A Brand New Tour – Northern Thailand
There has been much interest in PaintedRoads’ brand-new tour through Northern Thailand. It is a beautiful tour that was lots of fun to put together, but as always with a first tour it is not until a group of keen cyclists have tried the ride out and given feedback that a proper appraisal can be made. For this first ride the the experience ranged from Carol and Pete from West Coast USA to PaintedRoads very own cycling lab-rat Kevin, from the home town of the Venerable Bard of Avon, Stratford.
The tour according to the US adventurers:
Carol, who for three years was president of America’s Adventure Cycling Asociation, and her husband Pete know me from a Tibet tour a few years since. Now retired they generally spend the autumn, or fall as they like to term it, on a cycling expedition somewhere in the world. This year they plumped for a multi nation exploration of SE Asia, and I am honoured to say that they chose PaintedRoads to organise the first three legs of their epic foray through the region that has become my adopted home. As veterans of Tibet and Patagonia I was left wondering if they would find the ride challenging enough. As it turned out there was no need for concern as they lapped up the beauty of the scenery, the diversity of cultures, the mixture of cycling terrain, the delicious Thai food and the ever present chuckles when Natt and I took a wrong turn.
The tour according to our very own lab-rat:
I first met Kevin a few years back when he joined a brand new tour I had created between Bangkok and Phuket. He must have enjoyed the experience as he keeps coming back for more and has now done more firsts with me than anyone else – first South Thailand, first South Vietnam, and now first Northern Thailand – a list of firsts that earns the dear and jovial fellow the coveted moniker of Lab-rat. Now Kevin knows a lot of PaintedRoads regulars and so, when people asked ‘how is the tour?’ I replied, best we wait for the word according to Kevin. And so it was that Kevin became, for a while, as important to bicycle tours asThe Man From Del Monte was to tinned fruit, and come tour’s end, the Man From Stratford, he said ‘YES!’
Is it for you?
For anyone familiar with PaintedRoads’ cycling tours of Southern Thailand and Southern Vietnam the general opinion is that the physical demand of the North Thailand tour is similar, assuming of course that you take the transfers for the mind bogglingly daft ascents to Mai Salong and Pu Chi Fa. That is to say it is a fun ride offering some fine days cycling without the demands of the protracted climbs found in North Vietnam, Lao, and China’s Yunnan Province.
If you are interested in a great winter escape PaintedRoads’ next North Thailand Tour is during the first two weeks on February 2015, and if you have the time to stay on in Asia why not maximise your time and join the South Thailand tour directly afterwards and get twice the fun from your long haul flight? For further details please email me.