16 Days Tour - "Thailand & Laos - Riders Paradise"

If you have a bit more time and like to explore and ride more extensively, this tour provides an outstanding opportunity to obtain a thorough impression of the uniqueness of a large part of Northern Thailand and parts of North West Laos. The roads are mainly rural two lanes with a variety of surfaces and wind through areas of spectacular mountainous beauty. In total this trip covers approximately 3,000 km's (1,850 miles) of some of the best riding anywhere in the world.

After leaving Chiang Mai we visit the site of Thailand's first capital city, Sukothai – an UNESCO World Heritage Site. We continue up the mountains of Phu Ruea and along the Mekong River to Vientiane, the capital of Laos. From Vang Vieng we enjoy a spectacular mountain riding to Luang Prabang another UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Back in Thailand we explore Phu Chi Fah and the Golden Triangle, the region made famous by Khun Sa, once one of the world’s most infamous drug king, who even had his own private army.

The route in Google Maps

AT A GLANCE

START / FINISH: Chiang Mai / Chiang Mai
NEAREST AIRPORT: Chiang Mai International Airport
DURATION: 16 days, 14 days riding
ROUTE: Total distance: approximately 3,000 km's
DAILY ROUTE: Daily distance: 155 to 330 km’s
ACCOMMODATIONS: Carefully selected quality hotels and resorts with leisure facilities
REST DAY: Luang Prabang / Golden Triangle
HIGHLIGHTS: Sukhothai (UNESCO World Heritage Site), Vientiane, Van Vieng, Luang Prabang (UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mekong River, Golden Triangle, Road of 1,864 curves to Mae Hong Son, Long Neck Hill Tribe
   

ITINERARY

1 DAY Arrive in Chiang Mai    
2 DAY Chiang Mai - Sukhothai 300 km 186 miles
3 DAY Sukhothai - Phu Ruea 330 km 205 miles
4 DAY Phu Ruae - Vientiane 250 km 155 miles
5 DAY Vientiane - Van Vieng 155 km 196 miles
6 DAY Van Vieng - Luang Prabang 200 km 124 miles
7 DAY Luang Prabang (Rest Day)    
8 DAY Luang Prabang - Luang Namtha 310 km 192 miles
9 DAY Luang Namtha - Chiang Khong 185 km 115 miles
10 DAY Chiang Khong - Phu Chi Fah - Golden Triangle 300 km 186 miles
11 DAY Golden Triangle (Rest Day)    
12 DAY Golden Triangle - Thaton 150 km 93 miles
13 DAY Thaton - Doi Angkhang - Pai 290 km 180 miles
14 DAY Pai - Mae Hong Son 185 km 115 miles
15 DAY Mae Hong Son - Chiang Mai 300 km 186 miles
16 DAY Departure Chiang Mai    
       

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DAY BY DAY

(B/L/D) = (Breakfast / Lunch / Dinner)

1. Day / Chiang Mai (-/-/D)

In the evening you meet your fellow travelers for a welcome dinner and a tour presentation and motorcycle handover. We will discuss the itinerary, basic group riding rules and about the local riding environment, and answer any question that you may have. We will stay overnight in Chiang Mai.

2. Day / Chiang Mai – Sukhothai (B/L/D)

In the morning we start our adventure from the hotel in Chiang Mai. For most of the day the roads are rural with low traffic density. There are nice bends and a pleasant riding environment the whole day. In the afternoon we arrive in Sukhothai which literally means “Dawn of Happiness”, capital of the Sukhothai Kingdom in the 13th and 14th centuries. Don’t miss to visit the Sukhothai Historical Park, an UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city walls form a rectangle about 2 km east-west by 1.6 km north-south. There are 193 ruins on 70 square kilometers of land. There is a gate in the center of each wall. Inside are the remains of the Royal Palace and twenty-six temples, the largest being Wat Mahathat. After the visit we continue to the nearby hotel. We overnight in Sukhothai.

3. Day / Sukhothai - Phu Ruea (B/L/D)

After breakfast we leave Sukhothai in direction of Phu Ruea. We follow Road 12 and 2013 near Nakhon Thai for lunch. We Take the enjoyably twisty road towards Lom Kao were we climb up the mountain and pass through Phu Hin Rongkla National Park where in January the Himalayan Cherry (pink Sakura) is at full bloom.

Enjoy a coffee at the view point just after the gate exit of the National Park. For most the day the roads pass through some scenic mountain landscape. In the afternoon we arrive in Phu Ruea. Overnight in Phu Ruea.

4. Day / Phu Ruea – Vientiane (Laos) (B/L/D)

Wake up with the fresh air of Phu Ruea, the name of the mountain comes from the fact that it looks like a boat, upside down from certain angles. We are riding into the mountains of Phu Ruea towards the Mekong and reach Chiang Khan, a lovely small town. Have your lunch here if you like.

During most of the afternoon we will follow the Mekong River eastwards towards the Friendship Bridge in Nongkhai. There are plenty of scenic photo stops and coffee break options en route. After the immigration and customs formalities at both sides of the border we are in Laos and proceed to the capital, Vientiane where we will stay for overnight. In the evening there is time to explore this delightfully friendly capital, studded with crumbling French mansions, bougainvillea-blooming streets and steaming noodle stalls. Vientiane is somewhere between a big town and a diminutive city. Enjoy a Beer Lao at sunset by the River! We stay for the night in Vientiane.

5. Day / Vientiane – Van Vieng (Laos) (B/L/D)

In the morning we visit the main sights of Vientiane. Some 60 km after Vientiane we turn towards the Nam Ngum Reservoir, a huge artificial lake where we will stop near the hydric power plant and enjoy lunch by the lake shore.

After lunch a fairly easy riding day awaits us. We ride on the national road towards Van Vieng, our destination for the day. The town is located at the Nam Song River with its karst hill landscape surrounding the town. Plenty of restaurants and bars in Vang Vieng, explore and enjoy! Overnight in Van Vieng.

6. Day / Van Vieng – Lung Prabang (Laos) (B/L/D)

The road to Kasi heralds a 170 km wild stretch of highway along steep ridges and around hairpin bends, with headlong views of rugged valleys and remote mountains as far as the eye can see. There are plenty of scenic photo stops on this road, including some villages. In Kasi our journey takes us over the newly build road towards Luang Prabang with a breathtaking scenery. Luang Prabang with its gleaming temple roofs, fading French architecture and stunning mountain backdrop has been claimed by the UNESCO to be ‘the best preserved city in South East Asia’. In the evening we can enjoy our dinner in a restaurant by the Mekong River.

Note: If weather is bad, we will take Road 13 from Vang Vieng straight to Luang Prabang. This is the main high way and faster, even with more traffic.

7. Day / Luang Prabang (Rest Day) (B/-/-)

As this is a rest day the day is totally at your own disposal. In the morning you will have the option to rise early to view the procession of monks on their daily outing collecting alms, a practice that

dates back centuries. It is done early, as the monks cannot eat anything after midday. By giving food to a monk you make merit, which should augur well for your next life.

You may also want to visit the beautiful Kuang Si Waterfalls. It’s possible to swim in the lagoon, so bring your swimming gear. Worthwhile is also an optional boat trip to the Pak Ou caves - two caves on the west side of the Mekong River, about two hours upstream from Luang Prabang. These caves are noted for their miniature Buddha sculptures. Hundreds of very small and mostly damaged wooden Buddha figures are laid out over the wall shelves. Once back in Luang Prabang you can visit the major temples, including the magnificent Wat Xieng Thong, which nestles at the meeting of the Mekong and the Nam Khan Rivers, and Wat Wisunalat, which is the oldest temple in the city. Another great optional activity is to try a traditional Lao massage and herbal sauna. We stay another night in Luang Prabang.

8. Day / Luang Prabang – Luang Namtha (Laos) (B/L/D)

After waking up in the cool air to the spectacular views of the Mekong we leave Luang Prabang and ride along the Nam Ou River. There are fantastic limestone mountain formations in this area. From Pakmong we cross over the mountain on the newly build road to Oudom Xai.

Those 150 km took the whole day to cover some years ago. Today it’s a pure pleasure to ride those bends and enjoy the scenery. In the afternoon we reach Luang Namtha, a town located close to the Chinese border. This is near the main entry point to China. Overnight in Luang Namtha.

9. Day / Luang Namtha – Chiang Khong (Thailand) (B/L/D)

After breakfast we continue on Road 3 towards Houei Xai to the Mekong River, which forms the border between Laos and Thailand. The road has a bit more traffic, especially with trucks from China but the road is good and the scenery nice. We will pass a couple of local villages and there is time to stop and “mingle” with the locals.

Today’s journey will finally take us across the bridge back to Thailand where we are riding on the left side of the road again. We stay overnight in Chiang Khong.

10. Day / Chiang Khong – Phu Chi Fah – Golden Triangle (B/L/D)

In the morning we will enjoy another beautiful mountain ride to Phu Chi Fa, were we stop for a local lunch. Phu Chi Fa is located on the border between Thailand and Laos. It’s a great ride and the scenery is spectacular with lots of photo opportunities. Since Phu Chi Fa is fairly remote, there are not many tourists who make it to this part of Thailand. We continue on more winding roads and some back roads to the White Temple (Wat Rong Khung).

This remarkable temple is today recognized as one of the main attractions all over Thailand. There are plenty of coffee shops around the temple. The last stretch we take the main Road to the Golden Triangle, where we stay for the next two nights.

11. Day / Golden Triangle (Rest Day) (B/-/-)

Enjoy a healthy breakfast in the hotel and spend the day at the pool. This is a rest day in the legendary Golden Triangle where the three borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet.

There are several options: You can walk up to the temple Wat Sop Ruak where we have a great view over the Golden Triangle. You can also visit the small but interesting local Opium Museum to learn more about Khun Sa and the opium trade in the past. Or drive a few kilometers to visit the impressive and modern Hall of Opium. Overnight in the Golden Triangle.

12. Day / Golden Triangle – Thaton (B/L/D)

We continue our journey and cruise on some backroads to Mae Sai the most northerly point in Thailand and bordering with Myanmar. If you like you can walk across the border (500 THB, no visa required but your passport will be stamped) and visit the local market. Then we proceed to the Choui Fong Tea House and visit the tea plantation. The tea house is serving all kind of different tea blends and great cakes. Enjoy the scenery! We continue and drive up to Doi Mae Salong on yet more amazingly twisty mountainous roads. Doi Mae Salong is a Chinese settlement which was built by a division of the Chinese Nationalist Army that refused to surrender to Chinese communists after the Nationalist Kuomintang government was routed in 1949.

Today the village still offers a native Chinese cuisine, lovely houses with flowers and countless tea plantations as far as the eyes can see. We reach our destination for this day in the afternoon, Thaton. It is a small town on the banks of the Kok River, bordering with Myanmar. Enjoy a splendid view from Wat Thaton over the town and the vicinity before check in the hotel. Overnight in Thaton.

13. Day / Thaton – Doi Angkhang – Pai (B/L/D)

Another great riding day is ahead of us. We ride Road 107 and then the hairpin road 1249 towards Doi Angkhang. Be careful, the road is very steep and have some narrow switch backs. After lunch we ride Road 107 before we turn right and begin to ride about 700 twisties over the mountain following Road 1095 to Pai. This is also the beginning of the road to Mae Hong Son, famous for having 1864 bends of varying sharpness. Before we reach the famously chic town of Pai, we stop at the iconic Memorial Bridge which has been transported from Chiang Mai to Pai. Relax at hotel before having dinner at one of the many local restaurants. We stay overnight in Pai.

14. Day / Pai – Mae Hong Son (B/L/D)

Today is a rather relaxed riding day. We will ride for about 180 km but with lots of bends! In the morning we pass two mountains with 2 nice scenic View Points en route. We can find a nice Coffee Shop on the right hand side before a right turn leads us to Ban Rak Thai. We enjoy a lunch in one of the local Chinese restaurants by the little lake. Ban Rak Thai means literally "the Thai-loving village", built around a lake on the Myanmar border. We continue to Mae Hong Son and drive to a pier and enjoy a scenic boat ride on the Pai River to the Karen Long Neck village.

The Karen, a tribal minority, historically lived in the hills on the Myanmar side of the border. Some of their women wear heavy brass rings around their necks, forearms, and shins. We return to the pier and ride to the nearby Fern Resort, a lovely resort in the middle of rice paddies. We stay overnight near Mae Hong Son.

15. Day / Mae Hong Son – Chiang Mai (B/L/D)

In the morning we ride Road 108 from Mae Hong Son to Khun Yuam. It is a great winding stretch with wider bends. In Khun Yuam we can visit the local War Museum. The Imperial Japanese Army troops were stationed in Khun Yuam during the construction of a highway intended to cross Burma to India. We proceed to Mae Chaem on Road 1088 and 1263 on nice twisty back roads. Here is a little local restaurant for lunch. We drive on Road 1192 and turn left on Road 1009 to the top of Doi Inthanon, which at 2,565 meters is the highest mountain in Thailand.

We continue to the Wachiratharn Waterfall - an impressive and powerful 80 m high waterfall. The last 50 km or so we will ride on Road 108 until we reach the BTA Service Center Chiang Mai. Overnight in Chiang Mai. Get ready for our farewell dinner, sharing lot’s of memories of a fantastic ride. Overnight in Chiang Mai.

16. Day / Chiang Mai (B/-/-)

Transfer to Chiang Mai International Airport.

Remark: All of the indicated times and Km are approximately.

TOUR PRICES

Vehicle Single Rider Rider and pillion Single Room
BMW (sharing room) (sharing room) Suppl.
F700 GS 6,371,- 8,920,- 750,-
F800 GS 6,371,- 8,920,- 750,-
R1200 GS 6,931,- 9,480,- 750,-

All prices in USD

Remarks

  • If you bring your own motorcycle the price will be USD 4,961,- (sharing room), (room sharing with pillion USD 6,568,-)
  • Prices are valid until 31 October 2018
  • A deposit of USD 1,000 per rider and USD 1,500,- per rider and pillion is payable upon booking
  • Prices include 7% VAT
  • This tour requires a minimum of 6 riders
  • The price for a Single Rider in a sharing room requires another Single Rider booking with the same request. If there is no other request for room sharing we will add the single room supplement
  • Tour starts at Marndadee Heritage River Village and ends at Bike Tour Asia Service center. Upon ending the tour transfer to hotel is provided by us.
  • Contact us at booking@biketourasia.com

The first and last days mentioned in the itinerary are the arrival and departure days for the tour's start and end points. Depending on the country you start in, you may have to leave a day early, subsequently; you will arrive one day later back home. Book your flights accordingly!

Route itinerary and destination may be subject to change in case of force majeure, weather conditions, road conditions and any other significant circumstances.

We are pleased to assist you with the booking of additional nights in Chiang Mai or any other services in connection with the tour! Please let us know.

WHAT IS INCLUDED / NOT INCLUDED

INCLUDED IN THE TOUR PRICE

  • 15 overnights at carefully selected quality hotels and resorts with leisure facilities
  • Breakfast every day
  • 12 lunches (not included in rest day)
  • 13 dinners (not included in rest day)
  • Water, soft drinks and coffee / tea in connection with the meals
  • Motorcycle rental with unlimited mileage
  • Motorcycle insurance (please see details under "Insurance")
  • Road captain on motorcycle leading the group
  • Tour guide in support van in Thailand
  • Tour guide and tourist police in support van in Laos
  • Support van for luggage transportation (1 piece per person), drinks and space for a few guests on entire tour upon prior request
  • Entrance fees to National Parks and Historical Sites
  • Tour information package including riding and safety tips, details about the hotels, the route and the sight
  • Bike Tour Asia T-shirt

NOT INCLUDED

  • All services not mentioned as included and all items of a personal nature
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • On the rest day, no lunch or dinner included
  • Visa to Laos (some 30-35,- USD depending on nationality), visa on arrival, bring passport photo with you.
  • Optional motorcycle loss/damage waiver (please see details under "Insurance")
  • Travel insurance (cover against cancellation costs, medical expenses, including repatriation, in the event of accident or illness). We highly recommend you arrange an appropriate insurance in your home country

INSURANCE

A security deposit according to the below list is payable upon motorcycle hand over through credit card (Mastercard/Visa) or in cash. The full amount will be reimbursed after the tour (if no damage occurred)

All in USD Security deposit Daily insurance rate / outside Thailand
F700 GS 1,500 30
F800 GS 1,700 40
R1200 GS 2,500 60
  • Included for riding in Thailand is a Third Party liability insurance and a motorcycle insurance with a deductible up to the security deposit amount (according the motorcycle type)
  • For riding outside of Thailand Bike Tour Asia offers an optional additional daily damage/loss waiver for the motorcycle, based on the above listed daily insurance rate
  • This optional insurance has to be paid latest upon the motorcycle hand over and covers the maximum deductible amount to the level of the security deposit while riding outside Thailand. Without this optional insurance the guest takes the risk up to the value of the motorcycle in case of a damage

Personal and Third Party liability coverage according to below. (All in USD)

Loss of Life, Sight, Dismemberment, Total Permanent Disability 30,000
Accidental Medical Expenses 15,000
Personal Liability 3,000
Public Liability 300,000

TOUR DATES 2018

June 17 – July 2
October 13-28