18 Days Tour - "Thai & Laos Explorer"

AT A GLANCE

START / FINISH: Chiang Mai / Chiang Mai
NEAREST AIRPORT: Chiang Mai International Airport
DURATION: 18 days, 14 days riding
ROUTE: Total distance: approximately 3,100 km's (1,800 miles)
DAILY ROUTE: Daily distance: 100 to 320 km’s (62 to 200 miles)
ACCOMMODATIONS: Carefully selected quality hotels and resorts with leisure facilities.
REST DAY: Nan, Luang Prababang & Pai
HIGHLIGHTS: Doi Inthanon, Sukhothai (UNESO), Area od Nan, Luang Prabang (UNESCO), Remote Laos, Golden Triangle, Doi Mae Salong, Road of 1,864 curves to Mae Hong Son, Long Neck Hill Tribe
   

ITINERARY

Day From To Gravel % Km Miles
1   Arrival Chiang Mai (Mon)     0
2 Chiang Mai Mae Sariang 20% 260 162
3 Mae Sariang Mae Sot 40% 320 199
4 Mae Sot Sukhothai 0% 230 143
5 Sukhothai Nan 0% 330 205
6 Nan Rest Day   0 0
7 Nan Bo Kluea - Pakbeng 0% 210 130
8 Pakbeng Luang Prabang 0% 260 162
9 Luang Prabang Rest Day (optional ride) 50% 100 62
10 Luang Prabang Oudomxai 0% 200 124
11 Oudomxai Pack Beng 0% 180 112
12 Pakbeng Chiang Khong 70% 145 90
13 Chiang Khong Thaton 20% 210 130
14 Thaton Pai 40% 260 162
15 Pai Rest Day   0 0
16 Pai Mae Hong Son 0% 180 112
17 Mae Hong Son Chiang Mai 60% 250 0
18 Chiang Mai     0
        3.135 1.793
The route in Google Maps

DAY BY DAY

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

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

Upon arrival we will meet you at the airport and drive you to the hotel. At 3 pm we meet for a welcome briefing, at Bike Tour Asia service center, answer any questions you might have and hand over motorcycle. Please plan your arrival to Chiang Mai accordingly. You will stay overnight in Chiang Mai.

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

In the morning we start our adventure. We leave the city, riding in south western direction. After our first coffee break we leave the main road in Mae Win and ride our first off-road section for about 25 km before we reach Road 1009. Our next stop is at the Vachiratharn Waterfall - an impressive and powerful 80 m high waterfall. Then we climb to the top of Doi Inthanon, which at 2,565 meters is the highest mountain in Thailand. We continue on nice curvy rural roads to Mae Sariang, a small town alongside the Yuam River, located near the Myanmar border. Enjoy the sunset by the bank of the Yuam River. Overnight in Mae Sariang.

3. Day Mae Sariang – Mae Sot (B/L/D)

The early risers (6 AM) may optional visit the local morning market and give alms to the monks. The idea of the alms giving is for the Buddhist monks to make merit and also to collect food for their one meal of a day. It is a wonderful opportunity to experience an ancient Buddhist tradition. If you are already up, take the opportunity to visit the local wet market, quite an experience. Today we ride to Mae Sot, one of the main gateways to Myanmar. Instead of using the new main road 105 along the border to Myanmar we will use some smaller back roads. In Ban Kio Lom we turn right and leave Road 108 onto the rural road 1099. We continue to Omkoi and Mae Tuen. From here we are riding the next about 70 km on gravel roads until we meet the Road 105 near Mae Ramat. From here we ride on to Mae Sot where we stay overnight.

4. Day Mae Sot – Sukhothai (B/L/D)

After breakfast we drive to the nearby "Friendship Bridge" which links Mae Sot in Thailand with Myawaddy in Myanmar. If you like you can cross over by foot and visit the local market in Myawaddy (no visa required – subject to change, optional, 500 THB). Back in Thailand we start cruising eastwards on Road 12 to Tak. A wide partly new road with long bends. We proceed to Sukhothai to visit the Heritage Park. The historical Sukhothai, which has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988. Sukothai was the first capital of Siam. It was founded by King Ramkhamhaeng. The province's temples and monuments have been well restored and the park has numerous sites to explore. After the visit we reach our nearby hotel. Overnight at Sukhothai.

5. Day Sukhothai – Nan (B/L/D)

After breakfast we leave Sukhothai behind us to cruise in northern direction. On the way to the Sirikit Dam we see the largest Teak tree in the world in the Ton Sak Yai Forest Park. The tree, estimated to be more than 1,500 years old, is 37 meters high and has a circumference of 9.58 meters at its base. We continue to the Queen Sirikit Dam, built in 1973. This dam stands an impressive 160 meters high and 800 meters long and covers an area of 220 square kilometers. We cross the dam with a little ferry. On the other side of the dam we continue our ride on small provincial roads with hardly any traffic. This is farmland; we pass through a beautiful hilly landscape and countless villages. In the later afternoon we reach Nan where we stay for this night.

6. Day Nan – Nan (Rest day) (B/-/-)

Today is a rest day. Enjoy the amenities of the hotel or take a walk through the city of Nan. For the April 2019 departure date It’s Songkran, Thai new year festival, a great opportunity to join the locals in their celebration. Bring your swimming clothes and get ready for getting wet! For centuries Nan was a separate, autonomous Kingdom with few relationships to the outside world. Now, the city is a beautiful town with many well preserved temples. Overnight in Nan.

7. Day Nan – Bo Kluea – Pakbeng (Thailand/Laos) (B/L/D)

Without any doubt the road to Bo Kluea offers some of the best tarmac riding in all of Thailand. Classic twisting, almost empty roads will make the first part of todays ride an unforgettable riding experience. Road 1081 is one of the best in Thailand. At noon we reach the tiny village of Bo Kluea which is located in a scenic valley close to the Lao border - remote and picturesque. “Bo Kluea” means salt well as the village has raised around two natural saltwater wells which have been used for centuries. From Bo Kluea we ride one of the few truly remote areas left in Thailand. We cross into Laos at Huai Kon border point. From the Lao border it’s a nice and relaxing ride to Pakbeng were we meet the Mekong River for the first time. Pakbeng is a colorful village situated at the junction of the Mekong River and the smaller Beng River, hence the town’s name ‘Pak’ meaning ‘mouth’ in Lao. The scenery is stunning, the pace is slow and it's the perfect way to relax into the slower pace of Laos. Overnight in Pakbeng.

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

Another incredible day: Fresh air in the morning, spectacular views over the Mekong river, get used to it, we will follow and cross Mekong during several times the coming days. We ride over the new bridge over Mekong River back to Muang Ngeum and continue on paved roads to Hongsa. Shortly after Hongsa we leave the main road and start our real part of the adventure today on new road passing through some villages, negotiation some mountain ranges and rivers. We are riding in a remote area, there are plenty of small forest roads, better to stick to the main road. Well deserved lunch and break at Ban Samphanxay, take the opportunity to mingle with the locals. Not many tourists comes here, enjoy the moment. Continuing further we meet the Mekong River again at Pak Long were we ride the last stretch to the ferry point. Here our eye’s meets Luang Prabang for the first time. Short ferry crossing and we are at this former capital of Laos. Overnight in Luang Prabang.

9. Day Luang Prabang – 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. A great way to get there is to take a local “Tuktuk”, motorcycle taxi. 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 sample a traditional Lao massage and herbal sauna. Enjoy and have fun! We stay another night in Luang Prabang.

10. Day Luang Prabang – Oudomxai (Laos) (B/L/D)

After waking up in the cool air to the spectacular views of the Mekong. We head to Nong Khiew for lunch. It’s a beautiful rustic little town on the bank of the Ou River. It is squeezed in between some of the most fantastic limestone mountains in the area. From Nong Khiew 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 please to negotiate the curves and enjoying the scenery. There are plenty of great photo opportunities, nature, villages, people, children, animals, rice paddies etc. The closer to the resort we get the worse the road turns out to be, the last stretch we are even rewarded with some gravel. Overnight at a lovely resort outside Oudom Xai.

11. Day Oudomxai – Pakbeng (Laos) (B/-L/D)

Enjoy the morning, have a stroll around the huge resort area. After breakfast we start our adventure of the day. We are riding south west back towards Pakbeng on road 2W. It’s a fairly short and easy ride. Along the way we pass plenty of villages. There are opportunities to make some detours on local gravel roads. Once back in Pakbeng we check into the familiar lovely Le Grande. Enjoy the infinity pool, take a stroll down to the village. Maybe even spend couple of hours at one of the local bars. Overnight in Pakbeng.

12. Day Pakbeng – Chiang Khong (Laos/Thailand) (B/L/D)

Waking up enjoying the view over Mekong River. Today we have a rather long and quite technical ride in front of us. First stretch of the ride is along the road towards Hongsa. Well before Hongsa we leave the main road and ride over the mountain range towards Ban Kham, one of the few villages of this remote part of Laos. After spending the first hours riding endless curves, some gravel, negotiating quite some pot holes we reach the Mekong river again at Ban Hadngam were we enjoy lunch by the river. After lunch we take the ferry cross the Mekong river and the real adventure of the day starts. We ride a dusty gravel road less traveled along the east side of the river towards Pak Tha. At Pak Tha the road suddenly turns into tarmac, them to gravel, then to tarmac, then to gravel….. In the later part of the afternoon we reach the Lao immigration point at Huay Xai were we clear immigration and cross over Mekong River at the new friendship bridge back into Thailand. Once back in Thailand we ride (on the left side) the last short stretch to our hotel in Chiang Khong. Overnight in Chiang Khong.

13. Day Chiang Khong – Thaton (B/L/D)

First part of todays ride is along the west bank of the Mekong river towards the legendary Golden Triangle, were Myanmar, Laos and Thailand meets. Drive up to the temple Wat Sop Ruak where we have a great view over the Golden Triangle. Once leaving Golden Triangle we leave the mighty Mekong River for the last time and cruise to the most Northern city of Thailand, Mae Sai., From here we ride along the Burmese border on narrow and steep roads, mainly dirt and along the Burmese border to Huai Mu and then onwards to Doi Mae Salong, where we have a coffee break. 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 descend on more twistie mountain from Doi Mae Salong and ride along gentle hills with some rice paddies and farm villages. We follow the Kok River for a while and reach our resort at Thaton.

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

After breakfast we ride up to Wat Thaton from where we will enjoy a splendid view over the town and the vicinity. We continue on the main road Nr. 107 for a while before we turn up on a steep zigzagging asphalt road to Doi Angkhang. This area offers a nice scenery left and right. We follow some narrow back roads to Arunothai from where we are heading towards Wiang Haeng on Road 1178. The remaining 40 km from Wiang Haeng all the way to Pai will be on gravel. We reach our hotel in Pai in the later afternoon. We stay overnight in Pai.

15. Day Pai – Pai (Rest day) (Thailand) (B/-/-)

Today is another rest day. Relax by the hotel pool or explore the nearby canyon. Pai is popular to both, foreign and local tourists and along the walking street you can find a lot of bars, boutiques and shopping options. Overnight in Pai.

16. Day Pai – Mae Hong Son (B/L/D)

Today is a rather relaxed riding day but with lots of bends! In the morning we pass two mountains with 2 nice scenic View Points en route. We do a little detour to Ban Rak Thai and enjoy a lunch in one of the local Chinese restaurants by the little lake. They serve delicious Chinese specialties. Ban Rak Thai means literally "the Thai-loving village", built around a lake on the Myanmar border. After lunch we continue to Mae Hong Son and the nearby pier to the Longneck village. Enjoy a scenic boat ride on the Pai River for about 20 min 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. Many ideas regarding why the coils are worn have been suggested. We return by boat to the pier and ride to the nearby Fern Resort, a lovely resort in the middle of rice paddies. Enjoy a sundowner in the sunset bar overlooking the rice paddies. We stay overnight at the Fern Resort near Mae Hong Son.

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

Today is our last riding day. We leave the Fern Resort and ride to Wat Chan on a 80 km long dirt track which is named the “Elephant Track”. Apart from a few concrete sections, its dirt all the way with shade from the trees with hardly no one else to be seen. At Wat Chan we visit a small wooden beautiful temple. The second part of this day we ride on tarmac through forests to Samoeng where we enjoy a coffee break in a tasteful café. We arrive at the Bike Tour Asia Service Center in the afternoon to return the motorcycles. After a break at our center we transfer you to the hotel in order to get ready for our farewell dinner. Overnight in Chiang Mai.

18. Day Departure Chiang Mai (B/-/-)

Transfer to Chiang Mai International Airport.

TOUR PRICES

Vehicle Single Rider Pillion Single Room
BMW (sharing room) (sharing room) Suppl.
F700 GS 7,900,- 2,400,- 850,-
F800 GS 7,900,- 2,400,- 850,-
R1200 GS 8,600,- 2,400,- 850,-

(all prices are in USD)

Remarks
  • A deposit of USD 1,000,- per rider and USD 1,500,- per rider and pillion is payable upon booking. Rest payment is due latest 60 days before departure
  • The above prices are based for a group of 6 riders. If you come with less than 5 riders please contact us for a price offer
  • 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 have to charge you the single room supplement
  • Prices include 7% VAT
  • The tour starts and ends at Bike Tour Asia Service Center ( Service Center Gmaps)

Due to the lengths of your International flight and the time difference you may have to leave your country a day earlier, subsequently you will arrive one day later back home. Please 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

  • Airport / Hotel transfers in Chiang Mai
  • Bi-Lingual Motorcycle Guide & related expenses
  • Support truck, driver & related expenses (In Thailand licensed tour guide)
  • Motorcycle Rental (off road suitable tires)
  • Panniers and top box, basic motorcycle crash protection bars etc.
  • Lao Permit, all related expenses including Lao tour guide, additional support vehicle, tourist police, third party liability insurance (according to legal requirement) etc.
  • 17 Nights at carefully selected quality hotels and resorts with leisure facilities, double occupancy
  • Your motorcycle's fuel needs
  • 3rd party insurance
  • All breakfasts
  • 13 lunches
  • 14 dinners
  • Transfer of luggage in support truck (max one piece / person)
  • Tools & tire repair kits & service
  • Satellite phone (for emergency only)
  • Trailer (carry maximum two motorcycles)
  • All entrances fees to National Parks, ferries etc.
  • Introductory itinerary briefing upon arrival to Chiang Mai
  • Comprehensive day-by-day itinerary, tips of activities and highlights en route, a hotel list and important contacts

Not included

  • Flights
  • Lao visa, 30-40 USD depending on nationality. Visa on arrival. (Bring passport photo), for more details see; http://www.tourismlaos.org/show.php?Cont_ID=348
  • Optional motorcycle loss/damage waiver
  • Personal Items, gifts, snacks, etc.
  • Special activities (rafting, fishing, etc.)
  • Alcohol
  • Fully refundable motorcycle security deposit
  • All services not mentioned as included and all items of a personal nature

MOTORCYCLE DAMAGE & LOSS COVERAGE / WAIVER / TRAVEL ACCIDENT INSURANCE

A security deposit according to the below list is to be presented through electronic blocking of funds on your credit card (Mastercard/Visa) or in cash upon hand-over of the motorcycle. The full amount will be electronically unblocked on your credit card or cash refunded after the tour (if no damage or loss of the motorcycle occurred). For more details, please see Terms & Conditions.

All in USD Security deposit Daily waiver premium / outside Thailand
F700 GS 1,500 30
F800 GS 1,700 40
R1200 GS 2,500 60
  • Included for riding in Thailand is a motorcycle damage & loss coverage with a maximum deductible amount up to the level of the security deposit (according the motorcycle type) and no daily waiver premium applicable.
  • For riding outside of Thailand Bike Tour Asia offers an optional daily damage & loss waiver for the motorcycle, based on the above listed daily waiver premiums, which will limit the maximum deductible amount up to the level of the security deposit in case of damage or loss to the motorcycle while riding outside Thailand. Without purchasing the optional waiver, your security deposit amount must be equal to the full value of the motorcycle.
  • A Travel Accident Insurance is included for BTA Guided Tours only and as shown below.

Travel Accident Insurance, by AXA Insurance Company, is included in all BTA Guided Tour prices.

Limit of Liability: (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

Underlying coverage is in Thai Baht’s and converted into USD using exchange rate 1 USD = 32 Baht

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TOUR DATES

8 - 25 April 2019 (motorcycles available)

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