DAY 1: Arrival to Yangon. Yangon heritage walk
DAY 2: Flight to Bagan, Cycling exploration
DAY 3: Cycling Day Tour to Pakokku
DAY 4: Flight to Heho, Cycle to Inle Lake
DAY 5: Cycling to Indein & boat excursion
DAY 6: Cycling to Kalaw
DAY 7: Cycling around Kalaw
DAY 8: Flight to Mandalay, Cycling Ava & Mandalay
DAY 9: Cycling around Ancient Royal Capitals
DAY 10: Cycling in Pyin Oo Lwin hill station town
DAY 11: Train over Gokteik Bridge
DAY 12: Cycling around Hsipaw
DAY 13: Transfer to Lashio and SS / Flight to Yangon
DAY 14: Yangon city & free time for souvenirs
DAY 15: International Departure.
Leisurely rides suitable for all fitness levels. Plenty of highlights and interaction with locals.Cycling on mostly flat and paved roads and some gravel.
Local guides will be meeting you at and sending you to airports and will take care of all arrangement during your trip. This is your holiday and we will make sure you can just enjoy. All you need is to bring the right attitude and open heart to experience a different world and of course right garb for the riding. Read more on essentials.
Arrival to Yangon international airport where you will be met by our Yangon guide. This day is free and easy for acclimatizing. Late afternoon visit one of the world’s most spectacular monuments, the SWEDAGON PAGODA, a gleaming bell dome structure that dominates the city’s skyline on Singuttara hill. Legends state that sacred hairs of the Buddha are enshrined here. We take a walk around Shwedagon Pagoda and we explore some hidden market streets, monastic compounds and artisan stores filled with Buddhism related merchandise.
Breakfast at hotel in Yangon. Transfer to Yangon airport for flight to Nyaung U (Bagan), you will be welcomed by our guide residing in Bagan. After check-in we begin our cycling journey into the Ancient Kingdoms of Bagan. This is leisurely and relaxed paced cycling exploring some of the back roads and tracks of Bagan and making stops at various temples. Some of the sites that we can visit today are the gold gilded Swezigon Stupa, purported to contain a holy tooth relic of the Buddha. Not far from the stupa, the Myingaba Gu Byaukgyi Temple is a sight to behold, housing Bagan’s best preserved mural paintings of the Buddha’s Jataka re-incarnations. Next, we learn how Bagan’s famous lacquerware crafts are produced in Myingaba village, and then visit Htilominlo Temple to learn how Burmese sand paintings are created. The day’s temple tour ends with a visit to the beautifully symmetric and majestic Ananda Temple with its four standing Buddha images that seem to gaze at the viewer with fixed serenity wherever the viewer stands. We end the day with magnificent sunset views from a temple terrace or roof top as the sun dips behind the temple ruins (weather permitting).
Cycled distance: 20-25km, mostly flat and unpaved terrain
After breakfast at hotel we cycle north following the Irrawaddy River. Few km before reaching Pakkoku town we cross the river over a bridge. Pakokku is known as one of the monastic centers of Myanmar. This sleepy town was one of the hot spots during the saffron revolution in 2007 where many monks took part in demonstrations. Visit one of the monasteries, explore authentic local market and stop by at a workshop making popular Myanmar sandals. After lunch break and meeting locals we ride same way back to Bagan in the afternoon.
Cycled distance: 30-40km, rolling terrain passing farming lands.
Meals included: Breakfast at Hotel
Overnight stay: Hotel in Bagan
OPTIONAL: HOT AIR BALLOON FLIGHT OVER BAGAN
Imagine . . . floating over thousand year old pagodas and the mighty Ayeyarwaddy River, as the sun sinks slowly behind distant mountains. The magic of Bagan has inspired visitors to Myanmar for centuries. One of the most remarkable sights in Asia, ancient temples dot the landscape as far as the eye can see. Now, balloon flights offer visitors a unique opportunity to see this ancient kingdom, as it never has been seen before. The sunrise champagne flights take off daily from October through to the end of March.
Breakfast at hotel and transfer to airport for (30min) flight to Heho, a quiet transit town with one of the few airport links in the beautiful hills of Shan State. After loading our luggage to support vehicle and bike fitting we start our ride from Heho airport. After couple km ride we arrive to the bustling Heho Market, the meeting point for different ethnic minority groups of the surrounding areas to trade handmade goods and locally grown produce (on market days only). Enroute to Inle Lake we pay a visit to Local family workshop to learn how Shan umbrellas and paper are made from mulberry tree pulp. Descending from Shan highlands to lower lying paddy and farming fields we take a smaller road to Khaung Daing traveling on the eastern shore of Inle Lake. At Khaung Daing we change to motorboat and embark on an afternoon boat excursion on the lake. Delight in the picturesque sights of fishermen who balance and row with one leg, a technique indigenous to the Inn Thar minority group who do this only on Inle Lake, and marvel at the floating islands and gardens made from the naturally tangled roots of water hyacinth plants and reeds.
Cycled distance: 50-60km
After breakfast we journey out by boat, following the currents of a small river to reach the INN THEIN PAGODA COMPLEX, a site that makes us feel as if we’ve stepped through a forgotten portal in time. To access the complex, we walk through verdant bamboo groves that open up to a field covered with the ancient pagodas constructed over 1,000 years ago. We boat back to the lake and visit Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, the home for some of the country’s most sacred Buddha statues covered in gold leaf by devout followers. We also make a visit to the Inpawkhon Weaving Village to learn how local silks, linens and lotus fabrics are handmade and crafted. As an extra treat, we stop at a house for Burmese cats built over the lake, where we see the preservation efforts and reintroduction of this rare pure breed of felines to Myanmar. At Nampan Village, local craftsmen show us how Burmese cigars, or “cheroots,” are traditionally packed and rolled. We end our day with magnificent sunset canoe ride with boatmen who gracefully navigate and row perched on one leg.
Cycled distance: Rest day. Should you wish to do cycling on this day we can take a ride to some local villages along the shores of Inle Lake and meet our boat driver for lake excursions.
Breakfast at hotel and transfer to Shwe Nyaung railway station where we board a train for 3hrs ride to Aung Ban, Enroute we pass lush paddy fields as the train gradually climbs 400m up to cooler Shan plateau, which is known for its vegetable plantations. From junction town of Aung Ban we cycle across rolling hills landscape and farming region to Kalaw, a former colonial British hill station with Danu, Palaung and Pa-O minority population. Kalaw is situated in a protected valley at altitude of 1320m. NoteFor those who like more physical challenge can do the full 80km ride from Inle Lake to Kalaw. This includes strenuous climb to Shan plateau from the Inle Lake valley.)
Cycled distance: 20-25km
After breakfast, we ride to Kalaw morning market, where ethnic minority groups gather for trading. We join in the ubiquitous tea culture of the Myanmar people at a local tea shop and sample freshly cooked local snacks before heading out of Kalaw town to Myin Ma Hti limestone cave, which houses various holy shrines and Buddha images We can visit local villages on bikes and a reservoir beautiful lake near Kalaw for refreshing swim. If you wish to take a break from cycling another alternative is to do a forest hike and climb up to a view point on top of the mountain and enjoy refreshments at Nepalese family’s café and descend down to the lake through forest covered path.
Cycled distance: 20-30km depending how far you would like to cycle on this day
Breakfast at hotel and transfer to Heho airport for 1hr flight to Mandalay. Today’s cycling journey starts from the Mandalay airport. First 8km is along the new airport road leading to Mandalay until we turn off to a smaller and older road leading to the Ancient Kingdom of Innwa (Ava). This is beautiful ride passing local villages and old temple sites. Inside the city walls we make stops at Nan Myint watch tower, and 300 years old teak wood monastery. We will have a lunch break in Innwa and then cross Myint Nge River by ferry and cycle to Amarapura, site of the last kingdom before king Mindon moved the capital to Mandalay. Visit Ubein bridge 1.2km long teakwood bridge spanning Taungtaman Lake and continue to Mandalay late afternoon.
Cycled distance: 50-60km
After breakfast at the hotel, we ride bikes through Mandalay to river jetty and embark on a 1-hour boat journey across the Ayeyarwaddy River (Irrawaddy) to the rural village of MINGUN, known for its massive unfinished pagoda dramatically cracked in half by an earthquake in the 1800s; another attraction is Mingun’s bronze bell, believed to be largest bronze bell in the world. Our bike ride follows paved road with light traffic traveling through friendly villages over rolling hills until reaching the site of Ancient Kingdom of Sagaing. From the Sagaing Hills, we enjoy views of the hillside dotted with countless pagodas and transfer back to Mandalay for sightseeing. We make visits to snake pagoda, Mahamuni Buddha’s temple and Shwe Kyaung last surviving royal palace building. We end our day at Mandalay hill with beautiful panoramic views of the city as the sun sets to the horizon (whether permitting).
Cycled distance: Approx. 35km
After early breakfast, we transfer by car to a former colonial hill station, PYIN OO LWIN (MAY MYO) approximately 65km/1,5hrs away from Mandalay. The tranquil beauty of the town captured the minds of the British Administration, who developed it after defeating the last king of Myanmar. Burmese know the town for the flowers, fruits and vegetables that grow so well in its cooler climes. We first start cycling to the lively Morning market where local farmers come to trade their produce and continue to Peik Chin Myaing Cave and Pwe Kauk Waterfall located near the town. We enjoy lunch at a Tea Plantation or at the famous Botanical gardens where we feast our eyes on the variety of flora available in the region. In the afternoon we search for some colonial buildings including Candacraig Hotel which is now being renovated to a luxury hotel.
Cycled distance: Approx. 25km. For more challenge you can cycle from Mandalay to
Pyin Oo Lwin
After breakfast at the hotel, we drive by car to Naungcho and board a local train for a 1hr journey to Naungpeing Village. Enroute the train crawls slowly across the GOKTEIK BRIDGE, the scenic highlight of the day as the bridge spans a 300m deep gorge with breath-taking views. From Naungpein Village, we join our driver again and drive 2 hrs further to sleepy Hsipaw Town, the heart of one of Myanmar’s oldest Shan kingdoms. Enroute we stop at cottage industry workshop before reaching Hsipaw in late afternoon
In the morning we cycle through town to the farmer villages enjoying the panoramic scenery of paddy fields, seasonal crops, mountains, and a river floating peacefully next to Hsipaw. Experience traditional lifestyle of Shan Villages by visiting houses, where women weave, roll cheroots and produce fans and bamboo baskets. Leave your bicycle near multi-denominational cemeteries and walk up the hill to the Nam Tok waterfall. Take a bath if you wish and come back to the main highway from where you can continue up the hill to the Tomb of Sir Sao Chae. (Great Uncle of the last Shan Prince who was ruling the province in the past) Cycle down by 9-9 pagoda. Cross the main highway and use the small path through the rice fields and along the railway track to come back to Hsipaw.
Cycled distance: Approx. 19km
Breakfast at hotel and transfer to Lashio by car (approx. 2hrs) Visit large Chinese temple built by wealthy trader families and enjoy panoramic views over the city. Lunch break and walk through the local market before we transfer to Lashio airport for flight to Yangon. Transfer to hotel in Yangon. Rest of the day is free for relaxing and own explorations.
We start our day by exploring the quaint Yangon old quarter, built during the British colonial era where many charming historical buildings are still located. During our stroll through bustling market streets full of merchants and food stalls, we visit a local pharmacy and learn about Myanmar traditional medicine, stop for a tea and snack in the fashion of locals, and enjoy the sights and sounds of Yangon. We continue to one of Asia’s architectural landmarks, the elegant Strand Hotel built by the Sarkies brothers. Inside, we visit the River art gallery, where the works of some of the most famous and skilled Burmese artists are on display fitting of the grand surroundings. We continue to bustling Bogyoke (Scotts) Market, where hundreds of gemstone, handicrafts, art, clothes and food stores are tucked in a maze of color.
(Please note that the market is closed on Mondays and on public holidays)
Transfer to Yangon airport for your onward flight.