Nothing is set in stone!
Please don't hesitate to contact us and ask: We pride ourselves on flexibility and will work around your holiday dates with pleasure, even able to shuffle our Special Interest / Local Festival Loops around to a certain degree.
Please Check our Tour Dates but most are based on 8days-7nights; starting & finishing on Saturday, or multiples thereof
Saturday: Arrival Day and Welcome Dinner
Sunday "Day Ride", acclimatisation & getting used to bikes & riding styles,
Monday - Friday: out on one of the Loops,
Saturday: Departure Day, or if you're with us for longer, a leisurely day pleasing yourself
Obviously Bespoke tours (for parties of five (riders) or more can be of any duration.
With masses to see and do in Northern Thailand that doesn't only involve riding along some of the world's most scenic roads (though that IS certainly a great reason for booking your trip!), we usually ride about 150 to 200 kilometres daily. We leave our hotel around 8-ish after a fantastic breakfast, everything you're used to. Stops for attractions, photos, activities such as feeding the elephants or visiting a mountain-top village or temple are scheduled before and after lunch depending on the group's preference. We break to stretch our legs and have either a coffee or cool drink about every hour or so. Our goal is enjoy the ride and take in as much of the local Thai culture as possible.
It's a once-in-a-lifetime experience – we don't want you to miss anything! Over 70% of our guests return another 3-4 times, we must be doing something right?!
Yes. They Are. Absolutely. In fact I rather miss the old CB400's we used to scream around on! Lol!!
We do have bigger bikes available for varying fees, but in all honesty they're less well suited to the terrain, especially on the likes of The Mae Hong Son Loop, where there are over 4,000 bends. I used to lug my 1000cc FZ1R around there, it's hard work (on average a bend every 100metres) and...you're on holiday! Less is more, believe me. Of course, riders with pillions will be glad to have a little extra 'leg' on the Versys (saddles more 'lady' friendly, for your better half!) we offer as a free upgrade to two-up guests. Oodles of low-end grunt from the in-line twin engine pulling from as little as 2,000 Rpm, all the way up to 11,000 redline, 12,000Rpm rev-limiter, and 210Km/h. Fast enough, light, agile, manageable & most importantly - no quirks or foibles taking up the first half of your holiday getting used to them.
You'll need a valid International Driving Permit (IDP) & valid full motorcycle license – are all that is required by law for our freely provided Third Party insurance. You're expected to provide your own holiday insurance (personal accident cover) for the make/model/cc machines provided.
Please check your holiday insurance fine-print, you'll usually find IDP a requirement, and often age/cc restrictions for riding in SE Asia. For those of you from Australia/New Zealand, OnePath comes highly recommended, with a policy that insures you for anything your license covers at home.
Finally, our own entirely optional Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) available at just 5,000β/bike/week provides indemnity for any possible shortfall in the previous two and covers any damage to our bikes - over & above normal wear & tear. The policy 'excess' means the first 25,000b (covered by your Bike Deposit) of any individual claim is payable by the Rider, the policy paying all over that, right up to replacement. E.g. for a 100,000b repair bill; Rider pays 25,000b and no more.
That's the one thing we don't take care of. Flights must be booked from, and paid in Country of Departure. Using it's currency. Afraid we neither wipe nor kiss your arses either? Lol! We WILL look after you to an unbelievable degree though, you honestly won't want for anything - within reason!
We'd rather concentrate on fabulous roads, great food, exciting attractions, and breathtaking scenery. For flight information, we recommend visiting: TrailFinders, Expedia, Orbitz, SaveFlights to mention but a few... Oh, stay away from KIWI.com, I've been burned as have tens of thousands of others!!
Legal Minefield too, which is why all Travel Agencies are ABTA / IATA "Bonded", and necessarily qualified too. We'll be looking after you from the moment you walk into Arrivals at Chiang Mai International Airport, until we return you there a week or three later.
No - for the most part, not if you don't intend to stay longer than 30 days. You will complete the form for your 30 day Tourist VOA (Visa on Arrival) during the flight over and immigration will simply stamp your 30 day Visa into your passport. If you wish to stay longer you can either obtain a Visa in your home country or just hop over the border (as we do on The Golden Triangle Tour) and automatically get another 15 days on the way back in.
There ARE odd exceptions though; Papua New Guinea, Philippines to mention a couple.
Fly. It's best if you book the entire journey as a single trip, unless of course you prefer to visit Bkk / Phuket etc for a few days after your time with us? Without wishing to scaremonger: There's a bus crash almost every month (literally) on the news, completely unregulated & well...two things I'll NEVER do in this country a) jump on a ride at a local funfair b) jump on a bus!
The train's freezing cold, costs almost as much as the 90-minute flight, takes 11hrs and although you're in a VIP (dormitory!) bunk you'll never manage to sleep, being thrown around by the uneven track. I know it sounds romantic, relaxing watching the countryside go by? Hmm...there's only one line...so on the day train you'll be stopping every hour or so outside stations to allow oncoming trains past. You'll be shattered / ragged by the time you get here, no fun at all.
Neither will we be able to collect you from the bus / train stations either as I'm sorry but we're less than 10 minutes from the airport but an hour or more away from the latter & simply don't have the freedom to be caught in a traffic jam with others to collect on the same day.
Not much! The cost of living in Thailand is fairly low. Most spend between 2,000-5,000b per person per week on their sundries bill with us. The difference is whether you choose to drink a) water/soft drinks, b)beer or c) wine/spirits after we stop riding for the day?
DON'T let your local bank talk you into exchanging your hard-earned there. without doubt the worst rates and making you the biggest mug out there. We'll all have plenty of fun at your expense too! Rofl !!
We recommend either bringing Your Home Currency (£, $, etc) & visiting a Bureaux De Change at CNX airport on arrival for pretty decent cash exchange rates. Most of our returning guests obtain the best possible exchange rate (I use a service called "Wise", they beat ALL Other currency movers by a mile, SO Cheap!!), adding their spending money to the final balance payment with us. Feel free to ask them at: https://www.facebook.com/ThaiMcTours
Your use of an ATM (Service-till/Credit card while you're travelling with us will mean you pay a comparatively expensive exchange rate plus most ATMs here charge a nominal fee (usually 250b) and allow you to withdraw up to 20,000 baht daily. We're not so far from civilization that we don't pass by ATMs every single day **Make SURE to notify your card issuer that; YOU WILL BE TRAVELLING TO THAILAND before you leave OR THEY WILL BLOCK SERVICE.**
Travellers Cheques are certainly recommended for any 'Emergency Funds' you might require. Needless to say we don't arrange credit! Many credit card issuers allow you to get cash advances from countless banks branches and ATMs around the globe – and there are plenty in Thailand. Please check with your card issuer before you arrive to verify any service fees or charges and to make sure you know the PIN number associated with each credit card should you need it. We recommend bringing your 25,000 baht "Bike Deposit" fund this way, easily cashed for a nominal fee once you return home, again, check your bank's small-print especially if they claim NO fee, there's always a charge whatever they name it!
You will be expected to bring your own helmets (open-faced/sunglasses are OK but a drop down visor is recommended) and ventilated summer riding gear/body mesh/armour. Leathers are inadvisable, even the perforated variety, you'll regret it. You may want a wind/waterproof layer under your armour for the cooler mornings in the mountains.
We have a service vehicle for luggage, so there's really no limit to the amount you may bring apart from that set by the airline. We certainly notice the difference between returning guests and those here for the first time; those returning bring less than half the amount of their first visit. So, don't over pack: You want room in your suitcase for the bargains you'll find here!
The above applies to medication too. Anything you might think of bringing "Just in case..." is available here (yes, they even have 'Boots The Chemist' stores, Watsons too), and at half (or less!) the price you pay at home. Plus the formulae are beefed up for this tropical climate where quite frankly; your creams, salves & sprays from home will struggle.
Don't worry, we've got you covered, along with a few local bits and bobs too, everything is taken of, this is where two decades of experience pays off. Afraid I can't say any more because the competition have no respect for copyright, some secrets I'm not prepared to divulge.
Every day, we will offer advice on the best things to see and do, but you're under no pressure to follow the (small) crowd. You can strike out on your own at any time and simply meet back up with us when you're ready. We obviously have preferred routes – but anyway you choose to arrive at the booked hotel is up to you.
However. As mentioned in Terms & Conditions the CDW only covers you for group riding and putting the bike through normal, lawful conditions - within manufacturer's recommended guidelines. So if you're out on your own, you're on your own. Sorry!
Well... It'd be a first, lol!
Actually, it's happened once before, on our longest tour, a fortnight into the three-week Around Thailand Loop. Which is why that one is, and always will be either; Previous guests / by invitation only (we'll have sized everyone up already), or a single group, a crowd of you who are used to spending long periods of time together & able to get over any minor spats.
In other words, if you're a sole rider, or a couple who haven't been with us before? Not a hope I'm afraid. We don't know you, can't be sure you'll mesh with the group dynamic and I refuse to spoil a dozen people or so's damned expensive month, not really fair of us to gamble so heavily with their dreams, really?
Talk half a dozen of your mates into it & don't worry, Organiser's always receive the lion's share of the discount, because we all know how much hard work it truly is pulling an event like this together! We're more than happy to assist of course, I find group email / chat a wonderful way to keep the excitement bubbling, more ways to assist than you'd believe!
Not for me, well it is I suppose, happy wife happy life, lol!
The missus, my better half, Bpuk. And the rest of the Thai Staff. She nearly kills herself on a weekly basis, running around after people, waiting on them hand, foot and finger? Absolutely runs herself ragged, and I'm under no illusions she's the one reason our little business has become such a resounding success. She's not in it for the money, extra tips or anything, but you'll be treated like lords & ladies, at the very least. The favour? P's & Q's, that's all, basic manners, nothing special, for God's sakes don't kiss her arse, she'll be bloody impossible to live with! Rofl ! I only ask because in the past, very occasionally, one or two guests have managed to get a little, carried away with their newfound, elevated status? Fine at first but after a few days requests begun to slip towards demands, expected, slightly irritated if acted on much later than immediately... And so incongruous, because NONE of us would ever dream of acting in such a boorish manner! Ever!! We're only human though, and forget ourselves pretty easily, especially when having a rollicking great time, the alcohol knows no end, tomorrow's hangover is a million miles away... 'nuff said eh? Ta much!