Language barrier, embrace it. Travel guide, dump it. Fear of street food, chuck it. Liberate yourself from all that. Wake up expecting anything. Mai pen rai (no worries). Because "hey, you're in Thailand." Bike an uncharted oxcart path among lush rice paddies and garlic fields. Be startled by an ornate Buddhist temple quietly sitting in the middle of a jungle-filled valley. Relish a truly homemade curry and stare at the jagged limestone hills that have not changed for thousands of years. Say to yourself, "Is it Tuesday?" Even that doesn't matter because you're in Thailand. So mai pen rai.
Days 1-2 Receive a blessing from the village elders and visit with the resident monk Meet Ghing, our Thai guide who knows the back roads of northern Thailand better than anyone Ride into the countryside on hard-packed paths, cutting through thriving rice and garlic fields, and stands of papaya and teak.
Days 3-4 Bike gorgeous backcountry lanes through remote villages, where schoolchildren rush out to greet you Beneath the White Buddha, offer alms to monks at sunrise Fall for the handmade jewelry at an Akha hilltribe village A scenic descent leads to the trading center of Fang and temple-rich Thaton Savor Thai cuisine at an atmospheric café - and find inspiration for your upcoming cooking class.
Day 5 Float in long-tail boats down the Maekok River Pedal on narrow lanes past small villages into vibrant Chiang Rai Embark on a culinary adventure, wandering the streets of Chiang Rai and sampling some of Thailand's unique delicacies and delicious street food.
Days 6-8 A fascinating convergence of Thai, Laotian, Burmese and Chinese cultures An elephant ride through the jungle - hold on tight! Bike alongside the Mekong River on the Laos and Myanmar border, passing tobacco fields and rice paddies on the way to the ancient Burmese kingdom of Chiang Saen Relax poolside, indulge in a massage or spin to the spectacular Chom Kitti temple Browse Sop Ruak's market for delectable Thai iced tea and unique handicrafts.
- Bike gorgeous backcountry lanes through remote villages, where schoolchildren rush out to greet you
- Jungle trek aboard an elephant - hold on!
- Intriguing interactions with Buddhist monks at ornate temples
- Float down the Maekok River in traditional long-tail boats
- A fascinating convergence of Thai, Laotian, Burmese and Chinese cultures
Premiere & Casual Inns
Suanthip Vana Resort (2 nights): A countryside retreat blending Thai and Western comforts, with an open-air restaurant in forested surroundings. (pool)
Maekok River Village Resort (2 nights): Basic teak-framed rooms and a fantastic riverside setting at this authentic Thai-style inn. (pool)
Le Méridien Chiang Rai Resort (1 night): An inviting resort with modern furnishings and an idyllic setting along the banks of the Kok River. (pool, spa)
Anantara Golden Triangle Resort & Spa (2 nights): Described by the Hideaway Report as a "stylish hill country retreat amid 160 acres of tranquil gardens in the Golden Triangle overlooking Burma." Travel + Leisure World's Best. (pool, spa)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|Walk to temple (2 hours)|
|Sunrise walk (1.2 miles)|
|Maekok River cruise (2 hours)|
|8||Conclusion of the trip|
On this trip, we'll be using titanium mountain bikes that are just right for the non-technical dirt road riding as well as the paved riding. (approximately 20% dirt and 80% paved).
* Includes a shuttle
2013 Dates & Pricing*
- 12/12-19 Price: $3998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $590 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/25-1/1 Price: $4498 pp dbl. occ., (+ $590 for sgl. occ.)
- 12/30-1/6 Price: $3998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $590 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 1/5-12 Price: $3998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $770 for sgl. occ.)
- 1/26-2/2 Price: $3998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $770 for sgl. occ.)
- 2/5-12 Price: $3998 pp dbl. occ., (+ $770 for sgl. occ.)
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Guest Trip Reviews
What an incredible trip - in every way! I couldn't believe how HAPPY, kind, genuine the Thai people are, how delicious the food was. I have such wonderful images of happy faces, gorgeous scenery, cooking class, long boats, wats, monks, water buffalos, massages - not a dull moment the entire time.- Kentfield, CA
The immersion into the local Thai culture along with the Backroads' leadership made this trip a truly amazing experience. The daily itinerary with all the special "surprises" was beautifully orchestrated. After 23 trips with Backroads, I can say with no hesitation that the quality of Backroads trips remains superb...off the charts in every way!- Minneapolis, MN
I am still overwhelmed by what a great trip this was. Perfect support (always there when needed, never hovering), great rides, incredible cultural experiences, unbelievable accommodations and delicious food experiences.- Issaquah, WA
What an awesome trip! Taking in the culture, people, and scenery by bike is such a wonderful way to experience Thailand. The various activities planned throughout the trip, combined with great leaders and support staff made the trip very enjoyable and enriching. Thanks Backroads for some great memories and a great travel experience!- Cambridge, MA
Having lived in Thailand for 7 years growing up, I was looking forward to EXPERIENCING it from a completely new and different perspective. My expectations were greatly exceeded in all areas. I could not have imagined a more enjoyable trip in any way.- Northborough, MA
My wife and I had a wonderful trip, and the entire experience was so much better than we could have ever hoped for. The trip was well balanced with great food, activity and cultural experiences. It far exceeded our desires. We look forward to our next Backroads adventure.- Lafayette, CA
Just returned home from the Backroads Thailand bicycle adventure. I am exhilarated, enthused and disappointed that it had to end. This was my first experience with Backroads, and all aspects of the trip were exceptional. Your organization sets a very high standard of customer service, and it is very much appreciated. The leaders were exceptional. Their enthusiasm for their jobs and their lives is contagious, and their dedication to service is obvious. What a pleasure to spend a week in such an exotic location and have these great people take care of everything. The complete success of each day was never doubted. You can be assured that I will travel with Backroads in the future, and will probably become a Backroads junkie! Thanks for a great trip.- Seattle, WA
The range of activities off the bikes were wonderful, and the various mileage options each day made individualization of the trip completely viable. Beyond the breathtaking Thai environment as seen from a bike, I truly feel that I got an inside look at Thai culture, religion, politics and history. Its amazing breadth and warmth and energy. I could not be happier I took this trip and I would definitely take another in the future. THANK YOU!- New York, NY
It seemed to be designed for me. Just the right amount of biking, wonderful food and accommodations and of course learning so much of the Thai people and cultures. I've taken many memorable active trips over the years but Backroads Thailand might be the benchmark for future ones.- Woodstock, MD
It was a great way for me, as a solo traveler, to experience Asia for the first time.- Saint Petersburg, FL
This was my third Backroads trip, each of which has been fabulous. The Thailand trip was the best trip yet!!! The leaders were fabulous and incredibly accommodating.- New York, NY
Anantara Resort & Spa Golden Triangle is one of the most beautiful resorts I've ever seen, the attention to detail in the design and landscaping is incredible, and of course the elephants and their wonderful families are so special. Waking up to the early mist and hearing elephants in the fields and the birds was just magical. I'm really not a group person but this was so laid back, no pressure to participate in everything. The balance of downtime and activities was just right. I'm only sorry that jet lag prevented me from hearing the choir at the Mekong river resort and visiting the Buddhist temple the second day!- Needham Heights, MA