Burma Mountain Biking Adventure

from $4408 NZD
(5/5) from 1 review

Explore fascinating central Burma with an adventurous cycling holiday. You will be travelling from the Shan Plateau down to the plains and the Irrawaddy River

Along the way we will be greeted by warm, friendly people that few tourists ever meet. From the Shan lands, home to a multitude of tribal people, we have cooler weather and can experience the colonial charm of Kalaw, where the officers of the Raj went to escape the summer heat. We explore the wondrous Inle Lake and embark on a relaxing day-long boat trip. Experience the caves of Pindaya, where thousands of Buddha statues are housed, the lowlands, Kipling’s Mandalay, and Mt Popa. We cycle 610 kms amongst the pagodas, stupas, and temples of this deeply religious nation.

Reviews for Burma Mountain Biking Adventure - Tour

It was a fantastic trip! The support team was by far the best I ever had… The food was excellent, great healthy and tasty snacks, good instructions about culture and country, always smiling!...

Birgit Kley Germany February 14, 2015

Yangon to Yangon

  • Mountain Biking
  • Grade
  • Group size: minimum 2 / maximum 16
  • USD600-650 single room surcharge
  • USD230 bike hire
  • 2020 prices subject to change
  • This tour is invoiced in USD
  • Biking is ~80% on tarmac roads (often in poor condition)
Hardtail mountain bikes are required for this tour, with the riding being on country lanes and quiet roads. Although most of our cycling will be on tarmac, the road is often in poor condition. The first few days are undulating rides on the Shan plateau. We share the road with ox carts, cyclists and waving children. The rides during the second phase of the tour are flat or on gentle rolling hills and cut through rice fields, ancient cities and scenic countryside. The trip is fully supported; an air-conditioned bus follows us for the entire journey, so riders can skip the tougher sections if they wish. On major roads, riders can find their own pace and meet up at prearranged points along the way. There is an unbelievable amount to see throughout the tour and we stop frequently to view temples, rural scenes (especially if riding during rice harvest) and villages. This trip is suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. There are some long rides, and one or two tough climbs; participants who cycle the whole distance should expect a fairly challenging two weeks. With our excellent support, inexperienced riders and even non-riding partners can be catered for and are more than welcome to join this tour.

Full Itinerary

DAY 1

Yangon: Arrival Day

No biking

We will meet at the hotel at 7 pm for a welcome dinner at a local restaurant to give us the first flavours of Burma.

Meals: Dinner

DAY 2

Yangon to Heho to Kalaw

Biking: 36 km

After an early morning flight to Heho, its just a short transfer to our hotel in the former hill station of Kalaw. This cool, peaceful town amidst pine trees still retains its colonial feel. After lunch we'll prepare for an afternoon ride through the countryside of Kalaw. This off road ride will be a perfect introduction to your bike and give you a chance to warm up your cycling legs. There will be some uphills but we will be cycling through stunning countryside making the effort worthwhile.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 3

Kalaw to Inle Lake

Biking: 79 km

Today we have a fabulous ride from the plateau down to the famous Inle Lake. Although we cover many kilometres, the last section has two sweeping downhills, which take us directly to the shores of Inle. We will be on both paved and dirt roads, taking us through the Burmese countryside. We ride alongside one of Asia's most beautiful inland waters to Nyaung Shwe, located north of the lake.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 4

Inle Lake

Biking: 20 km

We'll spend the day exploring Inle Lake, from the shore and on the lake. In the morning we'll start with a 20 km ride along the shore, riding through villages and past temples. After a lakeside lunch we'll board a boat and cruise to Indein temples, floating gardens, monasteries and the Intha fishermen, who famously manage to row their boats with one leg. Around sunset we'll visit a vineyard for dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 5

Inle Lake to Pindaya

Biking: 63 km

Today we leave lovely Inle and head back up to the Shan Plateau. Shan State covers almost a quarter of Myanmar and is home to several different ethnic groups. Again we will be cycling on both dirt and paved roads, and though overall we will be climbing, there will be some downhills. There is one major 10 km-long climb today but the gradient is gentle. Our destination is Pindaya, home to limestone caves that house thousands of Buddhas. We'll visit the caves before dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 6

Pindaya to Mandalay

Biking: 53 km

An hour long transfer takes us to the start of our ride down to Burma's second city, Mandalay. Initially the ride will be undulating through a patchwork of fields before we start a long descent. We'll pass many villages on the way where you'll be greeted by "hellos" from the children. When we reach Ywa Ngan we'll stop for lunch and then load up the support vehicles for a short transfer to Mandalay.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 7

Mandalay to Sagaing to Mingun to Mandalay

Biking: 45 km

We leave the city of Mandalay behind to explore Sagaing and Mingun. We visit the famous U Bien bridge, the longest teak bridge in Asia. We'll ride along the river past Sagaing, an important religious and monastic centre and home to numerous monasteries and stupas. We cycle to Mingun where we'll visit the ruins of Pahtodawgyi. This massive unfinished stupa might be the largest in the world if completed, but now its possibly the largest pile of bricks in the world! We'll see the Mingun bell which weighs 90 tons. After lunch we'll have an easy return to Mandalay by boat.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 8

Mandalay Monasteries

Biking: 26 km

This morning we explore Mandalay by bike, starting with the sprawling Zegyo market, crammed with stalls and shops selling everything from food to clothing to jewellery. As we continue cycling we'll pass artisans weaving bamboo into large sheets to be used as roofs and walls. A visit to Shwenandaw Monastery, aptly named “golden palace,” is a must. This wonderfully fragile, yet grand example of 19th century Burmese teak architecture is heavily gilded with gold and is adorned with glass mosaic work and impressive carvings of Buddhist myths. We'll head back to Mandalay a different way, stopping for tea and local snacks. For the rest of the day, explore Mandalay at leisure.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch

DAY 9

Mandalay to Pyinsi to Mt Popa

Biking: 85 km

We start early and ride from the hotel along the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Following back roads we take a very small and short ferry so we can ride by the capital of the ancient Ava Kingdom. Here we'll see remnants of a city wall that protected the city that ruled upper Burma for nearly two centuries, from 1364 to 1555. We continue our ride through fields of millet, sesame, cotton and many varieties of peas and beans to the town of Pyinsi. Here we pack up our bikes and transfer to Mt Popa.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 10

Mt. Popa rest day

Biking: none

Mount Popa soars 650 metres up out of the plains and the temple is populated by Burma's most revered Nats (spirits). We climb the almost 900 stairs to the top of Popa Taung Kalat. As you walk up you will pass dozens of nat (spirit) shrines and see pilgrims who come to honour the spirits. From the top is a panorama of the surrounding plains. The views are excellent and photographers will get some great shots. The rest of the day you are free to relax by the hotel's infinity pool overlooking the temple, or for those more adventurous there are hiking trails in the national park. We meet up for dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 11

Mt. Popa to Bagan

Biking: 88 km

Wake up to superb views! After breakfast, start with an easy descent from our lofty heights. We take a different route down, snaking around the mountain as we ride through small villages and palm gardens, coming across farmers plowing their fields with wooden plows and water buffaloes. We ride into Bagan, which is littered with thousands of temples along the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Our riverside hotel offers a refreshing pool to cool down in.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 12

Bagan Temples

Biking: 30 km

Bicycles are the perfect way to explore the temples of Bagan; we take a morning ride around the Archaeological Zone stopping to see a variety of temples. When it starts to get hot we'll return to the hotel for a relaxing afternoon by the pool. Watch the sunset over the river or take your bike to catch the setting sun from the top of a temple. The views across the plains studded with chedis will be a lasting memory. Note: optional hot air balloon ride is possible this morning.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 13

Bagan to Yangon

No Biking

In the morning we transfer to the airport and fly back to Yangon, viewing from the air some of the terrain we have covered by bike. We arrive in time for a trishaw ride in downtown Yangon and then see the infamous Shwedagon Paya, Burma’s holiest religious site at dusk. In the evening we'll meet up for a farewell dinner.

Meals: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

DAY 14

Departure from Yangon

No Biking

The morning is free and you may like to visit Bogyoke Aung San market for some shopping before being transferred to the airport for your flight home.

Meals: Breakfast

Tour Inclusions and Exclusions:

Tour Includes:

  • Accommodation: 13 nights in 3 to 4 star hotels
  • Meals as listed in the itinerary
  • Local English speaking riding guide(s)
  • Vehicle(s) for transport and general support
  • Drinking water, ice and snacks on riding days
  • Domestic flights: Yangon-Heho (day 2) and Bagan-Yangon (day 13)
  • Boat rides as indicated in itinerary
  • Airport transfer on day 14

Tour Excludes:

  • International flights & airport taxes
  • Arrival transfer day 1 (extra cost)
  • Passport and travel visa requirements
  • Excess luggage fees on domestic flights
  • Bike hire
  • Optional activity costs
  • Personal expenses and drinks
  • Travel insurance
  • Tips for guide(s) and support crew