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Thailand: Hike, Bike & Kayak

THAILAND

Thailand: Hike, Bike & Kayak

Biking·
Hiking·
Kayaking
·
Start: Bangkok
·
End: Bangkok

From cycling in Bangkok to trekking in Northern Thailand

Activity
LocationTHAILAND
Duration12 days
Start / EndBangkok / Bangkok
Tour operatorIntrepid Travel

THAILAND

Thailand: Hike, Bike & Kayak

Biking·
Hiking·
Kayaking·
12 days·Intrepid Travel
Start: Bangkok
·
End: Bangkok

Description

Fancy some outdoor activity in a tropical paradise? Now's your chance as we launch into the remote highlands of Northern Thailand from Bangkok, one of Asia's most cosmopolitan cities. Travel into steamy rainforests on foot to visit colourful hilltribes, cruise down the River Kwai on kayaks and explore the lesser-known side of Chiang Mai from a bicycle. The diversity of exciting outdoor options ...

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Itinerary

Day 1Bangkok
Sa-wat dee! Welcome to Thailand. Thailand's bustling capital, Bangkok is famous for its tuk tuks, khlong boats and street vendors serving up delicious Thai food. Your adventure begins with a welcome meeting at 6pm on Day 1. Please look for a note in the hotel lobby or ask the hotel reception where it will take place, and have your insurance details and next of kin information ready for collection. Bangkok has so much to offer those with time to explore, so perhaps arrive a day or so early and take a riverboat to Chinatown and explore the crowded streets, wander down the tourist mecca of Khao San Road, or indulge in some Thai massage. After the meeting tonight perhaps gather your fellow travellers together and tuck into some world famous street food.
Day 2Bangkok / Overnight sleeper train
Take to the streets of Bangkok on bikes and explore some of the quieter parts of town on a half day tour. Cross Rama VII Bridge and cycle through the suburbs of Bangkok Noi, down the small alleyways that house the local residents. This is a great chance to get away from the tourist areas of Bangkok and into the heart and soul of this lively city. Pass the King’s Royal Barges, the Bangkok Noi Canal, a local market, and ride on to Wat Arun. There’s a brief stop for an optional visit inside the impressively towered Wat Arun, before crossing Chao Praya River to Pranakorn via the Memorial Bridge. Head past Wat Suthat, and make a stop for those who wish to see the largest sitting Buddha image in Thailand. Your final stop on this ultimate Bangkok bike tour is the giant swing Sao Ching Cha, which represents the movement of the God Shiva and was reserved for performances at grand ceremonies. Travelling around by bike allows you to move through the city quite easily and at a pace where you can peer into the daily lives of those who call Bangkok home. Today’s total distance cycled is around 17 kilometres. Take the afternoon to relax and maybe wander the streets a little more to soak up Bangkok’s unique city life. This evening take an overnight train to Chiang Mai (approximately 13 hours). Multi share compartments are air-conditioned, with bunk beds; sheets and pillow provided. Your baggage travels in the carriage with you. There is a food and drink service available on board.
Day 3Hilltribe Trek
Arrive in Chiang Mai and check into day rooms to prepare for your trek into the remote surrounding regions. You destination today is the Karen village of Ban Pong Noi, stopping for lunch at the Mok Fah Waterfall. On the way you’ll drop into Mae Malai local market to buy some fresh food for the trip, then drive for 1 hour to Mork Fah Waterfall. Have lunch and rest by the gushing waters, and maybe also take a quick dip, before heading to Baan Mae Sae, which marks the starting point of the trek (approximately 2 hours). Today is a relatively simple 2.8 kilometre hike to Ban Pong Noi, and you’ll arrive in the village in the late afternoon. You’ll have your first homestay tonight, a brilliant opportunity to experience rural Thai life first-hand. Notes: All meals are included while trekking, but you'll need to purchase and carry your own water (please allow approximately US$10 to cover your water purchase for the trek). Accommodation is multishare, sleeping on rented roll mats on the floor of the wooden/bamboo huts typical of the villages. There are shared squat toilets and basic washing facilities (a hose or water pipe) in most villages. You may also be able to wash in a nearby stream. Warmer clothing and sleeping bags are recommended from November to January, as the nights are usually quite cool during this period.
Day 4Hilltribe Trek
Today, there’s an early morning start to take a tour the village before breakfast. Then trek through jungle, rice paddies, rotation dry farms, streams, rivers and waterfalls on a nature trail through Karen villages. The first leg of the trek is steep up and down hill through bamboo forest, a total walking time of around 3 hours. You’ll enjoy a picnic lunch en route, and then continue for another 2-3 hours to a Lahu village, where you’ll spend the night. The total walking distance today will be approximately 11 kilometres.
Day 5Hilltribe Trek / Chiang Mai
After breakfast, take a morning walk around the village, with the opportunity to buy some local handicrafts – spending your money on community enterprises directly can help support community development. Then begin today’s trek through the storybook landscape of farmland and jungle (approximately 3-4 hours) to a Thai village for lunch, where you’ll meet with your transport. Take your time returning to Chiang Mai (approximately 2 hours), and this evening perhaps indulge with another traditional Thai massage before heading down to the famous Chiang Mai Night Bazaar, a shopaholic’s dream. Make sure to sample some delicious traditional northern Thai food. The signature dish is kao soy, yellow wheat noodles in a curry broth, traditionally served with chicken or beef.
Day 6Chiang Mai
The most vibrant city in northern Thailand, Chiang Mai is renowned for dazzling beauty and extremely welcoming locals. The ‘Rose of the North’ will leave you spellbound. You’ll get to ride right into it with two days of cycling narrow lanes through local neighbourhoods, past beautiful houses and to areas rarely seen by visitors. You’ll be cycling for around 55 kilometres today, so an average level of fitness is suggested. The terrain is mostly flat with occasional hills, down quiet country roads and lanes, through beautiful changing scenery, picturesque rice paddy fields and orchards. You’ll see the Thai countryside and Thai way of life, pausing at local markets, temples, villages and anywhere that deserves a photo stop or that’s worthy of stretching the legs. Start by biking from the Chiang Mai FC Stadium along the canal road to Huay Tung Tao Lake. Then take the northern route following the Mae Ping River. Bike along paved roads through the local villages and their farmland to Mae Jo University, before stopping to relax and refuel with lunch in the area. Before and after lunch, along the cycling trail you'll see the variety of countryside landscapes that make up the Mae Ping River basin, from paddy fields to fruit orchards. You’ll arrive at your accommodation, a lovely resort, around 4pm. Before your included dinner tonight you can relax by the swimming pool and take a well-deserved and refreshing dip.
Day 7Chiang Mai
Saddle up again this morning with a ride to the gigantic temple of Wat Ban Den, where you’ll discover the beautiful temple arts and architectures of Lanna modern temple buildings. Each of the 12 chedis here is dedicated to one of the 12 animals of the Thai zodiac, and Buddhists from all over Thailand make the pilgrimage to this special temple. Then, drop by another highlight of the Mae Tang Valley, Mae Ngat Dam. Here you can bike on the ridge of the dam, giving you panoramic views of the valley. Take a lunch break and refresh, then continue cycling to the ‘sticky waterfall’, Nam Tok Buatong. Hidden in the lush green forest of Sri Lanna National Park, the waterfall gets its name from the porous limestone that’s surprisingly easy to climb on. Today you’ll cycle around 35 kilometres, passing though teakwood plantations, with teak being one of the most economic logging industries in Thailand. You’ll spend some time relaxing at the waterfall before returning to Chiang Mai around 4pm. The rest of your afternoon and evening is free for you to enjoy the city’s atmosphere.
Day 8Chiang Mai / Overnight sleeper train
You’ll have free time until an overnight train tonight to relax and enjoy the city. Options abound in Chiang Mai, from wandering the Old City to visiting some of the 300 temples which dot the Chiang Mai landscape – maybe take a scenic, winding drive up a mountain (around 45 minutes) to one of the country's most stunning temple complexes, Doi Suthep. A 300-step naga-guarded stairway leads you to the temples, and the climb is well worth the effort. The hypnotic atmosphere of chanting Buddhist monks and sweeping views of the city make this a most memorable experience. There are also many Thai cooking schools offering courses for budding chefs, sure to help you impress your friends when you return home. This evening you’ll get back on the rails for an overnight train to Bangkok (approximately 12 hours). Conditions are the same as Day 2 – soft sleeper class.
Day 9Kanchanaburi / River Kwai
You’ll arrive in Bangkok early in the morning and transfer to the bus station. Travel by local bus to Kanchanaburi (approximately 2 hours). Located where the Khwae Noi and Khwae Yai rivers converge, Kanchanaburi is home to the infamous 'Bridge on the River Kwai'. Today you can enjoy the views over the river, explore the rows of street vendors in town and grab a drink overlooking the Kwai.
Day 10Kanchanaburi / River Kwai
This morning you’ll get an insight into the darker side of Kanchanaburi’s history with a moving visit to the Hellfire Pass Memorial (approximately 1 hour), built to honour the Allied POWs and Asian conscripts who died while constructing some of the most difficult stretches of the Thai-Burma Death Railway. You can head out to a teak observation deck, and look across to Myanmar just 25 miles away and the eponymous pass, cut through rock 18 metres deep, that got its name from the hellish fires used to light the work at night. You then have time by the river for lunch before jumping aboard kayaks to enjoy paddling at a leisurely pace on the smooth waters of the River Kwai Noi for the next two days. The time it takes can depend on the water level but you’ll usually kayak for approximately 3-4 hours on the first day and 4-5 hours on the second day. The scenery is stunning, and kayaking through tropical forests and beautiful limestone mountain views is unique and unforgettable. You’ll overnight in a resort with an outdoor pool, the perfect place to relax any sore muscles. You will kayak for approximate 23Kms on this day. Double seater kayaks are provided.
Day 11Kanchanaburi
You’ll continue your wonderful kayak down the river this morning, floating down the river (with the help of a bit of arm power) for around 3 hours this morning, or approximately 13 kilometres. After a rest and refuel for lunch you’ll get another good workout with 5 hours at a leisurely pace in the afternoon. The kayaking finishes at Kaeng Pralom Bridge in the afternoon, and you’ll drive back to Kanchanaburi for a well-deserved cold drink. Notes: There will be a support vehicle with you for these two days, just in case anyone gets tired and would like a rest from kayaking. The amount of kayaking done on Day 11 can depend on the group’s wishes and fitness. It can be 35 kilometres, but it may also be possible to finish kayaking after lunch and visit the seven-tiered Erwan Waterfalls in the afternoon.
Day 12Bangkok
Travel back to Bangkok by public bus (approximately 2 hours). You are free to depart at any time after arriving. If you are booking flights or other transport out of Bangkok on this day, please keep in mind that delays are frequent and we strongly recommend that you don’t book a flight earlier than 2pm. Please note no accommodation is included in Bangkok on this day. There are shared day rooms available for your use until midday. Additional accommodation is available to book – please enquire at time of booking.

More info

Trip title

Thailand: Hike, Bike & Kayak

Trip code

TTXF

Validity

Validity: 01 Jan 2019 to 31 Dec 2019

Introduction

Fancy some outdoor activity in a tropical paradise? Now's your chance as we launch into the remote highlands of Northern Thailand from Bangkok, one of Asia's most cosmopolitan cities. Travel into steamy rainforests on foot to visit colourful hilltribes, cruise down the River Kwai on kayaks and explore the lesser-known side of Chiang Mai from a bicycle. The diversity of exciting outdoor options mak... Read more

Style

Original

Themes

Active Adventures

Transport

Public bus,Overnight sleeper train,Songthaew,Prvate mini van

Physical Rating

4

Physical preparation

A reasonable level of fitness is required for this trip. You should be able to complete a 20 kilometre walk in a day and be comfortable on a full day's bike ride (3 days of bike activities are included). No prior kayaking experience is needed. We recommend that you undertake regular aerobic exercise in the months before you travel, particularly if you are not in the habit of regular exercise. Doi... Read more

Joining point

Nouvo City Hotel (Canal Wing)

Joining point description

The Nouvo City Hotel is within walking distance of many of the area's main attractions, such as the Grand Palace, National Museum and Wat Po. We use the Canal Wing and rooms are equipped with a private en-suite. Breakfast is not included but a buffet breakfast can be purchased in the hotel's restaurant. Please also note that no alcohol is served in this hotel, but there are lots of great bars acro... Read more

Joining point instructions

Intrepid can assist with pre-booking an arrival transfer from the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to your departure. If you have pre-booked an arrival transfer you will be met after exiting the Customs Hall. A transfer representative holding an Intrepid sign will meet you at Exit Door 4. If you cannot find your transfer represent... Read more

Finish point

Nouvo City Hotel (Canal Wing)

Finish point description

The Nouvo City Hotel is within walking distance of many of the area's main attractions, such as the Grand Palace, National Museum and Wat Po. We use the Canal Wing and rooms are equipped with a private en-suite. Breakfast is not included but a buffet breakfast can be purchased in the hotel's restaurant. Please also note that no alcohol is served in this hotel, but there are lots of great bars acro... Read more

Finish point instructions

Intrepid can assist with pre-booking a departure transfer to the airport - enquire with your agent. Please advise your flight arrival details at least 14 days prior to the start of your trip. If you have pre-booked a departure transfer your leader will advise your pick up time the day before your trip ends. You can expect to be picked up three hours prior to your flight. If your transfer has not ... Read more

Important information

1. This trip finishes on arrival in Bangkok at midday on Day 12. Please do not book flights on this day untill after 2pm. 2. A single supplement is available on this trip for some nights, please contact your sales agent if you would like to book a single supplement. Please note the following nights are not included for a single supplement, Day 2 Overnight train, Day 3 & 4 Homestay, Day 8 Overnight... Read more

Group leader

All Intrepid group trips are accompanied by one of our group leaders. The aim of the group leader is to take the hassle out of your travels and to help you have the best trip possible. Intrepid endeavours to provide the services of an experienced leader however, due to the seasonality of travel, rare situations may arise where your leader is new to a particular region or training other group leade... Read more

Safety

Many national governments provide a regularly updated advice service on safety issues involved with international travel. We recommend that you check your government's advice for their latest travel information before departure and ensure that your travel insurance covers you for all areas your itinerary covers. Please refer to our website's safety page for links to major travel advisories and upd... Read more

Visas

As a general rule most countries expect that your passport has a minimum of 6 months validity remaining. Please ensure the name on your passport matches the name on your booking and airline tickets. Your passport details are required to complete your booking. Your consultant will contact you when this is required. Take a copy of the main passport pages and other important documents with you, and l... Read more

Why we love it

Cycle off the main streets and into the heart and soul of Bangkok with a backstreets bike tour

Is this trip right for you

This is an active trip designed for those with a good level of fitness. Be prepared for some serious physical activity. The majority of activities included on this trip – cycling around Bangkok, trekking in Chiang Mai, kayaking down the River Kwai – will be challenging. The fitter you are, the more you'll enjoy this trip. Some accommodation on this trip is basic. This includes an overnight sleepe... Read more

Health

All travellers need to be in good physical health in order to participate fully on this trip. When selecting your trip please make sure you have read through the itinerary carefully and assess your ability to cope with our style of travel. Please note that if, in the opinion of our group leader or local guide, any traveller is unable to complete the itinerary without undue risk to themselves and/o... Read more

Food and dietary requirements

While travelling with us you'll experience the vast array of wonderful food available in the world. Your group leader will be able to suggest restaurants to try during your trip. To give you the maximum flexibility in deciding where, what and with whom to eat, generally not all meals are included in the trip price. This also gives you more budgeting flexibility. As a rule our groups tend to eat to... Read more

Money matters

SPENDING MONEY: When it comes to spending money on the trip, every traveller is a little different. You know your spending habits better than we do, so please budget a sensible amount for things like meals not included, drinks, shopping, optional activities and laundry. It's always better to bring a little more than you think you'll need. Also make sure you've read your trip details thoroughly so ... Read more

What to take

What you need to bring will vary according to the trip style you have chosen, the countries you are visiting and when you are travelling. Generally speaking you should pack as lightly as possible. On the vast majority of our trips you are expected to carry your own luggage, although you won't be required to walk long distances with it (max 30 minutes). Many travellers carry their luggage in a bac... Read more

Climate and seasonal

Songkran is a national holiday in Thailand marking the start of the Thai New Year. The proposed dates for this traditional Buddhist festival are 13-15 April 2019 & 2020

A couple of rules

Everyone has the right to feel safe when they travel. We don’t tolerate any form of violence (verbal or physical) or sexual harassment, either between customers or involving our leaders, partners or local people. Sexual relationships between a tour leader and a customer are strictly forbidden. Use or possession of illegal drugs will not be tolerated on our trips. If you choose to consume alcohol... Read more

Feedback

After your travels, we want to hear from you! We rely on your feedback. We read it carefully. Feedback helps us understand what we are doing well and what we could be doing better. It allows us to make improvements for future travellers. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/feedback/

Emergency contact

While we always endeavour to provide the best possible holiday experience, due to the nature of travel and the areas we visit sometimes things can and do go wrong. Should any issue occur while you are on your trip, it is imperative that you discuss this with your group leader or our local representative straight away so that they can do their best to rectify the problem and save any potential nega... Read more

Responsible travel

We believe strongly in low impact or rather positive impact tourism. Broadly speaking this means that we try to minimise the negative aspects of tourism on the local cultures and environments that we visit and highlight the positive aspects. Please visit our website for further details and suggestions on how you can be a responsible traveller. http://www.intrepidtravel.com/ourtrips/rt/responsible... Read more

The Intrepid Foundation

Help us change thousands of lives by creating meaningful work and supporting skills training in communities around the world. The Intrepid Foundation is the not-for-profit for Intrepid Group. We work with local organisations around the world to improve the livelihoods of vulnerable individuals and communities through sustainable travel experiences. With our travellers’ help, we’ve contributed mo... Read more

Accommodation notes

OCCASIONAL ALTERNATIVE ACCOMMODATION The style of accommodation indicated in the day-to-day itinerary is a guideline. On rare occasions, alternative arrangements may need to be made due to the lack of availability of rooms in our usual accommodation. A similar standard of accommodation will be used in these instances. TWIN SHARE / MULTI SHARE BASIS Accommodation on this trip is on a twin/multisha... Read more

Transport notes

OVERNIGHT TRAINS Overnight sleeper trains in Thailand are air-conditioned and have sleeping berths down both sides of the carriage. The carriage is multishare, with are curtains that close over the beds. A sleeping sheet and a pillow are provided, and our luggage travels in the carriage with us. There is a western and Asian-style toilet located at the end of the carriage, but no showers. Carriage ... Read more

Travel insurance

Travel insurance is compulsory for all our trips. We require that, at a minimum, you are covered for medical expenses including emergency repatriation. We strongly recommend that the policy also covers personal liability, cancellation, curtailment and loss of luggage and personal effects. When travelling on a trip, you won't be permitted to join the group until evidence of travel insurance and th... Read more

Your fellow travellers

As you travel on a group trip you will be exposed to all the pleasures and maybe some of the frustrations of travelling in a group. Your fellow travellers will probably come from all corners of the world and likely a range of age groups too. We ask you to be understanding of the various needs and preferences of your group - patience with your fellow travellers is sometimes required for the benefit... Read more

Itinerary disclaimer

ITINERARY CHANGES: Our itineraries are updated regularly throughout the year based on customer feedback and to reflect the current situation in each destination. The information included in this Essential Trip Information may therefore differ from when you first booked your trip. It is important that you print and review a final copy prior to travel so that you have the latest updates. Due to weat... Read more

Accommodation

Resort (2 nights),Homestay (2 nights),Hotel (5 nights),Overnight sleeper train (2 nights)
12days
€1,426per person
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Apr 13
Bangkok
Apr 24
Bangkok
€1,426
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Jun 15
Bangkok
Jun 26
Bangkok
€1,449
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Jul 20
Bangkok
Jul 31
Bangkok
€1,525
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Aug 24
Bangkok
Sep 4
Bangkok
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