I just finished the December 2 Total North Tour, joining for seven of the ten days. I live in Thailand, but this was my first group tour. I am looking forward to the next one!
TBB team and bikes are great. Jeff and Nat took good care of us, and I understand from the other drivers that Duncan and Tik did the same on their leg of the tour.
Other reviews tell you how amazing the roads and sites are and how well Jeff and his team know them. It’s all true. If you haven’t been before, you have to come, and I can understand why serious drivers keep coming back.
Duncan and Jeff have picked very well from the three star accommodations available, getting great value for money. Some of the meals were quite good; some were not. The team is flexible - don’t be afraid to hunt around on TA and find restaurants you want to try in the cities you visit. Also, if the group wants to take more photo stops or less, the guides are up for it. Just let them know what you want to do.
I am not an experienced rider in the mountains; I live in the flat part of Thailand. And I brought my own bike, which is much larger than the Vstrom 650s the rest of the group rode. Most of the drive was challenging in a good way. But there were two segments of the tour where there were narrow hairpins with two or three meters elevation gain. It was really hairy. I opted out of the second stretch of this type and took other roads to our destination.
Finally, the North is cold at night in December/January. We were all wishing we had brought long johns. Don’t forget yours!
If you live to ride, you have to ride the North of Thailand.