+44 (0) 1463 417707

North Thailand

North Thailand

North Thailand

North Thailand

North Thailand Cycling Holiday

Just a Smile Away

Day 1: Chiang Rai

redspokes Northern Thailand cycling tour begins in Chiang Rai. You will be met on arrival and transferred to your hotel. Chiang Rai is a smaller and less commercial city than Chiang Mai and retains much of its original character and charm. One of its more striking landmarks is the Golden Clock; designed and donated to Chiang Rai by the artist Chalermchai Kositpipat creator of The White Temple. At the strike of 7pm, a flamboyant light show ensues, accompanied by music. Other more traditional attractions include the Hill Tribe Museum and Education Centre, several beautiful Wats, Mae Nam Kok River and a night market with free Northern Thai music and dance performances.

Accommodation: Hotel

Day 2: Chiang Rai to Chiang Saen 

After breakfast, there is the one and only vehicle transfer of the tour to Mae Sai, the Northern most point in Thailand. Mae Sai is a fascinating border town with a bustling market where you can buy an array of imported goods: cheap jewels (rubies, emerald and jade) from Burma, curio items, many of which are imported from China, fresh fruit, electronic goods, clothes and shoes and sandalwood.

After a quick look around, we start our cycling adventure with a short warm up ride through the famous Golden Triangle. This is the point where 3 countries (Thailand, Burma and Laos) and 2 rivers (the Ruak and the mighty Mekong) meet. The English name Golden Triangle comes from a CIA memo relating to the region’s notoriety in the 1920s as one of the world's most prolific opium producers. Nowadays, it is a well known tourist destination. Locally the area is known as Sop Ruak. 

The ride begins on paved road, we cycle through a scenery of gently rolling hills. We pass many pineapple plantations on our route to Chiang Saen. We will make a stop at the Buddhist Wat Phra That Chedi Lunag for a quick visit before riding on, following the ancient Chiang Saen city walls into the town to reach our guest house.

Chiang Saen is an historic city with numerous temples, historic buildings and ruins.

Cycling Distance: 37.6km (23 miles)
Total Climb: 217m (712ft)
Total Descent: 246m (807ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L, D)

 Day 3: Chiang Saen to Chiang Khong

Following the Mekong River today, we ride through lush jungle passing picturesque hill tribe villages that are characterised by simple bamboo huts on stilts. Under the huts women can often be seen weaving and children play alongside chickens and pigs. We arrive at Chiang Khong, the border crossing point from Thailand into Laos early this afternoon. 

Cycling Distance: 69.9km (44 miles)
Total Climb: 540m (1,771ft)
Total Descent: 550m (1,804ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L, D)

Day 4: Chiang Khong to Phu Chi Fa

Today our cycling challenge starts to get tougher as our route continues the ascent to Phu Chi Fa the highest peak in Chiang Rai Province. Remember the support vehicle is on hand if you need to take a break. As we ascend, the views are spectacular and the terrain rewarding. Look out for children carrying baskets full of crops on their backs and give a thought to the fact that they don't have any gears and more than likely, no shoes either

Phu Chi Fa is stunning and surprisingly chilly; it becomes very cold in the winter months. The diversity of insect life, flora and fauna make it a unique area of Thailand. Visitors to this area are mostly Asian, usually from more Southerly Thai provinces; very few Westerners are seen here.

Cycling Distance: 93km (58 miles)
Total Climb: 1,976m (6,483ft)
Total Descent: 1,121m (3,677ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L, D)

Day 5: Phu Chi Fa to Chiang Kham

For a truly exhilarating experience we recommend an early start at 4am, to make the trek on foot to the highest point of the mountain before sunrise. Your efforts will be more than rewarded as you witness the sunrise over mist-covered jungle with the Laos border and the Mekong far beneath us. When you return for breakfast you'll be feeling fantastic. Do not forget your camera! 

Although we make an early start, we have an easier day of cycling. We set off downhill, hugging the mountainside and following the Thailand Laos border riding on rougher surfaced curving road. We pass Phu Sang Waterfall; a thermal spring that cascades dramatically off the mountain. Continuing our journey we cycle on to our hotel in Chiang Kham.

Cycling Distance: 53.6km (33 miles)
Total Climb: 336m (1,102ft)
Total Descent: 1,132m (3,713ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L, D)

Day 6: Chiang Kham (Rest Day)

On your rest day in Chiang Kham, Thailand, take full advantage of the charming surroundings and the delightful resort nestled in a spectacular 19-acre property amidst the rice fields of old-world Thailand. Begin your day with a leisurely stroll through the picturesque landscapes surrounding the resort, immersing yourself in the tranquility and natural beauty. Consider exploring the local culture by visiting Wat Nantaram, a noteworthy temple in the area, and appreciating the architectural and spiritual aspects it offers.

Back at the resort, situated amidst the serene rice fields, take time to relax in the peaceful ambiance. This rest day provides an opportunity to unwind, appreciate the beauty of the Thai countryside, and soak in the unique charm of the lovely resort in its idyllic setting.

Accommodation: Guest House (B)

Day 7: Chiang Kham to Phu Lang Ka

Today we begin cycling a gentle uphill route, following snaking road from Yoan through a vast expanse of rice fields to reach our destination. We ride on following a series of rolling hills, some of them quite steep.

There are many traditional temples and teak house villages in the areas that we pass through. Around Phu Lang ka there is an abundance of wild flowers. Our accommodation tonight is simple, the main feature of your time here will be the stunning early morning views. You will also have the opportunity to learn about Yao culture. This is your second opportunity on the tour to benefit from splendid mountain views of sunset and tomorrow if you are an early riser a stunning dawn sunrise.

Cycling Distance: 46km (28.5 miles)
Total Climb: 880m (2,887ft)
Total Descent: 480m (1,574ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L, D)

Day 8: Phu Lang Ka to Pua

It is worth rising early this morning to witness the breath-taking sunrise. Often shrouded in early morning mists the stunning landscape of karst rocks, mountains and valley emerges with a quite magical aura; on a clear day, you will glimpse Laos in the distance. The area has been described as the Ha Long Bay of the mountains. Setting off with a drop downhill we have a challenging cycle today towards Pua a small, busy town set in a wide, fertile valley with beautiful views to the east, of Doi Phuka national park where the peaks are just shy of 2000m.

Cycling Distance: 79km (47 miles)
Total Climb: 1,269m (4,163ft)
Total Descent: 1,795m (5,889ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L, D)

Day 9: Pua to Bo Kluea

We leave Pua cycling through beautiful jungle greenery, beginning with a challenging steep climb as we ride up over the mountain. We pass Doi Phuka National Park, an expanse of evergreen mountainous parkland. For the final stretch of today’s ride we drop downhill to the tiny Htin village of Bo Kluea in a scenic valley; we are now in the far northeast of Nan province, close to the Lao border. Bo Kluea in Thai means salt well. The village is built around two natural saltwater wells and traditional salt mining can be seen still in practise. Very few foreign visitors make it up here so Bo Kluea retains an authentic, unspoiled character.

Cycling Distance: 45km (28 miles)
Total Climb: 1,860m (6,102ft)
Total Descent: 1,450m (4,757ft)
Accommodation: Guest House (B, L)

Day 10: Bo Kluea to Nan

Our cycling route today from Bo Kluea follows classic twisting roads with little in the way of traffic as we head towards the capital of Nan province, also called Nan. For centuries Nan was an autonomous region with few links to the outside world. This beautiful town with many well-preserved temples is a perfect place to end our cycling adventure.

You will have time to visit Wat Phumin the area’s most well-known temple.  Built in 1596, as if it were on the back of two immense snakes it has four entrances, with a small corridor leading to each door. The interior of the temple is inspired by Thai Lue architecture. There are twelve teak pillars decorated with gold, black and red lacquer elephants to support the heavily decorated roof and some magnificent murals that still retain their original artwork. There is also an interesting national museum in Nan. This evening we will gather together for a farewell celebratory meal.

Cycling Distance: 86km (53 miles)
Total Climb: 1,590m (5,216ft)
Total Descent: 2,060m (6.758ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 11: Nan (Rest Day)

On your rest day, be sure to immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the local markets. Nan's markets are a treasure trove of cultural experiences and culinary delights. Begin your day by exploring the morning market, where you can witness the lively hustle and bustle as locals engage in daily commerce. Indulge in the array of fresh produce, exotic spices, and handmade crafts that showcase the region's unique flavors and traditions.

For a more immersive experience, visit the night markets, where the town comes alive with colourful stalls, street performances, and the aromatic scent of Thai street food. Engage with local vendors, sample delectable snacks like skewered satay and mango sticky rice, and perhaps find souvenirs to commemorate your visit. The markets not only offer a feast for the senses but also provide a glimpse into the heart of Nan's community life, making your rest day a culturally enriching and delightful experience.

Accommodation: Hotel (B)

 Day 12: Nan to Chiang Muan

Pedaling from Nan to Chiang Muan after a day off is like diving into a sensory adventure through northern Thailand. Picture cruising through the colourful Bang Luang village, with bustling markets and the delicious smells of street food making your mouth water. As you cycle along Route 1091, the scenery changes, offering breathtaking views of rolling hills and valleys. Imagine the cool mountain air hitting your face, carrying the sweet scent of wildflowers along the way.

The journey is sprinkled with cultural treasures like ancient temples, where the air is filled with the calming fragrance of incense. It's not just a bike ride; it's a full-on experience, blending the sights and smells of local life, nature, and Thai culture, turning the road from Nan to Chiang Muan into an unforgettable journey for the senses.

Cycling Distance: 69km (43 miles)
Total Climb: 1,430m (4,691ft)
Total Descent: 1,360m (4,462ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B, L, D)

 Day 13: Chiang Muan to Chiang Kham

 Our final day of cycling is a journey filled with cultural discoveries and natural beauty. Along the way, we encounter the tranquil Wat Tha Fah, where the intricate architecture of the temples provides a glimpse into the local culture and traditions. These serene spots punctuate our ride, offering a reflective pause in our cycling adventure.

As we continue, the route takes us through the enchanting Doi Phu Nang National Park. This natural haven boasts lush green landscapes, stunning vistas, and a serene ambiance, creating a refreshing contrast to our cycling journey. Finally, our destination is a return to Ricos Resort in Chiang Kham. This resort offers a perfect blend of comfort and sophistication, providing a luxurious retreat with its inviting accommodation. It's a fitting end to our cycling expedition, allowing us to relax and relish the diverse experiences of our memorable journey. 

 Cycling Distance: 88km (55 miles)
Total Climb:  540m (1,771ft)
Total Descent: 410m (4,462ft)
Accommodation: Hotel (B, L, D)

Day 14: Chiang Kham to Chiang Rai

As our Northern Thailand cycling tour comes to a close today, it marks the end of an exhilarating adventure exploring the cultural and scenic wonders of this region. We hope you've enjoyed the picturesque landscapes, cultural discoveries, and the camaraderie of fellow cyclists. To ensure a seamless departure, there will be a complimentary transfer to Chiang Rai airport at 9 am for those catching their return flights home.


If you need assistance or wish to discuss the tour, please feel free to call us on +44 (0) 1463 417707.

Alternatively, you can email us on office@redspokes.co.uk for more information on this adventure holiday.