A Family Friendly Chiang Mai Bike Tour

Author: Celine Brewer

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Chiang Mai is blessed with a beautiful, mountainous Northern Thailand setting. This means that in addition to the cultural activities, there are plenty of excellent outdoor activities as well. During our family trip to Chiang Mai, we achieved this with a Chiang Mai bike tour in the countryside. Our kid-friendly bike tour through the countryside was a real highlight of our time in Chiang Mai with kids.

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Our Chiang Mai Biking Tour with Kids

Preparing our Bike Tour Gear

As soon as we arrived at the tour operators shop, they immediately started getting our bikes and equipment ready for our day of biking in Chiang Mai. Celine and I were provided 18 speed mountain bikes (I didn’t realize how badly my bike back home was tuned until I started changing gears with this bike – they were perfect).

They set up a WeeHoo Bike Trailer on the back of my bike for our 5 year old daughter and a child seat on Celine’s bike for our 3 year old son. Our daughter had never used a WeeHoo before and had a great time back there, spending most of her day waving at locals and singing songs. We were very impressed with the quality of our equipment.

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Are you still planning your family trip to Thailand? Be sure to check out our post on visiting Thailand with kids. We share everything you need to know to have the best family trip possible.

Chiang Mai to Lamphun by Train

Our Chiang Mai cycling tour began with a short ride to the train station. Given Chiang Mai is a city of 1.5 million people, it’s hard to avoid busy streets altogether, but our guide quickly led us off the busy roads and onto some quieter side streets.

We really appreciated our guide’s focus on the group’s safety – he always made the extra effort to ensure that we crossed roads safely by stopping oncoming traffic. He even went as far as to use his bike and body to fend off the occasional barking dog to make sure we all got by safely. Talk about going the extra mile!

Our train was already at the platform when we arrived at the Chiang Mai train station. We rode our bikes right up onto the platform, handed our bikes to the train attendants and within minutes our train was on its way.

Our bikes on the train from Chiang Mai to Lamphun.

The train to Lamphun was a simple 2nd class train with wooden seats and windows that open. We sat across from a few monks, which the kids thought was pretty neat (and the monks seemed to enjoy as well). The scenic countryside we passed along the way was foreshadowing of the day to come.

Two kids on a Chiang Mai bike tour look out the window during a train ride to Lamphun.

Cycling Lamphun: Wat Phra That Hariphunchai

Lamphun is a reasonably large city of a half-million people, but it seems so sleepy and quiet compared to the madness of Chiang Mai. The roads were so relaxing and enjoyable as our bike tour headed towards Wat Phra That Hariphunchai.

This temple is every bit as beautiful as what you see in Chiang Mai, but without the tourists. The central stupa at Wat Phra That Hariphunchai was originally built over 1100 years ago!

Wat Phra That Hariphunchai, Lamphun Thailand.
Visiting temples with kids on a cycling tour in Chiang Mai.

After our temple visit, Gun took us to a nearby coffee shop where we enjoyed views of Wat Phra That Hariphunchai while refueling with coffee and snacks. (The coffee in Thailand is so good!)

Dan Brewer, takes a break from the family-friendly Chiang Mai bike tour, at a coffee shop near Wat Phra That Hariphunchai.

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If you are looking for more kid-friendly things to do, check out the Chiang Mai elephant sanctuary.

Cycling Country Roads

After a short rest, our Chiang Mai bike tour left Lamphun and were soon gliding along on near deserted country roads, where local farmers grow rice, basil, chilies and a huge variety of fruit. Our guide was kind enough to stop several times to let us try the produce growing along this charming country road.

Our kids really liked trying the fruit, while we loved the smell of the fresh Thai basil, straight from the plant. This long stretch of family biking was very relaxing, with very little traffic. The locals we passed seemed genuinely happy to see us and were full of smiles and waves, especially for our kids.

A bike tour with kids in Chiang Mai Thailand.
a 5-year old girl tries local fruit while on a family bike tour in Chiang Mai.

Thai Food Lunch

Around lunchtime we stopped in a small village for some authentic Thai food. We stopped at the kind of local restaurant that most tourists (including ourselves) probably wouldn’t dream of going to – it just looks too local.

But, we are so happy we stopped here; the food was amazing! We had a red curry, basil pork, crunchy pork and papaya salad. It’s sometimes hard to find kid-friendly food in Thailand, but they took care of our kids with an omelet with fried rice, along with a large platter of papaya and pineapple for dessert.

Dan Brewer, of the Family Can Travel blog, eats lunch with kids kis while on a family Cycle Tour in Chiang Mai Thailand.

Our Chiang Mai biking tour continued along more peaceful country roads. These are the sections of the bike ride we found most enjoyable. Even if we were able to find our own bike rentals and made our way out to the country, we’d never be able to find these picturesque back country roads around Chiang Mai. This is where booking a bike tour in Chiang Mai really pays off vs. doing it yourself. 

Biking tour for families in Chiang Mai Thailand.
Scenery along bike tour in Chiang Mai Thailand.

Wood Carving Village

The next stop on our Chiang Mai bike tour was an amazing street market with many shops offering high-end wood products. We ended up stopping at a teak wood carving place for a coffee. You’ll have to see these carvings with your own eyes to believe them.

We have visited many of the world’s best museums and these carvings blew away most of the artwork I’ve seen in my life. The details are so incredible, you won’t believe it. Many pieces on display took the artist 2-3 years to create. (The lattes were pretty good too!)

Grasshopper Adventures cycle tour in Chiang Mai Thailand.
we visited this amazing wood carving village on our cycling tour in Chiang Mai.

Cycling back to Chiang Mai

Shortly after, we were back on the busy streets of Chiang Mai. Again, our guide did a great job keeping us off the busy streets as much as possible. He led us to a local market where we all dismounted and walked through.

I imagine the only tourists this place sees are when then this bike tour comes through. Our guide took the time to show us many of the local produce and foods on offer. Our kids thought he was the greatest when he bought them each an ice cream cone! 

a 3-year old explores a local market in while on a family trip to Chiang Mai Thailand.
Kids eating ice cream at local market in Chiang Mai Thailand.

Wat Umong Meditation Center

Soon we were off to our final destination, the Wat Umong Meditation Center. The ride to the mediation center goes up a series of modest hills through a very scenic forest. The hills were a bit of a challenge with the kids in tow, but anyone in reasonably good shape will be able to do them, especially with an 18-gear mountain bike.

Wat Umong Meditation Center Chiang Mai Thailand.

The meditation center was very atmospheric in its beautiful forest setting. It was around 5pm and was starting to get a little dark, so the ambiance was very special as we walked around the historic buildings alongside the many monks in their golden robes.

Find a Kid-Friendly Chiang Mai Bike Tour

We love seeing the countryside by bike when we travel and we were so happy to find this family friendly Chiang Mai cycling tour. Sadly, the Chiang Mai bike tour we describe above is not offered by the tour operator anymore. But we were able to find one which looks nearly identical.

Family cycling tour in Chiang Mai Thailand

Suggested Tour

This family-friendly Chiang Mai bike tour is nearly identical to the one we enjoyed so much on our family trip to Thailand.

We love getting around by bike when we travel and the Chiang Mai bike tour was top of our list of things to do in Chiang Mai with kids. We couldn't have imagined a better way than biking in Chiang Mai to get the full experience. || Thailand with kids | Cycling with Kids | Bike tour in Chiang Mai | Chiang Mai with Kids #chiangmai #travelwithkids
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Celine Brewer is a dedicated family travel blogger with a profound passion for helping families create unforgettable adventures together. Her blog blends captivating travel narratives with practical tips for family-friendly destinations and enjoying active travel with kids. As a mother of two, she understands the unique challenges of traveling with children and offers valuable insights to empower parents.

When Celine isn't traveling with her husband and two kids, she's either working on one of her three travel sites (Family Can Travel, Baby Can Travel and Travel Banff Canada) or out enjoying the majestic Canadian Rockies her family calls home.