Introduce your children to a whole new world of wonder
Embrace a cycling and family trip like no other as you take an incredible and adventurous scenic ride through the wonderful country that is Myanmar. Kayak out on peaceful lakes to meet locals, marvel at the ruins of more than 4,000 temples on the Bagan Plain, bask in glorious sunsets and smile as the kids enjoy scavenger hunting on a quick hike. This trip has it all and is guaranteed to have you dusting off the photo album to add some new memories.
Start this cycling adventure by meeting your guides at the domestic terminal of the Yangon Airport. From there, head for Inle by plane and a two hour car ride before sitting down to enjoy lunch together. Having been briefed about what to expect on the ride, it’s time to get those bikes fitted and pedal off into the countryside surrounding the town of Nyaung Shwe.
As you ride out into the late-afternoon, you’ll get to observe what’s going on in town along back streets and farming roads. The scent of freshly made snacks will frequently waft across, but if you can resist the temptation a superb dinner awaits back at the hotel.
Let nature and the water soothe your soul as the group sets off early on a ride to the nearby lake. At this hour the mist sits delicately on top of the hills, while the markets slowly cranks into gear. Reaching the lake, pedal around this body of water before swapping two wheels for kayaks. Move out onto the water and glide through the stilt villages and floating gardens. It’s a great experience and the locals will surely giggle with curiosity to see foreigners passing through.
Depending on the day it may be possible to visit a local market and even the Burmese Cat House. Keep on paddling until you stop for an early lunch, a short rest and cycle back to the hotel.
Following breakfast, the team will jump in the car and bid goodbye to Inle before driving up the mountain road from the valley. Once in the hills, you’ll notice immediately that the environment has changed. Farmers can be seen working with cattle and traditional ploughs, while the fields seem to roll on forever. This is perfect cycling territory and after setting up, you’re able to roll along the hills, many of which follow a downward trend. They lead to the quiet town of Pindaya, which sits perfectly by a lake, at the foot of limestone cliffs. This is your home for the evening.
After checking in to the accommodation, it’s time to visit the Golden Cave. This tourist attraction holds hundreds of Buddha statues, and portrays an intriguing tale of princesses in distress, giant spiders, and a savior prince.
Today involves an early start as the group heads for Mandalay on a short flight. You’ll be provided with a breakfast box to enjoy on the 45 minute drive to the airport. Arriving in Mandalay, you will check into the hotel around late morning to freshen up before heading for a spot of lunch. In the afternoon, after it cools off, set out on foot to climb the famous Mandalay Hill. This is a popular hike for the locals, and tourists love the view it provides from the top.
To make it more fun for the kids, a scavenger hunt is incorporated along the way. During the climb, you’ll also get an insight into Theravada Buddhism and some history about the town. Upon reaching the top everyone will be rewarded with cold drinks and prizes. After seeing the sunset and getting all the snaps you want, it’s time to hop in a car and head back down.
Inwa (or Ava as it was previously known) is an intriguing city located just down the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay. It was the imperial capital of Burma between the 14th and 19th centuries. It has since fallen into disrepair, and the ruins of this walled city now makes for an impressive place to explore by bike. While the history is amazing, the craftsmanship of the locals will also impress. You’ll see it for yourself during stops at copper bowl making and mat weaving shops. Myanmar also has excellent street food and there will be ample opportunity to sample these. It is an action packed morning of riding; by the time the sun begins to bear down, you will be ready to hop in the van and chill out for the few hours it takes to drive to Bagan.
Today you can explore the Bagan Plains, the legendary home to the remains of more than 4,000 temples and pagodas. An early morning start helps avoid the heat later in the day. The visit will take you to four of the most impressive temples: Shwezigon, Sulamani, Htilominlo, Dhammayazika. This may sound like temple overload, but each structure is fascinating with its own story to tell. As for the kids, they can find fun in exploring the grounds and interiors.
Lunch today is a relaxing affair, held under a shady tree. The afternoon is free time for you to chill out some more or explore before everyone meets up for a sunset boat ride on the Irrawaddy River. Drinks and snacks are provided to make the experience all the more enjoyable.
Introduce your children to a whole new world of wonder
It’s now time to head in a new direction, to discover more about the villages that surround Bagan and how they thrive. A ride takes you and your family to Nyaung U, the main commercial area of Bagan. Here you can visit a number of interesting factories and village industry workshops. The craftsmanship is astounding, while a few British colonial-era buildings will also attract the eye. There are busier areas best explored by cycle rickshaw, as these expert riders know the streets like the back of their hand. After this venture it’s time to return to the hotel by car and freshen up.
The tour officially comes to an end following one last lunch together. From Bagan you can either catch a flight to Yangon, the coast, or Ngapali Beach. Be sure to let the guides know your plans and they can offer advice where necessary.