Chiang Mai to Chiang Rai Bike Tour
An undulating ride that combines the Golden Triangle with Chiang Mai. Amidst lush jungles and limestone mountains pedal your way through bright green hues of paddy, fruit plantations, and along the meandering Kok river, unfolding one dramatic scenery after another.
Hilltop farming to tea plantations, ancient wats, hill-tribe culture, bamboo huts by the river – this is Thailand at its most authentic best!
Chiang Mai | 13:00hrs
easy to moderate
50km or 30mi
Golden TriangleSet out to see the confluence of Thailand, Thailand and Myanmar, and the site for the infamous Golden Triangle.
|DAY 1||Chiang Mai||Aksara Heritage||D|
|DAY 2||Wat Ban Den||Le Cocotier||B,L,D||65km / 40mi||cycling|
|DAY 3||Chiang Dao||Chiang Kham Luang||B,L,D||60km / 36mi||cycling|
|DAY 4||Tha Ton||Maekok Village Resort||B,L,D||70km / 42mi||cycling|
|DAY 5||Mae Chan||Kornwat Garden Resort||B,L,D||45km / 27mi||cycling|
|DAY 6||Chiang Saen||Siam Triangle Hotel||B,L,D||60km / 36mi||cycling|
|DAY 7||Chiang Rai||Nak Nakara||B,L,D||60km / 36mi||cycling|
|DAY 8||Chiang Rai||B|
Day 1: Chiang Mai
Arrive in Chiang Mai and settle into your hotel. Our guide meets at your hotel, post-lunch at 13:00hrs for a bike fit followed by a walking tour of Chiang Mai. Today we visit some of the classic highlights of Chiang Mai.
We convene tonight to celebrate the start of our awesome journey on a bike.
Day 2: Wat Ban Den
Our guide meets you at your hotel around 07:30 am. After breakfast, we will shuttle a short way out of town to avoid the morning rush hour, then hop on the bikes for a spin along the banks of the Ping River. One of Thailand's four main rivers, its water flows all the way to Bangkok. Along the way pass by flower farms growing chrysanthemums for use as Buddhist offerings. After lunch, we pick up a tiny rural road through the lush Mae Rim Valley with its quiet villages and old wooden temples. Visit the fresh market in Mae Malai before reaching our hotel overlooking vast rice fields with a backdrop of forested mountains.
Day 3: Chiang Dao
Today's ride starts with cycling through a couple of small villages with old traditional wooden houses before you reach the expansive Wat Ban Den (temple). Each of its viharn (temple buildings) has been built in a different style. Riding north from here, you will roll through the Mae Ping gorge with its unique "air conditioning", air flowing off the mountains along creeks blows cool across the road like an air conditioner. The last stop before reaching the hotel will be a visit to Wat Tham Chiang Dao, a temple complex built into limestone caves in Doi Chiang Dao (Thailand's 3rd tallest peak).
Amidst lush jungles and limestone mountains, Chiang Dao is a heavenly escape from the heat of plains and a popular stop for birders and trekkers. The base of the mountain is a highly venerated wát marking the entrance to one of Thailand’s deepest limestone caverns.
Day 4: Tha Ton
This morning we will shuttle up over the Chiang Dao mountains on our way to Chaiprakan. We will break up the drive with a visit to the Royal Project Shop and a hill tribe vegetable and fruit market a legacy of HM Rama 9 The Great. Remounting the bikes at Wat Tham Tab Tao, you will ride along quiet farm roads with a backdrop of karst cliffs. Our entire route today goes through small villages and farms today, growing everything from rice to vegetables to fruit. Check out a Burmese-style temple whose Buddha figurine is made of woven wicker.
We pace out our journey to Thaton and arrive at this beautiful town at the edge of a River. Thaton is one of the last towns bordering Myanmar in this area. The great part of this is that one gets to see the blend of Burmese, Thai and Chinese influences in language and culture. Your hotel tonight overlooks the Mae Kok river.
Day 5: Mae Chan
As we set off towards Mae Chan, we ride alongside the picturesque river, winding our way through a lush green valley that offers one breathtaking scenery after another. From hilltop farming to expansive tea plantations and charming bamboo huts by the river, this is the most authentic side of Thailand that you can experience.
Today's ride is going to be a challenging one. We start with a 25 km easy ride, followed by a slow uphill climb, and then brace ourselves for the tough Baan Yapa climb, with a gradient ranging from 12 to 20 percent over a few kilometers. After that, we enjoy a thrilling downhill run before embarking on more big climbs, with gradients ranging from 10 to 15 percent, as we make our way towards Mae Chan. If you find the climbs too difficult, there's always the option to shuttle through them.
Mae Chan is a quaint town known for its tea trading, founded by refugees from the losing side of the China civil war that led to Mao's rule over the country. Our accommodation for the night is the Kornwat Garden Resort, which boasts stunning views of lush greenery, tea plantations, and an Ahka village. It's the perfect place to unwind and rejuvenate after a tough day of riding through the majestic countryside of Thailand.
Day 6: Chiang Saen
This morning, we find ourselves back in the serene countryside, surrounded by vast paddy fields. The ride is invigorating, with the cool, fresh morning breeze and the clear skies providing a warm welcome on the road. By afternoon, we arrive at Chiang Saen, where we settle into our hotel and take a moment to unwind. Later, we embark on an adventure to witness the majestic confluence of Thailand, Laos, and Myanmar, and visit the renowned Golden Triangle. To get the best view, we head to Wat Phrathat Phu Kao Hill. Chiang Saen is a city steeped in rich history, and what makes it even more fascinating is its proximity to Thailand and Burma.
If time permits, we head out after lunch to witness the breathtaking Wats, followed by a visit to the Hall of Opium. The Royal Project and Doi Tung Development Project have been working tirelessly to eradicate the drug trade and its negative impact. The Hall of Opium was established to educate visitors about the dangers of drug abuse and trace its history from its first use 5,000 years ago. This experience is one of the most enlightening ones in Thailand, shedding light on the influence of drugs in the region. It's an experience that should not be missed.
Day 7: Chiang Rai
As we make our way to Chiang Rai, we pass by enchanting fruit orchards, verdant paddy fields, and sprawling banana plantations, all offering a glimpse into the region's rich landscape and cultural heritage. Chiang Rai is a vibrant city that boasts a diverse array of food, music, art, and stunning natural scenery. You have the evening to yourself to explore the bustling night markets, brimming with local knick-knacks and street food vendors. The city of Chiang Rai truly comes to life in the evenings, with locals and tourists alike crowding the streets.
We'll end our adventure with a mouth-watering meal at one of the city's local restaurants. You can savor a new and delicious recipe or indulge in an old favorite for the last time. It's the perfect way to cap off an unforgettable journey through the breathtaking countryside of Thailand.
Day 8: Chiang Rai
Extend your stay here or travel further as per your onwards plans.
Ready to plan your adventure? Download a print-ready detailed itinerary.
Dates and Prices
From US $435
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All hotels as mentioned in the tour details or similar (subject to availability).
Expert Trip Leader(s) who look after your every need and add meaning to your vacation.
Immaculately maintained bike with helmet, suited to a terrain.
A Van support follows the group of riders and carries all belongings.
Meals as per itinerary. Guests are given the opportunity to dine on their own so that they discover a location independently.
Refreshments and mineral water while cycling.
Entrance fees to most of the monuments and temples.
E-bikes are available on this trip at a surcharge. Please send a note to your tour consultant to book one.
Airport pickup and drop
We recommend to book direclty from airport or hotel.
Some meals may not be included. Please check your itinerary.
Beverages such as alcohol, tea, coffee, juice at a hotel or restaurant.
When you have a road and the thrill of a journey ahead of you, it’s imperative to have a good bike to enjoy it. Our fleet majorly consist of the below bikes as a part of this tour. However, sometimes due to height or availability constraints, we may provide a different but similar quality bike.
Merida Speeder T3
Included in your trip price
The northern highlands in which Chiang Rai and Chiang Mai are located have a cooler climate than the rest of Thailand. The cycle tour season here consequently runs from October to March. During the months of December and January, night-time temperatures may dip below the freezing point in some parts.
- The best time of year is winter (November through February). It is the dry season and temperatures are cooler. The north normally has no rain. Temperatures in the north are in the mid to upper 20s.
- March through May is quite hot in the north (the upper 30s and low 40s) and probably a good time to avoid trips north of Bangkok.
- June through October is the rainy season (or green season as the hotels like to call it). In the north, rains peak in August and are winding down in early October. Rain tends to be short but heavy tropical downpours, then clearing out, usually happening in the afternoon or evening, so cycling tours are still possible.
In a nutshell, winter is great (Nov - Feb), summer (Apr-May) avoid going in the north, and the rest of the year is ok.
Travelers wishing to enter Thailand have two options: through an airport or overland. Regardless of the mode of entry, the same rules apply to all travelers. Citizens of countries that can enter visa-free will receive a 30-day entry stamp, while those with a Tourist Visa will receive a 60-day entry stamp. Travelers from countries eligible for a Visa on Arrival will receive a 15-day entry stamp and a visa at the airport.
To comply with the rules, travelers entering visa-free or applying for a VOA must present an airline ticket that departs Thailand before their initial entry period ends (30 and 15 days, respectively). Other travelers may also be asked by the airline to show proof of a departing flight.
When applying for a VOA, travelers must be able to demonstrate that they have 10,000 THB for an individual or 20,000 THB for a family. For those entering visa-free or with a Tourist or Non-Imm visa, proof of financial ability must be shown in the form of 20,000 THB and 40,000 THB, respectively. It's important to note that cash is the only acceptable form of proof of financial ability, and credit cards or bank statements do not count. Any major currency is equivalent is acceptable.
Although the majority of travelers are not asked to show proof of financial ability, some travelers may occasionally be asked to do so at Immigration. Therefore, travelers should always be prepared to provide evidence of their financial ability.
Here is an excellent resource on Thailand visas that may be worth to look at.
Reviews from our friends
Nilo R from AU5.0
best bike tour operator
Best bike tour operator for us so far after 3 trips.
Alla Mesh from AU5.0
had a great trip
We had great trip with the Art of Bicycle in Northern Thailand, golden triangle, from Chiang May to Chiang Ray. Accommodations and food were great. Group leader and support team were attentive to our needs. I just would wish that we rode bike a little more and had extra bike and other bike parts with us on the road.
End of reviews