The Wow Factor Of The Unseen Thailand – The 8 Day Tour That Is An Experience Of A Lifetime
The Thailand is a country that is as magnificent as it is magical, and while most of the tourists tend to visit the southern side of the country generally, there is a lot to discover and explore in the northern region of Thailand as well. The north and the north-central part of the country has some of the most exotic, picturesque, and serene views and locations and tourist spots, which would certainly mesmerize you.
Motorbiking across this region would unfold the side of Thailand you haven’t experienced before in other touristy places in the country. Few of the locations to discover here are Mae Sa Elephant Camp, Doi Mae Salong, Tha Ton, Chiang Dao Cave, Doi Tung Royal Villa, Golden Triangle (meeting point of three countries – Myanmar, Laos, and Thailand), and much more. Riding in the mountainous highway No. 1148 that leads to Nan is one of the most fascinating journeys you would ever take in life and to validate the point, the highway is ranked among the top 10 most fun and exciting biking roads in the world.
The journey through Northern Thailand, which starts at Chiang Mai, would take you through some of the most famous cultural places in the country and help you witness the beauty of the country in an exotic way. Here are the few highlights and facts about this unforgettable and exciting 8-day tour through the Northern Thailand.
Chiang Mai – Tha Ton (Day 1)
Distance – 179 Kms.
Time To Complete – 3-4 hours.
Road Conditions – Decent highway.
Difficulty – Easy.
Starting from Chiang Mai, the first stop on the way is at Mae Sa Elephant Camp, where I had an opportunity to feed elephants, bath with them and see them perform their antics in a natural environment. From the elephant camp, I headed towards my next stop at Chiang Dao, where I took a break for lunch at a local restaurant. Once I was done with the meal, I went on to see the famous Chiang Dao Cave, which is a mystical experience. From there, I headed towards my final destination for the day, Tha Ton. The ride to Tha Ton was excellent, given the incredible views and smooth mountainous road. I visited Wat Tha Ton to enjoy the lovely sunset view and retired to my hotel for a relaxing overnight stay.
Tha Ton – Golden Triangle (Day 2)
Distance – 140 Kms.
Time To Complete – Around 2-3 hours.
Road Conditions – Smooth.
Difficulty – Easy.
After having breakfast at my hotel in Tha Ton, I headed towards near the Thailand-Myanmar border at Karen tribe village. From there, I headed towards Doi Mae Salong, which is famous for its extensive tea garden, which called for me to take a tea break. My next destination was Doi Tung Royal Villa, which is one of the highlights of this journey. I went around and took some great photos at the botanical garden and Winter Villa here. After having lunch at Royal’s Project Restaurant, I headed to Mae Sai through the curvy mountainous roads. Along the way, I visited Wat Tham Pla to feed some wild monkeys and headed towards Golden Triangle. I visited Opium Museum near here, before calling it a day and checking into my hotel and taking that much-needed rest.
Golden Triangle – Nan (Day 3)
Distance – 344 Kms.
Time To Complete – Around 5-6 hours.
Road Conditions – Fantastic. Highway 1148 is among the top 10 most fun biking roads in the world.
Difficulty – Easy.
After an early breakfast, I headed to Chiang Rai city and on the way visited one of the top 10 wonder temples in the world, White Temple. I halted on the way at a local restaurant to have lunch and then went without delay towards Highway No.1148, which is one of the best highways in the world to have fun riding. The roads are curvy and mountainous, giving a thrilling experience to the riders. After a long journey, I visited Wat Phra That Khao Noi, before retiring for the day at my hotel, where I took a dip in the pool too. It was very relaxing, and probably much needed as well. The Nan’s nightlife is buzzing with energy, but I kept it for the next day.
Leisure Day In Nan (Day 4)
Today, I just enjoyed this beautiful city of Thailand, which is not on every tourist’s list but should be for it offers an amazing shopping experience. It also provides one of the best culinary experiences for the people who love Thai food. Many people ride to the Bo Klua Loop which is 193 Kms away to check out Bo Klua Salt Wells, but I preferred to stay back in Nan, party for a bit, and relax for the day
Nan – Sukhothai (Day 5)
Distance – 345 Kms.
Time To Complete – 7-8 hours.
Road Conditions – Typical mountainous roads in the first half. Smooth highway lanes in the second half of the journey after Sirikit Dam.
Difficulty – Easy for a seasoned rider.
After breakfast in Nan, I headed towards scenic Sirikit Dam, which is also the largest earth dam in Thailand. I had lunch at a local restaurant near Sirikit Dam and headed towards Sukhothai. The road to Sukhothai is beautiful, surrounded by rice fields all around. After reaching Sukhothai, I headed towards Sukhothai Historical Park, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Exploring the historic ruins at the site and witnessing the sunset from the peak from here is breathtaking. From there, I went to my hotel to relax after a long day.
Sukhothai – Khao Kho (Day 6)
Distance – 191 Kms.
Time To Complete – 4 Hours.
Road Conditions – Smooth, with some incredible views.
Difficulty – Easy.
Khao Kho is famously known as “Thailand’s Little Switzerland,” and there is where I headed to immediately after having breakfast. Before reaching Khao Kho, I visited Celadon temple, which is famous among the tourist as well as locals for its historical legacy. As Khao Kho is around 1,000 meters above sea level, it offers some of the most panoramic views in Thailand and has a pleasant weather all through the year.
Khao Kho – Phrae (Day 7)
Distance – 221 Kms
Time To Complete – 4-5 hours.
Road Conditions – Decent highway road.
Difficulty – Easy.
Before leaving Khao Kho, I headed towards the historic Khao Kho Memorial Sacrifice Monument and Weapons Museum. This mountain area of Khao Kho has been the battlefield for the Thai Royal Army and Thai Communist Party and gives you the glimpse of the region’s historic past. After leaving Khao Kho, the drive is uphill towards Phu Ta Boek National Park, which is also popularly referred as “Shangri-La of Thailand.” After having lunch at the park, I continued riding along the curvy roads to reach Phrae, where I went straight to the hotel and retired for the day.
Phrae – Chiang Mai (Day 8)
Distance – 237 Kms.
Time To Complete- 5 Hours.
Road Conditions – Well built national highways.
Difficulty – Easy
After having an early breakfast in my hotel in Phrae, I cruised along the highway towards Den Chai to visit the locally famous giant reclining Buddha. For lunch, we headed through the steep road to Lampang. Here, I visited Thai Elephant Conservation Center and also the first ever elephant hospital. From there, I headed straight to Chiang Mai, passing through farming areas and adventurous National Park area. On the way, I took a couple of breaks for tea and refreshment, before finally reaching Chiang Mai.
I have gone on many biking tours before, and while each had their characteristics and memorable moments without a doubt, this trip through the Northern Thailand is one that stands out. The ride itself is fantastic with some of the best roads to cruise in and mountainous roads that are challenging and present picturesque views, but it is the different side of Thailand that I discovered in this journey that makes the trip completely worth it.
I had a lovely interaction with locals on the journey, took some of the most breathtaking photos ever, experienced Thai food like never before, and got an opportunity to experience Thai culture in a very comprehensive manner through this journey. It is a trip every biker must choose to go on at least once in their lifetime, but I probably would go at every chance I can.