The Golden Triangle: Detailed Itinerary

Day 1, Arrive Bangkok

Welcome to the Siamese "City of Angels." Depending on your time of arrival and condition, the balance of the day is yours to relax or we can show you around some of the atypical sights we will not see the next day, such as a relaxing river cruise or simply unwinding at one of Bangkok's interesting cafes.

Orientation dinner overlooking the Chao Praya River. Accommodation at Bangkok's finest hotel, and one of the top in Asia, the Peninsula Bangkok.

Day 2, Bangkok City Tour

Welcome to the Siamese "City of Angels." Depending on your time of arrival and condition, the balance of the day is yours to relax or we can show you around some of the atypical sights we will not see the next day, such as a relaxing river cruise or simply unwinding at one of Bangkok's interesting cafes.

Day 3, Chiang Rai (18-30 miles)

After arrival, begin cycling through the city of Chiang Rai, then heading by private longtail boat and upriver to a local hilltribe village. This Karen settlement is surrounded by limestone mountains and is an ideal venue for an elephant ride. After a meal of hilltribe cuisine, continued riding in the back roads leading out of the village, up and over some medium-grade mountains on dirt road and quiet single-track, passing by Ahka and Lisu villages in the area. The final push will see us enjoy a nicely-paved sundown ride back to Chiang Rai city, stopping along the way for spectacular photos. A day biking deserves a northern Thai feast; tonight we’ll sample local specialties at one of the city’s hippest restaurants. After, the night is yours: spend the evening bargaining at the night bazaar, sipping Thai whiskey, or top it all off with a traditional Thai massage to soothe those aching legs.

Day 4, Chiang Rai to Wawi (36-62 miles

After yesterday’s ride we’ll be all warmed up and ready to hit the road at full strength. Today heads behind the Doi Chang mountain range – famous for northern Thai Arabica-style coffee – making our way to Walong. This far-flung outpost is inhabited mainly by Yunnan Chinese and is not even on most major country maps. The road here has only recently been paved and there’s still the odd stretch of rough dirt track. You’ll be a spectacle to the local hilltribe people as very few outsiders make it to this part of the country. Dig in for a challenging day in the saddle as you cruise flats and creep up challenging climbs that will leave you breathless and a wide-eyed from the incredible scenery and smiles around every corner.

Day 5, Wawi – Mae Salak – Tha Ton – Mae Salak (18-42 miles)

After breakfast, mount our steeds for a scenic 2-hour, hilly ride to the perfect country get away – the Huai Khum Resort. Run by Lahu hilltribe people, this tasteful and comfortable resort is designed in traditional Lahu style. Your bungalow is made entirely out of bamboo, overlooks the beautiful Mae Kok River, and is surrounded by orange orchards. Leisure time at the resort, or optional afternoon ride in the surrounding hills. Heading west we’ll make our way along the Mae Kok River to Tha Ton, a traditional stop along ancient Chinese and Burmese hilltribe caravan routes dating back over 1,000 years. From here it’s either a one hour spin back or boat down river back to Huai Khum Resort’s own pier.

Day 6, Wawi to Doi Mae Salong (25 miles)

Today’s ride is stunning and challenging. Most of today will be spent climbing three mountain ranges as you make your way out of Mae Salak to the Yunanese outpost of Doi Mae Salong. These well-paved, super windy and steep roads are sure to leave even the strongest climbers winded. As you may have guessed there are several incredible descents too! Local Ahka hilltribe people are sure to be curious as you whiz by on your two-wheeled device. Jaw-dropping views abound the entire day.

Day 7, Mae Salong Trek

A day of trekking through terraced tea and rice plantations, hilltribe villages and the picturesque rolling mountains around the Doi Mae Salong. This region was settled first by indigenous hilltribe groups such as the Ahka and Lahu peoples, and more recently by Chinese anti-communist settlers who fled the Social Revolution in China in 1949. Today is a photographer’s dream as great shots and traditional cultures abound. Designed to be a free day, we can also sample local teas, visit a mountain-top temple and local school in this enchanting town. The evening is yours to explore other nooks and crannies.

Day 8, Mae Salong to Mae Fah Luang

This is one of the best combo days of biking. After a hearty Thai breakfast, we'll head off-road to the far-flung outpost of Thoed Thai using hilltribe footpaths and rough dirt roads. This small town was once home to the notorious opium drug lord Khun Sa and is a stone’s throw from the Myanmar-Thai border. From here well ride steep paved roads through the mountains of ‘Mae Fah Luang’ district, enjoying fast descents and thrilling curves. Along the way you’ll see hilltribe people farming, tilling steep mountain fields and then descend into a lush valley to your ultra-comfortable accommodations at the Phu Chai Sai Resort. This charming resort is designed in northern Thai style with all the amenities four-star hotels are famous for. Enjoy a late-afternoon dip in the pool and incredible meal with the mountains creating a perfect backdrop.

Day 9, Mae Fah Luang – Doi Tung – Mae Sai (36-54 miles)

This is it, the most epic day of the trip, a challenge for even Lance Armstrong. Some moderate ascents are common for the first two hours and then it’s straight up a mountain to Doi Tung Royal Gardens. This Royal Project is home to the country’s premier reforestation and drug rehabilitation initiatives. After a scrumptious lunch we’ll dig in for a steady but moderate one hour climb to the top of Doi Chang Mub. From here, hang on to your handlebars for a dizzying 12-mile descent along a road that literally forms the Thai-Myanmar border to Mae Sai, the Kingdom’s northernmost town. After perusing the border markets we’ll enjoy a final 2-hour, flat country ride to the world-famous Golden Triangle. Here you’ll be treated like royalty at the world-renowned 5-star Anantara Spa & Resort.

Day 10, Mae SaI to Chiang Khong (48 miles)

After breakfast, visit to the fascinating ‘Hall of Opium’ to learn more about the area’s rich historical importance and the role this illicit drug has played. Next we’ll have lunch along the river to fuel up for one of the most epic rides in Thailand. Today’s ride is simply stunning, passing through lush farmland, over small mountain passes, and weaving along the banks of the spectacular Mekong River to Chiang Khong. With the sun at our backs and a cool breeze coming off the Mekong, the final 20km into Chiang Khong, an ancient trading post at the heart of Indochina, will impart memories for years to come. Tonight we’ll stay in a riverside teak hotel and enjoy the best Mexican food in Thailand.

Day 11, Chiang Khong to Chiang Rai (72 miles)

Your final ride in Thailand is an epic and mostly flat one. We’ll dig in for a long day meandering quiet country roads back to Chiang Rai city. Lush rice fields line the horizon almost the entire way and farmers are sure to shout encouragements helping to spur you on. Upon arrival at Chiang Rai we’ll check into The Legend where you’ll enjoy another evening of 4-star, riverside luxury.

Day 12, Chiang Rai to Bangkok

Enjoy the morning to go for a walk, gaze at the river, a soothing Thai massage, or sleep in before catching a late-morning flight back to bustling Bangkok. Spend the afternoon picking up last minute souvenirs and prepare for tonight’s main event – a fabulous night on the town. Starting at one of the city’s most charming restaurants enjoy a delicious Thai feast, then head to one of the most exclusive lounges anywhere, perched upon the roof of a building 61 floors up, then it’s off to legendary Pat Pong where you can pick up ‘Goochi’ watches, ‘Polio’ shirts and take in the lights and excitement of this world famous street.

Depart Bangkok

Images © Barry Marchessault & Daniel Fraser

After breakfast we’ll transfer you to the airport and bid farewell
Pop Gan Mai Na Krap (until next time)!

Cycling Ability

Intermediate to advanced (custom tours with less riding can be planned for four or more). We would be glad to put you in contact with past travelers, of all abilities, if you would like more feedback.


Your tour fees cover almost everything, except dinners free when it's appropriate, required visas, and recommended trip cancellation insurance. BIke rentals are not available for Myanmar although full mechanical support, including bicycle assembly and disassembly will be provided.


Discount pricing through our airline consolidators. Please call for specific pricing. Also click here for Vietnam Airline Travel Information. If you want to use your miles, Cathay is a member of One World Alliance which includes American Airlines.


DIMPORTANT: We constantly modify the itinerary by necessity. Delayed flights, adverse weather, an overall diminished sense of urgency, and other conditions that may prove beyond our control all play havoc with our careful preparations. We respectfully ask you carefully consider in advance if traveling under such conditions would be too adverse for your enjoyment of such a tour. Please read our Terms and Conditions for other important information


Daniel Fraser first came to Thailand in 1995 to work on teaching and consulting projects under the Thai Royal Family. These good connections left him with an urge to settle on a more formal basis. In addition to leading people on life-altering adventures throughout the Kingdom, Dan dabbles in a myriad of other areas. A well-recognized figure in Thailand, Dan has appeared in many print, billboard and television commercials across Asia, recently starring in Thailand’s first digital feature film ‘The Garuda.’ Dan has also been a peaker at eco-tourism conferences, international student-exchange forums and multi-cultural corporate workshops. His proudest accomplishment to date however remains out-eating our travelers - watch your plate!