You will arrive in Mandalay and Love Velo will meet you at the airport. After a bike fitting, we go for a nice short introductory ride which stretches out across the tranquil countryside with only the occasional village to glance at as you cycle through. In this tranquility, you will have the opportunity to stop at a tea shop before passing the pilgrimage destination of Yankin Hill with the peace of your ride unlikely to be broken by anything noisier than a cycling monk! After the ride, you will be transferred back to Mandalay by car.
Following a short transfer out of the hustle and bustle of Mandalay, our ride starts out passing through farms and villages where, instead of fighting traffic, we will be encountering friendly smiling locals and farm animals wandering around the roadside. We continuing along shady paths before arriving at one of Myanmar's most iconic sites, U Bein, an ornate 2km teak bridge, believed to be the oldest of its type in the world. We leave Mandalay behind in the afternoon for our 4 hour road trip to Bagan.
Today we ride to Mount Popa, located 50km south east of Bagan. Enjoy the scenic views as we cross palm forests and observe the traditional lifestyle of the farming villages. When we arrive in Popa, the rest of the day is at your leisure to enjoy the resort and its stunning surroundings.
We again ride close to Mount Popa, an extinct volcano standing at over 1500 meters and which Buddhists believe to be home to Burmese spirits. Leave your bikes at the foot of the mountain and start climbing the 777 steps leading up to the monastery at the top. Your efforts will be truly rewarded by magnificent views over the Myingyan Plain. In the afternoon, we drive back to Bagan stopping at some beautiful villages and monasteries where we can spend some time exploring.
The morning we have the option to start off with an awe inspiring hot-air balloon ride above the Bagan countryside. This is a truly once in a lifetime opportunity for a bird's eye view of the sun rising over the Irrawaddy River. Setting off aboard our bikes, we pedal through the main three regions of Bagan - Nyaung Oo, Old Bagan and New Bagan with frequent stops on the way. We will visit the colourful local markets and villages and be engulfed by the local way of life, encountering farmers on their way to the fields, kids rushing home after a day at school and artisans putting the finishing touches on their handicrafts. We finish our day watching a remarkable sunset over the Bagan plain from a remote temple.
This morning we fly to Heho, in the heart of the Shan State. Upon arrival at Heho airport, we ride through the rolling Shan Hills on quiet roads towards Pindaya. The road winds past farms of cauliflower, sunflowers and other crops and snakes its way through small villages of Danu, Shan and Pa-Oh. We continue riding until we reach the famous caves of Pindaya, a unique 200 million year old site and the home of thousands of golden Buddha statues.
Don't fill up too much on breakfast as immediately after, we will visit the local daily market where farmers come to sell their fresh produce. We then begin our journey to Kalaw, originally an area in which British officers took refuge to escape the intense heat of the plains. Today, this village is a place to relax amongst the green trees and lovely hiking trails. We will reach Kalaw in the afternoon and will have time to explore this small city, soaking up the charm.
After breakfast, we transfer by car to Aung Ban and start peddling towards Indein through small villages on the western side of Inle lake. We bike through pristine nature and enjoy views of farming lands and rolling hills. As we draw closer to Indein, dusty roads take us into and across a bamboo forest before we follow the river to Indein where a boat will be waiting for us to transfer to our hotel on the lake. Sunset over the lake is truly a sight to behold!
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 we start our bike ride which is our last day on the bike in Myanmar. Our journey takes us through typical Myanmar farm land and plantations passing indigenous as well as Nepalese Ghurkas villages. In the afternoon we visit Nga Hpe Chaung Monastery and Phaung Daw Oo Pagodas well as stopping to see the crafts made by the locals along Inle Lake. The day will finishes with a return trip by boat back to our hotel.
We fly to Yangon in the morning and in the afternoon we will visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda to see a 70 meter long reclining Buddha. Afterwards, we continue uptown in order to make a quick stop by the Royal Lake located in Kandawgyi Park which is very popular with local residents, especially in the early morning and around sunset. We then visit the Golden Shwedagon Pagoda, an absolute must visit in Myanmar. We reach the top as the sun begins to dip low in the sky and get to witness a transformation in colour on the 100-meter dome, shrouded in over 40 tons of gold leaf. Shwedagon is largely considered to be the most important religious site for the Burmese and visiting the pagoda is a remarkable experience. Finally, this evening you will be taken to Le Planteur, Yangon's landmark restaurant, for an outstanding dinner, located in a lush tropical garden close to Inya Lake.
Breakfast will be served at your hotel and we will transfer you to Yangon International Airport to catch your flight time.
If you're looking for an authentic Asian experience, cycling in the land of the golden spires offers awe-inspiring scenery, fascinating history and astonishing natural beauty. From the sparkling waters of Inle Lake and the stilt houses and floating gardens that sit atop the water, to gigantic centuries old Buddhas and temples, cycling in Myanmar offers an experience like no other.
Be patient with a young tourism industry and a country only open for travel, and you will be rewarded with a mystical, beautiful and fascinating cycling holiday.
Although Myanmar has two distinct weather seasons, you can cycle in Myanmar at any time of the year. Myanmar's dry season runs from October to May and the wet season from June to early October. March to June is usually the hottest of the year and the colder months follow the end of the rainy season, from October to December.