Thailand’s unofficial religion is the pursuit of “sanuk,” the Thai concept of fun, pleasure and fulfillment.
The tenth Tour de Thailand, which began on Nov. 3 and will run until Dec. 3, keys into that spirit, inviting cyclists to explore Thailand’s rich and diverse scenery on a fully supported charity bike ride. Riders can choose to complete the entire adventure between two of the country’s most popular towns – gourmet hub, Chiang Mai, and party paradise, Phuket – or do just a Northern, Central or Southern ride.
“It’s a life-changing ride — not a race,” the organizers say.
The whole ride across the length of Thailand lasts 30 days and covers over 1,500 miles. The itinerary includes 24 days of riding and six “strategic days off for sightseeing, relaxation, and to take it all in.”
All proceeds go to Operation Smile: an organization devoted to giving free surgical treatment to disfigured children and young adults in developing countries. Every entrant must raise at least 35,000 Thai Baht – about $1,100 – for each section of the ride to be completed. The charity of choice is certainly apt, given that Thailand’s nickname is the Land of Smiles.
Cover Photo Credit: RussBowling – flickr.com