North Thailand by Bike

DestinationsThailand
Tour MeetsChiang Mai
Tour EndsChiang Mai
Fly in toChiang Mai International Airport (CNX)
Fly out ofChiang Mai International Airport (CNX)
Group Size2-16 riders
Minimum Age18 (on scheduled departures)
553kmTotal cycling distance
55kmAvg distance / day
872mAvg climbing / day

Trip Profile

We ride 553 km, about 30% off road, in 10 cycling days. We designed the route to give a wide variety of riding. There are some first-class single-track trails to gentle back roads. Northern Thailand is a mountainous region, and there are very few flat rides, however, most of the big climbs are optional and on tarmac. Many roads and trails traverse the mountains, and our route winds up and down hillsides. We guarantee you will never be bored by the riding. There are some outstanding descents and stunning views across rolling hillsides and valleys at almost every turn!

Although our escort vehicle is always close by and our guides have powerful two-way radios, some rides are not supported due to the remoteness of the trails. 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.

We use a nice variety of accommodation including a village homestay as well as some deluxe resorts. Every day you will get a comfortable room (except with the homestay) and often a swimming pool to jump into at the end of the ride.

Suitability: You should be confident of your physical condition and bike-handling skills. Some climbs are challenging, and some rides are off road, but overall, the trail isn't too technical. It can be managed by most riders, but it is advisable to have at least some off-road and preferably downhill experience. Fitness, of course, will be a huge asset but it is not crucial. It is possible to dodge the big climbs. If you are in doubt, please contact us for advice or a list of references.

Biking Conditions: We have a mixture of tarmac, vehicle width dirt roads, and single track. Some off-road riding experience is an advantage.

What's Included

  • SpiceRoads jersey
  • Water bottle
  • Support vehicle
  • Guide(s)
  • Meals (as indicated)
  • Accommodation
  • Snacks and drinks

What's Excluded

  • International flights
  • Domestic flights
  • Airport pick up
  • Airport drop off
  • Visa fees
  • Alcohol
  • Tips

Nuts & Bolts

Bikes

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 well-known makes of mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27-speed gearing, v-brakes, and Shimano components and front suspension. If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is a mountain bike, preferably with front suspension, in good mechanical order.

Bike Repairs

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.

Safety

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.

Guides

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.

The Nitty Gritty

Passports and Visas

All nationalities require a passport for entry into Thailand. Please ensure your passport is valid for at least 6 months beyond the duration of your stay in the country. If staying less than 30 days then a visa in advance is not required by European, North American, Australian and many other nationalities. Please check this page to see if you qualify. You will need to show proof of an onward flight out of Thailand to be eligible for the visa on arrival. This is strictly enforced.

Health

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.

Weather

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.

Food

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.

Drink

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.

Solo Travelers

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.

Extra Expenses

We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$20 per day, for incidentals.

Money

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.

General booking info

Booking

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.

Deposit

For Long Tours (7 days or more) to guarantee your place we require a 30% or 500 USD deposit, whichever is the greater. For Short Tours (6 days or less) we require full payment to guarantee your place. We also require that you take out travel insurance when you book your holiday. Besides covering you during your holiday it will also enable you to claim for any money that you have paid to us, including your deposit, should you have to cancel your trip.

Balance

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.

Cancellation Policy

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.

Loyalty Riders Club

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

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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