Day 1 - Chiang Rai (D) 30kms
We meet in the afternoon to brief everyone thoroughly and make sure the bikes fit. Then, we take a nice easy ride through the outskirts of the city, to get accustomed to riding in Thailand. We'll cycle through rice paddy fields and follow the Mae Lao River to the interesting Wat Rong Khun, White Temple. Created by a local artist this temple stands out for its distinctive style. After a visit we'll head back to the hotel so we can refresh before an outing to the night bazaar. Overnight at the Laluna Resort.
Day 2 - Doi Mae Salong Climb (BLD) 45kms
After a short transfer to the base of Doi Mae Salong we'll start riding, up, through the forest. This dirt road will climb for 16 km and then we'll have a fantastic view of the surrounding mountains. We then hit tarmac, ride past wild poinsettas and arrive in Mae Salong, an ethnic Chinese village, for lunch and a tea tasting. Almost entirely populated by descendents of Chiang Kai Chek’s Chinese Nationalist Kuomintang army, the village has the look and feel of China’s Yunnan province rather than Thailand. In the afternoon we take a single track trail downhill, through tea plantations and fruit orchards. We ride through Thoet Thai, a former centre of opium growing and in the footsteps of Khun Sa, the former Opium King of the region. We stay at one of north Thailand’s best kept secrets. Built by a well known architect this charming resort fuses western comforts with Lanna design to provide a delightful refuge for weary cyclists. The afternoon is free to enjoy the resort’s facilities, laze by the pool or explore the surrounding countryside. Overnight at the Phu Chai Sai Resort.
Day 3 – Mae Chan to Chiang Rai (BLD) 62kms
We transfer to the village of Mae Chan and start riding on gentle undulating terrain until it's time to shift down and start climbing to Doi Bo. You will gain 1,673 m in altitude, so be prepared for some hard work. We pass through numerous hill tribe villages and will stop in one of them for lunch. When we reach our highest point you'll have excellent views back to Mae Salong. Then it's time to lower your saddle and enjoy an amazing downhill to Huai Mae Sai waterfall. Here we'll stop for a dip in the natural pool and clean up before we transfer to Chiang Rai. Overnight at the Laluna Resort.
Day 4 – Chiang Rai to Mae Salak (BLD) 82kms
The ride to Mae Salak is one of the most scenic on the trip and a real pleasure to ride. The undulating dirt road follows the Mae Kok River as we ride towards Mae Salak, a small town that has an excellent resort complete with pool. The rooms have a splendid view over the river and are situated next to a Lahu village and the local children will come to the resort and perform traditional music and dance. Overnight at the Huai Khum Resort.
Day 5 – Mae Salak – Chai Prakarn (BLD) 40kms
Today is an easy recovery day. We cycle 40 km on beautiful country roads taking in river views, stark mountain back drops and emerald green rice paddies. We encounter only a few small undulations and very little traffic. We finish riding in Fang and then a short transfer to Chai Prakan and our lakeside resort. Overnight at the Saimoonburi Resort.
Day 6 – Chai Prakarn to Chiang Dao (BLD) 75kms
We ride through rice fields and among soaring limestone cliffs before hitting the dirt. We ride dirt roads cut by local hill tribes and we will meet Akha, Lisu, Lau and Palaung people. The colourful Palaung are recent migrants and you will see their women adorned with heavy brass waist-bands working the fields. We stop for lunch at a Forestry Camp before a memorable afternoon riding some quite outstanding mountain trails. Our support vehicle will be waiting at the trail head to transport us to our comfortable Thai-style inn. Overnight at the Marisa Boutique Resort.
Day 7 – Chiang Dao to Doi Bakia (BLD) 45kms
We have an early morning departure for a tough but rewarding days riding up and into the mountains. We will ride some fun and secluded single track and dirt roads through the foothills at the base of the mountain for about 20 km before we reach the base of our climb. Then we can look forward to spectacular scenery on the way up and plenty of rest stops to refuel and take it all in. Picnic lunch on route and the vehicle will follow to pick up any tired riders. This is a tough but rewarding climb of some 25 km and from 300 m up to 1700 m on dirt roads. We finish at our secluded mountain station, which has simple but clean accommodation, and spend the evening relaxing after a tough days ride. Option to visit a remote village very close to where we overnight or relax by the fire in the fresh and cool mountain air. Overnight at the Doi Bakia Forest Station.
Day 8 - Doi Bakia to Ban Sop Gai (BLD) 35kms
After a breakfast with a view we separate from the vehicles (which will meet us at the end of the ride) and depart for our ride which starts with a few small but steep rises for 10 km and then undulating down on awesome barely used and remote trail for another 25 km. Some fantastic views and long flowing downhills, some technical sections and a few more ups to keep the heart pumping and the lungs burning. Then we finish off with an undulating dirt road ride along the river and arrive at our beautiful accommodation for the night. Overnight at the Baan Anatta Resort.
Day 9 - Ban Sop Gai - Mae Taeng (BLD) 40kms
We will embark on a great days riding covering about 45 km with some hills and lengthy fantastic undulating single track. We spend the day riding smooth and flowing single tracks with some hefty undulations to get the blood pumping and the eyes wide. We cross back and forth over and through the Mae Taeng River using hill tribe constructed wooden bridges, some portage and sometimes its possible to ride through. We stop in to say hello and take a break at some beautiful little villages. There'll also be time for a dip in a waterfall and we'll finish with a long enjoyable downhill that takes us down to our host village and our hill tribe accommodation for the night. Dinner and then relaxing by the fire on the banks of a bubbling red river. Overnight at the Hill Tribe Homestay.
Day 10 - Mae Taeng (BLD) 30kms
For a change we jump on bamboo rafts for a morning on the river you will never forget. Float downstream on the clean Mae Taeng river passing working elephant camps, bamboo spear fisherman and some exciting rapids that will test your best rafting skills. Stop for lunch and take a rest at a great little restaurant built on stilts over the river and then finish off the day with a ride along the river for 15 kms and then our final roll through the rich fertile farmland in the foothills of Mae Taeng. We overnight at an eco lodge that is also preserving the culture of Lisu and Akha tribes. After a traditional dinner you'll be entertained by singing and dancing. Overnight at the Lisu Lodge.
Day 11 – Mae Taeng- Chiang Mai (B)
This morning take a steam bath, have a massage or go for a ox-cart ride to the orchards. End of arrangements