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Myanmar cycling holidays
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Cycle Inle to Bagan - 8 Days

Saddle-up for this challenging eight-day bicycle tour through some of Myanmar's most scenic countryside. Following a day exploring the sights of Yangon, the cycling starts in Nyaung Shwe, including the chance to spend the night at Lake Inle. The journey then continues to the British hill station of Kalaw, then down through cool pine forests to the Ayerwaddy Valley to Meiktila. A ride to the scenic Mount Popa follows, before riders finally make their way to the pagoda-filled plains of Bagan, and onwards to Mandalay. Perfect for the cycling enthusiast.

Day 1 - Yangon (D)

Upon arrival at Yangon, guide will greet you and transfer you to the hotel. This late afternoon, we will visit to Shwedagon Pagoda the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. Although the origins of the pagoda are unclear, the local legend states that the original structure was built 2,500 years ago then renovated several times until taking its current shape in the 15th century. The 8-sided central stupa is 99 meters tall and gilded with gold leaf and is surrounded by 64 smaller stupas and your guide will show you around the massive complex, explaining why this temple is so revered. Enjoy breathtaking views of the golden stupa from this vantage point.

Welcome dinner at Monsoon Restaurant.

Overnight in Yangon.

Distance and journey time:

Transfer from Yangon airport to hotel: 45 mins

Day 2 - Yangon - Heho - Nyaung Shwe (B,L,D)

After breakfast, transfer to Yangon Airport for a flight to Heho. From Heho, a scenic one-hour drive leads to Nyaung Shwe, the gateway village to Nyaung Shwe.

Upon arrival on Nyaung Shwe, you’ll start on your bikes heading first to the village of Nampan to check out the local market. After a short bit of shopping, you will board the boat and cross the small lake village of Indein.

You’ll wave goodbye to boat on the banks of Indein and unload your bicycle. In In-Dein, you will reach Alaung Sitthou, an area filled with picturesque ancient stupas and has magnificent views of the lake below. Go for a short ride through the hidden ancient ruins then walk through the ruined site, where the jungle is beginning to take over, and search for hidden Buddha images.

Enjoy lunch at Bamboo forest restaurant in Indein.

Next, jump back on the saddle of your bicycle and head north up the western shore. You’ll see rice paddies below and the open road ahead. Have a quick snack break at Khaung Daing village, known for their delicious handmade soy bean crackers, tofu and other treats. The road back to Nyaung Shwe is mostly paved and on a decline with some undulating hills scattered in between. You’ll ride through the trees and alongside towering Shan mountains as the backdrop.

Dinner at local restaurant.

Overnight in Nyaung Shwe.

Distance and journey time:

Transfer from Heho airport to Nyaung Shwe: 1 hour

Cycle distance: up to 60 km

Difficulty: Medium

Day 3 - Nyaung Shwe - Kalaw (B,L,D)

Today’s ride covers a greater distance as you make your way up to Kalaw. Along the way, stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery which features beautiful carvings and a collection of Buddha images. We start with a climbing up and down from Nyaung Shwe Valley. On the way you will pass small towns and villages.

There is a stretch of flat road around the Heho plains, then an uphill ride to Aungban before we make our way to Kalaw.

Lunch break on the way at the local restaurant or lunch box.

Upon arrival at Kalaw, transfer to hotel for your check in.

Dinner at a local restaurant.

Overnight in Kalaw.

Distance and journey time:

Cycle distance: up to 61 km

Difficulty: Medium

Day 4 - Kalaw - Meikhtila (B,L,D)

Today you will cycle down from the former British hill station of Kalaw in the Shan hills to the flattened roads of the Ayerwaddy Valley (approx. 100 km). Along the way you will pass through pine forests and both local and colonial-style houses.

The scenery and climate will change today as you leave the higher elevation of the Shan Hills. The pine trees and bamboo forest will transform to the Toddy Palm tree lined roads of the Ayerwaddy Valley.

Lunch will be at a local restaurant on the way.

Upon reaching Meikhtila, check in to your hotel and, if you’re not feeling tired, explore this small town on foot. The city is centered around a lake and is home to several well-known pagodas. Meikhtila was also the site of a famous battle during World War II although these days there is little evidence of this event.

Dinner at a local restaurant

Overnight in Meikhtila.

Distance and journey time:

Cycle distance: up to 114 km

Difficulty: Hard

Day 5 - Meikhtila - Popa (B,L,D)

This morning is a scenic ride to Mt Popa. The countryside road is peaceful with light traffic. As you approach Mt. Popa, the ride quickly becomes challenging as you begin to climb on a steep incline (support vehicle will always be present).

This afternoon you’ll feel the road rising as we ascend towards the national park that encompasses Mount Popa, the now extinct volcano.

Lunch at a local restaurant

The final stretch of our ride ascends steeply before landing us at Popa Mountain Resort. If you are feeling energetic, why not climb to the sacred summit of the Gods (Mount Popa’s peak). On the flat plateau lies Taung Kalat Buddhist monastery —a focal point for annual pilgrimages to Mount Popa.

Check in to Popa Mountain Resort and enjoy the spectacular views or go for a refreshing swim.

Dinner and overnight at Popa Mountain Resort.

Distance and journey time:

Cycling distance: 100 km

Difficulty: Hard

Day 6 - Popa - Bagan (B,L,D)

After breakfast, start with an easy bike down from your hotel to the base of Mt. Popa. From here you can climb the almost 900 stairs to the top of Popa Taung Kalat. Hundreds of macaque monkeys are known to inhabit this region, but they are not the only ones that live here. Mount Popa is also known as the abode of the Mahagiri Nats (local spirits). So important are these spirits to the people of this region, they are worshipped every year during a festival that takes place from May to June.

From the top you will have superb views of the surrounding plains.

Then proceed to Bagan by bike along Byatta Pan Sat Road which leads to Kyauk Padaung – Nyaung U road.En-route stop at a village and palm garden to see the many usages of the Toddy Palm Tree. Sample the local liquor toddy palm wine, and maybe bring some home as a souvenir.

Lunch break will take at the local restaurant.

Arrive in Bagan this afternoon and check in to your hotel. After freshening up take a horse cart ride to an elevated temple to watch the sunset over the pagoda-filled plains.

Dinner at Sunset Garden.

Overnight in Bagan.

Distance and journey time:

Cycling distance: 45 km

Difficulty: Easy

Day 7 - Bagan (B,L,D)

After breakfast at the hotel, spend today biking around the plains of Bagan- we’ll visit a mix of villages, markets and of course temples.

Begin with a visit to the colorful Nyaung Oo Market where every day the locals come to buy and sell fresh produce and other goods. Continue your biking to Kyauk Gu U Min on the eastern side of the river where a five to ten minute walk takes us to the temple. This beautiful temple has exquisite stone carvings depicting religious figures and flowers on the door. The temple itself is built against the side of cliff, so behind the main hall of the temple you can enter a cave. Inside the cave there are several small niches where individuals can practice meditation. Legend states that the cave was built during the 13th century for the locals to hide from the invading Mongols.

Lunch will be served at local village house.

After lunch, the biking is continue with the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda for an introduction in to Bagan’s rich history. Continue to Ananda Temple, an architectural masterpiece and one of Bagan’s most beautiful temples. Built in the early Mon-style, Ananda contains two unique Buddha images whose expressions seem to change depending on the distance from which the statue is viewed.

Continue biking through the temple plains and arrive at an elevated temple to watch the sun set.

Overnight in Bagan.

Distance and journey time:

Cycling distance: 20 km

Difficulty: Very Easy

Day 8 - Bagan - Departure (B)

Early morning transfer to Nyaung Oo airport just outside of Bagan to catch connection for international departure.

“An itinerary may at times be altered by our guides due to local conditions, the skill of participants and other unexpected circumstances. Our priority is always the experience and safety of our clients.”

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Myanmar Cycling Tours