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CYCLING THE IRRAWADDY VALLEY – 13 DAYS

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Myanmar Cycling Tours

On Discovery Rides Myanmar cycling tours you will be led by local expert guides who know best their region and hidden trails. Our international team has well over a decade of experience organising high-quality tours and expeditions in Myanmar.

13 Days
Availability : Jan 16’ - Dec 16’
Mandalay
Myanmar
Min Age : 15+
Max People : 20
Tour Details

This is one of our most requested Myanmar cycling tours. The scenery and road conditions are varied and there are plenty of quaint villages to explore on the way.

On this trip, you will visit some of the most iconic places in the country including Mandalay and Bagan. Our Myanmar cycling tour starts from Yangon where we explore colonial quarters and markets on foot and visit the holy Shwedagon Pagoda on a hill dominating the city’s skyline. From Yangon, we continue to Mandalay for bike rides to the ancient kingdom of Innwa (Ava) and Amarapura and Sagaing one of the monastic centers of the country. From Mandalay, we journey by ferry to Bagan on the Irrawaddy River. Bagan’s small gravel roads to hidden temples and villages are made for mountain biking and cycling tours. We visit small cottage industry workshops, school and of course many of the most amazing temples.

Extend your trip with a relaxing visit to Ngapali Beach. Flights from Mandalay and Yangon.   

Price Includes

  • English speaking local bicycle guide
  • bikecycle hire and helmet
  • Lodging
  • Meals as indicated in the itinerary
  • Bike maintenance

Price Excludes

  • Visa to Myanmar
  • International airfares or domestic airfares
  • Early check-in, late check-out, services
  • Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary
  • Personal expenses
  • Drinks during meals, hotel extras, and personal spending
  • Insurance / get a good policy before you come with repatriation cover
  • Tips & Gratuities to guide and crew
  • Any damages caused to bikes (rider need to cover)
What to Expect

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Itinerary

Day 1ARRIVE TO MANDALAY

Welcome to Myanmar! Your guide will meet you at the Mandalay airport and transfer to your hotel in town.Settle in and then enjoy free time to explore Mandalay. Welcome dinner, trip briefing and meet the local team tonight.

Day 2 RIDE AROUND ROYAL CAPITALS

After breakfast starts your warm-up day and picks up the essential survival skills for cycling in Myanmar and explore some Mandalay sights. Across the river we visit Mingun with its massive brick Pagoda and the biggest bronze bell in the world. After Mingun, we ride on dusty lanes along the Irrawaddy (approx. 20km) to the ancient imperial capital Ava (Inwa). Here we ride off the beaten tracks and visit some archaeological sites and have a lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, we start heading back to Mandalay, visiting Amarapura on the way and pay a visit to some of its skillful craftsmen to learn about different handmade products.

After Amarapura we cycling to Ubein Bridge for a sunset refreshment before heading back to your hotel.

Day 3MANDALAY TO HSIPAW

After breakfast, your cycling adventure starts. We begin by heading north along the old Burma road connecting Mandalay to China. Although it is the main artery for trade and goods transport, it is still fairly small and narrow road that has light traffic. Our first stop is the hill station town and old British summer capital, Pyin Oo Lwin located at an altitude of 1000m. In Pyin Oo Lwin you will stop at the nice waterfall so have your swimming gear ready if you fancy a dip. Lunch will be served at Naucho village.

Next, you will ride through the 300m deep Gokteik Gorge where you can see the over 100years old Gokteik Bridge. Follow the rolling hills and farming lands and we will arrive at Hsipaw, capital of one of the Shan kingdoms. We end the day with cycling up to a viewpoint for a nice sunset panorama over Dokthawaddy River and Hsipaw Town.

Day 4 EXPLORING HSIPAW & AROUND

Today you will explore Hsipaw and the surrounding region. You can choose between an easier ride in the valley along flat easy roads or a more challenging ride up to the mountains to visit Palaung minority villages and tea plantations. In Hsipaw you can observe different home industries and visit the Shan Princes Residence which has been partially reopened as a museum.

Day 5RIDE HSIPAW TO MOGOK

After breakfast, we ride to Kyuakme, a lively trading town south of Hsipaw. Continuing from Kyaukme the first part is an easy riding with good road and light traffic. After 1.5 hours of riding the road changes to a dusty rocky road which is the hardest part of the day. Nevertheless, the scenery is amazing throughout the day from river valleys to breath-taking highland views. In the afternoon we arrive in Mogok, a ruby mining valley, situated in a beautiful valley surrounded by mountain ranges.

Our company will arrange necessary travel permits for visiting Mogok.

Day 6MOGOK AND RUBIES

Today we take a rest from the riding and we visit some points of interest in the “valley of rubies”. Mogok has been famous for its ruby and sapphire stones since ancient times. After breakfast, we head to the local gemstone market to learn about the different varieties of these precious stones. If we are granted permission, we will also visit one of the ruby mines to observe how the precious stones are extracted from the ground with little assistance from modern machinery.
After lunch, the rest of the day is free for relaxing and exploring Mogok and nearby villages.

Day 7CYCLING TO PYIN OO LWIN

After Early breakfast, we start our journey back to Pyin Oo Lwin. This road is one of the most beautiful in Myanmar and in really good shape. Riding across mountain ranges with only light traffic is truly an astonishing cycling experience. After we eat lunch at a local highland village and start to descend from the highland range, the scenery changes from verdant greenery to desert-like plains. Arrive to Pyin Oo Lwin late afternoon and check in to your hotel. After check in we can visit the botanical gardens, coffee plantations or simply wander around this charming hill station town and admire some of the magnificent colonial-era buildings.

Day 8 CYCLING TO KALAW HILL STATION

In the morning we start heading towards Kalaw. On the way, we pass some charming farming villages whilst navigating the winding hill roads. We make a lunch break at a local village and then keep heading to Kalaw. We arrive in Kalaw just before sunset and have the possibility for relaxing sundowners at our hotel or at a local bar.

Day 9KALAW TO INLE LAKE

After breakfast at our hotel, we start our bicycle “trek” to Inle Lake. Today is all about side tracks and small dusty roads. The track leads us through this stunning hilly region, on the way we visit some minority villages and learning about the life of the hill tribe people.In the afternoon we reach Nyaung Shwe town, on the shores of the famed Inle Lake. Time permitting you can ride to Main Thauk 15min away for a visit to Myanmar’s premier wine yard, the Red Mountain Estate. This is a perfect spot for wine tasting, whilst enjoying the sunset over the lake.

Day 10INLE LAKE BOAT TRIP

Distance c Today you will explore the lake by boat. Marvel at floating farms, leg rowers, and villages built on stilts. We take a detour to a smaller canal running from the lake and visit the Inn Thein Pagoda complex, where hundreds of crumbling stupas are kept hidden behind a bamboo forest. The day ends with a sunset canoe ride and a refreshing drink in your hand.

Day 11 INLE LAKE TO BAGAN

After early breakfast, we continue our cycling journey to the ancient city of Bagan. En-route you will pass farming lands and many friendly villages. We make a lunch stop at Thazi and continue towards Bagan via Meikhtila through the desert-like plains of central Myanmar’s dry zone where the roads are virtually empty creating a great sense of isolation. Arrival in Bagan, Check in to your hotel and time permitting climb up to a pagoda and witness a magical sunset over the countless temples.

Day 12BAGAN TEMPLES AND HIGHLIGHTS

Today you can explore Bagan independently if you wish. There are many possibilities for hot air balloon flights to cycling and horse cart rides. Our company can help to arrange an optional city tour for your exploration day should you wish.

Day 13RIDE BAGAN TO MANDALAY

On our last day, we start heading to Mandalay via an old road passing through a serene landscape of paddies and quaint villages. Cycling on the roads is pleasant and there is only light traffic here. En-route we have the possibility to do a little loop to visit Mt. Popa, an extinct volcano that majestically rises 1500 meters up from the surrounding plains. Mt. Popa is the most important center for Nat spirit worship in Myanmar. From here you have a chance to admire the surrounding views before starting the last leg to Bagan. Once we reach Mandalay in the late afternoon, we will have an ending brief and say our farewells to all the crew members.

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