He knows just about all there is to know about motorbike tours in Asia, having launched the Vintage Rides concept 10 years ago.
Saddle up for a bike tour along the sublime roads of Northern Thailand on a Royal Enfield. Discover the ancient Thai kingdom of Lanna, on an exceptional road trip departing from Chiang Mai. At the heart of the real Thailand, you follow the Burmese border as far as the banks of the Mekong, thoroughly immersing yourself in the fabled Golden Triangle. Misty mountains, teak forests, and glittering Buddhist temples make for plenty of surprises and exciting stop-offs along the way. Not forgetting friendly encounters with the different ethnic groups who call the North their home. A motorcycle trip for those who dream of magnificent open roads and a complete change of scenery.
You are greeted at the airport and transferred to your hotel. Make the most of your first day by exploring Chiang Mai, the main urban centre of Northern Thailand. Ideally placed at the heart of the ancient kingdom of Lanna, its architectural heritage is mind-blowing with no fewer than 300 temples!
Your journey starts by heading southwest from Chiang Mai. You enter the Doi Inthanon National Park, home to the country's highest peak, then continue due west on a magnificent mountain road. First contact with the country's various hill tribes.
This stage takes you along a very beautiful road. The section up to Khun Yuam is one of the most winding, and offers spectacular views. We arrive in Mae Hong Son, known as the City of Three Mists, nestled in the valley surrounded by mountains.
A rugged stage which follows a spectacularly twisty road. The famous Mae Hong Son loop rolls through the middle of sublime countryside. On arriving in Pai, you can make the most of this small town's relaxed atmosphere. Its numerous attractions include waterfalls, hot springs and elephant rides.
Hugging the Burmese border, you push on into the unspoilt northwest of the country. You ride on as far as Doi Ang Khang (altitude: 1,928m). The valley is known as "Little Switzerland" because of its very pleasant temperate climate. Wild, unblemished nature.
You continue north along the Burmese border. An impressive descent brings you to the fertile plain of Fang. Back up on the ridges, you can fully appreciate how important the roads and trails are in this remote, unspoilt region. You near the Golden Triangle and spend the night in the peaceful haven of Tha Ton.
Your journey continues along a winding road to Doi Mae Salong and the chance to taste one of Thailand's best teas. Small, secondary roads crisscrossing the edges of the Burmese border bring you to Mae Sai. You then travel along the Mekong to Chiang Saen, in the heart of the Golden Triangle.
Sticking mainly to the high ridges with their spectacular panoramas, you will be treated to magnificent views of neighbouring Laos.
You ride southeast for around 100 km along an exhilarating, winding road through the mountains. Forking off eastwards in the Nan district, you cross Doi Phu Kha National Park to reach Chiang Kham, a wild and wonderful place known for its salt mines.
You return from your loop through the easternmost part of the country, riding around 90 km along a magnificent mountain road to Nan. Then continue west to Lampang. Visit to the famous Burmese temple, the Wat Phra That Lampang Luang, known for its superb wood carvings.
Your last day in the saddle, along the main road back to Chiang Mai. On the way, a chance to stop off at the elephant conservation centre, 30 km outside Lampang. On arrival in Chiang Mai, you take a detour up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep for a last bird's eye view.
Depending on your flight time, you may be able to savour Chiang Mai's charms for a few more hours. Transfer to the international airport.
“I would recommend Vintage Rides to any rider contemplating a guided motorcycle tour. Right from my initial email with Denise, the professionalism and attention to detail was reassuring. Everything was organised for us and our tour guide Josh was fantastic from start to finish. The Royal Enfields were a lot of fun and suited the type of riding we did, the scenery was simply mind blowing and the tour was the best holiday and adventure ever. On top of all this, the value for money was excellent. I will be touring with Vintage Rides again. I did the Trans Himalayan in India.”
“Absolutely fantastic. The pre-trip organization and communication was stellar. The itinerary and accommodations were well planned and our guide, mechanic, and support driver collectively allowed for a trip where any risk of stress was quickly replaced with nothing but pure delight. I took the Spiti Valley tour ("Gateway to Tibet") which offered otherworldly views and rich cultural exposure. The remote area was particularly enjoyable as even when compared to other Himalayan routes there was very little traffic... truck or otherwise (The last thing I want to do is to go to a remote location to be stuck endlessly maneuvering around slow trucks). I sing the praises of Vintage Rides at every possible opportunity. I've ridden motorcycles all over the world either independently or with a tour group and this trip was tops! I wish I had sooner discovered Vintage Rides and they will certainly be my choice again. Vive la Moto! (If you like to see the video of the trip it is at advmotorbike dot com under "global moto"... it will say in image more than my words can convey!)”
“This is my second trip with Vintage Rides and it was just as good as the first. ( I have even booked a third, so that's three within the year!). If your a rider that likes adventure and off-road riding, then Mustang is the journey for you. Be prepared to be pushed to the limits and also meet a good bunch of fellow adventure riders.”
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