The tour provides an outstanding opportunity to obtain a thorough impression of the uniqueness of north Thailand, Laos, and the Yunnan province in China, including the autonomous province of Tibet via Shangri-La. You will explore small, almost hidden routes that are unknown to many. This tour starts and ends in the beautiful area of Chiang Mai with its breathtaking scenery, 800 kilometers north of Bangkok.
The Garden Cottage is a symbiosis of contemporary functionality and lived hospitality in a relaxed atmosphere surrounded by trees, fish ponds and a sea of flowers and plants. You will be staying here on the first night of the motorcycle tour.
Green View Place is one to two kilometers from the Thai-Burma border. It is fully equipped with facilities such as lift, TV, refrigerator, air-conditioner, hot water, Wi-Fi, kettle, hair dryer, and free breakfast. You will be staying here on the second night of the motorcycle tour.
Dokchampa is a big Chinese hotel in the center of Luang Namtha. It is located on the main street, where you will find the night market, many restaurants, and trekking agencies. It has 61 rooms in total. They offer single, twin, double, and double VIP rooms with fan or air-conditioning. All the rooms have ensuite bathroom with hot showers and coffee or tea making facilities. You will be staying here on the third night of the motorcycle tour.
King Land Hotel is a four-star resort hotel located in Jinghong, Xishuangbanna Dai Autonomous Prefecture, and tourist resort area in the center of Jinghong City. You will be staying here on the fourth night of the motorcycle tour.
JinQiao Hotel is located Shuangjiang. You will be staying here on the fifth night of the motorcycle tour.
Landscape Hotel (Lanlinge Jiudian) is located in Dali's ancient historical quarter at the foot of Cang Shan (Mt. Cang) facing Erhai Lake. It is the only hotel in the region designed in the Bai Minority's courtyard style. On offer are 160 guest rooms and several restaurants serving Bai Minority food and other Chinese cuisine. You will be staying here on the sixth night of the motorcycle tour.
The Liwang Hotel, Lijiang is a four-star hotel stands at the south gate square of the Lijiang ancient city. Enjoying the convenient location and iconic view, the hotel earns its reputation from its guests and colleges. You will be staying here on the seventh and eighth night of the motorcycle tour.
Compass Hotel is a boutique hotel in Shangri-La. You will be staying here on the ninth night of the motorcycle tour.
Cizhong Guesthouse is located in Yanmen, Deqin. You will be staying here on the tenth night of the motorcycle tour.
Shaxi Aoxiu Zige Hotel is located in Jianchuan County. You will be staying here on the eleventh night of the motorcycle tour.
Lin Tong Hotel is located in Lincang City. You will be staying here on the twelfth night of the motorcycle tour.
King Land Hotel New City is located in Mengla County. You will be staying here on the thirteenth night of the motorcycle tour.
Ideally located in the prime touristic area of Nong Khiaw, Pha Xang Resort promises a relaxing and wonderful visit. The hotel offers a high standard of service and amenities to suit the individual needs of all travelers. You will be staying here on the fourteenth night of the motorcycle tour.
Mekong Sunset View Hotel is a smart choice for travelers to Luang Prabang, offering a relaxed and hassle-free stay every time. You will be staying here on the fifteenth night of the motorcycle tour.
Phonemany Guesthouse offers accommodation in Pakbeng. You will be staying here on the sixteenth night of the motorcycle tour.
Situated in the city center, Win Hotel Phayao offers comfortable modern rooms and free Wi-Fi access in all areas. You will be staying here on the seventeenth night of the motorcycle tour.
Amora Hotel is a boutique hotel in Chiang Mai with the finest accommodation in town. You will be staying here on the last night of the motorcycle tour.
Arrival at Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) from Bangkok. Your guide will await you outside customs hall and transfer you to the Garden Cottage, located roughly 10 kilometers northeast of Chiang Mai. You will have dinner with the tour crew and your accommodation for tonight will be at the resort.
You will take the highway, heading north of Chiang Mai. Discover Mae Kachan hot spring, the highest hot spring in Thailand. Continue along winding roads to Mae Sai, the northern most point of Thailand. Mae Sai is on the Burma border. You will cross into Burma and leave the motorcycle at the border to explore Tachilek in Burma and its attractions (visa on arrival). You will spend the night in Green View Palace in Mae Sai in Thailand.
Head east to the Golden Triangle, the area where Burma, Laos, and Thailand meet on the mighty Mekong River. Follow the river to the port town of Chiang Khong, gateway to Laos and China. You will cross the Mekong on the new Friendship Bridge into Laos and after completing the immigration process, ride to Luang Namtha. You will sleep in Dokchampa Hotel in charming Luang Namtha near the famous night market.
You will start a bit earlier since you will be riding through Laos and crossing into China. You will enter China at Boten, a purpose built casino town to serve the Chinese fondness for gambling. You will try to arrive at Boten early morning and do the formalities to exit Laos. Afterwards, you will ride for a few hundred meters to the Chinese Immigration Building were your Chinese guide will be waiting.
After completing the immigration process, you will ride 45 kilometers to Mengla where you will get your driver's license and temporary plates at the police station, quite an experience. Dinner will be by the Mekong river at a local restaurant. You will visit the night market near the Mekong river and get a first glimpse of China. Your accommodation for tonight is at King Land Hotel in Jing Hong.
You will be riding mostly for today,but with stunning scenery. You will cross the Mekong River many times. You will ride to Menghai, visit tea plantations, and continue to Shuangjiang Lahu Minority town. Overnight accommodation will be at JinQiao Hotel in unknown Shuangjiang.
You will ride to Dali old city via Lin Cang and Weishan Countries. Enjoy your visit to the very charming old town of Weishan, one and a half hours before reaching Dali. The old town is one of the hidden gems of Yunnan and is not so touristic. Dali has long been a crossroad for trades and culture. Until today, this walled city is well preserved, buzzing with shops, restaurants, and bars. Time to wander around the streets and explore. Your accommodation for tonight is at Landscape Hotel.
After check out, you will visit the nearby Three Pagodas of Shong Sheng temple. Afterwards, you will ride up into the Cangshan mountain range and visit a Kung Fu temple where, until today, monks live, pray, and practice Kung Fu. From the road to the temple, you will have fantastic views on the Erhai Lake and the Dali Valley. Later in the day, you will take the old road to Lijiang, were you will stay in Liwang Hotel in the Old Town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Lijiang’s charming Old Town is a maze of cobbled streets, canals, and stone bridges that date from the Ming Dynasty. In the morning, you will visit Lijiang Old Town, about one and a half hours' walk. The earlier the better since less tourists will be around. You are free to explore this ancient city at your leisure. Lijiang is a ‘shop till you drop’ type of place and all sorts of interesting items are for sale.
As an optional activity, Big Bike Tours offer in the afternoon after lunch a short bike ride to Baisha (embroidery center, very authentic old town) and Yuhu (a traditional Naxi village further north under the majestic Jade Drangon Snow Mountain range) is also worth a visit. Late in the afternoon or evening, you might bet to watch a spectacular show near the old town. You can also visit Naxi Dongba temple, the oldest Dongba temples in Yunnan.
For tonight, you will stay in Liwang Hotel in the Old Town.
From Lijiang, you will cross a small mountain range and arrive soon at the Yangtze River, the third longest river in the world. You will cross the Yangtze and ride into the Tiger Leaping Gorge. You will take a 45-minute break at the attraction platform where you will walk down the wooden stairs closer to the river. After that, you will leave for Tiger Leaping Gorge, the highlight of motorcycle riding. This fantastic road follows the Yangtze River.
Lunch will be in the gorge at a guest house restaurant. After lunch, you will cross the gorge and take the famous silk road to the Tibetan town of Shangri-La. You will notice the change of altitude and minorities you encounter as you ride to the plateau. You will spend the night at Compass Hotel in Shangri-La
After breakfast, you will visit Sonzanlin Tibetan Monastery. This grand Tibetan lamasery hosts 600 monks and is still practicing Tibetan Buddhism. Then from Shangri-La, you will take the G214 up north to the Tibetan town of Degen, 70 kilometers south of the Tibetan border (T.A.R.). On the way to Deqen, you will cross the 4,300 meter high Pass of the White Horse.
A little further north of Deqen, in the small town of Feilai Si (flying temple), you will have access to a panorama platform which offers stunning views on the mighty Mount Kawa Karpo, a stunning 6.,00 meter high and holy mountain. The mountain is the third holiest to all Tibet, featuring a triangle shaped snow covered peak. Mount Kawa Karpo is one of the highest peaks in the Eastern Himalayas.
You will be riding along the Lancang Jiang (upper Mekong River) to Cizhong Village. You will spend a night at Cizhong Guesthouse, a fine Tibetan guesthouse in Cizhong (homestay with an authentic Tibetan family).
From Cizhong, you will head south and lose altitude quickly. Soon, you will reach the shores of the Mekong River at 2,200 meter altitude, which you will follow all the way to Weixi. The area is called the three rivers valley since the three mightiest rivers of Asia almost meet here (Mekong, Yangtze, and Nujiang). After a light lunch in Weixi, you will ride to Shaxi village in the afternoon. Shaxi is considered to be the most intact caravan town remaining on the Ancient Tea-Horse Road.
Shaxi’s Sideng Market Square has been listed by UNESCO on their World Monument Watch List of the 100 Most Endangered Cultural Sites in the World. You will visit this tea horse caravan town with old houses. Accommodation for tonight is at Shaxi Aoxiu Hotel in Shaxi.
You will backtrack out of Shaxi and ride on the highway towards the Erhai Lake, a very scenic ride passing this beautiful lake, and then you will turn south to Lincang. Accommodation for tonight is at Lin Tong Hotel in Lincang.
For today, you will mostly be riding on highways, but again with stunning scenery. You will ride to Ning’er and get on the highway. You will ride through Xiaomengyang Nature Reserve, one of the most beautiful highways in China. You will arrive in Mengla for your overnight stay at King Land Hotel New City. Dinner will be at a local restaurant near the hotel. A farewell party in a karaoke pub will be held to enjoy our last night in China.
After breakfast, you will make your way to reach the border in one hour. You will cross back into Laos. You will follow the stunning mountain road to Oudomxay to Nong Kiau, a brand new stunning road trough Laos' highest mountains to the amazing Nong Khiew. Overnight accommodation will be at Pha Xang Resort in this beautiful and authentic Laos town at the river near the Two Elephant Mountains, one of the most beautiful spot in South East Asia.
After breakfast, you will ride to Luang Prabang (literally Royal Buddha Image) where you will stay overnight at Mekong Sunset View Hotel. The city was formerly the capital of a kingdom of the same name. It had also been known by the ancient name of Chiang Thong. Until the communist takeover in 1975, it was the royal capital and seat of government of the Kingdom of Laos. The old town center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The main part of the city consists of four main roads on a peninsula between the Nam Khan and Mekong Rivers. The city is well known for its numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries. Every morning, hundreds of monks from the various monasteries walk through the streets collecting alms. One of the major landmarks in the city is a large steep hill on which sits temple Wat Pousi. Before dinner directly at the Mekong River, you will have to lift up your motorcycle in the long tail boat.
You will take your bikes with you on a long tail boat upstream the Mekong River to Pak Beng, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. About 250 kilometers on the river will take you six to eight hours. Lunch will be served on the boat. Overnight accommodation will be in the Phonemany Guesthouse in the little charming town of Pak Beng by the Mekong River.
Today, you will cross back into Thailand. Ride the top 10 motorcycle road in the world, R1148 to the Phayao lake, one of the biggest lake in Thailand. Overnight accommodation will be at Win Hotel on the lake. Tonight is the last night of the tour so be sure to save time to party.
You will be riding back home on the stunning road R120. Continue riding on windy mountain roads to Tharntong waterfall and Mae Kachan hot spring. You will visit a local market, stopping for refreshment, before heading back to Chiang Mai. Your accommodation for tonight will be in a deluxe room in Amora Hotel, Chiang Mai.
Take time to relax at the hotel before you check out and leave for the airport or stay and explore Chiang Mai and its surrounding areas.
Most nationalities do not require a visa to enter Thailand for a stay that does not exceed 30 days. However, it is important to note that Thailand’s immigration regulations require that passports must remain valid at least six months beyond visitors’ intended length of stay in Thailand.
Furthermore, it is important to note that Thai immigration authorities only grant a visa-free stay of maximum 15 days in Thailand if tourists enter the country overland (from Burma) rather than through an international airport. Hence, after returning overland from Burma, you will only be allowed a maximum visa-free stay of 15 days in Thailand.
For Myanmar (former Burma), only at the Mae Sai border and also for Laos is visa on arrival possible, same as it is in Thailand. The visa fee for one day in Burma is about 15 USD (500 THB) and for Laos about 30 USD for 30 days (1,000 THB).
First of all, please note that today it is irrelevant whether you refer to China. In order to facilitate the issuance of visas through a Chinese Embassy or Permanent Mission, it is best if persons with pre-booked travel arrangements submit along with their visa application a so-called “Visa Confirmation Letter” from the tour operator in Bejing responsible for the tour arrangements.
Big Bike Tours shall obtain the visa confirmation letter and forward it to you. The confirmation letter implies that the tour operator is responsible for you during your entire stay in China and eliminates further questioning by the Chinese Embassy.
Please note that Chinese Embassies generally do not consider the exact travel dates but simply stamp visas valid for three months and entitling the holder for one single entry into China within these three months. Therefore, Big Bike Tours will forward to you the visa confirmation letter approximately one and a half months before the start of the tour to ensure that the validity of your visa will extend beyond the length of your stay in China.
Once you have received your visa confirmation letter, you should contact the nearest Chinese Embassy or Permanent Mission to obtain visas application forms, fill in the visa application forms in triplicate, attach one passport photo to each copy of the application form, and enclose a printout copy of the visa confirmation letter with the application.
During this motorcycle tour, you will visit the following places:
This motorcycle tour will take place in Thailand, Burma, Laos, China, and Tibet.
You will be provided with daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner during this motorcycle tour. Your meals on the arrival and departure days are not included in the price.
Every day, Big Bike Tours 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 the group when you’re ready. Big Bike Tours will have preferred routes mapped out for you - but anyway, you choose to arrive at the booked hotel is up to you! There are elephants and water buffalo although you might not get there in time for dinner.
Please book your flight to arrive at Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX). Most customers touring with Big Bike Tours usually come from Bangkok and in this case, they recommend traveling up to Chiang Mai by one of the many flights operating on this route. It is not expensive and with companies such as Air Asia. The earlier you book, the cheaper the flight.
The train (night train) is another option; however, the Thai train network needs a serious overhaul. Take a look at the difference between the train cost and the flight costs compared to one-hour flying time or a 12-hour train journey along with the fact that the trains are notoriously unreliable. The train option is usually the odd one out.
A lot of busses start every hour from Bangkok’s Northern Bus Terminal (Mo Chit - Chatuchak) to Chiang Mai. Travel time with the bus will be around eight hours.