Asian Motorcycle Adventures

5-Day Golden Triangle WEST Motorcycle Tour – Itinerary

The absolute best motorcycle riding in Southeast Asia, perhaps even the world, is found in Thailand’s Golden Triangle region.

Buddhas in a circle
The Fern Resort
Speeding through a curve
Thaton River
Temorary bridge
Tea country
Action photos
The White Wat

The 5-DAY GOLDEN TRIANGLE WEST MOTORCYCLE TOUR daily itinerary is listed below, but first…….
Click if you want to read about what is included in this tour package.

Click if you have not read yet, What’s so special, anyway, about a Golden Triangle Motorcycle Tour?



Our 1st driving day heads straight up to MAE SAI, the northernmost point in Thailand.  Today’s ride is the gentlest one on this tour.  It will allow you to familiarize yourself, relatively stress free, with your bike and road conditions, as well as get a handle on the style of driving practiced (or not practiced) by the average Thai citizen.

Our first cultural stop is Wat Rong Khun, the magnificent pure white temple conceived by an internationally-famous Thai artist.  In a few short years this temple has become the #1 tourist attraction in the country amongst the Thais themselves.  This temple has to be seen to be believed.

Our next stop is at the Monkey Temple, not to visit the temple but to play with the monkeys—who doesn’t like monkeys?  They are tame enough to eat peanuts right out of your hand.

If we arrive early enough in MAE SAI, we can go for a walking tour into Burma.

Our lodging choices is quite comfortable.  During the hot season we stay in a hotel with a pool.  In the cool season we stay in the center of town.  A Yunan restaurant, my personal favorite, prepares fantastic cuisine.

Length of ride: 250 kms. / 150 miles.  Driving time: approximately 4 hours.

Scenic overlook

Scenic overlook

DAY #2 starts with a climb into a karst mountain range immediately upon leaving Mae Sai and we stay in it for most of the day.  Looking at this terrain, it is hard to believe that anyone could even think about building a road through it.  But they did, thank you.

Our first main stop is a mountaintop temple with one of those ‘I can’t believe how steep this is’ roads.  You better hold onto your handlebars tight or you just might slide off the back end of your motorcycle. 

Wat Doi Tung has hundreds of bells, and it is said if you ring them all this guarantees you a place in heaven.  An offer like this doesn’t come along every day so you might as well take the effort and ring them.

After the temple, we start driving through the back country on perhaps the most technical roads you will ever encounter, but ones that are also a hell of a lot of fun.  They take us to our second stop: the abandoned headquarters of a former drug warlord, located in a remote corner of Thailand.  Many participants rate this visit as one of the highlights of their tour.

We enter tea country in the afternoon and stop at a tea estate for a tea tasting.  After that we ride up to a mountaintop shrine on another ridiculously steep road.  The view from the peak is breathtaking and this scene is depicted on many travel posters promoting Thailand.

More great riding all the way down into the valley where we stay in a wonderful resort on the banks of the THATON RIVER.

Length of ride: 160 kms. / 100 miles.  Driving time: approximately 4 hours.

Only in Thailand are Army camps turned into tourist stops, and on the morning of DAY #3 we visit one.  To reach it we have to ride up Thailand’s steepest road —hold on tight once again.  After that, we traverse another convoluted karst mountain range with spectacular views the entire ride.  This mountain passage is very tight, twisty, and technical, but beautiful beyond compare.

The fabulous Rawee Waree Resort.

Bikers lounging around the pool at the Rawee Wawee Resort

We try to keep stops to a minimum today so we can arrive as early as possible at one of the most beautiful resorts in Thailand, or anywhere else for that matter, the SIP SAN RESORT.

Just down the river valley road from the resort are many optional activities to keep you busy, such as: whitewater rafting, a zip line through the jungle canopy, ATV vehicles, elephant rides through the countryside, nature walks, bamboo rafting, and oxcart rides.

Length of ride: 220 kms. / 130 miles.  Driving time: approximately 4 hours.

GPS screen shot

GPS screen shot

On DAY #4 we ride the northern half of the road that put Thailand on the world motorcycle touring map to begin with; the Mae Hong Son Loop

To put the Mae Hong Son Loop in perspective, when knowledgeable bikers talk about the best motorcycle roads in the world, the Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps is always mentioned.  They describe how awesome the sixty-linked hairpin turns are over its thirty-kilometer length.  Well, the Mae Hong Son Loop has at least sixty hairpin turns per hour!  Completing the entire Loop takes two days!  There is never any traffic!  Some participants complain they actually get dizzy whipping around through so many turns.

Towering forest, corkscrewing mountain roads, waterfalls, lakes, and hill tribe villages will not fail to impress even the most widely‑traveled rider.  This is one hell of an exciting drive through some of Thailand’s most breathtaking scenery.

To see what you are actually in for, you can watch high-definition videos of a ride around the Mae Hong Son Loop by clicking here.

We stop for the night in the provincial capital of MAE HONG SON.  Our lodging is at the award-winning Fern Resort, and their restaurant has also won numerous awards on its own—wait till you taste the chicken wrapped in pandan leaves!  Another feast awaits. 

If you possibly have any energy left, there are nature walks into the bordering national park.  What most of our participants wind up doing, though, is lounge around the pool and go for a two-hour massage.

Length of ride: 270 kms. / 130 miles.  Driving time: approximately 5 hours.

There is no let-up of great riding on DAY #5, our last day.  This is a long ride in the saddle, so we try to limit our stops in order to return to CHIANG MAI by mid-afternoon.

Vachiwathan Waterfall

Vachiwathan Waterfall

Starting off, we head south on our final section of the Mae Hong Son Loop.  Then we cut eastwards across the western cordilleras of the Golden Triangle and climb up the back side of Thailand’s highest mountain, Doi Inthanon

By lunchtime we have completed about three‑and‑a‑half hours of tight, tricky mountain riding and relax over lunch at a restaurant at the base of a massive waterfall.

The remainder of the ride back to CHIANG MAI is over a main trunk road that is a piece of cake compared to what we just completed.  And a most memorable five terrific days of motorcycle riding has come to an end.

Length of ride: 265 kms. / 160 miles. Driving time: approximately 5.5 hours.

Cumulative 5‑Day GT West Tour distance: 1,100 + kms / 650 + miles.
(Before you book this tour, please read our FAQ page, especially FAQ #2.)

Click to view GOLDEN TRIANGLE map.

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