Northern Highlights

a 7 day bike tour in Thailand


 
Chiang Mai, the ancient kingdom of King Mengrai dating back 700 years, is well known to tourists around the world but its surroundings are often missed by visitors to Thailand. We invite you to explore Chiang Mai and it surroundings in depth on our Northern Highlights bike tour. Discover ethnic hill tribes still living in thatched villages on the hill tops dressed in their colorful garments, explore ancient temple ruins and city fortifications, taste the delicious cuisine that Thailand is renowned for worldwide and meet the friendly Thais.

Your week long Thailand bicycle tour begins in Chiang Mai, where 700 year old stupas co-exist side by side with modern offices, where vegetable and fish markets open every morning at 5 am and where teeming night markets spring up on the sidewalks where business men in suits ply by day. We'll explore the city before heading north through vast farmlands and spectacular landscapes. Ride an elephant through the jungle, soak in a natural hot spring feed pool and discover daily lives of the Paduang and Karen tribes.

Your cycling holiday winds down in the northern reaches of the kingdom, pedaling along the Mae Kok River through lush forests and green rice paddies. Enjoy a variety of excellent accommodations, ranging for delightful city lodges to remote mountain resorts, and fine dinners at our favorite local restaurants featuring the best of the region's cuisine. Join us for an awesome bike tour through the best of northern Thailand.
Thailand has 79 different varieties of spicy chilies. Want to try them all? 
Launching fire balloons to bless our Thailand bicycle tour
DAY

01
Meet in Chiang Mai, enjoy northern style Khantoke Dinner, launch fire balloons.
Your bike tour group will gather today in the vibrant northern city of Chiang Mai. After checking into our lodge, we will get everyone set up with their bikes, then head out for a traditional northern Khan Toke dinner with classical Thai and hill tribe dancing.
Meals: D
Cycling past Wat Chedi Liam
DAY

02
Cycle through the ruins of ancient Wiang Khum Kam, explore the wood working shops of Baan Tawai, dinner at our favorite riverside restaurant.
This morning we head south of town to explore the ruins of Wiang Kum Kam, site of the first city built by King Mengrai some 700 years ago. Unfortunately his choice of land was subject to frequent floods, so after a short while he moved the city to it's current locale. After lunch we will explore the wood working village of Baan Tawai and then return to Chiang Mai. Tonight we enjoy dinner at our favorite restaurant perched on the banks of the Mae Ping (Ping River) which flows through the heart of the city.
Cycling: 22 mi / 35 km, Terrain: flat, Meals: B L D
Elephant ride through the forest
DAY

03
Visit an elephant camp for demonstrations and a ride through the jungle, pedal the rural countryside to a remote lodge.
We head north this morning, following small roads along the Mae Ping through villages and past flower farms. Lunch time will find us in the town of Mae Rim, where we will break from cycling to visit an orchid grower, butterfly farm and the Mae Rim Elephant camp, where we enjoy a demonstration of the elephant's former work. In late afternoon, we remount our bikes for a beautiful ride through emerald rice paddies and past colorful temples en route to our overnight stop in the village of Baan Rai.
Cycling: 31 mi / 50 km, Terrain: flat, Meals: B L D
Golden Buddhas at Wat Baan Den
DAY

04
Discover the ornate colorful temple of Wat Baan Den, cycle through the lush Mae Ping Gorge, enjoy dinner while relaxing in a hot spring.
Our morning ride takes us first to Mae Malai, where we visit a traditional market featuring a broad selection of local vegetables, fruits and fish, along with a tasty array of prepared foods from pad se yu (noodles) to fried insects. We will also visit the magnificent Wat Baan Den, before heading north into the rolling, forested countryside. Our bike tour winds down the day at a delightful resort with a dramatic sunset view of Doi Chiang Dao, Thailand's second tallest mountain. We'll enjoy a post ride soak in a private hot spring pool at the base of Doi Chiang Dao.
Cycling: 57 mi / 92 km, Terrain: flat then small hills at end, Meals: B L D
View cycling across Chiang Dao Hills
DAY

05
Cycle the Chiang Dao Hills, passing golden Buddhas, then wander into the 1000 year old Temple Cave at Tab Tao.
After breakfast this morning, we will pedal north, visiting a local hill tribe market offering fresh produce from various Royal Projects, along with delicious teas and dried fruit. Then up to a beautiful giant Buddha, perched beneath the golden cliffs, before enjoy a thrilling descent onto the agricultural realm around Fang. Our last stop is Wat Tham Tub Tao, an ancient temple complex with 100s of Buddha images inside a giant cavern. Each year a gathering of 2500 monks takes place at this temple and has been happening for hundreds of years. We will walk into the giant caverns to visit a stupha deep in the heart of the mountain that allegedly dates back more than 1000 years. Our stop is a few miles further up the road in Chai Prakan.
Cycling: 39 mi / 63 km, Terrain: moderate climb, then flat, Meals: B L D
Learning hilltribe weaving
DAY

06
Cycle through remote rural valleys and farms, explore Burmese style temples, enjoy dinner on the banks of the Mae Kok River.
The last day of this Thailand bike tour pedals along rural roads through the flat plains of the far north. Along the way discover Burmese style temples with Buddha statues made from woven wicker. Enjoy numerous photos ops with emerald rice paddies, quiet villages and remote temples. Our last night's celebratory dinner will be at a great restaurant overlooking the Mae Kok River.
Cycling: 40 mi / 64 km, Terrain: flat, Meals: B L D
Morning mist over Mae Kok River
DAY

07
Return to Chiang Mai to prepare for your next adventure. Sawasdee
Our cycling holiday must come to an end today. We will shuttle back to the Chiang Mai Airport in our vans, one last chance to enjoy the scenery through which you pedaled for the last few days. Khap khun khap, sawasdee khap.
Meals: B

From Our Guests . . .

 The tour was very fun, spontaneous, informative, and memorable. The tour leader and driver managed the tour and all aspects of our daily needs very competently. We learned about the culture, tried many new foods and always had answers for our myriad of questions. The cycling was at the right level for us, but we always knew the van was available should we need assistance.    
 Our guide, Yei, was exceptionally good - friendly, competent, energetic and with us at all times to smooth a transition or a transaction, suggest local options like massages and side trips and was in all aspects a guide and boon companion. Noom, our van driver, was also exceptional - friendly, personable, responsible and prompt, always waiting at the next rest point with a smile and a cold juice box. We were amazed at his ability to maneuver in traffic and tight spaces and his ability to pack the bikes in the van efficiently and quickly, even when he had to work around biking togs that had not fully dried from the night before. He took evident and justified pride in the appearance of his van which was always clean and comfortable. The bike rides were challenging without being overwhelming and the breaks, which included visits to temples and ruins and markets, were well-timed and welcome. Overall it was a most excellent adventure and one I would recommend in a heartbeat.    
 The Northern Highlights tour is a must for anyone wanting to really see Thailand. Having visited the country many times before I was astounded at how much I didn't know and how much I hadn't seen. The pace of a bicycle is certainly the best way to see, hear, smell and taste this wonderful country. Tom and Yai are exceptional guides with limitless local knowledge and stories. Yai is a passionate cook and her encouragement of us to taste everything we laid eyes on made me very glad we were cycling an average of 60km a day. The accommodation all along the route, which begins in Chiang Mai and ends up just by the border of Myanmar, is of an exceptionally high standard as is the support and care you receive in the sag wagon every step of the way.    
 We have travelled the world and would say this is one of the best. Great tour guide, no unexpected costs, freedom to stop whenever we wanted. We saw things we would have never seen if we had been on our own. Loved seeing all the markets and trying the different foods. Dinner at our own little hot tub. Beautiful hotels. Launching the thai kites. Would highly recommend this trip to anyone that likes to get out and see and experience the unusual fare on a tour.    
 When we look back on our entire trip to Thailand, I think we would all say that the biking portion of the trip was the most amazing, challenging and deep thought provoking. We saw, tasted, smelled and absorbed like we never have taken time to do. Sadly, we are caught up in our crazed lives and don't "take in" the moments of our lives, like we should. Personally, I discovered my strength riding up those long scenic hills. I found myself on my own, at times, coaching myself to carry on, don't quit, fight on, be better then I believed I could be. We now have set goals to buy great bikes for this summer, find some great rides and blaze new trails! The courage it took to purchase this trip, pay for the flights, plan this amazing adventure was the beginning of a new life.    
 The personal attention by Tom and Yai, the flexibility, the route, the stops along the way, the meals, the lodging, the shared knowledge of the country. I was made to feel that the tour was for me and that my safety and experience was important to them. What a wonderful experience I had. The highlights.....trip to the elephant camp, the food, launching the candles, interacting with Tom, Yai, and Deung, and the entire trip.    
 This was my first multi-day bike tour and I thoroughly enjoyed every single day. The routes had lots of beautiful scenery and points of interest. I discovered that Thailand is extremely bike friendly, and the Pedalers tour guides did a fantastic job of explaining the history and significance of the Thai culture, religion, business activity and lifestyle as we rode along. The routes were well designed and the on the road support was fabulous. It\'s definitely worth the effort to make the journey to Thailand to ride, and there is no one better to guide you than Pedalers Pub and Grille. Thanks for a great experience and many life long memories!    
 In all respects, this was a fabulous tour....The route was excellent, with visits to significant historic sites as well as roads that gave us the chance to see the beauty of rural Thailand....The guides were tops, and we appreciated having an English speaking native guide who could answer questions about the culture and customs of the country--and order fabulous meals for us ...Side visits to markets, hilll tribe villages, elephant camp, etc. were thoughtfully chosen and added to our insider\'s view of the Thai heritage....We used the rental bikes, and found them to be excellent--definitely not worth the hassle of bringing our own bikes on this trip.    
 What a great time I had on this tour -- it's one week I will always remember. We stayed in very nice hotels (swimming pools in all of them), ate wonderful meals, saw both the requisite Thai cultural sites and some off-the-beaten path things -- like a Buddha cave at a temple out in the middle of nowhere! Our guide, Yai, was just wonderful -- she provided lots of background on Thai culture. In fact, that may have been the best part of the tour, apart from the riding. I feel like I came back with a solid understanding of the country and its people, something I definitely would have missed if I hadn\'t had Yai as a guide. Would I take this tour again? In a heartbeat!    
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7 days (5 days cycling)
Inn to Inn
Level: A

Boutique inns and resorts
3 and 4 star    See some of our hotels

Tour meets and ends in Chiang Mai, Thailand (CNX)
Paved roads, moderate traffic, mixed terrain

Total: 189 mi / 304 km
Daily Avg: 37 mi / 61 km


Scheduled Departures:
Tour Cost: $2275
Deposit: $200

Private Trips:
6 or more people: $2360
2 to 5 people: $2685
1 person: $3085

Extras:
Single Supplement: $450
Bike Rental: free of charge
(All costs per person in US $. Seasonal supplements may apply on private trips.)

More Ideas

Here are some other great bucket list trips in the region.

Comfortable Boutique Accommodation

The Rim Resort
A delightful lanna styled boutique property overlooking the historic moat.

Baan Rai Lanna
Delightful, intimate resort with bungalows set on tiered rice paddies.

Aurora Resort
Unique collection of Thai Houses and deluxe rooms in lovely landscaped gardens.

Saimoonbury Resort
A charming resort hidden away in tiny Chaiprakan town.

Maekok River Village
Beautiful resort set on the banks of the Mae Kok River offering endless panoramic views.

The hotels listed here are our preferred properties, but may not be available for all dates. When alternates are used, they will be of the same quality and style.

Choose Your Date

Trip Starts Departure
Trip Ends
Price
Sgl Sup
Deposit
Notes
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8
Jan 2017
14 Jan 2017
$ 2275
$ 450
$ 200
 
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5
Feb 2017
11 Feb 2017
$ 2275
$ 450
$ 200
 
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28
May 2017
3 Jun 2017
$ 2275
$ 450
$ 200
 
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17
Sep 2017
23 Sep 2017
$ 2275
$ 450
$ 200
 
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15
Oct 2017
21 Oct 2017
$ 2275
$ 450
$ 200
 
Book This Date
12
Nov 2017
18 Nov 2017
$ 2275
$ 450
$ 200
 
Book This Date
17
Dec 2017
23 Dec 2017
$ 2275
$ 450
$ 200
 
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