Thailand grand tour 16 days

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Discover Bangkok, Chiang Mai and Phuket Thailand with this group itinerary.



Day 01: Bangkok Airport -  Jomtien Beach

Your fellow travellers will be arriving at all times from around the world today, so there are no arranged activities for the daytime. Our taxi driver will pick you up at Bangkok Airport. The taxi ride to the hotel at Jomtien Beach takes about one hour. We shall hold a meeting in the evening when everyone arrives and have a dinner together. Accommodation with breakfast in Jomtien.

Day 02: Free to relax, for shopping and sightseeing

You can relax at the pool or on the beach opposite the hotel to get rid of jet-lag in the morning. Alternatively you can go downtown Pattaya and do some shopping in one of larger department stores or markets. In the afternoon motorcycles will be delivered. Accommodation with breakfast in Jomtien.

Day 03: Jomtien Beach - Pak Chong (full day ride 290 km)

Our tour starts today. Your suitcases with items not needed will be deposited at the hotel. We shall top up petrol first, ride over rolling hills for 200 km and finally enjoy 100 km ride through the rainforests of Khao Yai mountain range. Khao Yai mountain range is considered by experts to be among the world's best national parks. Tropical moist evergreen forest covers the central area and the rich diversity of plants is astounding to the newcomer. Tigers, elephants, gibbons, wild boars, and clouded leopards are just a few of the hundreds of species of mammals and birds inhabiting this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Khao Yai is renowned for the height and profusion of its waterfalls, where the swollen tropical rivers surge over unexpected precipices; one of the most enthralling to watch is the 80 m cascade at Haew Narok. Almost 100 km ride gives us unique chance to get acquainted with wildlife of SE Asia. We shall stop at Heo Narok waterfall first. The second waterfall was a scene of a jump in movie "The Beach". There will be a good chance to see monkeys, hornbills, a bear, sambar deer, gaur and wild elephants, less chance to see tigers. There are many good places with panoramic views along the way. Accommodation with breakfast in Pak Chong.

Day 04: Pak Chong - Petchabun (full day ride 240 km)

In the morning we shall ride across the plains of Wichian Buri. This is a dairy farming region with traditional Thai villages . We shall visit ancient Hindu temples from 8th century along the way. Sri Thep Historical Park ruins date back to around 1,000 years ago when the Khmer power prevailing over this region was at its zenith and both Hinduism and Buddhism were equally significant in the region. We shall continue ride for 100 kilometres through a hilly area to our today's destination. Accommodation with breakfast in Petchabun.

Day 05: Petchabun - Sukhothai (full day ride 240 km)

Leaving Petchabun behind we shall start climbing to Khao Kho mountain range (hundreds of bends). The rolling green mountains of Khao Kho, similar to those in Switzerland were during the Vietnam War a stronghold of the CPT. In 1976, after the government's suppression at Thammasat University, hundreds of student activists fled from Bangkok to join the resistance and launched guerrilla warfare against the government. The communists were defeated in 1980 and now sites of interest include the different view points like the Weapons Museum and Khao Kho Memorial. There are still thousands of land mines scattered in these mountains. In Khao Kho area there are some of the best winding mountain roads. Our next stop will be at Khao Kho chedi. The vegetation becomes lush and the temperature cooler as we climb into the hills of Thung Salaeng Luang national park. We shall ride over this mountain high plateau with tea and coffee plantations for 100 kilometres. From there the road winds downhill along the river cascades (lunch) to central plains with emerald green rice paddies. Accommodation with breakfast in Sukhothai.

Day 06: Sukhothai - Chiang Mai (full day ride 300 km)

We shall rent bicycles early in the morning and ride around the ancient temples of World Heritage site - Sukhothai historic park. Founded in the 13th century, Sukhothai (literally means “Dawn of Happiness” ) was the first truly independent Thai Kingdom, which enjoyed a golden age under King Ramkhamhaeng, credited with creating the Thai alphabet. The superb temples and monuments of this great city that had 200 000 inhabitants 700 years ago have been lovingly restored in Sukhothai Historical Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and are a must-see for all travellers. A two kilometre bicycle ride around the site in the morning will be a good overture into a days motorcycle tour. After the temples we shall have a good motorcycle ride, through the forests and over high mountains - including the "1000 bends road" to the medieval Lanna Thai capital Chiang Mai. We shall stop on the top of the highest pass for views. As the sun dips behind the mountains you can visit the vibrant and colourful Night Bazaar (we shall help parcel post any items purchased to your base hotel - postal service is very cheap and reliable in Thailand). Late in the evening you can enjoy an old traditional Thai dance show. Accommodation with breakfast in Chiang Mai.

Day 07: Chiang Mai (day off or afternoon excursion)

In the morning you can relax in the silence of Buddhist temples, just swim in hotel pool or do some more shopping ( magnificent silk and cotton weavings, handicrafts ...) The deep rooted culture of Chiang Mai, the second biggest city in Thailand stems from the fact that the city had long been the capital of the independent northern kingdom of Lanna Thai. Chiang Mai has over 300 Buddhist temples .

The Chiang Mai Night Bazaar is perhaps the best place in the Kingdom to stock up on souvenirs and tourist-friendly clothing and accessories. With the hotel's front door on the main market street, make sure you have your bargaining boots on! If you will be in a mood for a trip, we shall take a short ride in a pick up taxi (12 km) almost to the top of 1300 m high Doi Suthep (panoramic views) to visit Golden Temple in the afternoon. The famous Wat Doi Suthep, is a mountain top monastery 1080 meters above sea-level.

The roadway from Chiang Mai up to the monastery was originally built in 1934 by manual labour, volunteered by the people of the city, at the request of a revered monk. A venerable and venerated temple that is one of the most holy Buddhist sites in Thailand. The awe-inspiring temple is crowned by an elaborate Chedi (Monument), 24 meters (79 feet) tall and gold plated from top to bottom. Chiang Mai has several exquisite international restaurants if you got bored of Thai food by now. Accommodation with breakfast in Chiang Mai.

Day 08: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai (full day ride 280 km)

Our way will wind along Ping river and over several passes to Chiang Dao elephant training camp. It is located on the banks of the river, where the elephants bathe before and after their lessons. The place is surrounded by green hills on a near idyllic location. The elephant shows themselves are refreshingly un-circus like. The emphasis is placed on the skills that elephants have traditionally been taught to aid with the logging of trees. If you take an elephant ride after the show, the route passes through some beautiful forest and along / through the river. After the camp the eighty kilometres ride on the narrow winding road over top of the mountain ridge - foothills of Himalayas, nearly 2000 meters above sea level with a panoramic view over jungles with picturesque hill tribe villages is a thrilling experience. Vistas are great and once you have taken a photo a better opportunity waits for you just around the corner. You can have a good and inexpensive meal while watching the dance show at night bazaar in Chiang Rai. Accommodation with breakfast in Chiang Rai.

Day 09: Day off or a day excursion to Golden Triangle, Burma and Laos (ride 180 km)

Today we travel to the Centre of Golden Triangle where Ruak river flows into Mekong and three borders meet. At the Northernmost point of Thailand you can walk across Thai-Burmese border to town Tha Chi Lek. This is a popular duty-free shopping destination for tourists. The market has local handicrafts ranging from kitsch to genuine Burmese Shan clothing. Pirated CDs and DVDs are also available but note that possession of these may be illegal in your country. Tha Chi Lek has retained the habit of allowing vendors to openly sell endangered animal parts. It has been suggested by some that this trade is fuelled by the many Chinese who frequent the area. Jade of high quality is sold at reasonable prices though. The Golden Triangle is one of Asia's two main illicit opium-producing areas. But we are not going to look for this drug. We shall leave the ordinary world behind. After the lunch we shall take a river tour of Golden Triangle across the Mekong into Laos (no passport needed). And speaking of unique experiences, have you ever ridden in a long-tail boat? These remarkable watercraft are powered by automobile engines and steered with a long shaft. (Hence the name long-tail.) and you are separated from the water only by 5 mm of plywood. They can go like...well, like formula one. Snake brandy ii the Laos village tastes almost better than schnapps... Riding back we shall stop at Chiang Saen - an important port for goods from Chinese Yunnan province only 60 km away. Accommodation with breakfast in Chiang Rai.

Day 10: Chiang Rai - Kamphaeng Phet (full day ride 450 km)

We shall leave the Golden Triangle and ride south over mountains to Kamphaeng Phet (hotel). This is a long ride - 460 kilometres but very pleasant because is area is not very populated, there is hardly any traffic on a four lane highway and the mountains are covered by dense jungle. On the way we shall stop at Buddhist shrine on dramatic Chao Pho Pratu Pha mountain pass where we shall walk through bamboo jungle to prehistoric mural paintings. They are only a short walk away from the main road. The prehistoric paintings featuring hunters and animals are on the lower part of overhanging cliff. The shrine itself was set up in commemoration of a brave soldier, the right hand man of a king of Lampang who was killed in a battle by the Burmese enemies. There is a Buddhist shrine with hundreds of spirit houses nearby. Road-users passing by usually honk their car horns or set off firecrackers as a sign of respect. After a long ride we shall be awarded by a good dinner and for "night owls" a visit to Eagle pub. Accommodation with breakfast in Kamphaeng Phet.

Day 11: Kamphaeng Phet - Kanchanaburi (full day ride 350 km)

Today we have another long but scenic drive. We shall ride through traditional villages and across the farming lands along Western jungle that is SE Asia biggest rainforest stretching far into Burma. Large parts of Central Thailand are flat, and flat wet rice cultivation is the preferred method of growing rice, for obvious reasons. Our tour will involve a 150 km ride through this region. It often gets flooded during rainy season. In the mountains, the hill tribe people, who also grow rice, mostly use a different variety of rice that can actually grow on a hill without being under water. There is some rice terrace cultivation in Thailand, mainly in the area near some Karen villages. And there's some smaller-valley rice growing with somewhat of a terracing to it but not the multi level setups. A dinner on one of the River Kwai rafts-restaurants in Kanchanaburi is an event that is not forgotten easily. Accommodation with breakfast in Kanchanaburi.

Day 12: Kanchanaburi (day off or half day ride along WW2 Death Railway 80 km)

You will have a choice to travel by train on Death Railway in the morning or ride with us after lunch to the River Kwai bridge, War cemetery, Crasae cave and viaducts on the railway. The bridge over River Kwai near Kanchanaburi was built over several months starting October 1942 by slave labour civilians and POWs as part of the Death Railway to supply Japanese troops in Burma from Rangoon. Low to the water, constructed of steel and concrete, the bridge was not blown up but remains today as a usable bridge and tourist attraction. According to survivor Fred Seiker, "The railway was completed on the 17th October 1943 at Konkuita in Thailand, not far from the Three Pagodas Pass (today's border with Burma). On the way back we shall stop at the tiger temple where tigers walk free and get petted by visitors on the way back. In Wat Pa Luangta Bua Yanasampanno tiger conservation area various kinds of wild as well as domestic animals live together freely in the nature. Beside tigers you can see barking deer, deer, hog, gibbon, peafowl, red jungle fowl, water buffalo, wild boar etc. Animals live together in peace and are friendly to the monks and visitors. This is probably the only place in the world where you can stroke a tiger without a worry. Accommodation with breakfast in Kanchanaburi.

Day 13: Kanchanaburi - Jomtien Beach (full day ride 300 km)

Departing Kanchanaburi, we shall ride in direction of Bangkok. On the way we shall stop at a floating market. Day in and day out from about 8 a.m. to about 12 a.m. the floating market is routinely crowded with hundreds of vendors and purchasers floating in their small rowing boats selling and buying or exchanging their goods. What they purchase are particularly food, fruit and vegetable which mostly brought from their own orchards. They usually travel on their small rowing boats. To avoid the Bangkok centre's heavy traffic we shall take a ferry across Phraya river and ride along the shore of Eastern Seaboard. The afternoon brings us back to our base Jomtien Beach. Usually the group has the last farewell dinner this day. Accommodation with breakfast in Jomtien.

Day 14: Jomtien Beach - Bangkok Airport

Your motorcycle touring holiday is ending today. You will receive a DVD with photos and video clips of your escapades during the tour before our taxi picks you up. The time will be arranged depending on your flight departure. The ride from the hotel at Jomtien Beach to the airport takes about one hour. We recommend to book an evening/night flight, giving you an extra day at the end of your holiday.



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