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There’s a revolution in wine production today, as the new New World wines of Thailand are making a stunning breakthrough into the considered world of wine appreciation. Grown and processed in the stunning Asoke Valley sitting at an elevation of 350m above sea level, the location is perfect for nurturing wine grapes, and of course tasting the finished product.
Starting in Bangkok we drive north for two hours and arrive at Bonya Lit Temple. Here we’ll get on our bikes and start riding on a quiet country road. The road is a mixture of dirt and asphalt with lots of potholes as the road winds and undulates through small dairies, tamarind orchards and even a sheep farm. After 6 km we’ll turn off onto a shaded gravel road that skirts a pond and will leads us to a dirt road. Here we’ll be without vehicle support for 4 km as we ride through mango orchards and fields of sugar cane. After a rest stop by a lake we’ll ride on to Khao Yai Winery and lunch at the Hornbill Restaurant complemented by a glass of wine. We’ll then take a tour of the vineyard and taste some Thai wine. We then have just 4 more kilometres to cycle to our resort. The pool has a wonderful view and it’s a great way to cool down after a day of cycling.
After breakfast we have a short transfer to our start point. Today you will be climbing a bit on the bike as well as off the bike! We start by cycling on yet another very quiet road, passing tapioca fields and a rock quarry. Your climbing will be rewarded by a long downhill to Wat Tam Tien. Here you can climb the 145 stairs up to a cave. After a look around it’s time to get back on the bikes and we ride through sugar cane fields, passing a Chinese meditation centre with three distinctive statues. Then it’s just a few more turns of the pedals to the Prapatsorn Grape Farm. Here you can taste their local grapes and if you have a sweet tooth the candies they make from them. You’ll have a perfect view of the White Buddha on the hill. He’s sitting 112 metres above ground level on the hilltop and is made entirely from concrete. If you are up for the challenge a walkway with 1,250 steps leads to the base of the statue and the views are well worth the effort. After all that climbing a hearty lunch is in order. Sated with our thorough ride through Asoke Valley it’s time to head back to Bangkok.
**Khao Yai Winery:** Set on a valley plain 300m above sea level close to Khao Yai National Park. Khao Yai Winery claims to be the birthplace of Khao Yai wine. The 800-acre plantation includes 200 acres of good quality grapes and a 3,000 square-meter factory including a fermentation room housing French-made 225litre oak barrels with the capacity to mature 450,000 litres of wine, or 600,000 bottles a year.
A cellar door is available and any wine you want to buy will be packed for safe transfer back to the hotel.
_Those considering this tour as a private trip might like to consider upgrading the accommodation to the nearby five-star **Kirimaya Resort & Spa**._