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Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai by Bike
Be the envy of all of your friends as you witness the wide array of Thailand’s tantalizing landscapes on this action-packed cycling adventure of a lifetime. Observe the beauty of cascading waterfalls, follow in the tracks of elephants through forests, ride the roads of (and possibly meet) the highland peoples, stand in awe in spiritual caves, and finally, marvel at the astounding beauty of the White Temple in Chiang Rai, capping off an epic trip.
- CategoryCultural & Historical
- TypeFully Guided
- Duration4 days
- Culture LevelAdventurous
- Skill Level2 - Novice
- Activity Level2 - Moderate
- Elevation1 - Easy
- Distance90.1 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance22.4 miles
- Day 1Making connections in Chiang Mai and heading for the waterfalls
It’s time to get your bikes on the road and get this adventure of a lifetime started. First things first though: you have to head to the start point for the tour – the Bua Thong waterfall. A quick transfer out of the city of Chiang Mai, then a walk, and you've arrived at this small, multi-tiered waterfall. It’s a good way to get the blood pumping before switching to the bike and spinning off.
The sights, sounds and smells flow by quickly, particularly when you ride through a teak tree farm where all the trees are labeled with their respective ages. You’ll cycle on a mixture of terrains during this tour; today exemplifies that, as you switch from long and winding country roads, to canal side lanes and paths through rice paddies. The switch-ups ensure that the cycling always remains exciting.
Eventually, you can pause to refresh with a quick stop at Mae Ngad reservoir, marveling at the sprawling vista across the lake from the dam. With that ticked off, it’s time to head to the hotel, which you will be delighted hear has a luxurious swimming pool for you to recover in.
- 18.6 miles
- Ban Phraya Lanna Rimnam
- Lunch and Dinner
- Day 2Captivating caves at Chiang Dao before meeting the people of the highlands
Awaking in paradise at the resort you will feel tempted to not even leave. It’s quite understandable, however, another day of tantalizing Thailand awaits you. Following a sumptuous breakfast, the group will take a vehicle out to the Chiang Dao Caves, where the day’s riding will begin. But first, you’ll embark on a visit around the caves and quickly understand why people can get lost in them. The system extends deep into the mountain and with Buddha statues inside they make for an awe-inspiring spot to wander round.
Suitably impressed, it’s time for the bikes as you saddle up and ride through never-ending rice fields juxtaposed with majestic limestone cliffs. It’s the kind of cycling you would imagine in your dreams, and it only gets better as you get to meet local hill peoples such as the Akha, Lisu and Palaung. The local guides come into their own as they are able to help you communicate with the people, so you can learn more about them.
- 21.7 miles
- Saimoonburi Resort
- Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
- Day 3Rolling along the tranquil Mae Kok River
After another excellent breakfast, you’ll take a transfer to Fang to prepare for the beginning of the ride. And your new landscape today? The flowing Mae Kok River. Cycling alongside the peaceful water leads you to Mae Salak and it is arguably the most scenic day of the trip. Criss-crossing through picturesque villages only adds to the feeling that this is an authentic and exclusive tour like no other.
Concluding the day’s riding at the town of Mae Salak in the afternoon allows you time to soak up how gorgeous the resort is. You can opt to take a dip in the pool to ease your aching muscles or simply just marvel at the view of the river from your room.
In the evening, you will reconvene for dinner and be entertained by local children of the Lahu tribe who will perform traditional music and dance.
- 24.9 miles
- Maekok River Village Resort
- Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
- Day 4Heating up your body in the springs and your wheels on the paths of the last day
It’s the last day of the ride and you’ll want to go out with a bang, and that is why a real humdinger of a day has been lined up for you.
As has become tradition by now, the day will be started with a delightful breakfast and then you’ll head out from the resort. Depending how your legs are feeling you can ride out to the Lahu village or drive before grabbing a ride on a long-tail boat on the Mae Kok River. Oh and yes, the bikes will be coming on the boat too. This will be a unique photo to take and show your friends for sure. After you hit solid ground, saddle up and cycle out to the natural hot springs so you can take a break and ease your muscles.
Today’s ride packs in the kilometers; once you’ve got your bodies back to 100 percent, you will cycle to Chiang Rai where a multitude of sights will be visited via your trusty bike. First up is the Mae Fah Luang Art & Cultural Park, where you can revel in the quiet of the landscaped lake garden and take in the staggering teak structures in the traditional style of the Lanna and Tai hill tribes. Take a quick break after this before heading for Chiang Rai’s most famous sight – Wat Rong Khun, or the White Temple as it is known. One of Thailand’s most recognizable temples, it is a beautiful spot to wander round and it marks a perfect place for the group to conclude the tour. Having finished here, the tour organizer can help with a transfer to your chosen hotel or the airport.
- 24.9 miles
- Breakfast and Lunch