Thailand Explorer Northern Tour
Nov. 17 - 26, 2014
$2225 - $2475 USD per person (4 Min, 20 max on tour)
A special 10-day custom tour for Cascade that includes all the best from Northern Thailand with multi-day stops at the cities of UNESCO World Heritage; Kamphaeng Phet, Sukhothai Historical Park and Chiang Mai. Expect a fabulous and unique cycling experience with an emphasis on cultural items; great food and in depth local knowledge from Thai Tour specialist, Pedalers Pub & Grille. This tour is rated moderate and we expect temperatures to be ideal at this time of year for an enjoyable experience for all!
10+ riders: $2225
4 - 9 riders: $2475
Note- Tour may go with fewer than 4 riders, a small surcharge would be applied in this case and riders would have a chance to cancel at no penalty
Single Supplement: $750
Bike Rental: $175
- 9 nights accommodation in the area's better hotels (double occupancy)
- All meals from dinner on Day 1 until breakfast on Day 10
- Water, sodas or beer included at dinner
- Service of bilingual Team Pedalers Guide(s)
- Full van support
- Daily route directions and maps
- Sightseeing and cultural activities
- Airport pick up & drop off
MEETING & FLIGHTS:
The tour meets in the morning of Day 1 at Sukhothai Airport. The trip ends at Chiang Rai Airport around noon on Day 10. Guests staying on in Thailand can also be dropped off in Chiang Mai, but will not arrive there until late afternoon. For a preferred list of Bangkok arrival hotels from Pedalers Pub, please visit this page.
Fly into Sukhothai (THS) before 12 noon on Day 1
Fly out of Chiang Rai (CEI) after 2 pm on Day 10
NOTE: Due to the late night arrival from and early morning departure of flights to North America, most guests will need to overnight in Bangkok going both directions.
Domestic Flights: We suggest booking your flight between Bangkok & Sukhothai / Chiang Rai separately from your international flight, as it will usually work out much more economical. For ease of connecting with international flights at Bangkok's Suvarnabhumi Airport, we suggest using either Thai Airways, Bangkok Airways or Air Asia.
VISAS & TRAVEL DOCUMENTS
Passports are required for all guests. Your passport should have at least 6 months validity past your intended travel dates. Visas are not required for citizens of the USA, Canada, UK, EU, Japan, Australia and New Zealand, a 30 day Entry Permit is issued upon arrival in Bangkok.
Fly into Sukhothai Airport, transfer to Kamphaeng Phet. We will get the bikes set up, then head out to explore Kamphaeng Phet. 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.
53 mi / 85 kms
It is it a short, scenic ride through rural Thailand to our next stop at the renowned ruins of Sukhothai and our hotel situated just outside the historical park. We finish 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.
72 mi / 117 kms
We head north out of the agricultural regions and into the foothills of the northern mountains. 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 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.
46 mi / 75 kms
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.
Today is a free day in Chiang Mai. Your options include; 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. (lunch / dinner on your own)
31 mi / 50 kms
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.
57 mi / 92 kms
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.
54 mi / 88 kms
After breakfast this morning, we will pedal up to a beautiful giant Buddha, perched beneath the golden cliffs, then enjoy a thrilling descent into the agricultural area around Fang. We will visit Tham Tub Tao, an ancient temple complex with hundreds of Buddha images inside a giant cavern. Each year a gathering of 2500 monks which has been hapening for hundreds of years takes place at this temple. 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.
52 mi / 85 kms
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. By 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. In the afternoon we will ride to a nice lodge out in the middle of nowhere surrounded by dramatic landscapes and bucolic quiet.
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.
The entire ride is on paved roads, most with nice pavement and wide shoulders. Traffic is moderate to light and very bike friendly. The route is suitable for performance road, sport road and touring bikes. Terrain is a mix flat, with some moderate hills midway through the route and at the finish point.
Praise for Pedalers Tours
"This trip was the first I had taken out of the country for 25 years. I am a single woman, was traveling alone and was unsure if if was the right thing for me to do. What an experience! Not only did I feel safe and protected the entire trip, but fed to capacity at every opportunity...I would definitely do this again!"
--Rhonda P, Bali
"Oh gosh, where to start? Thailand is an amazing backdrop, with gorgeous weather, friendly folks, and yummy food. Of course, the cycling was the highlight, with a moderate pace that left me tired but not beaten down. I've always been a solo cyclist, so I was wary of the whole "guided trip" aspect. In fact I came to realize how wonderful it was to have the route pre-planned, the logistics covered, the sights and culture explained. And we saw so many wonderful, out-of-the-way spots that I never would have found on my own. At the same time, there were opportunities to go off on our own, whether that was racing through the rollers or exploring towns during our free time."
--Peter B, Thailand