Cycle Myanmar

tours / Cycling

Cycle Myanmar information and booking

from
$2990
  • Duration
    11 days
    Days
  • Group size
    4-15
    Persons
  • Difficulty
    Introductory - Moderate
Check prices & availability

Schedule Details

Summary
  • 11 day trip
  • 5 day cycle
  • 10 nights hotel
Equipment Required
A bike helmet is compulsory on this trip. We also highly recommend bike pants, gloves and a gel seat cover for your own comfort. A full gear list will be provided on booking.

Highlights

  • Cycle and discover the beauty of this untouched country
  • Wander through the colonial charm of Yangon
  • Witness the sunset from the top of Mandalay Hill
  • Visit the worlds largest bell in the ancient city of Mingun
  • Walk amongst the wonders at Sagaing, home to 600 pagodas and monasteries
  • Discover one of the finest collections of temples in South East Asia at Bagan
  • Climb more than 700 steps at Mount Popa for amazing views
  • Discover by bike the beautiful scenery of Inle Lake

Tour description provided by World Expeditions

Few can argue that Myanmar is a gem of a destination. We explore at handle bar level this friendly land, where exceptional hospitality is guaranteed. After flying to Mandalay, our cycling adventure starts in earnest in with a ride on the outskirts before returning by boat on the Irrawaddy River. Our cycling continues through timeless villages where we observe traditional lifestyles enroute to Bagan, home to one of the finest collection of temples in South East Asia. Exploring at a gentle pace, this magnificent region uncovers ancient pagodas and temples of a bygone era with intricate carvings, murals and astonishing architecture. At sacred Mount Popa, the abode of 'Nats', known as 'Spirits of Ancient Ancestors' we leave our bikes and climb the 700 steps for stunning panoramic views from the golden temple at its summit. Last but not least, Inle Lake with its bustling local markets, handicrafts and stilted villages provides a perfect and relaxing conclusion to this inspiring adventure.

What's included

  • 10 breakfasts, 9 lunches, 10 dinners
  • Arrival transfer (day 1 only)
  • 3 star comfortable accommodation on twin share basis
  • Internal flights yangon/mandalay and bagan/heho/yangon valued at $us336
  • Expert bilingual guides throughout for groups of 7 or more. for smaller groups of 4 - 6 passengers we employ local guides in each location.
  • Medical kit
  • Private vehicles
  • 21 gear bike on cycling days
  • Support vehicle and bike mechanic on cycling days
  • Porterage on walk
  • Sightseeing and entry fees as per itinerary

Itinerary

Day 1 Arrive Yangon
Arrive Yangon this morning and transfer to your hotel. After lunch the group will gather in the lobby for an afternoon excursion of Yangon. Begin with a visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, home to a 70-meter long reclining Buddha. A visit to Kyaukhtatgyi provides a great overview of Buddhism with murals depicting the life of Buddha, the feet of the statue carved with traditional symbols and often many locals gathering to pay homage and pray. From here continue to downtown Yangon to explore the fabulous mix of colonial architecture and religious monuments. We will take a short walking tour past the most famous buildings such as City Hall and the Post Office. Depending on the time there is the option to stop at a local tea shop to experience an integral part of Burmese life: drinking tea! Select from an array of snacks and enjoy a coffee or tea as you sit amid businessmen, friends and families who gather at the tea shop to socialize or conduct business. The tea shop is also unique in the way they prepare the tea, so be sure to have your camera ready. Return to your hotel for a chance to freshen up. Late this afternoon, visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. The central stupa is 90 meters tall and gilded with gold leaf. As the sun begins to set enjoy the breathtaking views of the Pagoda and surrounding skyline before transferring back to dinner. PLEASE NOTE: The Shwedagon pagoda will be under maintenance between Sept. 2014 - Feb. 2015. It will have partial scaffold but still can be viewed.
Day 2 Fly to Mandalay
After breakfast, transfer to airport for the flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival at Mandalay, transfer to the hotel. Your bikes will be waiting here and after checking in, we will take some time to do a bike fitting. Lunch at local restaurant. This afternoon is at leisure- a car and guide are at your disposal for sightseeing in Mandalay. Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Mandalay.
Day 3 Cycle to Ancient capital, Amarapura, return to Mandalay
It’s time to begin cycling! After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will take you on a bike ride to Mandalay’s outskirts. Heading to the southwest of the city, your first destination is the 18th century capital of Amarapura (17 kms/ app 1 hour). Stop here to visit U Bein Bridge for a walk along this 200 year-old teak bridge. The bridge spans over 2 kilometers in length and offers fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams. Continue by bike across the Irrawaddy River to Mingun (33 kms/ app 2 hours). Visit the main sites of Mingun beginning with the famous Mingun Pahtodawqyi. This huge brick structure was left unfinished after an astrologer predicted the King’s would die should the temple be completed. In the 1800s, an earthquake left several large cracks in the structure. Continue your visit at the beautiful white Hsinbyume Pagoda whose distinctive style is meant to resemble the mythical Mount Meru. Then see the Mingun Bell which weighs 90 tons and is considered the world’s largest uncracked ringing bell. Lunch at local restaurant This afternoon, return to Mandalay by boat. This 1-1.5 hour journey along the Irrawaddy is a great way to observe the lives of the fishermen and enjoy the beautiful, tranquil scenery. Upon reaching Mandalay, You will explore the hidden places of the city by car. Stops will be made at a workshop making gold leaf, where the craftsmen use ancient techniques handed down over generations. You’ll also visit Mahamuni Pagoda, home to one of the country’s most revered Buddha images which, over the years, has been covered with gold leaf giving it an almost ‘lumpy’ texture. End the day with enjoying the magnificent sunset view from the top of Mandalay Hill. Dinner at A Little Bit of Mandalay. Overnight in Mandalay. Biking Distance: Approximately 50 km
Day 4 Cycle to Pyin Si, travel on to Meiktila
Today’s journey takes you to Meiktila. The journey starts on bike and then continues the last stretch by vehicle. You will cycle to Pyin Si Junction from Mandalay. Along the way, you will pass by the villages and you will have unparalleled opportunities to observe traditional lifestyles of the rural Burmese. Their life is lacking in many amenities yet the concepts of mutual help and cooperation are central to village life here and there are a number of social and religious customs which prevail in the upper Myanmar. Lunch at the village or on route (lunch box) Dinner at local restaurant. Overnight in Meiktila Biking Distance: Approximately 45 km (Bike: Mandalay – Pyin Si Junction 45 km/2 hours; car from Pyin Si - Meiktila 2-3 hours)
Day 5 Cycle to Mt Popa
This morning is a scenic ride to Mt Popa. The road is good and the traffic light, varied scenery and lots of stops make it an enjoyable ride. The journey starts on bike and then continues the last stretch by vehicle. The terrain starts out quite hilly but there are options to ride in the support van if you wish. Lunch at a local restaurant along the way. Check in to Popa Mountain Resort and enjoy the spectacular views or go for a refreshing swim. Dinner this evening is at your hotel. Overnight at Popa Mountain Resort. Biking Distance: Approximately 50-70 km (note: Support vehicle will be with you throughout so if you wish to stop biking at any point to shorten the ride, this is no problem)
Day 6 Mount Popa - Bagan
After breakfast, start with an easy bike down from your hotel to the base of Mt. Popa. From here you can climb the almost 900 stairs to the top of Popa Taung Kalat. Along the way you will pass dozens of nat shrines and many local pilgrims who come to honour these spirits. From the top you will have superb views of the surrounding plains. Then proceed to Bagan by bike along Byatta Pan Sat Road which leads to Kyauk Padaung – Nyaung U road. En-route stop at a village and palm garden to see ways of life of rural people in this area. A picnic lunch box will be served along the way. Continue the last stretch by vehicle arriving in Bagan this afternoon and check into your hotel. After freshening up take a horsecart ride to an elevated temple to watch the sunset over the pagoda-filled plains. Enjoy dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Bagan. 45km, 100% tar road unless otherwise en-route visit into the villages on the way. 50% mostly flat or 10º slope up and down, 45% up and down 20-35º slope
Day 7 Bagan
After breakfast at the hotel, spend a full day biking around the ancient temples. Start with a visit to the colourful Nyaung Oo Market where the locals come to buy and trade fresh produce and handicrafts. Continue to Shwezigon Pagoda, known for its magnificent golden stupa, and Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jatakas murals paintings. Your final visit this morning is at the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations. Take a break from the midday heat for lunch and a chance to relax. This afternoon, observe the process of traditional lacquerware, one of Myanmar's best-known handicrafts and a specialty of Bagan. Then, visit Ananda, an architectural masterpiece reflecting the early-style of Bagan temple construction and containing four impressive standing Buddha images. Continue to nearby Ananda Okkyaung, one of the few surviving brick monasteries from the early Bagan period. Dinner at local restaurant Overnight in Bagan. Biking Distance: Approximately 16 km
Day 8 Fly to Heho, drive to Inle Lake
After breakfast, transfer to Nyaung Oo Airport for a flight to Heho. From Heho, a scenic one-hour drive leads to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Nyaung Shwe. Along the way, stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery which features beautiful carvings and a collection of Buddha images. Lunch at local restaurant. Upon arrival, check in your hotel. You will enjoy rest of the day at leisure at your hotel or to explore Nyaung Shwe. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Nyaung Shwe. Biking Distance: Approximately 35 km Note: At Heho aiport it is time to part ways and say goodbye to your fellow cycling companions continuing on their 'Bike, Hike and Kayak' adventure.
Day 9 Inle Lake
The day begins as you load your bicycle on a local boat and take a ride from Nyaung Shwe to Nampan to check out the local market. After a short bit of shopping, you will board the boat and cross the small lake village of Indein. You’ll wave goodbye to boat on the banks of Indein and unload your bicycle. In In Dein, you will reach Alaung Sitthou, an area filled with picturesque ancient stupas and has magnificent views of the lake below. Go for a short ride through the hidden ancient ruins then walk through the ruined site, where the jungle is beginning to take over, and search for hidden Buddha images. Next, jump back on the saddle of your bicycle and head north up the western shore. Lunch at local restaurant. The road back to Nyaung Shwe is mostly paved and on a decline with some undulating hills scattered in between. You’ll ride through the trees and alongside towering Shan mountains as the backdrop. You’ll see rice paddies below and the open road ahead. Have a quick snack break at Khaung Daing village, known for their delicious handmade soy bean crackers, tofu and other treats. After reaching Nyaung Shwe after your ride, return to your hotel. Dinner at a local restaurant. Overnight in Nyaung Shwe. Biking Distance: Approximately 35 km
Day 10 Drive to Heho, fly to Yangon
After breakfast, visit the lake’s morning market. The market rotates its location around the lake’s villages in a 5 day rhythm and is visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes who come to sell and trade their wares. (Note: market is daily except on dark moon day and full moon day). Then, you will observe the leg-rowing fishermen and see their floating gardens built up from strips of water hyacinth and mud and anchored to the bottom with bamboo poles. Continue to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main sanctuary, which contains five sacred Buddha images covered in gold leaf. Lunch at local restaurant. Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand. After lunch, you will transfer to Heho for the domestic flight to Yangon. Upon arrival at Yangon, transfer to your hotel. A special farewell dinner tonight. Overnight in Yangon
Day 11 In Yangon, trip concludes
Depending on flight time, there is an option to take a ride on Yangon’s Circle Train in the morning. This morning transfer to Yangon Railways station to take a unique ride on the city’s circular train ride through the outskirts of town (45 minutes ride). This slowly traveling train gives you unique opportunity to observe the lively, colorful lifestyle of the local people. Disembark at the Insein market where you can peruse the various stalls and interact with the friendly vendors before transferring back to Yangon.