your daily adventures
Shuttle to Ayutthaya for walking tour, launch fire balloons in Uthai Thani, welcome dinner riverside.
Your group will gather this morning at Bangkok's Suwarnabhumi Airport, then drive north of the city to ancient Ayutthaya. We'll embark on a walking tour to explore some the more significant ruins of this former capital city. After lunch, we continue north to the historic town town of Uthai Thani, our launching point for this cycling holiday. We enjoy dinner at a floating restaurant followed by the launching of traditional khom loy ( Thai Fire Balloons ) for good luck.
Ride through vast rice fields and colorful rural villages, visit the Monkey Temple at Wat Khao No, watch evening bat flight.
The first bike tour of the trip travels through the flat farmlands of the central Thailand, with emerald green rice fields stretching as far as the eye can see, punctuated by vibrantly colored temple complexes and wooden houses. Our small hotel tonight is tucked away just outside the tiny village Bahnpot Phisai. After reaching our hotel, we will shuttle over to explore Khao Noi, with its temple cave and thousands of monkeys roaming the grounds.
Explore the Chao Prayao Valley and traditional farming techniques, dinner at the night market.
Continuing north along smaller farm roads, we may have the opportunity to witness traditional agricultural methods, duck powered pest control, sun drying of tapioca and peppers, wind winnowing of rice hulls. Our goal for the evening is Kamphaeng Phet, another of Thailand's ancient kingdoms, dating from the Sukhothai Era ( 500 to 700 years ago ). We head out for dinner at the night market at a small, simple cafe with a fabulous chef.
Discover the ancient ruins of Kamphaeng Phet, learn about making palm sugar candies, wind down in Sukhothai Historical Park.
In the morning we will pedal the short way through town to Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park. This UNESCO World Heritage Site has a section of ruins within the city containing the Imperial Temple complex among others and a second section tucked away in the forests outside the city. We will enjoy a walking tour of the first and then take our bikes for a ride through the second. From Kamphaeng Phet is it a short, scenic ride through rural Thailand to our next stop at the renowned ruins of Sukhothai and our hotel sitting just outside the historical park.
A free day to explore the 700 year old ruins of Sukhothai.
We start our day with a cycling trip through the Sukhothai Historical Park ( a UNESCO World Heritage Site ), where we will discover many fabulous ruins dating back some 500 to 700 years. The complex is an amazing tribute to the ancient kings and their visions. The afternoon is free to do as you please, relax poolside, stroll through town. For dinner, we will go "grazing" at the night food market, tasting an array of everyday Thai food, watching as the locals come to get their dinners ( very few Thais have full kitchens at home, preferring to buy their prepared dinners at the markets ).
Cycle through rural Thailand to the crossroads town of Thoen.
We head north out of the agricultural regions and into the foothills of the northern mountains today. Much of the day is quite flat, but does give way to hills as we approach the crossroads town of Thoen. At one point during the ride, it appears that massive mountains block our way, but as we approach, we come to discover that they are really flat slabs of granite turned up on edge and are only a 100 feet thick, yet towering way above our heads. We will bed down tonight in Thoen.
Roll through the hills to colorful Li, shuttle into Chiang Mai.
Our last bike ride of the first week follows rolls through the forested hills of the north. We'll see Teak trees with their ever present flowers, small rural villages where cyclists like us generate big smiles and lots of hellos. In late afternoon, we will shuttle into Chiang Mai to avoid the afternoon rush hour traffic. Tonight we head out for a traditional northern Khan Toke dinner with classical Thai and hill tribe dancing.
A free day to explore this 700 year old city.
Today is a free day. A variety of options of things to do in Chiang Mai is available, from cycling tours of Wiang Kum Kam, visits to handicraft shops, cooking classes, etc. Your guides will be glad to fill you in on the options and help you plan your day.
Cycle north to visit Mae Sa Valley, pedal through lush forests to diminutive Baan Rai.
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 and a butterfly farm. In the 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.
Hit the morning market of Mae Malai, explore the expansive Wat Baan Den Temple, cycle through Mae Ping Gorge.
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 picturesque resort tucked in amongst the impressive karst hills ... relax by the lake with a cold Singha beer or on the porch of your teak cottage hidden in the gardens.
Bike to visit the Burmese style temple at Mae Ai, walk through the 1000 year old temple cave at Tab Tao, relax riverside in Tha Ton.
After breakfast this morning, we will pedal up to a beautiful giant Buddha, perched beneath the golden cliffs, then enjoy a thrilling descent onto the agricultural realm around Fang. We will visit 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. In the afternoon we will spend some time exploring Wat Mae Ai Luang, with its historic wooden temple featuring Burmese architecture, before rolling further north to Tha Ton, our overnight stopping point.
Visit a Kayan village, roll through the green hill country, dinner on the banks of the Mae Khong overlooking Laos.
As the morning fog burns off, we head out for a leisurely ride along the Mae Kok, watching as the villagers start their days in the fields. In late morning, we will load up in our sag and drive to a Kayan Village perched on the mountain top ( avoiding a very steep climb ). The Kayan, also known as 'long neck women' or 'Paudang', have a village cooperative that sells their handwoven products to visitors like ourselves. We will re-mount our bikes in the afternoon and continue our ride to a nice lodge out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by dramatic landscapes and bucolic quiet.
Time to head out for your next adventure.
Our cycling holiday must come to an end today. After breakfast we will visit the White Temple, a unique Buddhist temple featuring incredible carvings by a Chiang Rai artist. Then saying our fond farewells at Chiang Rai Airport. Khap khun khap, sawasdee khap.