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Myanmar cycling holidays
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Cycle Chin State Explorer - 9 Days


Discover the Chin State, Ayerwaddy Valley, temples of Bagan and much more, pedaling through Myanmar's stunning countryside. The magnificence of this journey speaks for itself when considering that on the second day alone, not one, but two world-record breaking sights are unveiled. Cycling through breathtaking areas previously inaccessible to foreigners, makes this a challenging, yet truly rewarding adventure.


Day 1 - Arrive Mandalay (D)


Upon arrival meet your guide and driver and transfer to Mandalay.

Mandalay is the second largest city in Myanmar and was the country's last royal capital. Visit the Mandalay Palace walls, where King Thibaw, the Last King of Myanmar once ruled.

You will then visit Kuthodaw Pagoda, known to locals as the ‘biggest book in the world’ for its 729 marble slabs of Buddhist scriptures.

After checking into your hotel and freshening up a bit, drive to the top of Mandalay Hill for a sunset to cap off your first day in the Golden Land.

Welcome traditional dinner at local restaurant.

Overnight in Mandalay.

Distance and journey time:

Transfer from Mandalay airport to Hotel: 1 hour


Day 2 - Mandalay - Amarapura - Mingun - Mandalay (B,L,D)


It’s time to begin cycling!

After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will take you on a bike ride to Mandalay’s outskirts. Heading to the southwest of the city, your first destination is the 18th century capital of Amarapura (17 kms/ app 1 hour). Stop here to visit U Bein Bridge for a walk along this 200 year-old teak bridge. The bridge spans over 2 kilometers in length and offers fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams.

Lunch at local restaurant

Continue by bike across the Irrawaddy River to Mingun (33 kms/ app 2 hours). Visit the main sites of Mingun beginning with the famous Mingun Pahtodawgyi. This huge brick structure was left unfinished after an astrologer predicted the King’s would die should the temple be completed. In the 1800s, an earthquake left several large cracks in the structure. Continue your visit at the beautiful white Hsinbyume Pagoda whose distinctive style is meant to resemble the mythical Mount Meru. Then see the Mingun Bell which weighs 90 tons and is considered the world’s largest uncracked ringing bell. Then return to Mandalay by boat.

Dinner at local restaurant.

Overnight in Mandalay.

Distance and journey time:

Cycling distance :up to 45 km

Difficulty: Easy


Day 3 - Mandalay - Monywa (B,L,D)


Today we transfer about an hour to the small town of Myin-Mu and then start our ride to the small traditional town of Monywa located on the banks of the Chindwin River.

This is a pleasant ride on a tarmac road with little traffic as we cycle through the Chindwin Valley and see a variety of crops from orange orchards to sugar cane. Cycling past plantations and stopping in tiny villages to interact with locals gives a real life glimpse into the rural life of Middle Burma.

On the way, we cycle a bit off road and will stop at the tallest standing Buddha image in Myanmar, Laykyun Setkyar. The Buddha image is 116 meters and is quite a site and makes for great photographing as it stands just behind one of the largest reclining Buddhas in the country.

As you approach Monywa, you will stop at the Mohnyin Thambuddhei Paya. This temple dates back to 1303 and his famous for housing more than 500,000 images of Buddha.

Lunch at local restaurant

Cycle into the tiny town of Monywa and check in to your hotel for the evening.

Dinner at local restaurant

Overnight in Monywa

Distance and journey time:

Transfer from Mandalay to Myin-Mu: 1 hour

Cycling distance: up to 59 km

Difficulty: Medium


Day 4 - Monywa - Pho Win Taung Cave - Kampelet (B,L,D)


Early this morning, begin the day with ride to Pho Win Taung Cave. The ride is moderate, as you cycle on undulating hills along the Ayerwaddy Valley. You will ride along small agricultural villages and quiet roads that are lined with Toddy Palm Trees.

Pho Win Taung, which translates as ‘Mountain of Isolated Solitary Meditation,’ is a series of over 900 small caves that have been decorated in Buddhist statues, murals, and Jataka stories that date back to 14th century. You’ll traverse through these caves, finding hidden Buddha images in small crevaces and tiny openings. You will also have company along the way as tiny Macque monkeys scatter all over the mountain. Make sure to keep a tight grip on your belongings however, these monkeys are cute but highly mischievous and are known to snatch a camera or two.

Lunch at local restaurant

After visiting the caves, you will have a long road trip out of the Ayerwaddy valley and into the Ponetaung Ponenyar Mountain Range. The scenery and weather drastically changes from the hot flatland plains and into cool mountain air along with lush bamboo and pine forests. You will have opportunities to stop at some of these villages and interact with locals who rarely come into contact with travellers.

In the afternoon you will reach the small town of Kanpelet. This small village was once a British mountain station, a nice getaway from the heat of Middle Burma. Kanpelet is situated 4560 feet above sea level and is the gateway to Mount Victoria.

Dinner at hotel in Kanpelet

Overnight in Kanpelet

Distance and journey time:

Transfer from Pho Win Taung Cave to Kanpelet: up to 7 hours

Cycling distance: up to 40 km

Difficulty: Easy


Day 5 - Kampelet - Mount Victoria - Aye Village (B,L,D)


Known by the locals as Nat Ma Taung, Mount Victoria is the highest peak in Myanmar outside of the Kachin Himalayas in the far North. It sits 3053 meters above sea level. The mountain is now protected by Myanmar’s National Park system.

This morning, we travel by 4WD to the summit of Nat Ma Taung. The park is home to natural and native orchids and many rare species of birds. Enjoy lunch at the top of the peak amid the stunning views of remote Chin state. After free time for some exploration we will take a leisurely stroll back down to “10 mile” camp.

At camp, your bicycles will be waiting for you as you continue your cycle journey to Aye Village. Today’s ride is a leisurely downhill day to rest your legs for tomorrow’s challenging climb. In the afternoon you will reach the village of Aye, one of the few remaining traditional villages where the local women have tattoos on their faces, an ancient Chin tradition. Enjoy interacting with the villagers and learning about their culture.

Dinner at village.

Overnight in local guest house at Aye Village

Distance and journey time:

Transfer from Kanpelet to 10 mile camp: up to 45 mins

Trekking: up to 3 hours

Difficulty: Easy

Cycling distance: up to 15 km

Difficulty: Easy


Day 6 - Aye Village - Mindat (B,L,D)


Spend time this morning exploring the laneways of Aye Village. Enjoy a cup of tea with breakfast and take some time for a bit of people watching in a part of the world that has not been affected by modernity

Although a challenging decline, the rewards are everywhere around you as you cycle in a region that has only been open to foreigners in very recent history. Because of poor transportation infrastructure – lack of highways, bus routes, etc. – Cycling in the Chin State is the best way to truly experience this mysterious region.

You will pass a small creek called Chay Chaung where you can have a break and enjoy the surroundings. Then you will be transferred by car and arrive Mindat in the late afternoon. Relax and rest your legs for the remainder of the afternoon and celebrate a strong showing from a difficult day. Try the local fare and perhaps try some of the local booze. The locals use a flower called Taung Zalak, a flower that only grows at elevation, and ferment it into a sort of local wine. Enjoy a drink to celebrate strong day of riding and maybe bring some along as a souvenir (own account).

Dinner at local restaurant

Overnight in Mindat

Distance and journey time:

Transfer from Pho Win Taung Cave to Mindat : up to 1 hour

Cycling distance: Ride up to 17km

Difficulty: Easy


Day 7 - Mindut - Pakokku - Bagan (B,L,D)


After yesterday’s brutal climb, today’s ride is fairly leisurely as we decline from higher Chin Mountains to the Ponetaung Ponenyar Mountain Range and wave goodbye to the mysterious Chin State and return to plains of the Ayerwaddy Valley.

The mostly downhill road from Mindat is surrounded by stunning scenery. You will have mountain backdrops lined with bamboo forests with plantations dotting your views. The weather in the region is ideal for riding with cool mountain air blowing through your face. We will make stops in the small village of Yaw and Kyauktu.

From Kyauktu, you will transfer all the way back to the banks of the Irrawaddy River to small town of Pakkoku. For centuries the only way to reach Bagan, the original capital of Burma, was by boat. Until recent years when bridges and roads were built, Pakkoku acted as the gateway to Bagan.

In the afternoon you will reach Bagan and check in to your hotel. If there is time, the early evening is the perfect moment to climb up an elevated temple and watch the sunset.

Dinner at local restaurant

Overnight in Bagan.

Distance and journey time:

Transfer from Kyauktu to Pakokku: 6 hours

Cycling distance: 40 km

Difficulty: Easy


Day 8 - 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 at local restaurant.

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.

Dinner at local restaurant

Overnight in Bagan.

Distance and journey time:

Cycling distance: up to 25 km

Difficulty: Easy


Day 9 - Bagan Departure (B)


Morning Leisure before transfer to Nyaung Oo Airport for connecting flight for international departure.

Distance and journey time:

Transfer from Bagan to Nuaung Oo Airport: 30 mins

“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