Biking Mountain hiking is often described as the "intimate" way to
see a country. Besides, it is environmentally friendly, with no petrol
fumes to pollute the air, and provides good exercise for the traveller.
A number of companies offer well-organised hiking tours.
The north of Thailand is most suitable for this
activity because of its cooler temperatures, especially from November
to February. Visitors have a choice of itineraries, such as a four-day
three-night tour, which takes in some of the most popular features
of the region: hilltribe villages, ancient caves, northern tea plantations,
hot springs and cruises by bamboo raft through some of the remotest
territory in Southeast Asia. Accommodation is in simple village lodges.
The packages often include transfers by Jeep between hiking sections,
a 15-speed mountain bike, back-up transport for baggage and assistance
throughout the tour, all meals and an English-speaking guide.
For those heading south, bik-ing tours offer variations
of half day and full day tours depending on your time and energy.
Distances covered are from approximately 11 to 36 kms, and combine
cycling - mostly along back roads with relatively little traffic -
with elephant rides and boat transfers depending on the tour. En route,
visitors can enjoy scenic rubber plantations, water-falls, local villages,
and stunning beaches.