North Thailand by Road Bike

Day 1 Chiang Rai

We meet in the afternoon for a warm-up ride to make sure the bikes fit. Our nice and easy ride through the outskirts of the city will also get us accustomed to riding in Thailand and on the left side of the road. We cycle through rice paddy fields and follow the Mae Lao River to the exquisite Wat Rong Khun, the White Temple. Created by Thailand's National Artist Chalermchai Kositpipat, this temple stands out for its distinctive style. After the visit, we head back to the hotel, so we can refresh before an outing to the night bazaar and dinner.

Laluna Resort
Ride 30km

Day 2 Chiang Rai - Thaton

Today we will be heading up to the hills of Wawee, but we have a nice fast flat stretch of 40 km to warm up our legs before the real work begins. The first climb is through a variety of fields from sugar cane to maize, small farming villages, and endless mountain views, enough to distract you from the effort of ascending 800 m in just 15 kilometres! We stop for a scenic rest stop with panoramic views before a fast 10-km descent. The remainder of ride will be undulating on quiet roads in good condition. We end at Thaton along the banks of the Maekok River where your resort with a swimming pool awaits. We'll have ascended almost 2,000 m in 123 km, a respectable first day!

Maekok River Village Resort
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 123km

Day 3 Thaton - Chiang Saen

We have a gentle start to the day as we won't be pushing the pedals very hard until kilometre 25. Then it's time to climb, but we only gain about 350 m over 10 km, for which we are rewarded with a short downhill and another climb. During our cycle, we'll pass hilltribe farmers working their fields and be greeted by children and possibly a water buffalo or two. Our true reward will be the long, gentle descent all the way to the town of Chaing Saen on the banks of the Mekong River. This town dates to the 7th century; however, it was around 1328 that the city walls, which are still standing, were built. Our hotel is directly on the river and overlooks Laos on the other side. Our total vertical climb today is 800 m.

Siam Triangle
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 98km

Day 4 Chiang Saen - Chiang Khong

Today is a semi rest day as we have a fast, flat ride in the morning, leaving the afternoon free for you to relax. Our ride today is along the Mekong River, which also forms the border with Laos, on a quiet, smooth road. We arrive in the border town of Chiang Khong in time for lunch, and the afternoon is free for you to sit on your balcony overlooking the river, explore the local market, or take a wander through the bicycle museum. Dinner is on your own tonight.

Ibis Styles Chiang Khong Riverfront
Breakfast, Lunch
Ride 68km

Day 5 Chiang Khong - Phu Chi Fa

We ride out of Chiang Khong and head south to Pu Chi Fa for a stunning viewpoint. We warm up for 50 km on a leisurely level route and then it's time to go up, up, up. We rest after the first ascent of almost 800 m up to a plateau. Here we'll have a few undulations along a ridge at 1,200 m to our resort. The mountains here have a patchwork of fields growing a large variety of crops, from cabbage and corn to strawberries to lychee farmed by Hmong. Tonight, you can enjoy fresh cool air in your cosy bungalow.

Ukrist Forest Hill
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 79km

Day 6 Phu Chi Fa - Phayao

What goes up must come down. We start with an exhilarating descent down the mountain, and then the ride flattens out as we cycle through a wide and fertile valley. We stop for a break at Phu Sang Waterfall, where the water comes from a hot spring with water temperature around 33-35 degrees. The riding from here on is flat with just a few rises. We cycle on to have lunch in the small town of Chun and then finish at the lakeside town of Phayao. We pass many small towns and villages and see locals going about their daily business as they herd their cattle or till their fields. We end our ride at Phayao Lake, an artificial lake that is now home to more than 22 species of fish. The town is very laid-back, and after checking into our hotel, we'll head to a lakeside restaurant for a feast.

Green Hill Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 125km

Day 7 Phayao - Viang Papao

This morning, we ride around the lake before we start our first serious climb of the day, a 11-km ascent. We top out just under 1,000 m after a climb of 500 m or so and have views back into the valley we left. Looking ahead, we enjoy our downhill, with a stop to take photos at Tan Tong Waterfall. After lunch, we get back on our bikes and cross in-to the next valley by crossing a small mountain range. Our ride ends with a flat ride through rice paddies. We stay in a funky resort with individual artwork in each room.

Full House
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 85km

Day 8 Viang Papao - Chiang Mai

Today's ride has a refreshing end in a waterfall, but before we get there, we have our work cut out for us! We'll be cycling up to 1,400 m, and though the climbs will be tough, they won't be unrelenting. The road winds up through a lush forest, and you'll hear birds seemingly encouraging you on. After a break at the top, a freewheel of 20 km awaits! Our scenic ride continues through rice fields and orchards filled with exotic fruits. We arrive at Bua Thong Waterfall where we can have a dip in the crystal clear water, but watch out for the freshwater crabs! We then transfer one hour to Chiang Mai and our centrally located ho-tel.

Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 105km

Day 9 Samoeng Loop

Our loop takes us around Doi Suthep, the mountain that overlooks the old city. We have a very short transfer out of Chiang Mai to avoid traffic. We start pedalling on quiet country roads with lots of coffee places to stop at along the way. We have one major climb in the morning, which will be after a descent with some sharp curves. We stop for lunch at the village of Samoeng. As we come around the mountain, we have one more tough rise, but once over the top, it's downhill to the fertile foothills north of Chiang Mai. Back to the hotel to clean up and prepare for our farewell dinner.

Aruntara Riverside Boutique Hotel
Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Ride 75km

Day 10 Departure

Today is yours to relax and rest after nine days of great riding. We can help with arrangements if you’d like to extend your stay in Thailand or organise transfers to the airport for onward flights.