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Burma Heritage by Bicycle
Myanmar’s rich legacy in historical temples is balanced out by its gorgeous natural sights which makes for the perfect cycling environment. Saddle up, pop on your helmet and roll out on two wheels to bask in glorious sunsets, visit the Bagan Plains and dip into the delicious cuisine that makes this country an absolute must visit.
- CategoryCulture & History
- Duration7 days
- Culture LevelAdventurous
- Skill Level2 - Novice
- Activity Level2 - Moderate
- Elevation2 - Moderate
- Distance145.4 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance32.3 miles
- Day 1Basking in magical Mandalay’s glow before the ride
The magical city of Mandalay is the perfect place to kick off a cycling tour that’s destined to be one you’ll never forget. The group will meet at the Mandalay Hill Resort at 4pm for a tour briefing and then a sunset drive.
Myanmar is a country of so much natural beauty and it’s exemplified as you take a car up the Mandalay Hill to catch a picture perfect sunset. Following this it’s time to throw yourself deep into the tasty Burmese cuisine at dinner.
- Day 2First time biking excitement, giant bells and an unfinished stupa
Head out of Mandalay towards the famous, 1.2 km (0.75 mi) long, 200-year-old teak U Bein bridge. It's quite a sight and reaching it will take you to a pleasant route alongside the Irrawaddy River, all the way to Mingun.
Where in the world is the largest pile of bricks? Mingun as it transpires. The story behind this pile of bricks is that they are from the ruins of Pahtodawgyi, a massive unfinished stupa that would easily have been the biggest if it was ever finished. However, the people in Mingun did manage to complete another impressive feat by constructing the largest ringing bell in the world. Weighing in at 90 tons, it’s a beast.
Lunch today is at a local restaurant before you ditch the bike and swap for a boat to head downstream back to Mandalay. Once at the dock, simply hop back on the bike for the short ride to the hotel.
Having arrived back before the sunset it only makes sense to venture back up the hill in the car to check out the sun going down one more time before dinner.
- 28.6 miles
- 9.8 ft
- Day 3Uncovering the realities of farm and village life
Today’s adventure will throw you straight into the realities of Burmese life as you pedal through numerous valleys, villages and to a couple of historic spots.
First thing is a three-hour van transfer to just beyond the town of Chaung-U. Then skid through the Chindwin Valley where fragrant orange orchards and sugar cane scents will waft past.
The first break is at Monywa’s temple complex of Thambuddhei Paya which is supposed to be the home of more than 500,000 separate images of Buddha. Dating back to 1303, it’s an amazing place to take a wander before everyone breaks for lunch at a nearby restaurant.
After digesting, it’s time to cross the Chindwin River by boat before continuing your ride to the Pho Win Taung Cave where you can admire the dazzling array of carvings and mural paintings that date back as far as the 14th century.
Once this is completed it’s time to return to Monywa and rest your legs at the hotel for the evening.
- 31.7 miles
- 400.3 ft
- Day 4Searching for the shy and secretive temples
As you pedal south along the Irrawaddy River, the route spirals and takes you through the quaint villages of A Myint and A Neint. Here you’ll be able to spot bits of ancient pagodas from behind the overgrowth.
Venture deeper into the scenery and visit some of the hidden temples before enjoying a feast for lunch and then resting in the afternoon on a boat. The boat ride heads for Bagan and makes for a relaxing way to finish the day before transferring to the hotel.
- 38.5 miles
- -16.4 ft
- Day 5Prepare to be enraptured by Bagan’s thousands of temples
Whenever anyone speaks of Myanmar the sight of the temples of Bagan usually springs to mind. Bikes are perfect for getting around and exploring the array of temples. A morning ride will take you through the Archaeological Zone before everyone retires for a much needed dip in the pool.
The sunset here has to be seen to be believed. It is the definition of breath-taking as you’re able to stare across the plains packed with temples. It is a sight you will never forget.
- 18.6 miles
- Day 6Soaking up the village life after a thrilling Mount Popa descent
Leaving behind Bagan, everyone bundles into the vans for a transfer along the highway and up to the towering Mount Popa. At an impressive 650 meters (2,130 feet) tall, Popa dominates the landscape and the temple at the summit is one of the most highly revered in the country.
The day’s prime activity is to take on the 900 plus stairs and climb up to Popa Taung Kalat temple. Along the way you’ll feel the spiritual importance of this place as you pass many shrines and see the pilgrims who have undertaken this journey.
Standing at the top, the vistas are captivating as you look down over the plains. After taking it all in, it’s time for an exhilarating ride downhill back to Bagan. En route everyone can stop to enjoy a picnic lunch in a village.
- 28 miles
- -2559.1 ft
- Day 7Time to bid adieu to a wonderful ride
In the morning everyone transfers to Nyaung U airport to fly back to Yangon. There's some time for a few activities as you head to the Bogyoke Aung San market and enjoy a final meal together at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you'll visit Myanmar’s holiest religious site, Shwedagon Paya, before finally saying goodbye to everyone.
Please ensure your flight is booked for the evening so there is no need to rush. Alternatively, if you are staying in the country, chat with the guides for advice on where to head next.