So you have been riding on the road for a while now and are looking for something a little more challenging and exhilarating. Here is your chance to experience the excitement and joy of exploring off road trails in an outstandingly beautiful area, tailor made for this kind of adventure. Don’t worry. If you are competent on the road, with the help of our expert guides and teachers, you will be able to ride off road in no time.
After a day spent learning the basics on our enduro skills course, it will be no time before you are taking on the challenges that the trails have to offer. Day by day the difficulty will increase in line with your developing skills. Our guides will help you through any problems you encounter along the way, showing the correct technique to get you out of any tricky situations you may find yourself in. By the end of the trip, the steep mountain trails, river crossings and single tracks will become second nature to your new found talent.
And what an area to learn in. Northern Thailand is an off road paradise and a remarkably beautiful part of the world. We will be spending the vast majority of the trip exploring the remote beauty of Mae Hong Son province, an area bordering Burma rich in tropical mountain and jungle terrain and inhabited by a diverse group of hill tribe cultures. We will visit numerous Karen, Akha, Lisu and Lahu villages to name a few, giving you fascinating insights into the traditional way of life these people have been living for centuries.
Learning off road skills aside, tour highlights include the fascinating caves near Soppong, the chilled out atmosphere in the popular town of Pai, ornate temples, a daytrip to the Burmese border, the serenity of Huay Nam Dang national park, cascading waterfalls and natural hot springs. Then of course, there is the fantastic hospitality you can expect from the Thai people. They call this the land of smiles for a reason.
Although this is an enduro tour, we have to spend some time on the road to reach these great trails and the towns with the best accommodation available. The road we will be primarily using is the Mae Hong Son loop, known as the road of 1000 hairpin bends, an extremely popular choice for road bikers due to its natural beauty and weaving route through the mountains and around the province. We will leave and rejoin this classic road several times throughout the trip, providing time to recover from the rigours of the dirt tracks whilst still enjoying some great riding.
If a non riding partner or friend would like to accompany you on the trip then they can travel in our luxury 4x4 vehicle (or people carrier depending on number of extra passengers), meeting the bikers at the hotel at the end of the day. We have a great sightseeing itinerary for anyone choosing this option.
Day 1: Pick up at Chiang Mai airport.
Transfer to 4 star hotel. Dinner and welcome drink at Goodview riverside restaurant. Tour briefing and discussion.
Day 2: Chiang Mai to Wat Chan
Depart 8am after Buffet breakfast at the hotel, followed by the introduction to enduro skills course. This will provide you with the basic techniques needed for the upcoming week including cornering, front and rear brake usage, uphill and downhill techniques and body position. Following the course we will drive on road west to Samoeng and then onto our destination for the night Wat Chan, a long established hill tribe settlement. This is a winding route through hills and valleys with a wide and smooth 35km off road section, a good introduction to the dirt. We will stay in a charming guesthouse and have a BBQ by the lake.
Day 3: Wat Chan to Pai
Depart 8am driving the 50 km on road to Pai valley. From here we will make a 70km round trip on a relatively easy dirt track, along a small winding river valley and through forest, to visit a Karen hill tribe village and their colourful neighbours in a nearby Lisu settlement. Lunch will be taken here followed by returning back to Pai valley with a waterfall visit along the way. We will stay at the Spa Exotic resort where you can soak in hot tubs fed by natural hot spring water. Great after a days ride. Dinner in Baan Benjarong, the best restaurant in town, famed for its authentic Thai cuisine.
Day 4: Burmese border daytrip
Now you have got to grips with the basics, we can start to tackle higher difficulty trails. Depart at 8am riding 30km north off road to the large Karen settlement of Mong Noi. From here we follow a well established trail before descending into the fertile Wiang Haeng valley where we will stop for lunch. A short ride on road takes us to the border itself. We then head south and onto the more challenging trails of Huay Nam Dang national park. Expect a couple of river crossings and narrower trails amidst the usual spectacular scenery. Arrive back in Pai late afternoon.
Day 5: Pai to Mae Hong Son
Depart 8am for a great days riding following a weaving trail through valleys and villages, along hillsides and ridges all relatively close to the Burmese border. Wonderful views all the way. Stop for a packed lunch at a scenic viewpoint. Arrive in Soppong mid afternoon for a visit to the fascinating cave complex there before the 70km ride to our evenings destination, Mae Hong Son. Here we will stay at a good local resort just outside town in northern style bungalows dotted amongst the paddy fields. Dinner at a renowned local establishment in town.
Day 6: Mae Hong Son to Pai
Depart 8am for a virtually complete day of off road heaven. High into the hills we go on our way back to Pai and deep into the interior of the province, passing through many remote hill tribe settlements as we go. With four days experience already, you will be amazed at how far your skills have come. What seemed daunting before is now getting easier.
Day 7: Pai to Chiang Mai
Depart 8am driving 20km before hitting the trails again. We head southwest back towards Chiang Mai along some great trails, hitting altitudes of almost 5000 feet before our descent into river valleys and the inevitable crossings. Stunning panoramas and great riding all day. We will then take the back roads and trails to Wat Doi Suthep, the main temple complex high on the hills overlooking Chiang Mai, before our final ride back into town to the luxury of our 4 star accommodation. A farewell dinner will be held at the famous Gallery restaurant on the river followed by a night on the town for those willing and able.
Day 8: Wake up at your leisure, hopefully not too hung over, for buffet breakfast.
Relax with a traditional Thai massage or join a trip to visit Doi Suthep, the large temple on the hillside overlooking the city. If you require extra nights in Chiang Mai we can help you arrange this at your own cost or provide you with free transport to the airport to continue you holiday or fly home. Whatever your plans, you’ll take with you the experience of a lifetime.
We will be sticking to this itinerary as closely as possible throughout the tour although we will not take any responsibility for changes to this schedule due to circumstances or events that we have no control over.
£875 per rider based on double occupancy.
£599 per non rider on parallel sightseeing tour, double occupancy.
There will be a minimum of 5 riders and a maximum of 8 on this tour. Exceptions can be made with consultation.
Bike - Honda XR250cc, 4 stroke dirt bike. Well maintained and meticulously checked before each trip. Recent models only, specifically set up for the trails.
Equipment - Helmet, goggles, gloves, full body armour (chest, back, shoulder, elbow, knee and shin).
Fuel and oil costs
Support vehicles - Quality 4x4 support trucks carrying your luggage and shopping.
Professional mechanic - With full compliment of tools and spare parts.
Spare motorbike - Carried in a support vehicle.
2 Experienced Guides - Lead and sweeper guides, radio and GPS equipped, speaking English and Thai.
Accommodation - Costs included on a double occupancy basis for 7 nights. If you prefer your own room we charge a single room supplement of £15 per night.
Food - Breakfast, lunch and dinner included on the riding days.
Drinks - Water and soft drinks provided during the days ride and at meal times.
Basic Liability Insurance
Excursions - National park fees and all entrance fees included.
Boots - We can arrange rental of quality enduro boots at a small extra cost. Otherwise you must bring your own. A good sturdy pair of army boots will do.
Personal accident and medical insurance
Clothing - Please bring suitable trousers for both riding (jeans will do) and something more lightweight for the evening a long sleeve top and a lightweight jacket