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MYANMAR – Active – Explore beautiful Myanmar by bike 12 Days/ 11 Nights

Day 1: Arrival in Yangon
Mingalabar and welcome to Myanmar! Upon arrival at the airport you will be warmly welcomed and taken to your hotel for check-in. Then visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, which is home to a 72-meter-long reclining Buddha statue that features detailed carvings on his feet. Afterwards, you will continue through town and make a quick stop by the Royal Lake located in Kandawgyi Park, very popular with local residents. Catch a view of Karaweik Hall, a reproduction of a royal barge and enjoy a spectacular view of the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda.
No Myanmar expedition can be considered truly great if it’s lacking a visit to the legendary Shwedagon Pagoda. Witness the colors transform on the 100-meter chedi which is literally enclosed in over 40 tons of gold leaf. Shwedagon is largely considered to be the most important religious site for the Burmese.

Meals included: Meals on your own account
Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel in Yangon

Notes: Hotel rooms will be available from 14:00

 

Day 2: Yangon – Dala – Seik Kyi – Yangon
You will be picked up from your hotel and transported downtown to assemble at the starting point. Once here, you will meet with your bicycle tour guide for a safety briefing and bicycle fitting. Afterwards, it will be time to start pedaling! Venture through Yangon’s busy streets to the Pansodan jetty where you will board the local ferry for a short, but memorable ride across the river. Disembark in the town of Dhala and ride along the quiet streets toward Twante. As you cycle along, you will witness scenes of the countryside – fields and farms, local markets, wooden houses and friendly locals. The day will include approximately three hours of riding and a couple of short ferry trips that will shuttle you between the low-lying villages of the Irrawaddy Delta region. This will be a fantastic way to experience the more traditional Myanmar lifestyle as well as to appreciate the beauty and relaxed pace of the countryside. Upon your return to Yangon, you will pedal through bustling Chinatown before concluding your journey with a cold, refreshing drink.

Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel in Yangon
Distance & duration of cycling: 32 kilometers ~ 2h 30min
Terrain: Smooth & gravel road

 

Day 3: Mandalay
In the morning, you will be taken to the airport for your flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival in Mandalay you will travel by car to Mandalay city. After adjusting your bikes and helmets, it will be time to start pedaling. The journey covers 10-12 kilometers (depending on your starting point and an optional uphill climb) and is mostly on flat, sealed roads. Once you will have left the city behind you (about a 5-kilometer ride), the landscape will become a haven of peace. You will have the opportunity to stop at a tea shop. Your journey will then continue through more peaceful countryside, passing the pilgrimage destination of Yankin Hill as well as more of the ubiquitous Buddhist temples and monasteries, with the tranquility of your ride unlikely to be broken by anything noisier than a cycling monk. Afterwards, you will travel by car back to Mandalay.

Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel in Mandalay
Distance & duration of cycling: 12 kilometers ~ 2h 30min
Terrain: flat road, mostly dirt

Notes: the car ride from Mandalay airport to the city will last 1 hour.

 

Day 4: Mandalay – Ava – Amarapura – Bagan
Departing from the hotel in the early morning you will travel out of the hustle and bustle of the city to your biking start point. The ride will start out passing through farms and villages and you will stop in the home town of Mayor U Bein, after whom the bridge was named, to learn about the Muslim community there and their 200-year history in the area. Continue along shady paths through Ava, also known as Inwa, getting a bit of a rest as you cross the small canal by ferry boat. From here you will continue toward U Bein Bridge.
In the afternoon you will leave Mandalay and begin your road trip to Bagan. When Bagan was the center of Myanmar from the 11th to 13th centuries, the monarchs built multitudes of massive stupas and pagodas, scores of which are still present on the shores of the Irrawaddy River. The majesty of Bagan, with more than 4,000 red brick temples on a plain of the size of Manhattan island, is one of the highlights of a holiday in Myanmar.

Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel in Bagan
Distance & duration of cycling: 20 kilometers ~ 4-5 hours
Terrain: mostly sealed roads but at times a bit bumpy

 

Day 5: Bagan – Popa
In the morning, en route to Mount Popa, located 50 kilometers south east of Bagan. Enjoy the scenic views while riding through rural surroundings, on smooth roads. Cross palm forests and observe the traditional lifestyle of the farming villages. When you arrive to Popa, you will travel by car to your hotel for check-in. The rest of the day will be at leisure to enjoy the resort.

Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel in Popa
Distance & duration of cycling: 65 kilometers ~ 5 – 6 hours
Terrain: flat road but sometimes dirty and bumpy

 

Day 6: Popa – Bagan
In the morning you will travel to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano that rises to over 1,500 meters and which Buddhists believe to be home to Burmese Nats spirits. Popa today is one of the most popular pilgrimage spots in the country. Leave your bikes at the foot of the mountain and start climbing the 777 steps leading up to the monastery at the top, place of pilgrimage. Your efforts will be rewarded by magnificent views over the Myingyan Plain.
In the afternoon, you will drive back to Bagan. On the way back to Bagan, make sure to stop in a local village and witness how people make wine and molasses from the fruit of the palm tree. In the evening take pleasure in an extraordinary sunset from the upper terrace of one of the surrounding temples.

Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight stay in Bagan
Distance & duration of cycling: 65 kilometers ~ 5-6 hours
Terrain: flat road but sometimes dirt and bumpy

 

Day 7: Bagan

Option: hot air balloon ride over Bagan
The morning will start with an exciting hot-air balloon ride above the Bagan countryside. You will observe one-of-a-kind views when the sun begins to rise over the Irrawaddy River and various stupas in the region.

Set off in the morning with a local bike for a full-day excursion. Pedal with your guide through the main three regions of Bagan: Nyaung Oo, Old Bagan and New Bagan with frequent stops on the way. Although there will be plenty of time to see religious monuments, it is the colorful local markets and village visits that will be the highlight of the day. On the bikes, traveling slowly, you will get to not just see the lives of the local people but also to feel part of their daily activities: farmers on their way to the fields, kids rushing home after a day at school and artisans putting the finishing touches on their handicrafts. Be sure to have your camera batteries fully charged as there will be plenty of opportunities for photos on this exciting biking excursion in Bagan. End up your day with a remarkable sunset over the Bagan plain from a remote temple.

Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel in Bagan.
Distance & duration of cycling: 40 kilometers ~ 4h 30min – 5 hours
Terrain: mostly flat. Dusty, sandy tracks, small paths

Note: The hot air balloon ride is only available from October/November to March. In case of cancellation of the tour due to the weather, the fee will be completely refunded.

 

Day 8: Bagan – Heho – Pindaya
In the morning return to Bagan airport for the flight to Heho, in the heart of the Shan State. Upon arrival at the Heho airport, you will take off on an adventurous bike ride through the rolling Shan Hills. On a quiet road not far from the town of Heho, start pedaling toward Pindaya. It will take you past farms of cauliflower, sunflowers and other crops and through small villages of Danu, Shan and Pa-Oh people. There will be plenty of time to stop for photos on the way and enjoy the views of the surrounding hills or to meet the friendly locals. You will be riding hybrid mountain multi-speed bikes, which will help when you will need to climb some of the gentle hills, and a support vehicle will be on hand with snacks and drinking water. Then, continue your tour by visiting the famous caves of Pindaya, a unique site aged of more than 200 million years which is the house of thousands of golden Buddha statues. In order to visit these caves, you will have to go through the pagodas of Shwe U Min – the white giant stupas that overcome the place.

Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel in Pindaya.
Distance & duration of cycling: 25 kilometers ~ 3 hours
Terrain: good condition, hilly but easy

 

Day 9: Pindaya – Kalaw
After breakfast you will visit the local market. Taking place every day, the market is a gathering place for area farmers who come to sell their fresh produce. Feel free to also visit a small shop that makes the famous Burmese tea leaf salad made with leaves of tea plantations from Pindaya. Then you will journey to Kalaw, a resort in which British officers took refuge to escape the intense heat of the plains. Today, this village is always a resort where you can relax with its pure air, pleasant atmosphere, green trees and lovely hiking trails. You will reach Kalaw in the afternoon and will have time to explore this small city, soaking up the charm. The rest of the day will be free.

Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel in Kalaw.
Distance & duration of cycling: 50 kilometers ~ 6 hours
Terrain: good condition, hilly but easy

 

Day 10: Kalaw – Indein
In the morning you will travel by car to the starting point in Aung Ban. You will then start to pedal towards Indein passing through Pa O villages located on the western part of Inle lake. The road is flat and smooth towards Indein, located on the western shore of the lake. You will bike through pristine nature and enjoy views on farming lands and rolling hills. As you will get closer to Indein, you will go on along dusty roads and ride across bamboo forest. You will follow the river to Indein where a boat will be waiting for you to transfer you to your hotel, on the lake.

Relax at your hotel on stilts and watch the awe-inspiring sunset on the lake.

Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel on Inle Lake.
Distance & duration of cycling: 60 kilometers ~ 4 hours
Terrain: dirt road, 50% downhill, 50% up and down

 

Day 11: Inle Lake
The tour will start with a boat ride from your hotel to the village of Nan Thei. After a gentle stroll from the lakeside to the village you will start the two-hour bike ride. Your journey will take you through typical Myanmar farm land and plantations passing not only several indigenously populated villages but also a village populated by Nepalese Ghurkas who have lived here since the end of the Second World War.
In the afternoon you will visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery, which houses loads of early Shan Buddha images. Proceed to the Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the lake’s main haven, which contains five sacred images of Buddha decorated in gold leaf. There are also many traditional crafts originating on Inle Lake and, should you wish, you will stop for a visit to one making incredible woven items from lotus silk, boat builders (depending on the time of year), a cigar making workshop, blacksmiths or even silver smiths. The day will come to a close with a return trip by boat back to your hotel.

Meals included: Breakfast
Accommodation: Overnight at the hotel on Inle Lake.
Distance & duration of cycling: 7 kilometers ~ 1h 30min
Terrain: flat road

Notes:
– Lake – Nan Thei / by boat if clients stay on the lake (30min to 1 hour)
– There are no hills to worry about but rather uneven road surface
– The walk from the lake to Nan Thei is a gentle half hour stroll.

 

Day 12: Inle Lake – Yangon
You will return to Yangon with a flight from Heho Airport. A private car will be waiting to greet you and the remainder of the day will be at your leisure to do as you please until your international flight.

Meals included: Breakfast
Distances: 32 kilometers – 1 hour by land + 30min-1 hour by boat

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