“This is [Myanmar], and it will be quite unlike any land you know about”, wrote Rudyard Kipling in 1898. More than a century later, Myanmar’s lure endures as a place where time stands still; the bicycle remains a favorite way for locals to travel- we’ll follow their lead exploring the treasures of this exotic land.
Yangon, Yangon Region, Myanmar (Burma)
Bagan, Myanmar (Burma)
Day 2 -3
Pindaya, Shan, Myanmar (Burma)
Inle Princess Resort, Taunggyi, Shan, Myanmar (Burma)
Post-trip extension Ngapali
Ngapali Beach, Thandwe District, Rakhine, Myanmar (Burma)
Extension Day 8 - 10
What’s Included in the Cost of Your Trip?
INCLUDED IN REGULAR TRIP
Services of one or more experienced Great Explorations guides and support vehicle
7 nights lodging
Wine receptions on first and final nights
Entrance fees for selected historical sites and museums
Detailed map and route instructions
All baggage transportation
All transportation from initial meeting point to final drop-off
November 29 - December 6
December 28 - January 4
November 27 - December 4
Custom trips available and can start any date.
ARRIVE / DEPART
20-40+ miles daily
Includes all meals
* based on 8+ pax
4-5 pax – add US $800 pp
6-7 pax – add US $400 pp
Additional Airfare for the regular trip:
– Flight from Yangon to Bagan on Day 2: US$120
– Flight from Bagan to Heho on Day 4: US$120
– Flight from Heho to Yangon on Day 8 (n/a if doing Extension): US$120
These will be billed and charged on final invoice at 60 days prior to trip.
Single suppl: US $175
– Flight from Heho to Thandwe on Day 8: US$120
– Flight from Ngapali to Yangon on Day 10: US$120
These will be billed and charged on final invoice at 60 days prior to trip.
We will meet you on arrival into Yangon airport and whisk you to the hotel. Although our official meeting time is at 6 pm at the hotel, for those that arrive early in the day, we will offer a full-day Yangon tour, departing the hotel at 10:00 am, visiting the village of Dala and then lunch at the Rangoon Teahouse. We will enjoy a local walking tour through the old quarter of Yangon, finishing with a visit to Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddist temple in Myanmar. Built 2500 years ago, the 8-sided stupa is 99 metres tall and gilded in gold leaf. Dinner will be at a local atmospheric restaurant.
After breakfast, transfer to Yangon airport for a flight to Bagan. We’ll visit Nyaung U town and market and then the Thanaka Museum. Late on the ride, stop and learn how rice noodles and Myanmar cigars “Cheroots” are made. After lunch, we will continue to the well-preserved Ananda Temple, often cited as the most beautiful piece of architecture in Bagan. Late afternoon, consider a walking tour where you will witness local villagers going about their daily life- men on oxcarts, women collecting firewood for home cooking and leisurely goat herding. Just before sunset, we will climb to the top of a temple that offers unparalleled photo opportunities of one of the richest archaeological treasures in Southeast Asia. The views are pure magic as the sun dips behind the temple ruins.
Ride Distance: 30 km; 100 m gain*
There is an option to enjoy a Hot Air Balloon Flight over Bagan. Imagine floating gently above thousand year old pagodas and the almighty Ayeyarwaddy River, as the sun rises slowly from the horizon over the misty fields and temples. After breakfast we take a a ferry boat across the wide Ayeyarwaddy River to the opposite bank. Once across the river, we will begin our ride along the quiet road that runs through the lands rarely visited by foreign travelers. On the way you will pass small fisherman villages and rural pagodas hidden among the vast fields. The afternoon is free to do some sightseeing, relax, or additional cycling.
Ride Distance: 40 km; 110 m gain*
This morning you we transfer to airport and onward flight to Heho, a quiet transit town with one of the few airport links in the beautiful hills of Shan State, the land of scenic mountains and charming ethnic people.We will pedal northwards along the rural asphalt road with light traffic that winds over the rolling hills and small villages of Danu and Pa-O people. The scenery is agrarian, with sesame, corn, cabbage and potato fields stretching as far as an eye can see. Depending on the time, you will be served a picnic lunch nearby one of the villages along the way, or in a local restaurant in Pindaya.After check-in, we will walk to Pindaya Cave that is unique in housing thousands of Buddha images donated by Buddhist devotees alongside caverns filled with numerous stalactite formations. After the cave visit the local traditional Shan paper making workshop. B/L/D
Ride Distance: 38 km; 340 m gain *
We will transfer to Aungban, small but busy transit town on the main Southern Shan State highway. It is from here that we start our today’s biking to Inle Lake. Set off on your bike through the sparsely populated farmland as you pass by the small villages of Danu, Pa-O and Taung Yo people that make their leaving mostly from agriculture.
Please keep in mind that roads in Myanmar countryside are constantly being improved as economic development slowly comes to the region. Roughly first half of the road that we are taking today is covered with asphalt, while the other half is yet a dirt track with some ranges of soft sand and gravel.We will tackle a few rather steep hills before making a lunch stop at a restaurant located on top of a hill overlooking the picturesque mountain valley dotted with fields and pine groves. The last stretch of the road will be mostly downhill with just few relatively easy climbs, as we slowly approach the valley of Inle Lake with views of Shan mountains and rice paddy fields. In the early afternoon we will reach the foot of the hills and enter the village of Inn Thein, a site that makes us feel as if we’ve stepped through a forgotten portal in time. To access the Inn Thein archeological site we walk through verdant bamboo groves that open up to a field covered with the ancient pagodas constructed over 1,000 years ago – truly an amazing sight and a highlight of the lake. Take a break under a shady tree surrounded by bamboo forest and ancient pagodas.From Inn Thein, should you wish, you can pedal all the way to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda along the narrow dirt trails, or board traditional long tail boat and head down a winding creek out to the lake. On the way you will meet Inthar fishermen busy with their floating gardens and water buffaloes. The boat then takes you to the hotel conveniently located on the north-eastern edge of the lake against the backdrop of scenic mountains.
Ride Distance: 35 km; 420 m gain
After breakfast at the hotel, we start our day with a pleasant boat ride to Nayung Shwe, the main town of the area located a few miles to the north of the lake, from where we drive to the lush Aye Tha Yae vineyard for a short winery tour. We then continue to Taunggyi, the capital city of Shan State. From this point we begin our cycling into the Pa-O territory. From Taunggyi to Kakku, the religious centre of Pa-O people and a highly revered sight of more than 2000 pagodas, it is mostly gentle downhill ride along the country road. There we will meet our local guide who will lead us through this architectural maze. Picnic lunch will be served near Kakku. After lunch, hop a lift to the hotel, or continue to ride through the Shan hills down to the flatlands of Inle Lake passing remote village communities, highland monasteries and bamboo forest. B/L/D
Ride Distance: 52 km; 715 m gain
Today we embark on full day explorations of Inle Lake, populated with floating islands and gardens made from the naturally tangled roots of water hyacinth plants and bamboo poles. Delight in the picturesque sights of Intha fishermen who balance and row with one leg, a technique indigenous to the Inthar minority group who do this only on Inle Lake. Visit the Ywama village known for its silver smith traditions and Phaungdaw Oo Pagoda, home of some of the country’s most sacred Buddha statues covered in gold leaf by devout followers. Enjoy today’s lunch in a traditional Inthar house on the lake. Take in the breathtaking scenery and savour classic home cooked dishes of the lake people – an experience you will never forget. Rest of the day is for lake explorations, you will learn how the floating islands are shaped and tended, stop at Inn Phaw Khone village to learn how local handmade silks, linens and lotus fabrics are crafted. At Nampan village local craftsmen will show us how Burmese cigars, or “cheroots,” are traditionally packed and rolled. If time permits we can visit the Burmese cats at Inn Thar Heritage House.We end our day with magnificent sunset canoe ride with boatmen who gracefully navigate and row perched on one leg. Return to your hotel with the sundown. Tonight dinner will be served in at the hotel restaurant. Enjoy the most delicious fusion cuisine with a glass of wine or your favorite cocktail.
Depart for Yangon. Morning flight (dep 8h55 arrives 10h05). We highly recommend the Ngapali Beach Extension, should you wish (see below).
*Distance and elevation gains may vary depending on hotels chosen for specific departure.
EXTENSION Days 8-10
Ngapali Beach Extension:
Situated on the Bay of Bengal, these peerless beaches on the west coast are Burma’s best. Departing Inle Lake in the morning, arrive to Ngapali in time for lunch. Cycling is an ideal way to see villages along the coast where fishermen bring in the day’s catch. Stay at the idyllic Sandoway Resort Hotel and Spa for 2 nights flying back to Rangon in time to connect with international flights on Day 10.
Overlooking the Shwedagon Pagoda, this polished, colonial hotel is 4 km from both Bogyoke Market and the Chaukhtatgyi Paya (reclining Buddha) statue. Refined rooms have hardwood floors and Myanmar antiques, and come with free Wi-Fi and flat-screen TVs.
This hotel is the top-rated hotel in Bagan. Luxurious, contemporary villa-style buildings with tented roofs feature airy rooms with wood floors. Large swimming pool and delightful grounds in a quiet setting.
This casual yet comfortable lodge consists of chalets and guest rooms, massage and spa services and onsite restaurant.
Open since 1998 on a quiet inlet on the eastern shore of Inle Lake, this boutique hotel is luxurious yet welcoming with individual cottage-style lodging overlooking the lake. Locally owned and managed with superb service. Alternate: Aureum Palace Resort and Spa
This hotel sits on a pristine stretch of Ngapali beach. There are just 56 cottages and villas, a large swimming pool and excellent restaurant. We think it is the perfect extension to a journey through Myanmar.