Burma's Historic Heartland

a 13 day bike tour in Myanmar


 
Venture deep into the heartland of ancient Burma, on our 13 day journey through northern Myanmar. Watch sunset across the thousands of pagodas in Bagan, explore the colorful markets of Kalaw, cycle through rural regions that see few foreigners, relax in the cool temperatures of the hill resort town of Pyin Oo Lwin. Discover the foods, culture and lifestyles of Myanmar.
 
View from the temple atop Mandalay Hill
DAY

01
Arrive in Mandalay, explore Mandalay Hill, visit the local market, enjoy traditional puppet show.
Your crew will meet you upon arrival at Mandalay Airport. After dropping the bags at the hotel, we will explore a bit of Mandalay, visiting Kuthodaw Pagoda, known as the world's largest book for its 729 marble slabs inscribed with the Buddha's Doctrine; Golden Palace Monastery, noted for its exquisite wood carvings and enjoy the panoramic view of the city from Mandalay Hill. Enjoy a traditional puppet show at our welcome dinner.
Meals: D
Ox carts and bikes are the primary mode of travel
DAY

2/3
Bicycle rural countryside, join the locals for tea, discover the lush Mt Popa National Park.
We start down the road on our bikes, pedaling out of Mandalay on quiet roads through the rural countryside. Get your first taste of everyday life in Myanmar's countryside, where ox drawn carts serve a village taxis and little tea shops abound. Your guides may suggest some local specialties to snack upon during the day. Our goal for the evening is the small town of Myingyan, where we bed down in a simple, but clean guesthouse.
Cycling: 56 mi / 92 km, Terrain: flat, Meals: B L D

Our route turns away from the flatlands and heads towards Mt Popa, an extinct volcano. Much of the ride is easy, with optional climbs towards the end of the ride. Mt Popa is draped by forests populated by monkeys, some of whom maybe sitting roadside to watch us ride by. The landscaping at our hotel features a number of orchids native to Myanmar, as well as other native plants, plus a dramatic view of pagodas sitting atop a small peak just below. (51 mi / 83 km)
Cycling: 22 mi / 35 km, Terrain: flat, moderate climb, Meals: B L D
Sunset view of Bagan pagodas
DAY

4/5
Downhill cycling to ancient Bagan, explore the pagodas and ancient ruins by bike, hot air ballooning.
Bagan awaits! Our ride from Mt Popa to the ancient ruins of Bagan is mostly downhill. Along the way we will check out a regional cottage industry, making brown sugar from the local palm fruits. Depending on the group's pace, we may explore a few of the thousands of pagodas that dot the Plains of Bagan, including Thatbyinnyu temple (the highest) and Dhanyangyi temple (the largest). Our hotel in Old Bagan sits right by one of the old gates.
Cycling: 26+ mi / 42+ km, Terrain: downhill, then flat, Meals: B L D

Rising bright & early, we will go aloft by hot air balloon to see the vast expanse of pagodas by the mornings early light. After landing we return to the hotel, get our bikes to set out and explore more of this fascinating place, including Ananda Pagoda, one of the finest, largest and best preserved in Old Bagan, and next to it, Ananda Ok Kyaung, one of the few surviving brick monastery buildings from the Early Bagan period. This evening, enjoy a cruise on Ayeyarwaddy river. (the morning balloon flight is not guaranteed, as it is dependent on weather)
Cycling: 16 mi / 24 km, Terrain: flat, Meals: B L D
Leg rowing fisherman of Inle Lake
DAY

06
Fly to Heho, travel by boat to Inle Lake's floating islands, wander the narrow lanes of Kalaw's public market.
We say goodbye to our bikes for the day and fly to Heho. Upon arrival we will transfer to Inle Lake then set out by boat to explore this famous area, you will discover the leg paddling fishermen with their unique fishing nets, floating farms and gardens and a handloom weaving cottage with its own showroom. You will visit Phaungdawoo Pagoda which houses the five most revered Buddha Images in the southern Shan State. In late afternoon we drive to Kalaw, a former hill resort town where we bed down in a historic colonial resort.
Meals: B L D
Hundreds of Buddha staues seen on bike tour
DAY

07
Bike a scenic valley road to Pindaya, explore Pindaya Cave with its multitude of Buddhas.
Today we plan to bike Pindaya on a road flanked by beautifully manicured fields where much of Myanmar’s produce comes from. Upon arrival enjoy lunch in Pindaya and some free time in the afternoon. Before dinner we will visit the Pindaya cave filled with hundreds of Buddha images (after all the tour buses have left). Overnight at the hotel in Pindaya.
Cycling: 30 mi / 47 km, Terrain: small hills, gradual uphill overall, Meals: B L D
Visiting local market on Burma bicycle tour
DAY

8/9
Pedal through rural Myanmar well off the beaten tourist, experience everyday life in the region.
Our last two days in this region bike along rural routes way of the beaten tourist path. This morning we backtrack a bit out of the Puindaya Valley, before turning north towards our ultimate goal of Mandalay. Smiles and hellos abound as the people here see very few foreigners, especially on bikes. We bed for the evening in tiny Ywar Nagn at a newly built bungalow resort.
Cycling: 46 mi / 74 km, Terrain: hilly, Meals: B L D

Today is the tour's longest ride, along a newly paved road through the mountains and jungles. The distance you ride is entirely up to each person, as the sag wagon is always available for a lift. Once we reach Kyaukse, the entire group will load up for the drive into Mandalay as traffic is too busy along the main highway.
Cycling: 83 mi / 133 km, Terrain: hilly, Meals: B L D
Horse drawn carriages in Pyin Oo Lwin
DAY

10/11
Bike to the old British colonial hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin, spend a day cycling the rolling hill country.
This morning we ride up to Pyin Oo Lwin, a hill station from the British colonial days (called Maymyo back then). During our cycling we will visit the Be and Pwe Kauk waterfalls, as well as the old Maymyo Market. We will enjoy two evenings in the cooler hill country.
Cycling: 42 mi / 3567 km, Terrain: hilly, slow uphill climb, Meals: B L D

An out and back tour today will take us exploring, first around the old colonial streets of Pwin Oo Lwin, then out in too the surroundings to visit Pake Chin Myaung Natural Cave and Kandawgyi National Park. (16 mi / 24 km)
Cycling: 16 mi / 24 km, Terrain: small hills, Meals: B L D
Bike taxis still in use in Mandalay
DAY

12/13
Return to Mandalay, bike along the Irrawady River to visit Sagaing Hill, depart on day 13.
We'll will drive back to Mandalay, then set out for our last ride in Myanmar, along the Ayeyarwaddy River. Our goal is Sagaing Hill, renowed for its 600 white washed pagodas, including the spectacular Soon-Oo-Pon-Nya-Shin & U-Min-Thone-Sae Pagodas. Sagaing Hill is famous as a meditation destination and home to some 3000 monks and more than 100 meditation centers. we'll return to Mandalay for our last night.
Cycling: 22 mi / 35 km, Terrain: flat, Meals: B L D

All good things must eventually come to an end. We will do a little last minute sightseeing before heading to the airport for your afternoon flight back to Bangkok and on to your next adventure.
Meals: B
13 days (9 days cycling)
Inn to Inn
Level: B

Boutique inns and resorts
3 and 4 star    See some of our hotels

Tour meets and ends in Mandalay, Mynamar (MDL)
Paved roads, light traffic, mixed terrain

Total: 340 mi / 548 km
Daily Avg: 34 mi / 55 km


Scheduled Departures:
Tour Cost: $4050
Deposit: $400

Private Trips:
6 or more people: $4145
2 to 5 people: $4645
1 person: $5245

Extras:
Single Supplement: $800
Bike Rental: free of charge
(All costs per person in US $. Seasonal supplements may apply on private trips.)

Comfortable Boutique Accommodation

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