Our Thailand Heritage by Bicycle tour takes you back in time on a route paved by kingdom builders. The Chakri dynasty established the current capital of Bangkok or, as known by locals, Krung Thep, our starting point of the tour. From here we head north to the former Kingdom of Ayutthaya, once one of the wealthiest cities in the East during its heyday. The 33 kings of Ayutthaya ruled more than four centuries before the city was conquered and destroyed by the Burmese. Cycling amongst the ruins we’ll learn how the authoritarian god-kings of Ayutthaya ruled with an iron fist. Riding north through the rice basket of Thailand we arrive at what is considered to be the first true Thai kingdom, Sukhothai. Under the Phra Ruang dynasty the Thai alphabet was created and Theravada Buddhism was established as the religion in the short 130 years of power. Riding further northward, the terrain becomes more rugged as mountains flank our path on both sides as enter what was once known as the Lanna Kingdoms. Here we’ll cycle through the land once ruled by the Tai people and see their influence in the recently excavated ruins of the Haripunchai Kingdom before arriving at the northern capital of Chiang Mai founded in 1298
We drive a short distance from Bangkok and start our journey at a royal summer residence of Bang Pa-In Palace. Then we cycle on flat backroads to Ayutthaya Historical Park, exploring the designated UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Our riding day starts with a leisurely cycle past more of Ayutthaya’s old temples and continues on to Wat Chaiyo Worawihan and the impressively large seated Buddha image.
We ride north to Kok Mai Duen Ancient City, to see evidence of civilization from 2000 years ago. Later we see more of Thailand’s cultural treasures as we cycle inside the city walls of the old fortification of Kamphaeng Phet Historical Park.
Cycle through the remains of the first kingdom of the Thai people, Sukhothai, another UNESCO World Heritage Site. The kingdom reigned from 1238 and until 1438. Then we transfer to a different period of Thai history, the Kingdom of Lanna. We’ll visit Khum Chao Luang, the residence of the last ruler.
Today we explore the Lanna Kingdom starting at Lamphang, the fortress city of the most prosperous kingdom in northern Thailand during the 13th-18th century.
After a visit to the Thai Elephant Conservation Center, we cycle around Wat Phra That Hariphunchai and ride through the historic ruins of Wiang Khum Kham, a Mon settlement dating back to the 11th century, before reaching our final destination, Chiang Mai.
Drive up to Wat Phra That Doi Suthep, the most sacred temple in northern Thailand. Then we ride to Wat Suan Dok, where the ashes of Chiang Mai’s royal family are interred. Later stop for a farewell lunch at a spot above Chiang Mai.
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- Transfers as mentioned above by private air conditioned car
- English speaking tour guide
- Accommodation one night in Chiang-dao at Padeng Lodge in private fan cooled room
- Accommodation one night in Chiang Rai, tourist class hotel, with air-cond and en suite bathrooms
- Meals as mentioned in program
- Elephant show, elephant riding, caves entrance fees
- Beverages, guide tips and personal expenses
- “Hall of Opium” museum entrance fees (optional visit, to be paid locally)
- Compulsory Gala Dinner at hotels (only during festive periods)