Date: Several departures (join a small group or build your own departure)
Host: Local guides
Group size: Minimum 6/Maximum 18 participants
Cost: From US$2,750 per person
This immersive tour of Thailand by boat and bike combines the best elements of an active exploration with the leisure of a cruise and beach getaway, along with activities provided for non-riding partners of cyclists. Starting in the lively city of Bangkok, the cycle and cruise tour takes you through forests to rural farmland and past the Thai-Burma Railway for an immersion in Southeast Asian history. You finish your 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. Non-cycling friends and partners are welcome and will enjoy seeing all the sites and relaxing on the boat and beach.
For this special tour we are partnering up with Thailand’s first inland cruise ship, the RV River Kwai. 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 will be privately charter for your group with your own tour director.
- Cycle the 13th century Muang Sing ruins before returning to the ship for a relaxing river cruise with great views.
- Pedal back roads around Koh Yao for an exploration of tropical life and sparkling beaches.
- Spend a day in paradise, kayaking in the clear waters of Koh Yao or taking a walk through the jungle.
Questions? Please contact one of the Civilized Adventures' Adventure Travel Specialists at firstname.lastname@example.org
Day 1 - Transfer to Kanchanaburi & countryside ride
After picking you up from your hotel in Bangkok, transfer to Kanchanaburi City, which is about 3.5 hours and our first stop of the day is one of the most educated on the topic of the Thai-Burma Railway : The Thai-Burma Railway Center.
After that somber start to the day, we will convene on the grounds of a temple, to conduct a bike fitting and to hear all about safe riding from your group leader. Then we start off on a pedal of the town to visit the famed “Bridge Over the River Kwai”. From there, we ride out into the countryside through sugar cane fields and rice paddies where farmers tend to their buffalo. Lunch is had in a family-owned restaurant and with that fuel in our stomachs, we ride the last little bit to reach the embarkation point for your river ship.
18km ride (L,D)
Day 2 - Riding to explore the ruins of the Khmer Empire
Today we have a short ride option and a long ride option and you can make the decision on the day. Along the way, we pass remnants of the civilizations that have since been swept away with the passage of time. At one point, the Khmer Empire in what is now Cambodia occupied this land and built structures including Prasat Muang Sing where we will stop for lunch.
Back onboard the ship, we’ll cruise upstream at a leisurely pace and time our passage as such that it’s likely you’ll see elephants from the nearby sanctuary come down with their Mahouts for an afternoon bath in the river. This is a special sight and makes for some excellent pictures as the elephants often swim up quite close to the ship.
44/ 70km ride (B,L,D)
Day 3 - Cycle to Hellfire Pass
This is the biggest day of activity on the trip. We leave the ship quite early and take a short walk to board our train. This train runs on the remaining sections of track from the original Thai-Burma Railway and a short way into the journey passes over the exciting Wang Pho Viaduct.
After our train ride, it’s back onto the bikes for arguably the most varied ride of the tour. We start out along the river where the road is mostly flat and paved. Then we continue along and enter a forestry area. Riding gravel roads through the forest is quite a different experience to the last few days and a few hills make this section even more interesting. We conclude at a pedestrian, suspension bridge over the river and here we load into the vans for the short drive to the Hellfire Pass Memorial.
Back at the ship, we have an evening talk by Rod Beattie (schedule permitting). By now you will know quite a bit of the story of the Thai Burma Railway and Rod’s part in this is to tie it all together for you into the greater narrative, something that he does superbly, drawing on his significant understanding of the events of the time.
35km ride (B,L,D)
Day 5 - Explore the island by bike
The resort is in a secluded part of the island with a choice of a rugged trail or pleasant boat ride to reach the rest of the island. We take the boat option and after just a short zip in the boat, we find our bikes and go for a pedal of the southern area of the island which is mostly flat and with quiet paved roads. We will get a feel for the geography of the island, stop to see how rubber is grown and harvested and stop in on an aquaculture farm. We will ride over to the western side of the island where the landscape is a little different and sit down to lunch at a local restaurant on a pier. Then it’s back to the resort by boat and an afternoon free for you to enjoy as you see fit.
Non-riders can enjoy a beach day and activities at the resort.
28km ride (B,L)
Day 6 - Koh Yao Noi - Phanga Bay kayaking
Our departure time will depend on the tide because after a short boat ride, we will be getting into kayaks and paddling through a natural tunnel in the limestone to reach an enclosed lagoon. In fact, we will visit two of these lagoons in which it feels as though you are in a different dimension. The noise of passing boats is not heard and the sunlight filtering through the leaves and onto the faces of the small colony of monkeys that live here, give it a surreal feel. As the tide shifts, we paddle out and then continue to explore these small, limestone islands that are dotted throughout the bay. At one with a nice beach, we come aground to enjoy a swim and lunch before returning to the resort for another free afternoon before our final dinner as a group.
Day 7 - Tour concludes
The morning is free for you to enjoy Paradise. Then, depending on your exit arrangements from Thailand, we will have the necessary transport to take you to either Phuket International Airport or to a hotel on Phuket Island.
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5 days riding / 127 Km 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.
Dates & Cost
- 22 - 28 Feb 2021 - US$2,750 per person
- 09 - 15 Aug 2021 - US$2,750 per person
- 11 - 17 Oct 2021 - US$2,750 per person
- 08 - 14 Nov 2021 - US$2,750 per person
- Ask for 2022 dates!
There is no surcharge for single travelers – we will match you with another same-sex single traveler. If you want a single room there is an optional upgrade that you can book, at additional cost.
Accommodation and tour are subject to availability. Please contact us for more information and pricing based on your dates and customizations.