Cycling and Tuk Tuk Adventure
What do you get?
£1795 Per Person
(reserve your place with a deposit of just £299 pp)
Where you'll go
Day 1: Arrival and Welcome Dinner
Arrive into Chiang Mai International Airport (flights not included) where you’ll be met by our team and have a private transfer to your superb overnight riverside hotel.
This evening we’ll have a great Thai feast by the river and enjoy the surroundings of this fantastic hotel.
Day 2: Ride up to the mountain peak of Mon Chaem and then onwards to the town of Samoeng
An incredible first day of cycling high into the mountains overlooking Chiang Mai. We first transfer by minivan to our starting point of Mae Rim (avoiding the only busy roads we’ll see on the whole adventure) and then head up the rural mountain back roads to the community of Mon Chaem. After a gentle rolling first 5km we then take on a stunning 25km climb with 1,110 metres of ascent winding through small communities and forests winding up to the mountain top settlement of Mon Chaem with incredible 360 degree views.
A fantastic and filling Thai lunch awaits in a local restaurant along with some of the best coffee around.
After lunch we head down the ‘back’ of the mountain through tiny rural roads towards our overnight destination of Samoeng, a market town serving the small mountain communities all around. Passing through very remote villages (don’t be surprised if people come out of their houses to cheer you on!) this is real rural mountainous Thailand which whilst only 40km from Chiang Mai city hardly ever sees Western visitors!
Overnight we’ll stay in the very pleasant Samoeng Centre hotel with a welcoming swimming pool. A 30 minute traditional Thai massage is included for all and once you’re all refreshed we’ll head out for another great Thai feast.
- Total distance – +/-70km
- Total climbing – +/-1,400 metres
Day 3: Ride into the heart of Karen Hill Tribe country
A challenging and spectacular day’s ride today as we head North along remote roads deep into the heart of Karen Hill Tribe territory. We spend the day on roads almost never travelled by any visitor, let alone by bike. With plenty of stops for superb local coffee, to take in the spectacular views and to meet the local people this is not just an incredible day’s riding but also a real adventure. It feels as if we are in another country and in many ways we are – the people here are ethnic Karen, speaking a different language and with their own unique culture having always lived in the mountain regions of Northern Thailand and Myanmar.
We end the day in the simple but spectacular Karen Hill Tribe Lodge where we’ll spend the night. About as remote as you can get this small ‘resort’ has been set up by the local community to allow visitors to get a real sense of the region and culture. Whilst the rooms are simple they are clean and well looked after and the experience of staying here more than makes up for the lack of modern conveniences.
We’ll have a Karen feast in the evening and enjoy the night deep in the mountains.
- Total distance – +/-110km
- Total climbing – +/-2,300 metres
Day 4: Ride to Pai
An easier day on the bike today as we head towards the famous mountain town of Pai and our fantastic resort, our base for the next two nights. Yet again we’re on rural but superb roads and after a short climb in the morning it’s pretty much rolling and downhill all the way to Pai with as always some stops to experience the local culture and communities.
We’ll arrive at Phu Pai Art Resort around mid afternoon in time for a complimentary Thai massage, perfect to ease the body after the last three days, and then time to enjoy the infinity pool overlooking the rice fields and mountains.
In the evening it’s yet another great Thai feast and time for a few well earned beers.
- Total distance – +/-60km
- Total climbing – +/-1,100 metres
Day 5: A free day to rest or explore the local area
A day off the bike today to enjoy the resort and its lovely pool or head out and explore the town of Pai located just 5km away – easy to either cycle into or use the transfers provided by the resort.
In the evening we’ll head into Pai for a street food experience giving a great sense of what’s on offer in this part of the world
- Breakfast and street food dinner
- Twin shared accommodation at Phu Pai Art Resort
Day 6: Ride to Mae Hong Son
A real challenge awaits today for our last full days on the bikes as we ride to Mae Hong Son. This stretch of the route is an iconic cycling route in Northern Thailand but one only for the adventurous! Incredible views across the mountains, a superb climb to start the day and then rolling roads with the odd sharp climb and descent heading all the way to our destination, the fantastic Fern Resort just outside Mae Hong Son (where Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie used to hang out to avoid the crowds!)
Don’t forget the support vehicle is with us throughout not only providing never ending snacks, water and fruit but also on hand should you wish to take some time out and enjoy some well-deserved cool air-conditioning for parts of the route!
We pass through small communities, market towns, great rural coffee shops and the breath taking views are more than enough to take your mind off any burning thighs as we ride through the mountains.
We’ll arrive at Fern Resort in the late afternoon, in time for yet another Thai massage and then cold beers at the superb sunset bar in the resort
- Total distance – +/-115 km
- Total climbing – +/-2,500 metres
Day 7: Hill Tribes, Temples and Street Food
A well earned relaxing but adventurous day today as we explore the area around Mae Hong Son. First we’ll take a long tail boat down the river to visit a ‘long neck’ Karen tribal village. A million miles from the world of mass-tourism nearer more famous destinations this gives a fascinating insight into life up here in the mountains and to the ‘long neck’ tradition.
Then in the late afternoon we’ll head to Wat Doi Kong Mu, the most important Temple in the region perched on a mountain overlooking the town, for sunset and then down into the town itself for some of the best street food in Thailand. With dishes from Myanmar, Thailand and many different Hill Tribes a great feast is assured.
Of course throughout the day there’s also the chance to enjoy the two swimming pools at the resort and lie back and relax after some serious cycling over the last few days.
Day 8: Tuk Tuks, a stunning last climb and a Hill Tribe homestay
Today is one of those days you’ll never forget! We start off by taking a unique way to travel in the mountains – Thailand’s iconic Tuk Tuks. However, these are no ordinary Tuk Tuks having been built specially for the mountain roads with more powerful engines, larger and more comfortable back seats, sunroofs and even blu-tooth speakers! With our expert drivers we head South for around 100km’s along a superb stretch of road allowing you to sit back and enjoy the views – and the surprise of the locals seeing Tuk Tuks in this area.
Then, after a late lunch, it’s time to get back on the bike for one final achievement – the 25km climb to the hidden village of Ban Lay Oop! A truly spectacular climb with hairpin bends winding up through the mountains and one which almost certainly no visitors have ever ridden. With the support team in place, Tuk Tuks on hand and yet another local feast due on arrival everything is in place for you to head high up into the hills surrounded by simply incredible views.
We’re staying in the ‘hidden’ village this evening. A small community spread along a mountain ridge only recently able to allow visitors from overseas. Incredibly welcoming, totally traditional and a real adventurous experience. We’ll eat dinner with the community and then stay in homestays dotted around the village. The accommodation is simple – mattresses on the floor with mosquito nets and shared bathrooms – but a unique and very special experience.
Tuk Tuks, a stunning hidden mountain bike climb and a real homestay experience in a tiny village – travel doesn’t get more exciting.
- Total distance – +/-25km
- Total climbing – +/-1,200 metres
Day 9: A back-road Tuk Tuk adventure heading to Doi Inthanon
After breakfast we’ll ride back down the climb – nothing like enjoying the benefits of the pain heading up yesterday – before jumping back into the Tuk Tuks and heading yet again, deep into the mountains and off the beaten track as we head to the foothills of Doi Inthanon, Thailand’s highest mountain at over 2,500m.
Driving along quiet roads passing through remote communities this really is the heart of Northern Thailand. As always, coffee stops and viewpoints are the order of the day along with another delicious local lunch. Make sure you’ve got your favourite road trip tunes set to play through the blu-tooth speakers, sit back and enjoy the mountains unfolding in front of you.
By mid / late afternoon we’ll arrive at the Karen mountain community of Mae Khlang Luang perched overlooking rice terraces and surrounded by forests and mountains. Tonight we’ll enjoy a traditional Thai BBQ sitting out over the fields as the sun goes down. Fantastic.
NOTE: The rooms in this community are relatively simple but clean and large. All rooms have en-suite facilities but there’s no air-conditioning (not needed at this altitude) and the friendliness of the village more than makes up for the simple nature of the rooms.
Day 10: Trekking, return to Chiang Mai and a final feast
You can’t come to Northern Thailand and not do some trekking! This morning we’ll head out after breakfast to explore the forested foothills of Doi Inthanon.
Accommpanied by an expert trekking guide we pass through towering forest, swim under waterfalls and have lunch in a clearing. At the end of the trek we head back into the village where we stayed last night enjoying a traditional mountain coffee shop, Starbucks eat your heart out.
Next we’re back in the Tuk Tuks winding through yet more stunning mountain roads before transferring finally into minivans to head back into our hotel in Chiang Mai city for a fantastic celebratory riverside dinner.
Day 11: Farewell
It’s time to say goodbye Chiang Mai and our team will transfer you to Chiang Mai airport in good time to catch your flight.