invading armies. The moss and flower covered ruins give it a quality not seen in its more popular and restored neighbour of Sukhothai. We have plenty of time to visit the sites by foot or bicycle. The ride to Khampeng Phet is on pleasant country roads with plenty of activity going on all around to keep your attention.
We head into the heartland of Thailand today with our journey to Nakorn Sawan. You’ll quickly understand why Thailand is the top exporter of rice when you see the many paddies on your route today. Look out for water buffaloes wallowing in a puddle and for ducks taking a dip in a rice field. This is an area of Thailand not visited by many tourists, so you will pique the interest of locals (especially if you tell then you have ridden from Chiang Mai!), and it is a good opportunity to stop and say Sawadee!
We really start to feel we are approaching Bangkok as we see signs of industrialisation, but there are still plenty of open spaces with fields, as well as small towns and villages along the way. The ride is again on backroads that pass through many small towns.
As we leave Singburi, don’t forget to look up and wonder at the magnificent reclining Buddha in Ang Thong before continuing the ride to the old Siamese capital of Ayutthaya – the centre of old Siam for over 400 years until it was sacked by the Burmese in 1767. Also, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this historic park boasts some spectacular temples that are best visited by bicycle. The town lies along the Chao Phraya River, and our hotel for the night is located on its banks.
We have the last leg of our sojourn through Thailand. We ride down to Bangkok along country roads that will take us past Bang Pa-In Palace, the former summer palace of King Chulalongkorn. We end our journey in north Bangkok, and we transfer the last few kilometres to our hotel in the city centre. We then meet in the evening for a celebratory dinner and bask in the glory of a job well done!
Free day to enjoy Bangkok and pack your bikes.
Disclaimer: The adventure cycling tours we operate often go beyond the beaten track, and the countries where we ride are not always predictable. Due to these reasons, it is occasionally necessary to reroute or update itineraries. Our guarantee is that we will not change a trip unless for safety or to improve it. Our listed hotels are always accurate at the time of writing, but should we have to change any hotel, it will always be for a similar or better one.
Because some people can't imagine going on a trip without their own beloved bicycle, we do not provide them as part of this tour. However, you can hire bikes locally for the price listed in the tour pricing section. The bikes are Trek 2.1 C, Domane 2.0 and carbon Émonda S5 road bikes, with Shimano components and seat posts. If you have your own saddle that you are comfortable with, you are welcome to bring it, and we'll fit it. We can provide strap-style toe cages if requested, but you might like to consider bringing SPD clip pedals if you use them, and please make sure to bring your shoes and cleats. If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is a road bike in good mechanical order.
Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
Wearing a helmet is required on all our biking adventures and is non negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.
You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and if the group is 9 people or more we will add another guide to the tour. All our guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.
We recommend that you visit a travel medical doctor and ask about the following vaccinations: typhoid, polio, tetanus and hepatitis A. A certificate for Yellow Fever is required when arriving from an infected area within six days.
Thailand generally has a tropical climate with fairly high humidity. The North and Central region have a tropical climate with fairly high humidity. Northeast Thailand has a humid hot and dry weather alternatively with medium rain while the coastal areas of the east is humid and hot with intermittent rain. The South of 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˚C/80 F and 40˚C/104 F, 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˚C/68 F and 30˚C/86 F.
Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Most meals are local and feature noodles, rice, curries, and soups. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.
Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit, and soft drinks are included in the tour price while riding. Soft drinks and other beverages during meals are not included. Beer is freely available everywhere but is NOT included in the price.
SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for traveling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveler of the same gender and if we cannot match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$20 per day, for incidentals.
The Thai currency is the baht. ATMs, which are abundant, are the easiest ways to get Thai baht. Have a supply of US dollars in cash on hand, just in case your card doesn’t work. Banks or the rarer private moneychangers offer the best foreign-exchange rates. Credit cards are accepted in big cities and resort hotels but you’ll need baht for family-run guesthouses or restaurants.
If this is the tour for you here's what you need to do to confirm your place: Read our Booking Conditions
From the tour page click the 'Book Now' link. All departures for this tour will appear, just select the date you'd like to travel. There is a minimum number of participants (usually 2) required to enable the trip to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to Depart'. Once a trip is guaranteed to depart you are free to book your flights and make other travel arrangements. If you are unsure about the trip status, please email us or call our office. For the next steps you'll need to know the names of the people traveling and have either a Visa or a MasterCard. If you wish you can also provide extra details such as passport numbers, height, or you can add that later by logging into Manage My Trip (we'll set up an account for you automatically if you don't already have one). However, if you wish to get a children's discount, please do fill out the date of birth of the riders. If you are having any problems, please send us an email, or give us a call (+66 2 381 7490) and one of our travel specialists will assist you with your booking.
When booking your tour, you'll be required to pay a deposit to guarantee your place. For tours less than 7 days, the deposit amount is 100% of the tour price, per rider. For tours 7 days or longer, the deposit amount is 30% of the tour price, per rider.
Read more about booking and paying for your trip here.
All SpiceRoads trips require proof of travel insurance when booking your holiday. Besides covering you during your trip, travel insurance will also enable you to claim any fees that you have paid to us, including your deposit, if you have to cancel your trip
Day tours and tours shorter than 7 days require full payment at the time of booking. For tours 7 days or longer, full payment must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights. Our confirmation will include personal details you provided us (including your flight information), visa application advice, a packing suggestion list and a detailed tour itinerary. It will also include a checklist to ensure you get everything ready for your holiday.
On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions. If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to when you cancel. For full details, please read our cancellation policy.
For those who have been on several long tours with us we reward customer loyalty by offering repeat customers a special discount off the tour price (excludes single supplement and bike rental). If this is your fourth scheduled tour or more you will receive a 5% discount. If this is your eighth scheduled tour or more we will extend a 10% discount. The discount will be reflected in your online booking, but please contact us if any questions. Loyalty discounts can not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Note: Only tours of 7 days or more will be applicable for loyalty discount.
International flights, to and from the start and finish points are not included in the tour price. Once your tour is Guaranteed to Depart you can book your flight. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times. We would only cancel a trip for an extreme circumstance, but in that case, where we cancel your trip, we cannot be liable for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made. Please claim any losses from your travel insurance that you acquired when you booked your holiday.
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The information in this document is given in good faith, and covers the average range of conditions likely to be found on this trip. Please note that the itinerary is subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances, however, we will always do our best to adhere to this original itinerary