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Five friends looking for a cycling tour to get to know Chiang Mai

Posted by trey2993 on 4/11/2015 at 00:52

Hi to all. We are five friends from Slovenia. We already made our way into the South and now we are planning to visit the North of Thailand for a week. We are going to spend 2 days in Chiang Mai and would like to get to know the city and get some info about the cultural aspects, temples, historical landmarks etc. We are thinking a cycling tour would be the best option as chiang Mai is quite flat. Any input on cycling tours in the area? What is the best? We are looking for something not expensive as we are students and on a budget. Best regards Marco (and the 4 Slovenian musketeers).

#1 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by MADMAC on 4/11/2015 at 02:47

The city itself is kind of flat - like most cities here. BUT, the province, not so much. So depends on how far you plan on riding.

All the tours I know of tend to be a bit pricey, but I am far from an expert on this one, so perhaps some other guys here have more info on that.

#2 MADMAC has been a member since 6/6/2009. Posts: 6,957
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Posted by Gogomobile on 4/11/2015 at 03:17

Cheaper to hire a scooter and far more practical. CM is a sizeable city and you will see far more on a scooter.

#3 Gogomobile has been a member since 14/4/2015. Posts: 412

Posted by trey2993 on 4/11/2015 at 05:52

Thanks Gogomobile but we don't like scooters as it's a bit risky. We met so may travelers with serious injuries recently it was insane. Anyway we found one on gogobot for 500. Here is the link if anyone is interested. If you have any iinput on that let us know.

http://www.gogobot.com/chiang-mai-city-cycling-tour-chiang-mai-attraction

Before we see all this smashed travelers we were actually planning to do a motorbike trip to Pai but we will skip it. Probably go with a bus.

MADMAC thank you for your answer but we plan to go to pai as a destination out of Chiang Mai and maybe Chiang Rai but it will depend about time. We heard that the scenery there is very beautiful. We just want to have a cultural trip in the city of Chiang Mai, check some history, temples etc. Someone proposed that we should to a trek once we are in Pai. Is it a good idea? Thank you.

#4 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by Captain_Bob on 4/11/2015 at 10:17

Yes the Good Morning Thailand Trek bike tour has been getting good word lately
Link here
Another here

#5 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,941

Posted by MADMAC on 4/11/2015 at 10:46

Trey
Be ready to pedal your ass off up hill and down. I don't know what made you think this area is flat - but it ain't.

FYI bikes here are not safer than scooters / motorcycles. Thai driving struggles more than most with speed differentials. If bikes are your thing, fine. But don't think you are being safer by pedaling. You are not.

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Posted by TerroirTravel on 4/11/2015 at 14:44

Since you mentioned an interest in Pai , I think you should wait and trek or bike around there. Biking in and around the larger cities is pretty crazy, and you'll get passed very closely, and very fast. Pai has many dirt and paved roads to explore.

Pai is more laid back, certainly, and hilly, but you're Slovenian, you know hills, I imagine. (FYI- I was amazed at the prevalence of off-road paths in Slovenia, you certainly won't find that in Thailand...)

Also, Chiang Mai, especially inside the walls, is very compact and walkable for seeing the sights, etc. and the food at Huen Phen is delicious.

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Posted by Gogomobile on 4/11/2015 at 16:40

Better to drive to Pai. You can visit Chiang Dao as well that way.

Pai isnt interesting unless you have your own transport as the caves are 1 hour drive north of the town and the town itself is nothing much. Scenary is ok nothing special. The scenary on the drive to Phayao is better.

#8 Gogomobile has been a member since 14/4/2015. Posts: 412

Posted by trey2993 on 5/11/2015 at 02:19

Thank you Captain Bob. We will probably give it a shot.

Gogomobile thank you for recommendations we will definitely trey to go to the caves. Maybe we rent a scooter once we are there.

MADMAC thank you. We are lazy type of traveller unfortunately. We will see and do.

TerroirTravel thank you for your comment. Actually we are not really interested cycling on hills cause we are not sporty people if you know what i mean. Maybe walking will do. We like chilling more than moving. Haha. Be well.

#9 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by trey2993 on 8/11/2015 at 04:35

Chiang Mai done. Amazing city. Probably the more chill out place we have ever been. The people here are very different from the people in the South. They seem more calm and the service is much better. Plus we loved the prices. It's much cheaper than the South. Off to Pai.

#10 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by mtanyarat on 11/11/2015 at 23:06

thank you.

#11 mtanyarat has been a member since 1/11/2015. Posts: 3


Posted by trey2993 on 15/11/2015 at 01:03

you welcome. haha.

#12 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by trey2993 on 20/11/2015 at 07:36

And we are back for two days. This is the best place we visited so far.

#13 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by lemak on 1/12/2015 at 01:17

We are very interested to take a bicycle tour. We are already in Chiang Mai and gonna be here for a few days. We did one in Bangkok recently and it was very nice. Any new input is welcome.

#14 lemak has been a member since 1/12/2015. Posts: 5

Posted by trey2993 on 4/12/2015 at 05:02

Yes lemak the one we did was very enjoyable and they picked us up from the guesthouse so it was no trouble finding it. Chiang Mai was perfect for cycling. Walking takes a lot longer.

#15 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by lemak on 6/12/2015 at 18:38

Excellent. Thanks.

#16 lemak has been a member since 1/12/2015. Posts: 5

Posted by trey2993 on 8/12/2015 at 06:36

you welcome

#17 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by lemak on 11/12/2015 at 22:27

We had great time. Thanks.

#18 lemak has been a member since 1/12/2015. Posts: 5

Posted by mtanyarat on 18/12/2015 at 22:56

chiang mai is now very cold. Need have long sleeves

#19 mtanyarat has been a member since 1/11/2015. Posts: 3

Posted by FreddyTravelZombie on 23/12/2015 at 08:27

It's not that cold. Still walking around with t-shirt. Maybe late at night a bit colder but come on. It's spring temperatures.

#20 FreddyTravelZombie has been a member since 23/12/2015. Posts: 11

Posted by Captain_Bob on 23/12/2015 at 21:00

"Cold" has a very different definition here ( Chiang Mai ) compared to normal humans ;-)
Under 20C is considered "cold" and anything around 12C is considered life-threatening. Sure there's frost at 6am on Doi Inthanon (2600m) but who's silly enough to be up there then except a couple park rangers covered in Ninja gear? Meanwhile down in "lowland" Chiang Mai city (320m) it seldom drops below 19C at night, which is t-shirt weather for most of us unless you're riding a motorbike which may require light fleece and maybe socks(!) Daytimes have been clear, sunny, mid/upper 20s - In other words, great time to be here. Happy Holidays ;-)

#21 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,941

Posted by FreddyTravelZombie on 25/12/2015 at 20:44

Great indeed. Feels as if there is a smooth a/c breeze everywhere.

#22 FreddyTravelZombie has been a member since 23/12/2015. Posts: 11

Posted by trey2993 on 27/12/2015 at 21:22

Miss Chiang Mai. We had an amazing time there.

#23 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by FreddyTravelZombie on 1/1/2016 at 07:42

Not bad place.

#24 FreddyTravelZombie has been a member since 23/12/2015. Posts: 11

Posted by trey2993 on 6/1/2016 at 03:18

Not a bad place?

#25 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by FreddyTravelZombie on 10/1/2016 at 01:34

Alright. A good place. But i find People from the South much more direct. Don't you think?

#26 FreddyTravelZombie has been a member since 23/12/2015. Posts: 11

Posted by trey2993 on 12/1/2016 at 05:02

I think they are much more agressive. Especially when they try to sell you all kind of stuff. In the North they are much calmer and they don't seem to care that much. I prefer the locals of Chiang Mai.

#27 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by kalidoskopio on 6/3/2016 at 23:59

Good Afternoon and thank you for accepting us in the community. We are a family of three and we are interested on this type of activities. Our son is 11 and i wonder how safe it would be for him to participate. Is Chiang Mai a place were riding bike is safe? We will be there in about a week or so. He has experience riding a bike but it's not something he does consistently.

#28 kalidoskopio has been a member since 6/3/2016. Posts: 3

Posted by Captain_Bob on 10/3/2016 at 08:52

There is absolutely no reason to book a Chiang Mai bicycle tour from an overseas (in this case Indian) travel agent. Just get here and ask local agents or do a web search for local operators to book directly. Is it safe? I used to cycle all around the city frequently but have slowed in down a bit after some close calls. If you go with a responsible guide and stick together as a group it should be okay, just be aware of the style of driving here it's different from "home" in many ways ;-)

#29 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,941

Posted by somtam2000 on 11/3/2016 at 15:01 admin

The Indian travel agent spam has been deleted. Captain_bob is right - book it locally or just when you arrive.

#30 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,825
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Posted by kalidoskopio on 21/3/2016 at 02:37

Thank you all for your answers. I am not sure what is the Indian travel agent spam.

#31 kalidoskopio has been a member since 6/3/2016. Posts: 3

Posted by trey2993 on 26/3/2016 at 00:34

Back in Chiang Mai soon and looking to stay longer maybe a year or so.

#32 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by FreddyTravelZombie on 7/4/2016 at 03:07

I don't know if it is a good idea. As far as i am told the pollution levels are very high. Maybe it will be better to stay out of the city.

#33 FreddyTravelZombie has been a member since 23/12/2015. Posts: 11

Posted by Captain_Bob on 21/4/2016 at 09:56

^The recent/current heatwave and smog situation has nothing to do with being in the city. In fact it can easily be worse out in the hills away from town where all the burning has taken place. Also there has been virtually no rain since February, and while most years the worst is usually over by Songkran (mid-May) it is still ongoing, with temperatures of 40C+ every day (places like Mae Hong Son are hitting 43!) and hazardous levels of "PM10/2.5" small particle pollution (and the hills have disappeared for weeks behind the smokescreen). Certainly not the time to do any strenuous outdoor activities. Once we get some decent rains things should improve significantly, but so far it's reported as the worst drought in 20 years.

#34 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,941

Posted by trey2993 on 22/4/2016 at 23:21

I don't see rain yet. From what i heard the rain starts after Songkran but nothing is happening and the pollution in the city is to big. I see many people with masks.

#35 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by MariaBurgental on 9/5/2016 at 23:12

There was a big fire in Doi Shutep and we have a house very close there. My dog couldn't breathe. It was horrible. With that heat there is no humidity so it is very easy to start a fire.

#36 MariaBurgental has been a member since 10/3/2016. Posts: 1

Posted by Captain_Bob on 10/5/2016 at 08:48

As if the record heatwave and drought and pollution wasn't enough, half our mountain has to burn down as well. The rain gods have mostly ignored us this year. http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/915771-major-forest-fire-doi-suthep-chiang-mai
post-221427-14627228991384_thumb.jpg

#37 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,941

Posted by trey2993 on 14/5/2016 at 23:09

I think that it is already the rain season but no rain.Go figure. It is so hot somedays you don't want to do anything. Everyday someone mentions a weather prediction that it's going to rain but nothing happens. Climate change?

#38 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by RetributionTravel on 15/6/2016 at 21:54

Hi. We are planning to visit CM in a couple of months. How bad is the pollution around middle of August? Thank you.

#39 RetributionTravel has been a member since 15/6/2016. Posts: 4

Posted by Captain_Bob on 16/6/2016 at 10:23

Pollution season is approximately mid-February until sometime in April/May whenever rainy season starts and agricultural burning stops. We flipped to rainy season a few weeks ago and now the air is fresh and clean. August no worries.

#40 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,941

Posted by RetributionTravel on 23/6/2016 at 21:49

Thank you very much for your kind answer. We already made arrangements.

#41 RetributionTravel has been a member since 15/6/2016. Posts: 4

Posted by kalidoskopio on 17/8/2016 at 01:00

My family and i enjoyed Chiang Mai the most. It was our best time in Thailand.

#42 kalidoskopio has been a member since 6/3/2016. Posts: 3

Posted by trey2993 on 14/11/2016 at 03:50

Posted from within Vietnam.

No pollution at the moment. Air is clear although traffic is a bit horrible.

#43 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by printoproi on 16/2/2017 at 04:01

Someone told us the pollution will start soon. Is it ok to come now to cm? We are at Ko Lanta right now.

#44 printoproi has been a member since 16/2/2017. Posts: 1

Posted by Captain_Bob on 17/2/2017 at 06:48

The air is "OK" for now, but usually gets worse heading into March - smoke & heat. Local government again promising some kind of "crackdown" on burning but that's been said every year with limited success. Anyway views of the hills are getting pretty hazy but for a short visit you might hardly notice, but I'd still rather be on Lanta now ;-)

#45 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,941

Posted by trey2993 on 11/3/2017 at 09:19

It gets a bit hot i must say.

#46 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by trey2993 on 22/3/2017 at 09:10

a bit too hot. Wishing for the rain season!

#47 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31

Posted by Captain_Bob on 23/3/2017 at 01:43

And... all the hills on the horizon have now disappeared. Hazy as usual for mid-March. Air quality sucking (http://aqicn.org/city/chiang-mai)
Some indication of relief ahead, but these Met guys don't have the best track record for accuracy ;-)
http://www.thaivisa.com/forum/topic/974949-met-office-severe-summer-storms-to-hit-thailand-from-friday

#48 Captain_Bob has been a member since 27/5/2006. Location: Thailand. Posts: 1,941

Posted by trey2993 on 1/4/2017 at 01:41

A bit better but still quite hot i would say. But no smoke.

#49 trey2993 has been a member since 4/11/2015. Posts: 31


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