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This challenging bike tour along the Mae Taeng river in Northern Thailand is guaranteed to get the blood pumping! During the three days of the trip, you’ll experience some great riding trails, varied terrain and get to float down the river with your bike strapped to a bamboo raft!
Thailand is a very lush, green country and is so dense with vegetation that it is often difficult to know what is a path and what isn’t. Clearly, this can pose a problem for foreigners trying to plan out a hiking or cycling trip - luckily, that’s where these guys come in. The lovely ladies and gents who will look after you during your stay in Thailand picked up a Traveller’s Choice award in 2008 for their efforts, and it’s easy to understand why.
While here you’ll be in the care of exceptionally enthusiastic adventure nuts whose knowledge of the area is second to none. And what an area it is - the Mae Taeng District is situated between a nature reserve and a national park, with the river running through it originating high in the mountains. The district is seemingly designed for biking, with a lot of technical passes and the river alongside you making a fantastic riding companion.
It’s great to work with people so naturally excited about showing you the best places to tear up some dirt, and the Australian-built bikes are in outstanding condition (they’re replaced so often, you might as well class them as new.) Of course, it’s not just a biking trip - while taking a break from the lightning-paced cycling, you’ll take a (sort of!) leisurely raft tour and get a feel for the culture of Thailand (for instance, seeing a working elephant farm is an experience which will stay with you long after the suntan fades!)
The first day of the itinerary is as challenging as it is rewarding, giving you some unprecedented views from atop the Thai highlands. In what rates on the difficulty scale somewhere between “my lungs are on fire” and “I am about to die,” the cycling involves a gruelling 25km uphill cycle to the top of a ridge where all your efforts will be paid off with a mind-shattering view of the surrounding Thai jungles and a very fun ride back down! Day two offers more of the same - although the gradient is a little less severe, you’ll cover a longer distance at around 40km. The final day will see you float down the Mae Taeng river with your bike on a bamboo raft and ends with some more optional cycling.
The tour is set away from the well-beaten track of mainstream Thailand tourism, so if getting hot and sweaty amongst the untamed countryside sounds like your kind of thing then look no further!
The longer three day tour covers a larger distance than its shorter version, and a lot of the cycling is tough to say the least. You don’t need to be super-fit to enjoy the trip, but some biking experience and a lot of endurance are somewhat of a prerequisite.
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