Bicycle Food Tour in Chiang Mai
While in Chiang Mai, Thailand I highly recommend going on a bicycle/temple/history/food tour with Grasshopper Tours.
One of the coolest experiences we had the entire time we had in Thailand was in Chiang Mai on this tour. The scenery, the food, the knowledge our guide dropped on us; all of it was so fantastic.
Seven Miles of Fun
On this tour guests bicycle for 7 miles through bustling streets, alleyways covered in graffiti, and over bridges. In addition to biking the city tourists get tours of multiple temples. They promised that on their tour you would get “postcard-worthy photos” and boy did they deliver! Just look at that first photo. I think it’s better than a lot of postcards I have seen!
Historical Buildings and Temples
Our first stop was the Three King Monument at the City Navel. The Three King Monument is a sculpture of the three Kings aka founding fathers of Chiang Mai: Mengrai, Ramkamhaeng and Ngam Muang. During this first stop you have your first drink on the tour. You taste different kinds of tropical fruits found in Thailand from Miss Nong. Miss Nong has been selling high quality 100% fresh fruit juice at the city’s navel for almost 10 years.
Our tour guide went in depth on all the things we saw and ate. Sadly, it was too indepth for me and I wasn’t taking notes, so I cannot share all the info here. I guess you will just have to go to Thailand and take the tour for yourself.
My favorite part was watching the sunset behind Wat Inthakin, a small Buddhist temple with traditional Lanna architecture, once the site of the sacred city pillar within the in the heart of the old walled town.
At one of the temple pagodas, you might have the chance to make a wish Thai style! If you are able to do this. I regret not letting my kids do this when we were there. I thought we were on a time crunch only to figure out that we had plenty of time in this area. More than enough to have let each of them make a wish. So when you take this tour, know that you have plenty of time to do this!
Eventually bicyclists make way to a food market for an in-depth view of a Thai wet-market that is guaranteed to be memorable. Basically, any trip to a wet market is memorable. We could not get enough of them when we were in Thailand. They whole thing just seemed wild to us.
As you go along the guide explains various types of Northern Thai foods while putting together a dinner feast that guest enjoy at the market.
The Market has a lot going on and one of the first things we do is order food, that we will then come back and get later. You can stop and watch a food seller making chili paste and stop by a stall selling curries, stews and soups. I did a Facebook live stream while we walked around and it’s not the best quality, but still super interesting.
All the dishes are authentic Chiang Mai cuisine, but there was nothing too weird or too strange. No bugs or snakes unless you want them like my kids did. The boys ate fried crickets as part of their dinner! I didn’t even pay them to do this, they just did this all on their own! I thought it was disgusting, so of course I filmed it!
A Thai Feast
By the time the guide gets done ordering food you will have quite the feast of Chiang Mai style ‘Som Tum’ for dinner. This is a picture of our dinner. Sadly, I cannot explain each dish, but they were all awesome.
After dinner at the market you are not done. There are still more stops to make.
We biked over the river to enjoy Mae Salong tea and a traditional Thai dessert in a peaceful riverside setting.
There is so much packed into this one tour that if this is the only thing you do in Chiang Mai you will have gotten a solid sense and experience of the city.
Biking with Kids in Chaing Mai
Now you may be a little uneasy biking with kids in Chiang Mai and you should be. You need to make sure that all the kids are extremely comfortable riding a bike. You are cycling along side traffic multiple times and the traffic in Thailand is no joke. Also, never let a child bike without a helmet. Regardless of which tour company you decide to use, make sure they have helmets. Different tours have different minimum ages. My youngest child was 8 or 9 when we went on this tour and there is no way I would have done it if he was any younger than that. If your child is 7 or under I do not recommend doing a bike tour at all. It’s not just the bicycling, it’s also the child not panicking when there’s lots of traffic and their physical endurance. Many children are just too small to be able to bike 7 miles in a short period of time.
Where to Stay in Chiang Mai
I highly recommend staying where we stayed, Shangri-La Chiang Mai.
Should You Get Travel Insurance?
Don’t forget travel insurance! I’m a fan of Travelex insurance, because of the variety of options. Protect yourself from possible injury & theft abroad. Unfortunately, Noah had a seizure while we were out at Phi Phi island. Thankfully, I had gotten coverage that included airlift. So, needless I always recommend getting some sort of coverage. Read more about why you should always carry travel insurance here.