Bangkok to the Golden Triangle

thailand bikehike lead
Bangkok to the Golden Triangle
Duration:
10
Days
Priced from:
3199.00
USD

Bangkok to the Golden Triangle

Trip Overview

(Biking, Hiking, Kayaking and Elephant Visit)  This Thailand adventure tour is a winner for outdoor enthusiasts looking to get physical in a destination bursting with spiritual and cultural flavour. A whole slew of transportation modes make up the itinerary from biking, hiking and kayaking. We start in Bangkok and shoot north for a backcountry traverse alongside the borders of Laos and Myanmar. We’re exposed to grandiose Buddhist temples glistening in the morning sun. Monks draped in brilliant saffron robes meander barefoot making their daily offerings. As we wind further north, we'll meet various ethnic groups that reside in the hillsides and dress in distinctive colourful attire. Fusing outdoor activities with cultural flavour, this trip showcases the best adventure travel Thailand has to offer.

WOW FACTORS

  • Bike the Golden Triangle, where Thailand, Laos and Myanmar meet
  • Visit recovering elephants in a nature park near Chiang Mai
  • Hike in stunning Doi Mae Salong, through terraced tea and rice plantations and hill tribe villages

Activities

Difficulty Level

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Questions?

Itinerary & Map

Day 1

Bangkok
Arrival
A BikeHike Adventures representative will be awaiting as your plane touches down in Bangkok, welcoming you to the ‘Land of Smiles’. You’ll be escorted to your hotel and introduced to the local surroundings. Sit back, relax, and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime.

Meals: none

Day 2

Bangkok
Tuk-tuk, Train, & Boat
This day is simply incredible! Today we’ll tick off five must-see sites, while using all forms of urban transport (tuk-tuk, scooter, rapid train and boats) in a citywide blitz of temples, alleyways, rivers, canals and fine eats to give you a true appreciation of the ‘City of Angels’. Today you’ll see the Golden Mount, the stunning Grand Palace, Wat Po (reclining Buddha), Wat Arun and the urban-canals of Bangkok Noi, to name but a few of our stops. Not only can you tick Bangkok off your list, but you’ll do it in swinging style!

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 3

Ancient Ayutthaya
Biking
Prior to its sacking by the Burmese in 1767, Ayutthaya was the crowning jewel of Siam. We’ll board a private shuttle from Bangkok, and then board a longtail boat for a 1-hour journey up river to the UNESCO World Heritage Site. Here we'll use Mary-Poppins-style bicycles to explore the ancient ruins and stone palaces that make up this fascinating destination. The best part is there are no ropes between you and the sites, affording an up close and personal look at these historic stone temples. After our day exploring, we’ll blast back to Bangkok in our private shuttle and catch an early evening flight to the country’s northernmost province, Chiang Mai, where we'll spend the next two nights at a comfortable hotel. Riding: 10km/6mi on paved roads. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 4

Chiang Mai
Elephant Nature Park (Hanging out with Elephants)
After breakfast we'll transfer to the Elephant Nature Park, a rescue and rehabilitation centre that rescue elephants from being brutally tortured and abused for the purpose of elephant riding for tourists. The park provides a natural environment for elephants, dogs, cats, buffalo and many other animals under their care. They've established a thriving elephant community on their grounds.  There will be no riding today as the Elephant Nature Park experience is focused on taking time and allowing the elephants to enjoy their freedom, scratching, rubbing and tossing dirt.  Just the opportunity to be among these beautiful animals and knowing that you're playing a role in rehabilitating them just by visiting this park will inspire you. We'll feed the elephants snacks and then accompany the herd on a jungle walk. We’ll stop for a picnic lunch in a majestic location and then head to the river to bathe them. We'll return to the headquarters on a either a river raft, or by van, depending on water levels. We'll return to Chiang Mai by 6:30pm and transfer back to our hotel for the night. 

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 5

Chiang Rai - Into the Bush
Biking
Today's a gorgeous ride as we drive from Chiang Mai towards Chiang Rai. We'll visit a couple of sights en route before getting on our bikes and heading towards the far-flung town of Mae Salak. We can either take a tough dirt path or hilly paved road there; either way the ride is amazing. We'll pass jungle covered mountains, lush fields and smiling locals along the way. We have a short ride in a longtail boat to our lodging for the night - a neat bamboo resort along the banks of the Mae Kok River. The resort is peaceful and truly away from civilization. Enjoy the rest of the day swimming in the pool, relaxing on your balcony and exploring the Lahu hilltribe village next door. Riding: 50km/34 miles, depending on group abilities, on dirt trails and paved roads. 

Hiking: 10 km / 6 mi 
Elevation Gain: +1011 m (3316 ft)
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 6

Paddler's Paradise
Kayaking & Hiking
Enjoy a leisurely morning and then we'll go up river to the "Tha Ton", a riverside town near the Thai-Myanmar border. Here we'll learn about the Shan people that inhabit the area and have a look at local weaving shops before the main event - kayaking. We'll board sit-on-top kayaks for a journey down the quiet Mae Kok River, passing hilltribe villages and lush fields. A riverside picnic will round things out and an optional short hike back to the hotel is the capstone to a perfect day.

Paddling: 3-4 hours.
Hiking: 1-2 hours. 
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 7

Doi Mae Salong
Hiking
Today it's off to one of Thailand's most stunning destinations - Doi Mae Salong. Nestled among terraced tea plantations, this area was once opium country, but is now home to Thailand's premier Oolong tea production, and Chinese who fled China during the Cultural Revolution. Put on your hiking shoes for a day trekking through terraced tea and rice plantations, hilltribe villages and stunning rolling mountains around the Doi Mae Salong area. Today is a photographer’s dream and great shots abound. Locals are sure to be as curious about you as you are with them. We’ll also sample local teas, visit a mountaintop temple and a local school. The evening is yours to explore other nooks and crannies.

Hiking: 15 km / 9 mi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 8

Doi Chang Mub
Biking
An early morning shuttle through the mountains takes us to one of the kingdom’s most renowned community development projects – Doi Tung, run by the Mae Fah Luang Foundation. Here we’ll learn about the foundation’s successful eradication of opium production, then head out for a challenging day in the saddle. We’ll pedal to the top of Doi Chang Mub, one of the province’s highest mountains and along a spectacular road that literally straddles the Thai-Myanmar border, passing through several military checkpoints along the way. Hang on to your handlebars as dramatic descents bring you to the country’s northernmost city Mae Sai. Here we’ll have lunch, stroll colourful markets and check out the bustling border trading. Then it’s back on the bikes for a final ride through flat farmland to the infamous Golden Triangle where Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. Tonight we’ll sleep at the ‘Greater Mekong Lodge’, run by the Mae Fah Luang Foundation.

Biking: 65 km / 40 mi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 9

Mae Sai - Golden Triangle
Biking
Get ready for the final ride of the adventure! Today’s pedal is stunning! We’ll make our way through lush farmland, over a couple of small mountains and finally along the banks of the Mekong River to our destination Chiang Khong. Tonight we’ll stay in a riverside teak hotel and enjoy the best Mexican food in Thailand!

Biking: 65 - 80 km / 37 - 50 mi
Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

Day 10

Mekong Life - Bangkok
Departure
Our final day in the far north is a great one to sit back, relax and take it all in. Chiang Khong serves as a border crossing point between Thailand and Laos. This small town is full of ultra laid-back characters and effuses a charming, quiet bliss. Enjoy the morning to do as much or little as you like. In the early afternoon we’ll shuttle to the Chiang Rai airport for our flight back to bustling Bangkok. From here connect to your flight home, or continue your travels to the beach or other areas in the region.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

What's Included

TRIP INCLUSIONS:
All accommodation (twin shared), meals as indicated (B=breakfast, L=lunch, D=dinner), all transportation including two domestic flights, entrance fees, airport transfers, and English-speaking guides.

TRIP DOES NOT INCLUDE:
International airfare, airport departure taxes, gratuities, meals not indicated and items of a personal nature.

MEALS:
9 Breakfasts, 9 Lunches, 2 Dinners

ACCOMMODATION:
Hotel: 9 Nights

Trip Facts

Weather in Thailand

Central and Northern Region (includes Bangkok and Chiang Rai) 

November to February: Dry and cool. Average maximum temperature is 31°C (88°F). Very little rain.
March to May: Intense heat with high humidity. Temperatures reach an average of 35°C (95°F) in the afternoons. April and May are the hottest.
June to October: Hot with high humidity. Temperatures reach 34°C (94°F) during the day. More rain than other months.

Travel Documents

Canadian and US citizens require a valid passport with an expiry date that is beyond six months from the date of exit. A visa is not required for North American citizens. Citizens of other countries should contact the Thai Embassy for specific entry requirements.

Food

One of the delights of adventure in Thailand is the amazing cuisine. Thai people enjoy good food and are constantly taking advantage of bountiful supplies of raw materials to transform into flavour tempting delicacies. Such delicacies include curries, fresh seafood, hearty noodle soups, and Pad Thai. There are also countless types of exotic fruits available, enjoyable on their own or in thirst-quenching fruit juices.

FAQ

How big are BikeHike's groups?

Our adventures are built for small groups, with a maximum of 12 travellers on each guided tour. Each group is diverse, comprised of men and women of many different nationalities and ages. By travelling in small groups we leave minimal ecological impact, cause less disruption to the native life and are able to gain a better appreciation for our surroundings. Small numbers also allow greater flexibility and spontaneity: a dinner in a local home, an impromptu village wedding invite and any such experiences that can become among the most memorable experiences of your BikeHike adventure.

How fit do I need to be to join this trip?

We understand that people come in many fitness levels, so we've graded our trips accordingly. There are four difficulty levels on our trips: Easy, Moderate, Challenging, and Strenuous. 

This is a “moderate” trip. These trips include 4-5 hours of physical activity throughout the day, with many breaks along the way. The biking portions of BikeHike Adventure’s trips are the most cardiovascular portions of the trips. During the biking section, our travellers don’t have to carry anything on their backs as any packs can be carried in the support vehicle. During the hiking portions of the trip, the most you would have to carry on your back is a daypack.

Has this trip been run before?

BikeHike Adventures has been operating since 1994. 

The logistics of organizing tours to remote corners of the world can be very complex. Our trip development department spends long hours researching destinations, routes, ground operations and equipment. All itineraries are screened without clients before they are added to our growing repertoire of adventures. Nothing is untested. 

Can you tell me about your typical BikeHike travellers on this trip?

Our travellers share a common love for outdoor adventure. Most are looking for a physical adventure in an unfamiliar destination. A typical trip is comprised of men and women in good physical condition, who exercise regularly and are invigorated by a personal challenge. The age range on this trip is typically from 35-60, although we occasionally get younger and older travellers as well.

Which airport do we fly in and out of for this trip?

Bangkok. You can arrive anytime on day 1 of the trip and depart anytime after 6:00pm on day 10 of the trip.

Can I take this trip if...

I am a solo traveller? How does solo accommodation and costing work?

Many of our travellers (both men and women) join as singles. On average, BikeHike groups are 75% single travellers and 25% couples. Unlike many adventure travel companies, we don't charge single supplement fees to solo travellers. Instead, we pair you with another traveller of the same gender. If we can't find you a roommate, you get your own room at no additional charge. A single private room supplement fee is only required if you specifically request a confirmed private room for the duration of the trip. Learn more about solo travel with BikeHike

I have special dietary requirements?

We will do our best to accommodate special dietary requests (e.g. vegetarian, gluten free, etc.), but ask that you please discuss your request with us when signing up for a trip.

I am travelling with children? Is this trip children friendly?

While most of our trips are created with adults in mind, many of our itineraries are suitable for strong and active teenagers. This trip is generally good for older children or teenagers. However, we do offer many Family Focused trips, some of which are able to accommodate children as young as six.

Accommodation

Most of our trips include comfortable mid-range accommodations. This includes accommodation that provides a clean and comfortable experience in characterful surroundings that reflect the destination. To build stronger connections with the communities and support the local economies, we avoid using large international chain brands on BikeHike trips. 

This trip includes the following types of accommodation:

HOTELS 

In an effort to keep money in the communities we visit around the world, BikeHike prefers small hotels, bungalows, and haciendas that showcase the character and local flair of each destination.

Click HERE for more information about accommodation styles.

Adventure Dates

  • Sep 13 - Sep 22, 2019
  • Nov 08 - Nov 17, 2019
  • Dec 06 - Dec 15, 2019
  • Jan 06 - Jan 15, 2020
  • Feb 07 - Feb 16, 2020
  • Apr 10 - Apr 19, 2020
  • May 08 - May 17, 2020
  • Jul 03 - Jul 12, 2020
  • Aug 14 - Aug 23, 2020
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Price

(Land only, based on twin/shared room)
3199.00
USD
per person

*No single supplement fees
** Guaranteed departures on two travellers

Are You Organizing a Group Trip?
Discover our private group discounts

Add-Ons

  • It's easy to add days before and after your tour.  Just ask! 
  • Why not extend your adventure with a 4-day Angkor Wat extension in Cambodia?
Day Destination Activity
Duration
Distance Lodging Meals
1
Bangkok
Arrival
Hotel
2
Bangkok
Tuk-tuk, Train, & Boat
Hotel
b,
l
3
Ancient Ayutthaya
Biking
10 km
6 mi
Hotel
b,
l
4
Chiang Mai
Elephant Nature Park (Hanging out with Elephants)
Hotel
b,
l
5
Chiang Rai - Into the Bush
Biking
50 km
34 mi 
Hotel
b,
l,
d
6
Paddler's Paradise
Kayaking & Hiking
3-4 hrs paddling / 1 - 2 hrs hiking
Hotel
b,
l,
d
7
Doi Mae Salong
Hiking
15 km
9 mi
Hotel
b,
l
8
Doi Chang Mub
Biking
65 km
40 mi
Hotel
b,
l
9
Mae Sai - Golden Triangle
Biking
65 - 80 km
37 - 50 mi
Hotel
b,
l
10
Mekong Life - Bangkok
Departure
b,
l

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LP
Lynn P
November 22, 2017

The trip highlights: saw various aspects of the country, culture with a very knowledgeable guide, very small group. We love this small group travel and the fact that BikeHike tours are less 'touristy' and go off the beaten path somewhat. Both trips we have taken with your company were amazing :)

King City, ON, Canada
AV
Annelie V
August 15, 2012

Great time and experience - good food, great traveling partners and super guide and support staff.

Lower Sackville, Canada
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