let the fun begin!
Arrive Chiang Mai, welcome Khantoke dinner
Meet in the ancient capital of the Lanna Kingdom, Chiang Mai today. We will transfer from the airport to our hotel in the old city section of town. After an early evening orientation session, we will head out to try a traditional Khantoke Dinner, featuring regional foods and classical Thai dances. The word khantoke actually refers to the round table that the food is served on. D
Chiang Mai, cycling in am, street food discovery
After breakfast we will get fitted to our bicycles and warm up with a ride around the old city section of Chiang Mai. This part of town dates back some 700 years, with ancient stupas now sitting next to modern restaurants, ornate temples next to little mom & pop shops. Explore several of the 300 odd temples in town, as well as a local fresh market selling everything from fresh seafood and vegetables to fully prepared Thai meals to take away. Enjoy some free time to relax in afternoon, before heading out to sample Chiang Mais renowned street food markets with a myriad of tasty treats to nibble on.
Cycling Wiang Khum Khan, Baan Tawai, Lamphun, transfer to Lampang
We start on our way to Bangkok this morning, cycling south along the old royal road. Our first stop will be Wiang Khum Khan, where King Mengrai first built Chiang Mai city. Unfortunately his choice of locations was subject to annual floods and now is ruins scattered amongst the fruit tree orchards. Lunch will find us in Baan Tawai, a craft village specializing in wood working and a chance to wander its streets lined with shops. We finish our ride today in Lamphun, at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai in Lamphuns historic center. We transfer by van to Lampang for the evening.
Transfer to Wang Chin, cycling to Sri Satchanalai
After breakfast we will drive to Wang Chin District to avoid cycling over the mountains south of Lampang, but before leaving town we will visit the historic temples of Wat Prathat Lampang Luang and Wat Mon Kamsin. Our ride takes us through the foot hills, past small villages and forest lands. Along the way you may spot ancient ruins from Sri Satchanalai tucked in among the trees of the forest and on hill tops. We relax in the village of Si Satchanalai tonight.
Cycling to Sukhothai
A slow paced ride across vast rice fields and farmlands, takes us towards the ancient heart of Siam - the Kingdom of Sukhothai. Everyday rural Thai life surrounds our route, small villages, colorful temples, village markets and more. perhaps if rice is being harvested you can try your hand at threshing the grain. Our goal is Baan Khao a small village outside Sukhothai historical park, which will be home for the next two nights.
free day to explore Sukhothai Historical Park
Your guides will lead those who are interested on a halfday ride through the historical park, to see some of the numerous UNESCO recognized temple ruins. The Kingdom of Sukhothai is considered the birthplace of what is Thailand today and ruled over the region from about 700 to 500 years ago.
Cycle to Kamphaeng Phet, learn about making palm sugar, Kamphaeng Phet ruins
A longer ride is in store today, but our 100kms are all flat, nicely paved roads. Along the way, we will visit a family that makes sugar candies from the Sugar Palm fruits, take a spin through the ruins of Kamphaeng Phet, a vassal state of the Sukhothai King and then head out for dinner in the night market.
Cycle to Bahnpot Phisai, visit monkey temple at Wat Khao No, watch night bat flight from cave
The Ping River, which we said good bye to in Lamphun, several days ago, rejoins our route leading us through farmlands of rice, sugar cane and Cassava (Tapioca). While many folks think of Tapioca as a starch (tapioca pudding) in this part of Thailand is primarily used to make MSG. The twin karst mountains of Khao No and Khao Keao rising above the fields mark the end of our ride. After checking in to our hotel, we will drive over to Wat Khao No to see its hordes of monkeys, then later witness the bat flight, with thousands of bats emerging from the mountain at sunset.
Cycle to Uthai Thani, Wat Bang Pramung Floating Market (sat, sun only), Tham Bo Ya
The mountains of Khao Luang Forest park, form a scenic backdrop to our ride today (but not to worry, you cycle in the flats). We visit the temple cave at Tham Bo Ya, with its colorful statues and contrastingly simple rock formations. Upon reaching our overnight stop in Uthai Thani we will explore the incredible Golden Castle at Wat Tha Sung, then relax riverside in our hotel.
Cycle to Sam Chuk / Suphan Buri, visit 100 year old Sam Chuk market
The Ping River merged with four other rivers to form the Chao Praya River which drains 90% of Thailand and flows through the heart of Bangkok. We will cycle along its course for a while before swinging west en route to the old market town of Sam Chuk. Along the way we encounter the Bueng Chawak Zoo, which is known for its inter-species breeding of large cats creating 'ligers' and 'tions'. We relax tonight in Sam Chuk, whose hundred year old market district covers multiple blocks with old style wooden shop houses, selling foods, clothing and of course some souvenirs.
Cycle to Ayutthaya, visit ruins, transfer to Bangkok hotel, final dinner
Our adventure in Thailand is winding down today as we cycle back to the Chao Praya river in Ang Thong. Upon reaching Ang Thong, we will load up and shuttle to Ayutthaya, where we will explore some ruins from 300 years back. After Sukhothai was destroyed by invading Burmese, the capital of Thailand was moved to Ayutthaya, where the kings ruled for around 300 years. We head into Bangkok for our last night and a great Thai dinner to finish off our ride from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.
After breakfast, transfer to Suvarnabhumi Airport to say our fond farewells and board flights for home or more adventures.