Chiang Mai to Bangkok

Backroad cycling adventure holiday in the heart of Thailand




From $2,645 Land only

Book this holiday

Holiday Overview


  • Explore Chiang Mai and Sukhothai, Thailand’s former capital city
  • Cycle to the Bridge on the River Kwai at Kanchanaburi
  • Real Thai cuisine and sacred temples
  • Experience Bangkok river cruising and floating markets

This classic backroads cycling adventure takes us through the rural heartland of Thailand, passing through tranquil countryside, quaint villages and by way of timeless temples. After a day exploring amongst the temples of Chiang Mai, we head south on our bikes, generally following the course of the Chao Phraya, the ‘River of Kings'. On our way, we discover much of Thailand's historical and cultural legacy, as we cycle through an ever-changing landscape, from the lush jungle of the mountainous north to the emerald-green rice paddies of Thailand's fertile heartland. Getting off the beaten track, with some easy dirt-road sections, we meet local villagers and also encounter highlights such as the sacred stupa of Wat Phra, the ancient capital of Sukhothai and the infamous Bridge on the River Kwai. Arriving in bustling Bangkok, we enjoy a final ride in the city's green heart and take a river cruise on a converted rice barge - a fitting finale to an unforgettable holiday.

explore international

Explore International. This is one of our Explore International holidays. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

Is this holiday for you?

ADVENTURE CYCLING. The majority of the riding during this holiday is on quiet tarmac roads, with short sections on hard packed dirt trails. No off-road experience is required. Averaging around 50 kilometres per day over 11 days of cycling, this holiday takes us between Chiang Mai and Bangkok with a few short transfers in our support vehicle making this an achievable journey within 2 weeks. With the exception of Day 4 when we venture into the Maerang Hills, we will not encounter any climbs of significance and we can expect relatively gentle riding each day with the emphasis on the history, scenery and fantastic local people we will meet along the way. Regular weekend leisure cyclists and those with good general overall fitness should cope well with the demands of this holiday. This trip is fully supported and there will be a constant supply of cold drinks and fresh fruit available. We must stress that apart from the spares and tools you would take on any day ride you will not be required to carry any luggage. Excellent bike hire available locally.


Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Chiang Mai. A single transfer from Chiang Mai Airport is provided.
  • Cycle tour of Chiang Mai historic streets. Evening free to explore the lively street markets.
  • Ride south along the Ping River to the Lanna Temple. Afternoon transfer to Lampang.
  • Cycle to Phrae stopping at the ‘Bamboo Town’ of Ban Nasan. Drive onwards to Uttaradit.
  • Cycle rural palm lined roads to Thailand’s first capital, Sukhothai.
  • A day of Siamese discovery to explore the 193 UNESCO listed ruins of Sri Satchanali Historical Park
  • A superb day in saddle, cycling rolling country roads to the fortress city of Khampeng Phet.
  • Ride to Sakaekrange River for traditional rice barge cruise. Return to Uthai Thani.
  • Cycle to Thepo Island and onto Cahi Nat. Visit the Reclining Buddha before arriving in Ayutthaya.
  • Ride to the summer palace of King Rama V. Transfer to Bridge over the River Kwai.
  • Follow the River Kwai through jungle and farmland to the town of Kanchanaburi.
  • Morning at the floating markets. Afternoon ride along fruit lined roads.
  • Transfer to Bangkok and to ride in Bang Kra Jao. Evening dinner aboard traditional rice barge.
  • Departure day. A single transfer to Bangkok Airport is provided.
Sun 13 Dec - Sat 26 Dec Code CMMB/06/15/ Adult$2,645 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sun 03 Jan - Sat 16 Jan Code CMMB/01/16/ Adult$2,645 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sun 06 Mar - Sat 19 Mar Code CMMB/02/16/ Adult$2,645 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sun 05 Jun - Sat 18 Jun Code CMMB/03/16/ Adult$2,645 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sun 10 Jul - Sat 23 Jul Code CMMB/04/16/ Adult$2,645 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sun 30 Oct - Sat 12 Nov Code CMMB/05/16/ Adult$2,645 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
Sun 11 Dec - Sat 24 Dec Code CMMB/06/16/ Adult$2,645 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Chiang Mai and departing from Bangkok. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Chiang Mai International Airport is the appropriate point of arrival. Please refer to the 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' section of the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.

BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • trip direction
  • bike
  • transfer

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Chiang Mai. A single transfer from Chiang Mai Airport is provided.

    We meet at the group hotel in Chiang Mai. Transfers are provided from Chiang Mai International Airport which is approximately 20 minutes drive from the hotel. The rest of the day is free to rest and relax after a long journey. Chiang Mai has a cosmopolitan feel and a blend of the modern and the historic makes it a very attractive place to spend a few days. With over 300 temples, excellent shopping and high quality food the old town is a delightful place to wander around, with the mountain of Doi Suthep providing a dramatic backdrop. Overnight in Chiang Mai.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Cycle tour of Chiang Mai historic streets. Evening free to explore the lively street markets.

    We have a full day to explore this intriguing city. Once the capital of the kingdom of Lan Na, Chiang Mai was a major player in the development of Buddhism in Thailand during a ‘golden age’ that lasted from the 15th to the 16th century. Its location has allowed it to dominate the mountainous region of Southeast Asia between Yunnan and Northern Thailand. Known as gateway to Thailand’s Golden Triangle, Chiang Mai is bounded by old walls, gates and moats and has in excess of 300 Buddhist temples. Our sightseeing tour will take us along charming lanes and by way of local markets situated within the city walls. Close to Sompet Market is Wat Chiang Man, one of the oldest temples in the ancient city. Continuing our tour, we drive up to Doi Suthep to see the most sacred temple in Northern Thailand, Wat Phra Thad Doi Suthep which dates from the year 1384. From here, at 1100 metres above sea level, we have panoramic views of the city. Inside the cloister of the temple we can see one of the most sacred stupas in all of Thailand. Moving on, we’ll visit the 7-spired Wat Jed Yord and Wat Suan Dok, where the ashes of Chiang Mai’s royal family are interred. We spend a second night at our Chiang Mai hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bl

  • Ride south along the Ping River to the Lanna Temple. Afternoon transfer to Lampang.

    Our cycling journey begins, as we leave the city walls and follow a scenic route south alongside the Mae Ping River. Flowing through the city, this river provides the surrounding countryside with much needed water for irrigation of rice paddies, gardens and crops. The river is know to the locals as the Lifeline of the Province. Eventually (550 km from Chiang Mai) the Mae Ping empties into Thailand's largest river, the Chao Phraya. The Thai people are often dependant on rivers and their traditional way of life, from the houses on stilts to the family boats and fishing nets, focus on the river. Cycling on quiet roads alongside the river, we’ll pass village after village where lives are based on the seasons and age old traditions. At the ancient town of Lamphun, established in the 9th century, we will make a stop for lunch and visit Chiang Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, another of Thailand’s most sacred places, which dates back to the 11th century. A short transfer in the afternoon takes us to Lampang, where we check in at our hotel and, later, go out to a delightful riverside restaurant for dinner. Overnight in Lampang. Ride distance: 50 km (31 miles) with around 200 metres of ascent and descent.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 50

  • Cycle to Phrae stopping at the ‘Bamboo Town’ of Ban Nasan. Drive onwards to Uttaradit.

    A transfer of around an hour and a half will take us up into the hills of Maerang, where our day’s ride begins, on quiet country roads, passing quaint bridges and local villages. There is the chance to get off our bikes and wander through the many colourful markets on today’s ride. Nor will we be able to resist stopping at some of the many, striking temples on our route. The town of Ban Nasan, noted for its bamboo products, is also worth a look around. We then have a few hills to climb, before we reach the Maharat Rock Garden and then its all downhill into the historic town of Phrae. A second transfer of around an hour and a half then takes us to our overnight accommodation in Uttaradit.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 50

  • Cycle rural palm lined roads to Thailand’s first capital, Sukhothai.

    This is one of the longest cycling days of the holiday, as we head way off the beaten track on some secluded and beautiful roads under a canopy of palm trees that provide welcome protection from the strong Thai sun. We pass lush green paddy fields and many villages en route to the Sri Satchanali Historical Park. Here, there are temples and monuments dating back to several of Thailand’s ancient empires. We transfer to our hotel in the city of Sukothai, which was a former capital of Thailand at a time (during the 13th century) when the kingdom of Siam extended its influence as far west as Burma, eastwards into Cambodia and southwards into Malaysia. Tonight we can have dinner at the excellent Dream Cafe surrounded by artifacts and antiques.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 80

  • A day of Siamese discovery to explore the 193 UNESCO listed ruins of Sri Satchanali Historical Park

    Today, we have the opportunity to explore Sukothai by bike. The name Sukhothai means ‘dawn of happiness’ and the city is located amongst rolling hills and alongside the Chao Phraya (River of Kings). The ruins of the original city have been given UNESCO World Heritage status and extend to 50 square kilometres, with a veritable feast of monuments and temples that tell the tale of Thai history. Sukhothai was founded by King Ramkhamhaeng in the 13th century and a dynasty of 9 kings lasting for 200 years. One of the best ways to explore amongst the almost 200 ruins and countless stunning statues of Buddha is by bike – don’t forget your camera. For those who want to have a day off the bike, there is the option to explore Sukhothai on foot.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 25

  • A superb day in saddle, cycling rolling country roads to the fortress city of Khampeng Phet.

    Our longest day of cycling as we head to the ‘Diamond Wall City’, otherwise known as Khampeng Phet and formerly Nakhon Chum. A few stupas along the roadside are a sign that we are leaving the hilly north of Thailand and entering the Thai lowlands. Today’s ride is mainly flat and on quiet roads through agricultural countryside. Situated on the Mae Ping River, Khampeng Phet was a part of a 14th century defensive line that protected Sukhothai from Burmese invasions. The ruins here are covered in moss and flowers and have not been restored in the same way as those at Sukhothai. In fact, we may be lucky and enjoy cycling amongst incredible chedis, buddhas and elephants in total tranquility! We arrive at Khampeng Phet with plenty of time to visit the sites by foot or by bicycle. The town is renowned for producing the tastiest ‘kluay khai’ (egg banana) and the bustling night market is a mellow place to wander and experience a provincial capital that receives few tourists and is typically Thai.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Meals bld

    • Time 90

  • Ride to Sakaekrange River for traditional rice barge cruise. Return to Uthai Thani.

    A 2 hour morning transfer sets us up for a leisurely ride along scenic roads to Uthai Thani. On the way, we will look out for water buffaloes wallowing in roadside pools and for ducks dabbling in the rice fields. The sheer extent of the rice paddies on today’s route makes it clear to us why Thailand is a major exporter of rice. This region does not see many western visitors and we have an excellent opportunity to witness the traditional lifestyle of the rural communities. We arrive in Uthai Thani in time for lunch and board a rice barge for a cruise along the Sakaekrang River. The river provides an important transportation network and its banks are lined with small houses, many of whose occupants are involved in fish and shrimp farming.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

    • Time 50

  • Cycle to Thepo Island and onto Cahi Nat. Visit the Reclining Buddha before arriving in Ayutthaya.

    After breakfast, we saddle up for a ride on the richly forested Thepho Island, at the junction of the Sakaekrang and Chao Phraya rivers. We cross the river several times today by ferry, passing through orchards and rice fields and arriving in Chai Nat in time for lunch. This town whose name means ‘place of victory’ was the scene of several conflicts with the Burmese. After lunch, we transfer for an hour and a half to Ayutthaya, with a stop off to visit a peaceful temple on the banks of the Chao Phraya, where there is a large reclining Buddha from the Sukhothai period. Those who have energy to spare will have the option of a short ride around Ayutthaya’s historic temples, before settling down for a relaxing evening at our hotel.

    • Accommodation Lodge

    • Meals bld

    • Time 60

  • Ride to the summer palace of King Rama V. Transfer to Bridge over the River Kwai.

    Riding south, we visit nearby Bang Pa and the summer palace of King Rama V who regularly spent his summers here. Set within a large park that features ponds and waterways, there is a great variety of architectural style represented here, from the ancient Chinese to 19th century European ornamentation. After our tour by bike, we will have lunch and then drive for 3 to 4 hours to the province of Kanchanaburi. En route, we will make a stop at the famous Bridge on the River Kwai, constructed by the Japanese during the Second World War, using prisoners of war as labourers. The extreme conditions encountered led to the death of thousands of these POW’s. The bridge as it now stands has had 2 of its central spans rebuilt. We overnight at a jungle resort on the banks of River Kwai and on the edge of the Sai Yok National Park.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 30

  • Follow the River Kwai through jungle and farmland to the town of Kanchanaburi.

    Today, we cycle along the River Kwai, through jungle and farmed land, on a mix of jeep trails, tarmac and quiet back roads to the town of Kanchanaburi. On either side of the river are the national parks of Sai Yok and Si Nakharin and sightings of elephants and other wildlife are not uncommon. We stop at a roadside restaurant for lunch, a chance to appreciate our tropical location. Overnight in Kanchanaburi and for the second night running, our hotel overlooks the river Kwai.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 50

  • Morning at the floating markets. Afternoon ride along fruit lined roads.

    In the morning we transfer for 2 hours to Damnoen Saduak, where we visit the famous floating market. The Damnoen Saduak canal was ordered to be built in 1866 by King Rama IV of the Chakri Dynasty to facilitate waterborne travels between Ratchaburi and Samutsakhon. Nowadays, apart from providing transportation, the canal also provides water for the growing of all kinds of fruits and vegetables. After our market visit, we set off on our bikes, following canal paths and small backroads, another great opportunity to see how the local farmers have utilised the land for agriculture. We will also see many temples and fruit orchards varying from lychee to pomelo and guava to coconuts ripe for picking. We finish our ride at the canal-side community of Amphawa, where we check in at our hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

    • Time 30

  • Transfer to Bangkok and to ride in Bang Kra Jao. Evening dinner aboard traditional rice barge.

    After breakfast, we transfer for around an hour and a half to the big city of Bangkok. Here, we will enjoy a final ride in the `Green Lungs`, Ban Kra Jao of Bangkok. Just across the Chao Phraya River, a short hop from busy Sukhumvit, is an extraordinary place known to the locals as Bang Kra Jao. This amazing wilderness in Bangkok can only be reached by boat as no bridges span this part of the river, and incredibly it has been left untouched by developers. Crossing the river is like taking a journey back in time. You will find a peaceful place with lush vegetation, a maze of waterways, small villages, temples and real tropical jungle. If it wasn't for Bangkok's skyline, you would never believe you were so close to the city. And, there is no traffic. A fitting farewell dinner will be taken on the mighty Chao Phraya, as we cruise along on a converted rice barge. This is a chance to reflect on our classic journey by bike - from Chiang Mai to Bangkok.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bd

    • Time 20

  • Departure day. A single transfer to Bangkok Airport is provided.

    KE Land Only package services end after breakfast. A single airport transfer is provided.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced local English-speaking mountain bike guide
  • Single timed airport transfers
  • All land transport involved in the itinerary
  • One or more support vehicles and drivers
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Airport transfers other than those described
  • Tips for the local crew and drivers
  • Some meals aas per the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc.
  • Bike Carriage on the flights - please check with your carrier for charges

During this trip the group will spend 13 nights in various hotels and resorts of a very good standard. All accommodation is allocated on a twin-sharing basis. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

All meals are included in the trip cost, with the exception of dinner on Day 2 and lunch on Day 13.

The mixture of sweet, sour, hot and salty flavours is what makes Thai cuisine so distinctive. The spicy Thai national soup 'tom yam' and the Thai green curry (popular in Thai restaurants in Europe) are great examples of this. Most of the food we eat during this holiday will be a variation of noodles, rice, curries, soups and salads. Part of the attraction of any visit to Thailand is a chance to sample the excellent food.

Arriving in Chiang Mai International Airport in the afternoon on Day 1 of the Land Only itinerary, a single group transfer is provided to the group hotel. On the final day of the itinerary, a single early morning group transfer is provided from the hotel in Bangkok to Bangkok International Airport. Clients whose flights do not work with the group airport transfers must make their own transfer arrangements. Taxis are always available.

The trip will be led by an experienced local English-speaking cycling guide and there will also be one or more support vehicles and drivers.

Approximately $250 should be sufficient to cover your incidental expenditure including non-included meals, tips to local staff, drinks and souvenirs. If you expect to buy considerable quantities of soft drinks, wine or beer, or if you intend to buy expensive souvenirs, you should make an additional allowance for this. The Thai currency is the baht. ATMs are abundant and provide the easiest way to get your Thai baht. Have a supply of US dollars in cash on hand, just in case your card doesn’t work. Credit cards are accepted in big cities and resort hotels but you’ll need baht for family-run guesthouses and small local restaurants.

Tipping is commonly practiced in Thailand. We do recommend you tip your local guide, crew and driver depending on how you feel they have done. We suggest you co-ordinate this tip as a group with each member contributing around $50 (in Thai baht) to a group pool which will be administered by the tour leader.

Taking a bike on an aircraft is usually straightforward. Different airlines have differing policies with regard to baggage allowances and transporting bikes. We strongly advise that you check the current policy of your chosen airline for carrying bikes and their baggage allowances before purchasing your air ticket. The baggage section on your chosen airline’s website will usually contain this information. We suggest that you are aware of the weight and dimensions of your intended check-in baggage in advance of your arrival at the airport as airlines may charge for both excess and oversize baggage, or refuse to carry oversized baggage. If you are using a domestic flight to connect with your International flight then it is likely that a different baggage policy will exist for the domestic and international flight sections. Again you should check the baggage policy with your chosen domestic airline prior to booking your domestic flight tickets. Any additional charges incurred for transporting your bike on any of the flights required for this adventure (international, domestic and internal flights within the trip itinerary - if applicable) are the responsibility of each individual client.

This is a SEMI-SLICK adventure. You can use a mid-level mountain bike, such as a Specialized Rockhopper Pro or a Trek 6500 Disc, equipped with suspension forks and semi-slick tyres. Please call us if you are unsure about the suitability of your current bike. We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that your bike is in perfect working condition before you start this trip. You are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your trip, across demanding terrain. It is VITAL to ensure it is THOROUGHLY SERVICED to guarantee it is in good mechanical order before departure. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bike mechanic to service it for you. For home mechanics, points to note particularly are:

a) Check rims and if they are worn / cracked / dented replace with a new rim / wheel to avoid wheel failure. It is especially important to check that the rims on rim-braked bikes are not worn concave by the brake blocks – replace them if they are.

b) Check wheels are true and spoke tension is tight.

c) Check and, if required, adjust / grease ALL bearings and quick release skewers.

d) Check and, if required, replace brake and gear cables.

e) Check disc / brake pads, mounts and cables / hydraulic lines - replace if necessary.

f) Check - lube / threadlock and tighten - all bolts (esp. suspension pivots, bottom brackets, disc rotor bolts and disc mount bolts).

g) Check chain, cassette and chain rings for wear – replace as necessary.

h) Make sure you have the right tyres, inner tubes and BIKE SPECIFIC SPARES for your bike.

Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. fixing a puncture, changing an inner tube. Naturally our bike guides will always be happy to assist with any repairs, but due to the often remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and the inconvenience of waiting for assistance.

Travelling with a bike is usually as straightforward as travelling with any other type of baggage -providing you have packed it adequately. We have many years experience of travelling with our bikes, and nowadays we think that the best way to travel and fly with a bike is to partially dismantle it and put it into a purpose made soft bike bag. Although more expensive than a cardboard bike box, they are smaller in size to transport and are considerably easier to handle. To pack your bike you simply remove both wheels and pedals and prepare it for travel as follows. Obviously, extra care when packing your bike can minimise the chances of accidental damage occurring in transit. Ask your local bike store for plastic wheel hub protectors (which will prevent damage to your bike bag) and plastic fork and frame spacers, insert the spacers into the dropouts, tape them in place and then put extra padding over this area. Use pipe insulation lagging (from your local DIY store) to cover frame tubes, forks and seat post. If required, remove your bars from the stem and attach them carefully to your frame/forks using plastic ties or pvc tape -ensure that your Ergo/Sti levers are well padded to minimise the chance of damage. You may also wish to remove your rear gear mech, pad it with foam and tape it to the chainstay out of harms way. Finally, you should partly deflate your tyres, but leave some air in them to help absorb any impact on the wheels. Don’t forget to pack wheel skewers, pedals and any bolts you have removed, these are the items that tend to get left behind. Finally, find an old cardboard bike box and cut out panels to fit inside your soft bike bag for extra protection. Don’t forget to bring sufficient packing materials to pack your bike on the way home.

PLEASE DO NOT USE a purpose-made rigid bike box -these are heavy (which can put you over your baggage allowance) and are also too bulky to be easily stored or transported on the group’s support vehicle.

Throughout this trip we have the back up of one or more support vehicles. Each morning our main baggage will be loaded onto the support vehicle which will follow the group on the day's ride. The local biking leader and the support vehicle driver will watch over the group and will carry mobile phones, allowing you to contact them in the case of a breakdown or other incident. We want everyone to enjoy their cycling experience on this trip and we recognise the importance of group members being allowed to cycle at their own pace. At times there can be a fair distance between the front and rear cyclists in the group, with the support vehicle and cycling leader out of sight. The support vehicle will pick up any group members who wish to take a break from cycling at any time.

It is possible to hire bikes for this holiday. Our local agent has access to Trek 4300 bikes in a range of sizes. They are good quality and well maintained bikes with Shimano components and suspension forks. Spare parts (tubes, tyre, chains etc.) are included in the price of the bike rental and will be available in the support vehicle along with a tool kit and track pump. The guide will also carry some spares and tools for fixing punctures etc. The bikes are equipped with flat pedals. If you prefer to use spd or clip-in pedals, you will need to bring these with you, along with your regular cycling shoes and cleats. Another item which you might choose to take with you on the holiday is your saddle. The hire bikes have standard saddles and anyone requiring more comfort, or a women-specific saddle, should consider taking their own. Helmets are also provided with the hire bikes, but you can choose to take your own. The cost of bike hire for the duration of the holiday is $180 (September 2014, subject to change). You will make this payment directly to the local agent via the following payment link Payment must be made before travel. This payment does not cover you if you lose the bike or damage it beyond 'fair wear and tear'. You will need to provide a photocopy of your passport information pages and your credit card details, as security against loss of or damage to the bike when you receive the bike. If you want to hire a bike, please contact the KE office and we can reserve one on your behalf. We must stress that your hire contract will be with the local hire company and that KE cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from bike hire.

Please do not hesitate to call us for further advice about what to bring or any other aspect of this trip. We are more than happy to offer you the benefit of our experience. Further helpful information can also be found in the Your Bike, Baggage Allowances, Climate and Travelling with Your Bike sections of the detailed trip dossier.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

The following is a basic checklist to help you with your packing. We recommend using the layering principle of clothing for varying climatic conditions. Good padded cycling shorts are essential.

Your bike MUST be at least a mid level Mountain Bike such as a Specialized Rockhopper or Trek 6500. Front suspension is highly recommended. It is vital that your bike is THOROUGHLY SERVICED and in perfect working condition before the trip.



  • Stiff-soled cycling shoes or SPD’s


  • Base-layer - short sleeve cycling top (x 2)
  • Long sleeved cycling top (x 1)
  • Lightweight waterproof jacket
  • Lightweight windproof gillet
  • T-shirts
  • Long-sleeve, lightweight casual shirt
  • Fleece jacket or jumper.


  • Regular biking gloves


  • Padded cycling shorts x 2, inc 1 pair of baggies
  • Cycling tights or tricksters
  • Lightweight travel trousers
  • Casual shorts


  • Eyewear - Biking glasses
  • Cycling helmet - mandatory

Daypack and contents

  • A cycling daypack (e.g. Camelbak) of at least 15 litres total capacity is recommended
  • Mobile/Cell phone (optional)
  • Water bladder - min. 2 litres
  • Lightweight waterproof top
  • Multi-tool
  • Puncture repair kit & Tyre Levers
  • Inner tube
  • Mini-pump
  • Camera
  • Sun cream
  • Basic First Aid Kit. Including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

Trek Bag Contents

  • Travel and apres biking clothes
  • Training/Leisure shoes for apres biking
  • Wash bag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial hand wash
  • Insect repellent (75 - 100% DEET)
  • Swimwear
  • Headtorch/headlamp and spare batteries
  • Chamois Cream (e.g. Assos or Ozone)



Please note: If you are hiring a bike, you do not need to bring any spares – but you should still take a pump, a puncture repair kit and a couple of 26 x 2 inch standard mountain bike inner tubes with Presta valves.

  • If you are taking yur own bike, you should bring the following with you as a minimum. Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs e.g. fixing a puncture, changing an inner tube. Naturally the bike guide will always be happy to assist with any repairs, but due to the often remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and inconvenience waiting for assistance.

Tyres – for this trip you will need 1.9 – 2.1 inch, semi-slick tyres suitable for mostly dry conditions.

  • Pump
  • Plastic tyre levers
  • Small tube of grease
  • 1 rear brake cable
  • 1 rear gear cable
  • Spare set of brake blocks / disc pads (front and rear)
  • 2 spare spokes for front and rear wheels
  • Spoke key
  • 4 x inner tubes
  • Spare chain links
  • Liquid chain lube (bottle not aerosol)
  • Multi-tool with Allen keys
  • Chain link extractor (if not on multi-tool)
  • 2x puncture repair kits
  • A rag and brush for cleaning bike and drive train.
  • Spares specific to your bike **

KE tools and spares

  • On all of our trips we carry a toolkit and a basic range of spares for emergencies. As bikes become increasingly part specific it is impossible to carry a comprehensive range of spares compatible with all makes and models of bike. ** Please ensure you bring any bike-specific spares which might be needed - such as disc brake bleed kits (and appropriate fluid), shock pumps etc).

Energy Gels/Sports Drinks/Power Bars

  • Our back up vehicle will carry ample supplies of water, snacks and lunches but if you like a particular energy gel, sports drink or power bar we suggest you bring a selection of your preferred choice along.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport.

Visa Thailand

UK and USA passport holders do not require a visa for short stays.

You should contact your GP or travel clinic to check whether you require any specific vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella, along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis are required. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

The better conditioned you are the more you will enjoy your trip. We suggest that you adopt a sensible weekly exercise regime and fit in a number of long cycle rides to ensure you are physically capable of taking part in this trip - this will also provide you with an opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running, squash and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Northern and Central Thailand has a tropical climate with fairly high humidity. There are three seasons: from March to June it is hot and dry, with daytime maximum temperatures between 27 and 40 degrees centigrade, falling to mid to low 20's at night. During the rainy season from July to October, the temperatures are slightly lower, because of the effect of the rain. During this season, it will not rain continuously, but in sharp bursts, with the sun likely to appear thereafter. The cooler season is from October to February, with daytime maximum temperatures of between 20 and 30 degrees centigrade.

  • Thailand. Lonely Planet
  • Chiang Mai and Northern Thailand. Lonely Planet
  • Exploring Chiang Mai. Odyssey Guide
  • Thailand. Rough Guide
  • Thailand. Insight Guide

Thailand: Nelles Maps. 1:1.500.000 Scale

A double-sided map and. as with most Nelles maps, the general relief is depicted by attractive hill shading, complemented with spot heights. Street plans are also included for central Bangkok and Chiang Mai.

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Highlights of Angkor Extension

Cambodia - Highlights of Angkor 4 Days

From $405 per person

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