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MYANMAR – A closer look to biking in Shan State

  • By The Easia Travel Team
  • May, 11, 2018
The heat has turned into wind, the road into path; there are no more tourists in sight, only bamboo trees, only villages and fields, and the sun over them, and the bike through them all. Inle, in the Shan State, has even more than amazing lake lights and scenes to offer and this is precisely what our biking tours are aiming at: going through different routes in one of the main touristic destinations in Myanmar.

Are your travelers active and dynamic? Are they more into experiencing the country than simply visiting it? They wish to see more, to feel more, to discover more? These tours are perfect for them, and not only if they seek some adventurous and sportive episode during their trip. Our various tours get them to hop on a bike and cycle through the land, but also to jump on a kayak and row their way on the water of the lake.
From the bamboo forest to the floating gardens, they get your clients closer to nature, one of the wonders of this country. Shan State beauties have various faces and some of them can be unveiled only out of the lake. The hills, blurry and dark from the water, that become green and red and wooded when getting closer. The bamboo forest, lightly shadowed, freeing some welcoming cracks. The fields and their changing colors, displaying sesame’s yellow flowers in the cold season and the bright green of rice fields in the rainy one. The lost and forgotten canals of the lake the mass tourist would otherwise never follow. When it’s not the landscapes they get to see on the bike, it’s the atmosphere they step in on the kayak: evolving on the lake and through the stilt villages without a motor, at the pace of the local small boats, at the water plants’ level, certainly leaves a special impression. Moreover, getting on a kayak or on a bike means using byways that other tourists would not know about. This implies escaping the others, on one hand, but also, on the other hand, that the reached places are less used to visitors and, if any words to be written, more authentic. Villagers in the fields, playing children, grazing cows, all these small details that make a daily life are waiting for wide-open eyes to pay them a visit.

Let’s get more precise. From the full day tour, during which your travelers would bike, raw and walk around and on the lake, to the morning bike stroll around Nyaung Shwe, we are ready to please different types of bikers. One of our options focuses indeed on Nyaung Shwe and its morning activities, when it wakes up and turns into the busy town it is during the day: the shops open, the market buzzes, the jetty is filled with the motors of departing and arriving boats. Later on the ride, the bikers can compare this urban awakening to some other places’ morning, as they cycle further in the fields and discover quaint villages. Another option is to leave Nyaung Shwe behind to lead the cyclist through open lake, fields and bamboo forest until the village of Indein and its unique pagoda complex: crumbling stupas that vegetation is slowly eating. Going to Indein by boat requires running up the river at the South of the lake, cycling to reach the village brings therefore a real change to the traditional route, which they can always zip up on the way back. If the clients wish for a time out of town and pagodas, they can simply cycle away from Nyaung Shwe and immerge themselves in the nature around the lake. A full active day is also possible, where our guests get to discover the wonders of Inle Lake by bike, motorboat, kayak and foot. There’s no better way to feel how diverse the lake may be, as they will cycle in fields and forests, raw through floating gardens and stilt villages, walk in other villages, pass ancient pagodas and Buddha representations and still meet, everywhere, the legendary smiles of Myanmar people.

For small groups as well as bigger ones, these biking tours can easily be included in a normal day of sightseeing on the lake and combined with other activities. For instance, the clients can bike in the morning in awakening Nyaung Shwe and in the fields around, when the weather is still somehow cool, and then go on with more relaxed visits on the lake. A morning ride still leaves much time to discover Nga Phe Chaung stilt monastery, Phaung Daw Oo’s gilded Buddha images, famous for having lost their original shape because of the countless gold leaves that cover them, and all the traditional workshops that dot the lake.
All in all, a biking tour around Inle Lake is the perfect opportunity to offer your clients something different – some refreshing change to open their eyes on the many other charms and treasures of our country, the ones we are keeping for those who are ready to give a little more of themselves.
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