Riding through the Lanna Kingdom in Thailand2021-09-14T16:55:26+02:00

Lanna Kingdom North Thailand Motorcycle Tour

The Best of Thailand’s North in 10 days

Experience a unique motorcycle adventure through the former mountain kingdom of Lanna in the far north of Thailand. Lanna is also called the “Land of a Million Rice Fields”, meaning that there is hardly a flat spot to grow rice on. Instead, rice is grown on mountain slopes and terraces, hence creating millions of small rice fields. And that also holds a promise: there are not many straight stages on this tour! Lanna promises pure fascination with its graceful tropical landscapes, thundering waterfalls and extensive rivers. Its every motorcycle rider´s dream to take on these unique mountain and valley roads once, past tea and coffee plantations and through small mountain villages of ethnic minorities. We always ride on the most beautiful mountain roads, inviting you to a curve tango with your bike – which is impossible to resist.

We follow the historical traces and spectacular history of this ancient culture to its most important locations. Our Thailand motorcycle tour through the Kingdom of Lanna, invites explorers to see tropical Thailand and a fascinating culture off the beaten track.

Our journey begins in Chiang Mai, the former capital of the Lanna Kingdom. Chiang Mai was once the main trading post between southern China and the ports of Burma. Even today, Chiang Mai inspires with its over 300 temples, the old town, the night markets and the nightlife – and promotes a lifestyle that is only known in Southeast Asia! Numerous first-class restaurants and bars with live music complete the city’s offer. After a day trip to Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon, at an altitude of over 2500 meters, we ride up north to the Golden Triangle on the border with Myanmar. Enjoy unforgettable views of the Doi Mae Salong and Doi Patang mountains and follow the history of poppy cultivation during the wild times of the last century. Next we ride to Chiang Rai along the banks of the mighty Mekong River, which we follow for quite some time to Nan. The famous “Road 1148” in Nan, with its hundreds of twists and turns in quick succession, is one of the best motorcycle roads in Thailand and we also won´t want to miss the 200 kilometre long road to the Bo Klua salt mines. Then something very special is on the program: The fascinating ruined city of Sukhothai with over 190 temples and Buddha statues and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. On the next day, we return to Chiang Mai via small mountain roads.

If you would like to discover the highlights of the north off the beaten track, its culture and people, this Thailand motorcycle tour through the Kingdom of the Lanna is the right choice for you!

Winding Tour

Thailand had very nice winding roads which are easy to ride. You have to get used to driving on the left. Nice tour, was a lot of fun.

Mary O.

5 stars

5 stars for the tour. The organization was very good. The previous conversation helped me a lot to decide on this tour. The roads were very easy to drive on and, despite my age, easy for me to do.

Reinhold W.

Motorcycle Tour in Thailand

I chose the 10 days instead of the 15 days tour because I didn’t had enough time for the 15 days tour. Had I had the time, I would have 100% went for the longer tour.

Charles S.

Highlights of the Northern Thailand Tour

  • Doi Inthanon and the Doi Inthanon National Park, highest peak of Thailand (2565m)
  • All highlights of the magic Golden Triangle with many winding roads
  • Ride the famous Route 1148 with breathtaking views of the highest mountains of Thailand
  • Ride to the top of Doi Mae Salong and Doi Patang with fantastic views
  • City tour of Nan, ride up to the Bo Klua salt mines
  • Visit the unique temples of Thatorn, Wat Phra That Pha-Ngao and Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Khiri
  • Visit the Sukhothai Historical Park, a former cultural and historical capital and UNESCO World Heritage Site
  • Guided tour of the mountain village of Lorcha of the Akha minority & get to know other ethic minority groups and hill tribes
  • Visit the Chinese village of Santi Khiri, remnants of the Chinese civil war
  • Visit of the Thoed Thai army barracks and the Burmese war history museum
  • Last but not least: great food, cold beer, resort accommodation (often with swimming pool) and curves, curves, curves

On request

On request

10 days / 9 nights / 7 riding days

Accommodation in mid-range hotels and guest houses.

Contact us

Media Library

Thailand Tour

The tour was great. The motorcycles worked good.

Hannes K.

The tour could …

… be ridden well with a pillion. The roads were very good and, of course, the mood in the group too. Perfect tour!

Rainer S.

Recommendable

The 10 day tour was totally enough for me. I’ve been traveling around Thailand for 2 weeks and the motorcycle tour was the grand finale!

Karl K.

Motorcycle Tour in Northern Thailand – Itinerary

Day 1: Arrival in Chiang Mai

Arrival at Chiang Mai Airport. Your guide will await you outside the baggage/customs hall and transfer you to your hotel in Chiang Mai.

Meals included: Dinner

Day 2: Warm up Ride

Our journey takes us on an approx. 220 kilometre loop, high up to the highest mountain in Thailand, Doi Inthanon. The road leads us up to 2565 meters. On the way to Mount Inthanon we have the opportunity to enjoy local coffee in a small village, which members of the hill tribes have grown here for several years. In North Thailand coffee became recently very popular and growing coffee or selling coffee in coffee shops offers many impoverished ethnic mountain minority communities new income possibilities. There are several fantastic temples to visit on the mountain top. The way back to Chiang Mai leads us via small mountain roads to waterfalls and elephant camps.

Meals included: Breakfast, Smoothie, lunch and local dessert

Distance: approx. 90 km

Day 3: Mae Rim – Doi Mae Salong

Breakfast at the hotel. Leaving our quiet resort outside Chiang Mai, we first follow a busy road which leads due North before we turn off this road and follow a beautiful road with little traffic to the small town of Phrao. From here we continue on a rarely used back road over the mountains before we reach the fertile plains surrounding the Northern city of Fang, known for its orange plantations. At Thatorn, we visit the temple from where we can enjoy a beautiful view over the valley of the Kok River before we have lunch at a local restaurant overlooking the river. Afterwards, our ride leads us again into the mountains and to Ban Lorcha, an Akha hilltribe community center. This community-based tourism development project promotes sustainable, self-reliant development to improve the quality of life of villagers of this Akha Community and is a model for tourism in hill tribe villages.

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As we make our rounds through the village under guidance of an Akha tour guide, we discover many aspects of hilltribe life, such as the spirit gates at the entrance to the village, traps the villagers use in the forests, the importance of the blacksmith, the local school, a typical Akha house, etc.

Then, we ride our motorcycles up the many serpentines and onto Doi Mae Salong, known for Santi Khiri, the Chinese village on top of the mountain. This village was founded by members of the former Kuo Min Tang Army that were left behind in Northern Thailand when Chiang Kai Shek was driven out of mainland China by Mao Tse Tung. In former times, the Kuo Min Tang were the traders of opium, using mule caravans to transport the drugs from remote hilltribe villages to their laboratories. Today, the same Chinese community produces some of the best tea of Thailand as well as coffee and flowers. As time permits, we can ride up to the golden pagoda sitting on a mountain top high above Doi Mae Salong to enjoy a fantastic view over the village of Santi Khiri and the surrounding mountains. Dinner at Su Hai Restaurant.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance: approx. 240 km

Day 4: Doi Tung & Golden Triangle

Breakfast at the resort. In the morning, we descend from Doi Mae Salong to Thoed Thai located in a zone that was practically not accessible for outsiders before 1985 because of the presence of the Muang Thai Army whose commander Khun Sa had invaded the area from neighbouring Burma to avoid the Burmese Army. Khun Sa was at that time on the world’s most wanted list because he had elected to cultivate poppy for the production of opium in order to finance the armed resistance of the Shan minority against the Burmese military. Khun Sa abandoned his role of army leader during the nineties and died peacefully in Rangoon in 2007 while the military confrontation between the Shan minority and the Burmese government continues on the Burmese side of the border with the Thais having successfully pushed the unwanted invaders back across the Burmese border.

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You will visit the barracks where Khun Sa maintained his army of several thousand soldiers. The small and barely known museum displays photos of Khun Sa, his army, various palaces in Shan State (in Burma) and maps of the border area. They serve as witness to the military confrontation between the Burmese military and the minorities as well as the drug trafficking that has been taking place in this area since a long time.

Afterwards, we drive up to Doi Tung, and visit the Doi Tung Development project. This natural beauty has been enhanced through the effort and perseverance of the people of Doi Tung in reviving their once deteriorated forests. The now lush forests are their legacy to pass on to their descendants. It is through their work that they accomplished the gracious commands in the memory of Her Royal Highness, the Princess Mother, through the Doi Tung Development Project under Royal Initiative that has returned the mountains to their natural environment. The Princess Mother has passed away, but her inspiration has lived on through the dedication of the loyal staff of the Doi Tung Development Project. We visit the Mae Fah Luang Garden before we descend from Doi Tung on a narrow but asphalted (very steep) road that straddles the Burmese border. From up here, we have great views right into Burma and over the plains surrounding Mae Sai, Thailand’s northernmost town where we will have lunch right at the border.

After lunch, we ride on to the Golden Triangle where the borders of Burma, Laos and Thailand meet at the Mekong River. We continue to Chiang Saen, Thailand’s most important harbour on the Mekong River. As the river connects Thailand with China, it is not unusual to see Chinese boats mooring at Chiang Saen’s harbour. Shortly after Chiang Saen, we visit Wat Phra That Pha-Ngao on top of a hill. From the top of the hill, we can enjoy a magnificent view over all of Chiang Saen and the Mekong River. Afterwards visit the Ubosot which, although built only recently, is a gem of a temple that excels through its fantastically carved doors and windows as well as the mural paintings inside. At the foot of this hill there is a stupa that dates back 1000 years when Chiang Saen was built as the seat of Thailand’s first kingdom. To conclude our day, we continue along one of the most scenic routes in Northern Thailand, along the Mekong River, to Chiang Khong.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance: approx. 180 km

Day 5: Phu Chi Fah – Nan

Breakfast on the hotel terrace overlooking the Mekong River. Leaving Chiang Khong in the morning, we follow the Mekong River downstream to Wiang Khaen. At Pang Hat, we make a left turn to climb up to Doi Patang. The road up the mountain is at first excellent but then becomes badly potholed before you reach the top of the mountain ridge where, once again, the road is excellent. We ride up to the parking at Doi Patang from where a climb of 200 steps brings us to the top of this mountain. Doi Patang is also called Pratu Siam – the Gate of Siam. Until well into the 1990’s, this area was off limits to outsiders. During the Cold War in Asia (1960’s and 70’s), US forces operated from here with the help of the Hmong minority in their “secret war” in Laos against the Pathet Lao communist forces.

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The views from Pratu Siam stretch far into Laos and on a clear day we can see the Mekong River in at least two different places. Afterwards, we back track a short way and follow the road on the mountain ridge towards Phu Chi Fah.A steep ride leads once again up to the parking area from where a 700 m hike brings us to the top of the most spectacular summit where, standing on an enormous cliff, we will enjoy breathtaking views over stunningly beautiful mountain scenery. Best views are in the early morning of a clear day when the valleys below fill with mist. Simple lunch at a local restaurant. Afterwards, we ride through spectacular mountain scenery along the Lao border and continue on and over many hills and on very good roads to Nan. This stretch includes the famous 1148 which many bikers call the most exciting ride in all of Northern Thailand. We arrive at Nan in the late afternoon.
Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance: approx. 300 km

Day 6: Nan

Breakfast at the resort. We spend today exploring the hidden secrets of Nan. Nan was for centuries a separate, autonomous kingdom with its own feudal lords and it is only in 1931, after a long period of enjoying the status of a semi-autonomous kingdom, that Nan accepted Bangkok dominion. A charming provincial city little known in the rest of Thailand, Nan boasts several old palaces made entirely of teak. We visit Wat Phumin, Nan’s most famous temple. Its interior is impressive and the temple contains the finest Thai Lue mural paintings that can be found in Thailand. Almost adjacent to Wat Phumin is the National Museum, located in the original palace (built in 1903) of the last two feudal lords of Nan.

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This museum is one of Thailand’s most up-to-date provincial museums and houses ethnological exhibits dealing with various ethnic groups in the province. Simple lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we visit also Wat Phra That Chae Haeng on the opposite side of the Nan River. The temple dates from 1355 and is the most sacred temple in Nan Province. It combines Thai-Lue influence with Lanna style and is another shining example of a typical temple of North Thailand. To conclude our tour we drive up a hilltop near our hotel to visit Wat Phra That Khao Noi to enjoy the view over the city of Nan.

OR: Salt mines of Bo Klua

For those who do not want to miss an opportunity to ride their bikes, we propose a morning departure for a roundtrip of 200 km through the wild mountain region northeast of Nan. Our way leads through the Doi Phu Kha National Park and over a fantastic mountain pass to the salt mines of Bo Klua, where people still today extract salt from the ground in the traditional method. Lunch at a simple local restaurant.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance: approx. 210 km

Day 7: Nan – Sukhothai

Breakfast at the resort. We leave Nan in Souther direction and drive on a relatively busy road towards the town of Phrae. Time permitting, we will turn off into the mountains and complete a small loop through the mountains and several hilltribe villages before rejoining the main road to Phrae. Here we visit Wat Phra That Suthon Mongkhon Khiri, a two-decade old monastery which deserves a visit because of its outstanding architectural and cultural features, combining element which are of Lanna, Burmese, Chiang Saen era or Shan style. In particular the Ubosot is noteworthy for its delicate sculptures with fine designs.

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The golden teak structure in Lanna design houses valuable relics of the North, including Buddha statues, lacquerware, Lanna musical instruments and ancient weapons. Then we take our road again and continue through the mountains and via the old historical site of Sri Stchanalai to Sukhothai. Lunch at a local restaurant on the way.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance: approx. 280 km

Day 8: Sukhothai

Breakfast at the hotel. The Sukhothai period was one of the most important periods in Thai history and has left its indelible mark on Thai culture and Buddhist art. The former glory of Sukhothai shines through its many ruined temples. This morning we will visit the Sukhothai Historical Park, declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco. Witness the glory of the old kingdom of Sukhothai, the first capital of Thailand at the well-preserved ruins. The important sites within the old city walls include Wat Mahathat – the royal temple with a giant chedi (stupa) housing Buddha relics brought from Sri Lanka, Wat Chang Lom – a huge bell-shaped chedi supported by 39 sculpted elephants and Wat Sri Chum – containing a huge sitting Buddha image. Lunch at a local restaurant. The rest of the afternoon is free so that you may relax at the hotel swimming pool

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 9: Sukhothai – Chiang Mai

Breakfast at the hotel. Today begins with a ride through vast rice fields and on to Thoen which lies on the main highway from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. However, we will merely cross the highway and continue our way to Chiang Mai on quieter and peaceful roads which leads us through beautiful valleys and over rolling mountains. Lunch at a local restaurant on the way. Arriving in Chiang Mai we will drive straight into the centre of town where we return our motorcycles before being transferred to our hotel. Farewell dinner at Comedara Restaurant which overlooks the Ping River and serves typical Thai food.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Distance: approx. 300 km

Day 10: Chiang Mai (Departure)

Breakfast at the hotel. Transfer to the airport and end of the tour.

Meals included: Breakfast

Questions & Answers

Will every tour take place exactly as described in the tour itinerary?2021-01-08T23:13:47+01:00

All our itineraries give you a good overview what you will experience and discover when booking with tibetmoto. The itineraries are nevertheless best understood if they are seen as a suggestion rather than as a 100% planned and a thousand times done way of traveling. We like to keep every tour, every adventure, every trip unique and special. We are proud to say that we have never done a trip two times exactly the same way. Our team does not like to offer mainstream tourism tours, and we believe that people enjoy their time best when they have freedom and possibilities to choose from. Freedom and flexibility are very good ingredients to cook an exceptional discovery or adventure, to meet unusual people and visit off-the-beaten-track places.

How do I pay in Thailand?2021-01-08T23:13:37+01:00

American Express, Visa and Master Card are widely used in Thailand. Cash is only accepted in baht (Thai currency). However, it is relatively easy to change euros or US dollars at a exchange point in the larger tourist areas in Thai Baht.

Do I need a visa for Thailand?2021-01-08T23:13:27+01:00

Most European nationalities do not require a visa to visit Thailand and receive a visa-free stay of up to 30 days upon arrival in Thailand.

Which documents do I need?2020-11-11T22:33:35+01:00

With the registration for the Thailand motorcycle tour we need a scanned copy of the passport of the participant with the personal details. A condition for participation in the tour is an internationally valid driving license for motorcycles over 500 cc.

Tour Concept by RC Hendrik

About RC Hendrik

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