A cruise & cycle adventure through Thailand
This tour of Thailand by boat and bike combines the best elements of an active exploration with the leisure of a cruise and beach getaway. Starting in the lively city of Bangkok, the cycling tour takes us through forests to rural farmland and past the Thai-Burma Railway for an immersion in Southeast Asian history. We finish our journey on the mostly undiscovered island of Koh Yao for a few days of fun in the sun, exploring the island and its waters by bike and kayak. The ultimate active holiday, that also offers plenty of chance for R&R in the peaceful setting of Thailand.
This bike & boat tour begins in Bangkok and ends in Koh Yao
This tour allows you to see the many facets of Thailand, starting with its capital: Bangkok. Cycling back roads through this vibrant hub of activity, we’ll get to know Bangkok pretty well and taste some of its famous street eats! From here we head to Kanchanaburi, a town in western Thailand that was the subject of one of the most audacious and ultimately tragic Japanese initiatives of World War II.
Not only will our cycling exploration provide us with scenic vistas and cultural sites, but allow for historical immersion as well. We’ll pedal down a mix of sealed and unsealed roads, over a suspension bridge, to historic sites such as Hellfire Pass aptly named for the difficulty of conditions endured by the labourers who built it, and take a ride on a section of the original Thai-Burma Railway.
Our tour rounds up on the idyllic surroundings of Koh Yao, complete with a blissful stay on an island resort, and cycling exploration of the island as well as other water and land activities. Discover the history and culture of Thailand, combined with physical exploration and a relaxing beach vacation on this eight-day tour.
For tours commencing from Dec 20 to Jan 5, and Apr 13-16 there is a peak season surcharge of 15% on the price of this tour due to hotel rate increases at this time of year.
8 days duration
140 km distance
Trip Features & Tour Inclusions
What makes Grasshopper so special?
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RV River Kwai
For this special tour Grasshopper Adventures is partnering up with Thailand’s first inland cruise ship, the RV River Kwai. The vessel was newly built as a colonial style river cruiser based on designs used by the original Irrawaddy Flotilla which was founded in Burma in 1865 and by the 1920s was the largest privately owned fleet of ships in the world.
With just ten beautifully teak enhanced cabins, this cozy, small and intimate vessel is perfect to cruise on the scenic and historic River Kwai.
The RV River Kwai is under private charter to Grasshopper Adventures with our own Grasshopper tour director.
Quality, well maintained Merida mountain bikes in a full range of sizes are included in your tour, fitted with hydraulic disc brakes, hybrid tyres for touring. Handlebar bags for your personal possessions and a reusable sports bottle are also provided.
In Bangkok and the Islands all nights are in quality accommodation which make for a wonderfully comfortable experience after your exploring. The island resort has a shaded swimming pool and is also only a few steps from the ocean, the ultimate R&R for your body and mind. All other nights are spent onboard the boat which offers comfortable and scenic berths and the convinience of not having to repack and move daily as we explore the region.
An experienced English speaking, local leader will host you on this trip who is well spoken, very well informed, and charming. Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use local leaders who have a passion for their country and are always well informed on topics ranging from history, politics, cuisine and importantly local customs and cultures. Our leaders will take pride in introducing you to every aspect of their country and will help you to connect with the villagers you meet along the way.
A bike mechanic will join the group. Whilst not a master of linguistics, our technical team always make an effort to form a bond with the group and provide not just mechanical support, but additional encouragement to those who may find themselves at the back of the group. Our drivers support the group by ensuring that the freshest fruit and tastiest snacks are picked up along the way.
An air conditioned backup support vehicle is always available in case you want a break from riding, and to carry your luggage.
Thai food is internationally famous, and for good reason. This trip is as much about food as riding with all the best of Thai food provided throughout the trip. Included meals are listed in the day by day itinerary, and drinking water is always included with meals. Any soft or alcoholic drinks are not included and will be at your own expense.
Energy bars and local snacks are provided to keep your energy levels up for the riding, and clean water and electrolyte drinks are always available to keep you well hydrated.
Take It Home
A beautiful souvenir Grasshopper cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home. We also provide a Grasshopper drink bottle as an extra memento.
8 to 20
This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of 8 travellers and we limit the group size to 20 travellers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.
There is no surcharge for single travellers - we will match you with another same sex single traveller. If you want a single room there is a an optional upgrade that you can book.
This tour is 100% operated by Grasshopper Adventures. The guides are our full time employees, the hotels booked by our local office staff, and the bikes are part of our fleet of over 300 bikes. We are not outsourcing any element of this tour so you can be assured of 100% Grasshopper quality.
for Thailand Bike, Boat & Beach tour
Bangkok by Night
Welcome to Bangkok: the fast-paced capital city of Thailand. Here we will meet at our hotel at 3 pm before hitting the bikes for a night tour of this endlessly fascinating city.
Once we’ve crossed the Chao Phraya River by ferry with a nice sunset view, we’ll saddle up our bikes and cycle the back roads to Wat Arun. This Temple of the Dawn is spectacular at night, with small lights illuminating its tall spires and no crowds of tourists that clog the site during the day.
From here, it’s on to the world-famous Bangkok flower market where we’ll stop to admire the various blossoms and even try some tasty street food. Next, it’s back on the bikes to pedal to another pagoda, Wat Pho, for a wander around its impressive mosaics. A great first night and introduction to Thailand.
Cycle to Kanchanaburi
This morning we’ll transfer to Kanchanaburi before we set off on two wheels to explore this interesting town. Known for the infamous Death Railway to Burma from World War II, Kanchanaburi is also home to the Erawan National Park with its glistening waterfalls and several significant Buddhist temples.
Today’s route takes us along the river, where we’ll stop at a war cemetery to learn more about the significance of this area during the wartime. The rest of the day brings us through farmland where a variety of crops are harvested, including corn, rice, sugar cane, and asparagus. After devouring a tasty Thai lunch, we’ll board our ship for the first part of our boat adventure.
The RV River Kwai is a colonial-style river cruiser complete with teakwood cabins to provide a leisurely cruise experience. You only have to unpack once, as we will make our way back to the ship after each day of cycling for a comfortable ride on the River Kwai with great views.
Cycle Ban Kao
This morning we start off with a ride through small, narrowing roads that turn to dirt track as we pedal deeper into the forest. We’ll end the ride by crossing an epic suspension bridge back to the main roads before a transfer to Hellfire Pass for a museum visit and walk along the ominous pass.
We’ll take a short transfer to Nam Tok train station, the modern day end of the train line that used to stretch all the way to Myanmar. Here we'll enjoy a ride on the Death Railway and experience a piece of WWII history for ourselves. After crossing the trestle bridge at Krasae Cave, we transfer back to our ship for another night on the River Kwai.
Cycle Mae Nam Noi
After mounting our bikes off the boat, we cycle along a series of small sealed and unsealed roads that wind their way around villages and farmland. We’ll pedal for a short while on the main road before tackling a bit of an uphill climb, then enjoy the descent back towards the river where we’ll visit the Angkor era ruins at Muang Sing. This region marks the furthest point west that the great Khmer Empire once spread.
15 kilometers of our ride remain before we devour a late lunch and drive back to our River Kwai cruise ship. Back on the deck of the ship, with a cool drink in hand, you can reflect on these past three days of exploration, cycling a region infamous for its bridge and railway line but with rewards to reap that extend beyond just a history lesson.
Flight to Koh Yao
Time to leave the boat this morning before our flight to Koh Yao. We’ll arrive at 3 pm and check into our hotel that is aptly named Paradise Koh Yao. Our accommodation, set into the tropical wilderness of this less visited island, is just a few steps away from the white sand and clear water and features a saltwater infinity pool in the shade of palm trees. Spend your evening in this blissful atmosphere rejuvenating your body for the day of cycling to come.
Cycle the Island
Let's saddle up on the bikes to explore this peaceful island! We’ll cycle unsealed back roads towards the center of the island, taking in the fresh salt air and tropical jungle life along the way. After a satisfying morning ride, the rest of the day is yours to make the most of this idyllic island holiday with a dip in the pool or the Phang Nga Bay.
Time to soak up the sun with a day of active water adventure. Hop in kayaks to explore the serene waters of Koh Yao from a different perspective, then adjust your snorkel and check out what lies below the surface. There is also the option to rent a boat and go on a fishing excursion for those who are interested.
Those less interested in the water can take a trek in the jungle, or master the subtleties of Thai spices with a cooking class. Whatever activity you choose, you’re sure to have fun in the sun on our last day together.
Our tour concludes today on Koh Yao, so feel free to enjoy the island for a few more days, or we can assist you with your further travel arrangements. The nearest International Airport is in Phuket.
What's the Riding Like?
Some small hills
5 days riding
This tour does feature some hills, but they are more of the undulating, rolling nature than the sustained climbing nature. You are on a mixture of well-paved roads and some hard packed, gravel/dirt roads that make up about 20% of the total riding.
Coolest time: Nov-Feb
Wettest time: Jun-Oct
Dec-Jan & Jul-Aug
Central, North & Northeast Thailand
This region of Thailand has three seasons: 'the cool', 'the hot' and 'the wet'. November to February is cool and dry (sometimes even chilly in the far north), with temperatures starting to rise in March to reach a peak in late April and May. The onset of the rains, in late May, helps to bring temperatures down, with showers being generally heavy but short.
Unlike the rest of the country the south only really has two seasons - dry and wet. The rainy and dry seasons in the south alternate from coast to coast; when it is dry season on the Gulf of Thailand Coast (east side) it's rainy season on the Andaman Coast (west side) and vice versa. The Andaman Coast is rainy from April until October while on the Gulf of Thailand Coast most the rain falls from September to December.
While without doubt the best riding conditions are during the coolest part of the year (December & January), Thailand is at its most beautiful at the height of the rains (July & August) when the fields are a vibrant emerald green and the rice paddies full of water.
What our guests tell us...
Just a selection of our Thailand reviews!
Woody ensured we ate in local restaurants with excellent hygiene and western toilets! The route took us to WW2 places such as the River Kwai Bridge, Hellfire Pass and war cemeteries. A very moving and once in a lifetime experience. Although we were not seasoned cyclists by any stretch of the imagination...We cannot recommend them enough
We will definitely be back and are planning on the 5 day tour from Bangkok to Koh Samui for 2019.
Thanks Grasshopper Tours and of course Woody
Extremely well organised guided tour from hotel choices, knowledgeable guides, superb support vehicle & team and good quality bikes. Everything you need!
Best bike tour ever!! We did the “Bridge over River Kwai” bike tour with our 13 year old son. We had a blast!!! Our guide Kan was the best. He was very friendly & accomodating. He made our bike tour fun and memorable. We also had the best driver, Ed. Ed was very helpful and kind. He even offered his place for us to shower before we head to the airport for our flight. Thanks so much Kan & Ed. Thanks Grasshopper Adventures. Thanks also Ging for helping us with our booking. We will surely cycle again with you :)
Video testimony from other tours...
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