Choosing Thailand as a location for motorcycling might be a very good choice within the South East Asian region. As opposed to its surrounding neighbours Thailand’s infrastructure has been modernized to the point that nearly all regions of the country are easily accessible. From a rider’s point of view, this is a good thing as it brings the start of your tour – where ever that might be – quickly and easily. Saying that Thailand’s remote corners still remain a wild adventure for motorbike enthusiasts of all kinds.
Thailand has seen major tourism development over the past decade and favourite destinations such as Phuket, Pattaya, and Chaing Mai are becoming the Spain and Greece of Asia with families making these locations their choice for a holiday. This brings positives and negatives but as with all tourism, it’s a forgone conclusion. It does help to have modern hubs for a starting point though bringing the north, south, and east all within easy access.
When renting a motorcycle in Thailand it is vitally important to choose wisely. With the right rental your tour will be a hassle-free joy, only rent with companies with high ratings from previous users.
Below are some of Thailand’s best touring destinations.
Every motorcyclist’s dream route takes you on an unforgettable loop through some of the best scenic landscapes Thailand has to offer. 670 km of stunning mountains, villages, waterfalls, and hill tribes are all part of the adventure along this route. Getting everything ready for the journey starts in Chaing Mai and takes you to Thailand’s highest peak, Doi Inthanon. From this lofty location, outstanding views of iconic rice fields and lush valleys are a sight to be savoured. The village of Pai has an interesting mix of people and is a favourite amongst hippy backpackers. The hill tribes of this area are among the most famous in the world so get your cameras ready for great shots.
Mae Sarieng Loop
This lesser-known route brings you in reach of Thailand’s infamous long neck tribe. The Karen tribe originated in Myanmar and migrated to Thailand over many centuries. This Thai tribe now speaks a unique dialect with cultural traits only found in this area. If long tight turns banking around hills and lush rain forest is your thing you’ve found heaven. There’s no better way to reach the Myanmar border. Your skills as a rider will be tested with sections of loose gravel and steep inclines and descents. This route also gives you access to Myanmar for those adventurous to cross the border.
Doi Ang Khang and the Myanmar Border
Not for the faint-hearted or inexperienced rider. 350 km of demanding road with very stead inclines and descents. The road is well worn and requires attention at all times. But for the few that make the journey, the view of Nor Lae from the mountain peaks are legendary. Fang district with its very Thai town is a great place to replenish your strength for the night before either extending your adventure or returning to Chiang Mai. Searching the internet for favourable routes for this tour is advisable especially during the rainy months.
Chiang Rai and the Himalayan foothills.
What tour of northern Thailand would be complete without hitting its most northern territories. The infamously named Golden Triangle offers a staggering array of sights with highly acclaimed Buddhist temples, villages with logging historic pasts, and the beginnings of the Himalayan mountains. This area attracts tourists and Thais bringing a good mix of cultures to an iconic area of the country. It wasn’t so long ago that these roads were inaccessible to tourists due to the drug trafficking of opium run by drug lords and militias.
Along this route ultimately leading the Mae Sai the adventurous traveller will encounter very Thai traditional markets selling craft renowned in the region. The art of wood carving is brought to another level by local craftsmen who have perfected the art over countless generations. You will experience the changing culture as Thailand, Myanmar and Laos intersect amidst villages mountains and Golden Thai monuments.
A large number of hill tribes call this region of Thailand home. Many different tribes such as the Akha, Yao, and Lisu have evolved over centuries with their own dress, language, and lifestyles making this trip unforgettable. To experience their lives if only for one day is life-changing. This lost reflection of life will leave you in awe and wonderment.
It is advisable to give plenty of time for this adventure due to the many different routes leading to must-see locations. A minimum of 1 week will give you a decent look around. There’s no beaten trail, many route variations are available so proper research on youtube and google is required. We recommend you get a general overview of the area and then choose the things you most want to experience, then you can design your itinerary around those choices.
Krabi and the south
An ever-increasing ferry service in the South of Thailand is giving more and more access to islands once unseen unless you have your own yacht. Bike tours in the south are just as amazing as in the north, especially if the island life is your bag. Krabi District has a landscape unlike any other with distinctive cliff faces and rivers mazing their way into the ocean. Riding through National Parks is an experience not to be missed, the tropical rain forests are home to rare and exotic species that frequently venture onto the roads to take a look at humanity. And we think we invented zoos!
The culture of the south is vastly different from the north. The island tribes with their fishing village heritage still exist on the lesser frequented islands but alas getting your bike there will be difficult to say the least. Still, the mainland offers stunning scenic roads with coastal views and tropical deserted island backdrops. Not at all bad.
Whatever your preference is Thailand offers something for everyone, that’s why it remains south-east Asia’s most popular destination. From the mountains of the North to the tropical paradise on the south you will experience a once in a lifetime riding experience. If a guided tour is required Motorbike Madness or Enduro Madness offers world-class tours spanning many areas mentioned in this blog.