North Thailand "Roadrunners Paradise" - Motorcycle Tour
Exploring The Remote Mountain Roads And Tropical Landscapes
A Classic Bike Adventure Tours exclusive project - 10 groups successfully done in the last 3 years !
Two years in the making, weâ€™re proud to announce a completely new motorcycle tour for lovers of easy living, good food and the rush of riding on winding mountain roads â€“ exploring the remote mountains of northern Thailand on state-of-the-art, light, easy-handling Kawasaki ER6-n and Kawasaki VERSYS touring bikes.
In cooperation with our local friends and experts in the region, weâ€™ve put together a motorcycle tour that can hold its own with the best touring adventures in the world. We scouted the wild northern mountains of old Siam â€“ the modern-day Thailand â€“ a virtually unknown, world-class biking region.
Thailand â€“ a bikerâ€™s paradise â€“ for a touring vacation in a class of its own.
Thailand Motorcycle Tour Highlights
Our own fleet of new Kawasaki VERSYS and ER6-n motorbikes (650cc, 72 bhp, 180 kg, ABS), maintained by Joe, our German expat mechanic who has called Chiang Mai home for the past twenty years
Excellent, lightly-traveled roads through pristine mountain landscapes
Our motorcycle tour route covers numerous cultural highlights and was worked out by Armin, a Swiss travel expert who has spent the last twenty years organizing motorbike tours through Myanmar, Laos and Thailand. Armin speaks Thai, and his knowledge of the regionâ€™s culture and history is virtually unparalleled
Exotic scenery, rugged landscapes and endless winding roads, including a bike ride up Thailandâ€™s highest mountain (up to 2,600 mts)
Beautifully situated garden and town resorts with the comforts, excellent cuisine, outstanding service, and mostly with pools and wellness centers
Relaxing by the pool, wellness, and the renowned Thai massages
Backup team with a motorcycle mechanic, English-speaking Thai local guide, Road Captain Peter or Armin (as biking guides, mostly leading the way), replacement driver and backup A/C minibus for luggage and saddle-sore passengers
Economical weekend flights in comfortable THAI Airways aircraft, from Frankfurt via Bangkok to Chiang Mai
Personal consultation services and planning of tour extensions in Bangkok or Cambodia, or beach vacations on islands in southern Thailand
Laid-back evenings in cozy pubs and cocktail bars, often with live music, and nights by the campfire are also included in our Thailand Motorcycle Tours.
Thailand Motorbike Tour Dates :
22.12. - 07.01. 2014
11.01. - 25.01. 2014
01.02. - 15.02. 2014
07.11. - 23.11. 2014
26.12. - 11.01. 2015
10.01. - 24.01. 2015
31.01. - 14.02. 2015
07.11. - 21.11. 2015
26.12. - 09.01. 2016
NORTH THAILAND "ROADRUNNERS PARADISE" MOTORBIKE TOUR
THE DETAILED PROGRAMME
DAY 1 CHIANG MAI, ARRIVAL
Arrival at Chiang Mai Airport (International Terminal) by any flight. From here we will take care.....
Your guide will await you outside customs hall and transfer you to Mae Saa Valley, located roughly 20 kms north of Chiang Mai
Dinner and accommodation at Away Suansawan Resort, Mae Rim at Mae Saa Valley.
DAY 2 MAE SAA VALLEY â€“ DOI ANGKHANG
Breakfast at the resort. We depart from the Mae Saa Valley in the morning and drive or motorbikes in due northern direction, past Chiang Dao where we turn left and continue through splendid mountain scenery to Arunothai located right on the Burmese border. From here, a most scenic drive brings you up the back of Doi (Mountain) Angkhang. The panoramic views from this remote mountain road are absolutely magnificent. Doi Angkhang is known for its cool climate, its abundance of flowers and not surprisingly, is home of a high altitude Royal Agricultural project. The project, located at 1900 meters above sea level, is set in a crater and surrounded by a number of ethnic minority villages, among which the Palaung village of Nor Lae. We visit both the Royal Project and the Palaung village. The Palaung womenâ€™s costumes are striking: red sarongs and brightly colored jackets adorned with lacquerware waist rings and silver. Men and women alike decorate their teeth with gold caps, as a symbol of wealth, and for their aesthetic effect.
Dinner and accommodation at Amari Angkhang Nature Resort Hotel.
DAY 3 DOI ANGKHANG â€“ DOI MAE SALONG
Breakfast at the hotel. Leaving Doi Angkhang, we once again use a rarely used back road over the mountain ridges before we descend into the fertile plains surrounding the Northern city of Fang, known for its orange plantations. Then, we turn once again in northern direction and once again towards the Burmese border. At Thatorn, we visit the small palace belonging to HM Princess Sirindhorn from where we can enjoy a stunning view over the gorge-like valley of the Kok River. Afterwards, our ride leads you again into the mountains and to Ban Lorcha, an Akha hilltribe community center. This community-based tourism development project promotes sustainable, self-reliant development to improve the quality of life of villagers of this Akha Community and is a model for tourism in hill tribe villages. As we make our rounds through the village under guidance of an Akha tour guide, we discover many aspects of hilltribe life, such as the spirit gates at the entrance to the village, traps the villagers use in the forests, the importance of the blacksmith, the local school, a typical Akha house, etc. Afterwards, we ride our motorcycles up the many serpentines and onto Doi Mae Salong, known for Santi Khiri, the Chinese village on top of the mountain. This village was founded by members of the former Kuo Min Tang Army that were left behind in Northern Thailand when Chiang Kai Shek was driven out of mainland China by Mao Tse Tung. In former times, the Kuo Min Tang were the traders of opium, using mule caravans to transport the drugs from remote hilltribe villages to their laboratories. Today, the same Chinese community produces some of the best tea of Thailand as well as coffee and flowers. As time permits, we can ride up to the golden pagoda sitting on a mountain top highabove Doi Mae Salong to enjoy a fantastic view over the village of Santi Khiri and the surrounding mountains.
Dinner at a local restaurant (typical Yunnanese food).
Accommodation at Khum Nai Phol Resort.
DAY 4 DOI TUNG & GOLDEN TRIANGLE
Breakfast at the resort. In the morning, we descend from Doi Mae Salong to Thoed Thai located in a zone that was practically not accessible for outsiders before 1985 because of the presence of the Muang Thai Army whose commander Khun Sa had invaded the area from neighbouring Burma to avoid the Burmese Army. Khun Sa was at that time on the worldâ€™s most wanted list because he had elected to cultivate poppy for the production of opium in order to finance the armed resistance of the Shan minority against the Burmese military. Khun Sa abandoned his role of army leader during the nineties and died peacefully in Rangoon in 2007 while the military confrontation between the Shan minority and the Burmese government continues on the Burmese side of the border with the Thais having successfully pushed the unwanted invaders back across the Burmese border.
You will visit the barracks where Khun Sa maintained his army of several thousand soldiers. The small and barely known museum displays photos of Khun Sa, his army, various palaces in Shan State (in Burma) and maps of the border area. They serve as witness to the military confrontation between the Burmese military and the minorities as well as the drug trafficking that has been taking place in this area since a long time.
Afterwards, we drive up to Doi Tung, and visit the Doi Tung Development project. This natural beauty has been enhanced through the effort and perseverance of the people of Doi Tung in reviving their once deteriorated forests. The now lush forests are their legacy to pass on to their descendants. It is through their work that they accomplished the gracious commands in the memory of Her Royal Highness, the Princess Mother, through the Doi Tung Development Project under Royal Initiative that has returned the mountains to their natural environment. The Princess Mother has passed away, but her inspiration has lived on through the dedication of the loyal staff of the Doi Tung Development Project. We visit the Mae Fah Luang Garden before we descend from Doi Tung on a narrow but asphalted (very steep) road that straddles the Burmese border. From up here, we have great views right into Burma and over the plains surrounding Mae Sai, Thailandâ€™s northernmost town. From here, we ride on to the Golden Triangle where the borders of Burma, Laos and Thailand meet at the Mekong River. We continue to Chiang Saen, Thailandâ€™s most important harbour on the Mekong River. As the river connects Thailand with China, it is not unusual to see Chinese boats mooring at Chiang Saenâ€™s harbour. Shortly after Chiang Saen, we visit Wat Phra That Pha-Ngao on top of a hill. From the top of the hill, we can enjoy a magnificent view over all of Chiang Saen and the Mekong River. Afterwards visit the Ubosot which, although built only recently, is a gem of a temple that excels through its fantastically carved doors and windows as well as the mural paintings inside. At the foot of this hill there is a stupa that dates back 1000 years when Chiang Saen was built as the seat of Thailandâ€™s first kingdom.
From here we then continue along one of the most scenic routes in Northern Thailand, along the Mekong River, to Chiang Khong. Dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation at the Nam Khong Riverside Hotel.
DAY 5 PHU CHI FAH â€“ NAN
Breakfast on the hotel terrace overlooking the Mekong River. Leaving Chiang Khong in the morning, we follow the Mekong River downstream to Wiang Khaen. At Pang Hat, we make a left turn to climb up to Doi Patang. The road up the mountain is at first excellent but then becomes badly potholed before you reach the top of the mountain ridge where, once again, the road is excellent. We ride our motorcycles up to the parking at Doi Patang from where a climb of 200 steps brings us to the top of this mountain. Doi Patang is also called Pratu Siam â€“ the Gate of Siam. Until well into the 1990â€™s, this area was off limits to outsiders. During the Cold War in Asia (1960â€™s and 70â€™s), US forces operated from here with the help of the Hmong minority in their â€œsecret warâ€ in Laos against the Pathet Lao communist forces. The views from Pratu Siam stretch far into Laos and on a clear day we can see the Mekong River in at least two different places. Afterwards, we back track a short way and follow the road on the mountain ridge towards Phu Chi Fah. A steep motorbike ride leads once again up to the parking area from where a 700 m hike brings us to the top of the most spectacular summit where, standing on an enormous cliff, we will enjoy breathtaking views over stunningly beautiful mountain scenery. Best views are in the early morning of a clear day when the valleys below fill with mist.
Afterwards, we ride through spectacular mountain scenery along the Lao border until we eventually must begin our descent from this mountain range. We arrive at Nan in the later afternoon.
Dinner and accommodation at Sasidara Resort.
DAY 6 NAN & SALT MINES OF BO KLUA
Breakfast at the resort. We spend today exploring the hidden secrets of Nan. Nan was for centuries a separate, autonomous kingdom with its own feudal lords and it is only in 1931, after a long period of still enjoying the status of semi-autonomous kingdom, that Nan accepted Bangkok dominion. A charming provincial city little known in the rest of Thailand, Nan boasts several old palaces made entirely of teak. We visit Wat Phumin, Nanâ€™s most famous temple. Its interior is impressive and the temple contains the finest Thai Lue mural paintings that can be found in Thailand. Almost adjacent to Wat Phumin is the National Museum, located in the original palace (built in 1903) of the last two feudal lords of Nan. This museum is one of Tailandâ€™s most up-to-date provincial museums and houses ethnological exhibits dealing with various ethnic groups in the province.
For those who do not want to miss an opportunity to ride their bikes, we propose a morning departure for a roundtrip of 200 km through the wild mountain region northeast of Nan. Our way leads through the Doi Phu Kha National Park and over a fantastic mountain pass to the salt mines of Bo Klua, where people still today extract salt from the ground in the traditional method.
Dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation at Sasidara Resort.
DAY 7 NAN â€“ PHRAO
Breakfast at the resort. Todayâ€™s motorbike ride includes stretches of fabulous mountain roads on which we encounter almost no traffic at all. We start out by riding to the rice plains of Phayao province until we reach Phayao town on the main highway that leads from Bangkok to Chiang Rai. We make a stop at Kwan Phayao, Thailandâ€™s largest natural lake. This fresh-water fish habitat in the upper North provides the livelihood of many of the local people. Nearby is the temple of Wat Si Khom Kham housing a 16-meter high Buddha image. Local legend claims that a naga king in disguise gave a young couple gold for sculpting this large image. Then we set off up and over a mountain range to Wang Nua and Mae Kachan where we follow the Chiang Mai â€“ Chiang Rai main road for a few kilometres before once again turning off from this busy road for another glorious motorcycle ride through remote mountains to the quaint little town of Phrao. Phrao is still considered remote by all standards and is reminiscent of how may northern towns looked 20 years ago. At the local market is very common to see Thai farmers mingle with hilltribes from the surrounding hills. Afterwards, we continue in Southern direction towards Chiang Mai to reach the Nature Lodge, approximately 30 kms. from Phrao.
Dinner and accommodation at Nature Lodge.
DAY 8 PHRAO â€“ PAI
Breakfast at the resort. In the morning, we find our way over small country roads across the Ping River to Mae Malai where we can visit the local market at which you can seen most days Lisu minority people selling their goods. From Mae Malai we head into the mountains again and take the road that leads to Pai. On the way, we make a stop at Mokfa Waterfall. A short walk through the jungle and along the stream leads to the falls where takers can even go for a swim in a large natural pool. From here, we continue uphill on a road that epitomizes driving in the North of Thailand as it endlessly twists and turns its way through great mountain scenery. We arrive in Pai in the afternoon. This pretty town, inhabited by Shan people and Haw Chinese, invites for a leisurely stroll through the centre.
Dinner at a local restaurant.
Accommodation at Pai Hotsprings Resort.
DAY 9 PAI
Breakfast at the resort. Full day at leisure. There are optional opportunities (at your own cost): We recommend the nearby small elephant camp where you can book a ride and a bath with your elephant. You can also just relax, take a stroll through the small town of Pai or indulge in a spa treatment. Our minivan will run a shuttle service between the hotel and Pai town in order to accommodate all our wishes.
To those who wish to go for a ride with their motorbikes we propose a very curvy ride to Wat Chan and back.
Dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation at Pai Hotsprings Resort .
DAY 10 PAI - MAE HONG SON
Breakfast at the resort. This morning, we will drive our motorbikes via Soppong to Mae Hong Son. High up in the mountains we make a stop at a very scenic Lisu market from where we can also enjoy great views over the mountains. At Soppong, we turn off and drive to the caves of Tham Lot where, on a bamboo raft, we drift down the small river and through one of these caves. Then we regain the main road to Mae Hong Son and stop at a Fish Cave popular with local tourists.
Mae Hong Son is a melting pot of different cultures, blending Thai Yai (Shan), Chinese, Akha, Lisu, Hmong, Muslim and numerous other tribes. Streets are colourful affairs, as people from any one of these cultures ply their wares on street sidewalks. We visit the local market and the Burmese-style Temples of Wat Nong Jong Kam and Wat Jong Klang, located in the middle of town at a small lake. The roads of Mae Hong Son invite for a stroll and the opportunity to observe people of all kinds of ethnic origin.
Dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation at Fern Resort.
DAY 11 MAE HONG SON
Breakfast at the resort. In the morning we take a boat trip on the Pai River to Ban Nam Pian Din, a village of the Padaung(long neck) women. The Padaungs belong to the Kayah or Karenni group in Burma. Over the years, hundreds of Padaungs have fled the off-and-on-fighting in northeast Burma and settled on the Thai side of the forested frontier. The Padaung women are known for wearing brass rings around their necks; therefore also known as â€œGiraffe Womenâ€.
Afternoon ride up to the Chinese Village Mae Aw high in the mountains at the Burmese Border and the Royal Pang Tong Palace- or just at leisure. You may want to enjoy the lovely swimming pool at the resort or go on hike on the â€œJungle Trailâ€ which starts right outside the resort. Our van will also run trips into town for those who would like to further explore Mae Hong Son Town or have a drink at the cozy Crossroads Pub in town.
Dinner and accommodation at Fern Resort.
DAY 12 MAE HONG SON â€“ MAE SARIANG
Breakfast at the resort. Then, we leave Mae Hong Son and ride in southern direction towards Khun Yuam. Khun Yuam was an important airbase during WW II from where the Japanese flew sorties into Burma and you can still see the old airfield and visit the small WW II Museum. From Khun Yuam we ride straight up into the mountains and visit Mae Surin waterfall, one of the most scenic waterfalls in Thailand. Return to Khun Yuam from where we ride on to Mae Sariang through beautiful high plateau scenery with great forests.
Dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation at River House Resort.
DAY 13 MAE SARIANG â€“ CHIANG MAI
Breakfast at the resort. Leaving Mae Sariang, we ride our motocycles east into the mountains. The road winds along the valley and up over several mountain ridges before we start the descent towards Tha Rua where we turn north towards the quaint little town of Mae Chaem. From here, we ride up the back side of Doi Inthanon, Thailandâ€™s highest mountain at 2'565 meters above sea level. The popular National Park is a Mecca for birdwatchers and offers evergreen forests, impressive waterfalls, interesting flora and fauna and marvellous natural scenery. After a stop and a visit on the top of Doi Inthanon, we descend in direction of Chomthong and continue to Chiang Mai.
Dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation at the luxorious Bantai Village Resort in central Chiang Mai, close to all the places of interest !
DAY 14 CHIANG MAI
Breakfast at the hotel. Full day at leisure or optional motorbike ride up to Doi Suthep Mountain overlooking Chiang Mai and visit of Wat Doi Suthep, Chiang Maiâ€™s most revered temple on the mountaintop. According to an old legend, Monk Sumana presented the king with a bone relic of the Lord Buddha. He then tied it to the back of a royal elephant that stomped through the jungle for days. The elephant finally stopped at the actual place of the temple where he died. Both the king and monk Sumana agreed that this would be the place where Doi Suthep temple would be built.
Farewell-Dinner at a popular speciality restaurant with live music.
Accommodation at the luxorious Bantai Village Resort.
DAY 15 CHIANG MAI, DEPARTURE
Breakfast at the hotel.
Transfer to Chiang Mai Airport, whenever your flight will take off. In case you like to extend your stay, we organise your hotel bookings, bike rental, anything..
Included in the Thailand Bike Tour price:
- All sightseeing spots and places to visit as described in detail in the tour itinerary. A German speaking professional Thai tour guide who will accompany the whole tour.
- A private A/C minibus for transport of luggage and to carry passengers. The guide and the driver will be responsible for the transport of your luggage!
- Accommodation in resorts and hotels as described or similar standard, breakfast always included.
- All dinners either within the hotel/resort or outside at 'local speciality restaurants'.
- All entrance fees as described in the tour itinarary.
- All additional fees like taxes, service charges, room taxes, baggage handling etc.
- Motorbike Kawasaki ER-6 including petrol and lubricants, optional insurance available upon request.
- An experienced German motor bike mechanic will accompany the whole tour as well as a German speaking "Road Captain as your biking tour guide.
Not included in the Thailand Motorcycle Tour price are...
All services not mentioned above such as:
- Snacks and lunch, all drinks
- Airfares and airline tickets : Bangkok - Chiang Mai - Bangkok
- Personal expenses such as tipping, souvenirs, phone charges, laundry, mini-bar etc.
- Travel insurance package, including accidents, hospital and return transport insurance as well as baggage and personal liability insurance. (It is strongly recommended to get such a package before the trip).
Limit per tour 11 bikes plus guides & crew !
MOTORCYCLE INSURANCE IN THAILAND - There are two alternatives:
1. There is a legally required insurance in Thailand but it only covers bodily injury to third parties. The participant bears the risk for maximum 4.500 â‚¬ in case of total bike damage. He shall not be liable for technical failures or wear of machine such as engine or transmission damage. The sum of 4.500 â‚¬ is to be guaranteed by deposit contract with MOTORRAD action team before departure.
2. For a surcharge fee of 200 â‚¬ in addition to the legally required insurance (covering only bodily injury to third parties) we offer our own fully comprehensive insurance with a maximum of 1.000 â‚¬ premium accident excess per claim. The sum of 1.000 â‚¬ is to be guaranteed by deposit contract with MOTORRAD action team before departure. For minor damages respective smaller sums will be deducted. In most cases such minor damages are easier to be repaired on-site. All paid on-site damages will be fairly evaluated by our tour guide, the MOTORRAD action team will guarantee that. In addition to that MOTORRAD action team will act as trustee for all paid deposits.
A dent in the tank will not require a new tank but only the respective loss in value or repair time will be deducted, for a broken clutch lever, the cost of material only.
However, please note that all damages, especially those exceeding a couple of hundred Euros cannot be shouldered by our partners financially. All bikes are valued at around 4.500 â‚¬ per bike and there is no insurance company in Thailand that has a full comprehensive cover. Therfore the risk of damages above the 1.000 â‚¬ excess will be passed on to our partner in Thailand. The worst case scenario with a total write off of a bike would be a damage of 3.500 â‚¬. We kindly ask for your understanding of our methods of safeguarding.
Important to mention in this context is that the premium excess up to the full amount is also payable in case of a not-at-fault damage or accident with the motorcycle, for example in a crash with a third party. In Thailand the insurance liability only covers bodily injuries and damages of the driver and any third party.
Important for all to know:
Any accidents involving damages caused by tour members are ideally dealt with on the spot with the help of the tour guide and without calling the local police. Best practice in such cases would be that the person who rented the bike will pay up directly to avoid the inevitable long wait, obligatory payment of bakshish and subsequent follow-up costs if the tour is going to be delayed.
Such a direct approach will on the other hand make it impossible to re-claim any damages from the insurance companies since no police report has been filed. The participant in consultation with the tour guide will decide on how to proceed best on a case to case basis. All costs coming from illness or injuries of any of the tour participants, including follow-up costs resulting from tour extension, re-booking charges, motorcycle transport costs are the responsibility of the tour participant. (or to be passed on and paid by his/her health and accident insurance package for abroad).