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Inle, The Shan Hills and Bagan
Explore the enchanting Inle Lake by bike and boat, then pedal your way through the scenic countryside as you ride from the Shan Hills to Bagan, home to a mind boggling collection of pagodas and a relaxed atmosphere. This trip runs Yangon to Bagan.
- Duration8 days
- Culture LevelAdventurous
- Skill Level2 - Novice
- Activity Level3 - Active
- Elevation2 - Moderate
- Distance189.5 miles
- Avg. Daily Distance31.1 miles
- Day 1Arrival in Yangon, Fly to Inle Lake
The group will meet in the morning at the domestic terminal of Yangon Airport for the flight to Heho. The flight will leave between 10:00 am and 11:30 am, so you must arrive in Yangon no later than 8:00 am. Alternatively, you may wish to stay the night before in Yangon. The 70 minute flight to Heho is followed by a drive of around the same duration to reach Nyaung Shwe, the main town of the Inle Lake area. You'll stay on dry land rather than on the lake as it's actually a more interesting experience and allows more freedom of movement.
- Day 2Bike & Boat Inle Lake
Take a ride around the area to learn a little about the local culture and the farming habits of the people here. Then cycle along the eastern bank of the lake, before taking a boat trip on the lake itself. Here you will see the famous leg rowing fishermen, silk weaving, and whole communities that exist in stilt houses on the lake. Everything from schools, shops, even the post office can be found out here, all within a short boat ride of each other. You will stop at some of the more interesting sites and visit some of the lake's renowned cottage industries such as lotus-silk weaving. This is usually a full day and expect to return to town by 4:00 pm.
- 15.5 miles
- Day 3Cycle to Kalaw
Leaving early this morning after a flat ride to start, you will climb out of the valley and up into the Western Shan Hills. This is a challenging ride, but with some lovely views. The town of Kalaw will be reached in the mid afternoon. Kalaw was a British Hill Station in past times and is well populated with colonial style buildings. It is populated by a diverse range of peoples, including Muslims (mainly originating from Bangladesh), Pa Oh and Paluang hill tribes, and even the descendants of Nepalese Gurkhas who settled here. The Shan hills are noted for their fresh produce and tonight you'll have a chance to try it at a family-run restaurant.
- 43.5 miles
- Day 4Cycle to Pindaya
Another early start today for a short drive that takes you to the Green Hill Valley Elephant Sanctuary, a conservation project founded by two passionate and dedicated tour guides. The project is currently home to seven elephants, five of whom were recently retired from working service in the logging industry. You'll be able to take a walk around to see the property, the reforestation project and with luck, the elephants. From Green Hill Valley, you'll down past the trucking town of Aung Ban to start the next ride. This is a lovely ride through rolling hills with patchwork crops, punctuated by groups of villagers working the fields. Roll into the tiny town of Pindaya in the late afternoon and visit the Golden Cave for which the town is famous for.
- 28 miles
- Day 5Cycle to Ywar Ngan
Th day will be started with an off-road ride through a seldom visited area where small communities of Pa Oh will watch curiously as you pedal by. The scenery gets better at every turn, with limestone crags topped by gold and white stupas giving way to lush flower gardens as you pass through tiny towns. One of these towns will be home for the night. Here a simple guesthouse in a small community awaits and offers an enjoyable night in a truly off-the-beaten-path setting.
- 40.4 miles
- Day 6Cycle & Transfer to Bagan
This is a challenging yet rewarding ride. The day includes some fun downhill sections, as well as some short climbs to keep you warm. The heights will be left today as you drop into the Irrawaddy Basin and get some fantastic views from the hills as you fly down them. There are few towns today due to the steep landscape but there are lots of villages whose inhabitants will be truly surprised to see you. This is a much less traveled route where it is uncommon to see many people on bikes. As the main north-south highway is reached, you'll board the vehicle for a drive to Bagan which takes around 4 hours.
- 46.6 miles
- Day 7Cycle the Pagodas of Bagan
The pagodas of the Bagan Plain are best visited early in the morning as the sandy landscape heats up by the middle of the day. Make good use of an early start and focus the visit on the temples that were built between 14th and 19th centuries: Shwezigon, Dhamagyangyi and Ananda to name a few. In the late morning, lunch will be at a local restaurant and then return to the hotel where an afternoon by the pool may be a good way to unwind and enjoy the warm temperatures.
- 15.5 miles
- Day 8Conclusion of the Tour in Bagan
The tour concludes after a hearty breakfast. Options for onward travel are many and include domestic flights from Nyaung-u Airport in Bagan (NYU). A quick 30 minute flight to Mandalay or a 50 minute flight to Yangon will bring you to your connecting international flight. For those in no hurry to leave, the beaches of Myanmar beckon. Feel free to inquire at the time of booking about onward travel plans.