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Overview

Hit the road with an action-packed cycling adventure. Spend six days in the saddle getting from Inle Lake to Bagan. Get to see Myanmar’s bountiful landscapes and sensational landmarks at a slower pace, stopping often to meet friendly locals and discover hidden places.

Trip Highlights

Cycling Challenge Inle to Bagan

Travel overland by bike

Soak up Myanmar’s beauty by bike, traveling slower and off the tourist trail to truly appreciate the country’s wonders.

Embrace Myanmar’s spiritual traditions

Learn about spirit worship at Mount Popa and delve into Buddhist culture at Bagan’s temples.

Understand local culture

Travel through small villages, explore vibrant markets and visit sacred sites to gain a better understanding of Myanmar culture.

Itinerary

1

Yangon

Transfer from Yangon airport to Hotel: up to 1hour

Upon arrival at Yangon, our guide will welcome at the airport and transfer us to the hotel.

First off we visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, which is home to a 70 metre long reclining Buddha. Continue through the city, stopping as you wish to take photos.

We then venture downtown to explore the city centre and its fabulous mix of architecture and sites. The streets are filled with historical buildings many of which have a faded colonial charm not seen elsewhere in Asia. We’ll start at the post office, a lovely historic building, and walk to Sule Paya, passing by the famous Strand Hotel, Mahabandoola Garden and Independence Monument. It’s onwards to Little India and Chinatown, a colorful cacophony of restaurants, temples and markets.

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 our guide will show us 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 a local restaurant.

Overnight in Yangon.

2

Yangon – Heho – Aungban – Indein – Nampan – Nyaung Shwe (Cycling)

Transfer from Heho airport to Aungban: up to 30minsCycling distance up to: 69kmElevation: +508 m / -936 mDifficulty: Medium

After breakfast, transfer to Yangon Airport for a flight to Heho.  From Heho, a scenic 30 minutes’ drive leads to Aungban.

Our first ride today takes us from Aungban to Indein, approx. 39 kms. Indein is a small lakeside village and well known for its ancient ruined pagodas. After a lakeside lunch we'll board a boat and cruise to Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, floating gardens, monasteries and the Intha fishermen, who famously manage to row their boats with one leg. It’s then time to wave our boat goodbye and unload our bicycle. Jump back in the saddle and head north up the eastern shore to Red Mountain Winery, located 26kms from Nampan this is a great place to take a rest and admire the sunset whilst supping on a glass of wine. Our final leg takes us to Nyaung Shwe. Overnight in Nyaung Shwe.

3

Nyaung Shwe – Kalaw (Cycling)

Cycling distance up to: 63 kmElevation: +944 m / -487 mDifficulty: Medium

Today’s ride covers a greater distance, heading from Nyaung Shwe to Kalaw. Along the way, stop at the wooden Shwe Yan Pyay Monastery, which features beautiful carvings and a fascinating collection of Buddha images. Start with a climbing up and down again from Nyaung Shwe Valley. On the way, pass small towns and villages.

There is a stretch of flat road around the Heho Plains, then an uphill ride to Aungban, the stopping point for lunch at a local restaurant or with a lunch box. From there, head the rest of the way to Kalaw. Upon arrival, check in to the hotel for the evening and enjoy a good night’s rest.

Overnight in Kalaw

4

Kalaw – Meikhtila (Cycling)

Cycling distance up to: 115kmElevation: +545 m / -1653 mDifficulty: Hard

Today we 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 we will pass through pine forests and both local and colonial-style houses.

The scenery and climate will change today as we 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 our hotel and, if we’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.

5

Meikhtila – Popa (Cycling)

Cycling distance up to: 115kmElevation: +966 m / -599 mDifficulty: Hard

This morning is a scenic ride to Mt Popa. The countryside road is peaceful with light traffic. As we approach Mt. Popa, the ride quickly becomes challenging as we begin to climb on a steep incline (support vehicle will always be present). 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. Check in to Popa Mountain Resort and enjoy the spectacular views or go for a refreshing swim.

Dinner at hotel is recommended.

Overnight at Popa Mountain Resort.

6

Popa – Bagan (Cycling)

Cycling distance up to: 51kmElevation: +90 m / -632 mDifficulty: Easy

Start with an easy bike down from our hotel to the base of Mt. Popa. From here we 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 we will have superb views of the surrounding plains.

Today riding down, snaking around the mountain as we ride through small villages and palm gardens, come across farmers plowing their fields with wooden plows and water buffaloes. En-route stop at a village and palm garden to see the many usages of the Toddy Palm Tree. The village residents grow toddy palm trees as a livelihood and we’ll see how they collect the sap from the trees and process it into molasses, alcohol and other goods. Sample the local liquor toddy palm wine, and maybe bring some home as a souvenir. Enjoy lunch in the shade of the toddy climber’s hut.

We ride into Bagan, which is littered with thousands of temples along the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Our hotel offers a refreshing pool to cool down in.

Overnight in Bagan.

7

Bagan (Temple Cycling)

Cycling distance up to: 27 kmElevation: +123 m / -124 mDifficulty: Very Easy

We will spend a half day biking around the ancient temples today morning. (Note: due to our biking route today in Bagan, we will not have a support car with us today. But a motorbike will be accompanying the group with drinks and snacks as well as to take care of any emergency situations.)

The perfect way to explore ancient Bagan is riding through and cover the famous temples and pagodas in the Archaeological Zone. After taking a morning cycle around the Archaeological Zone, we return to hotel. This is good opportunity to cool down by taking a refreshing dip in the hotel pool.

This afternoon, we observe the process of making traditional lacquerware, one of Myanmar's best-known handicrafts and a specialty of Bagan. It’s then onwards to a place where we can enjoy the sunset studded with chedis and temples and fading light is something you will never forget.

Overnight in Bagan.

8

Bagan – Departure

Transfer to Nyaung U airport: up to 15 minutes

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

Important Information

Our services include:

  • Vehicles: (varies based on local conditions and vehicle sizes available). Private air-conditioned vehicle for transfer and back up as itinerary.
  • Bike & helmet rental, 1 biking water bottle per person
  • Plenty of water provided throughout the day while cycling
  • Snacks and local fruits for cycling days
  • 1 English Speaking Station Guide in Yangon
  • 1  EXO Adventure Certified English Biking Guide throughout except Yangon
  • 1 local assistant on biking days for 11 cyclists and above
  • 1 Mechanic from 7 cyclists and above on cycling days
  • 1 first aid kit per guide
  • Each guide will have a full set of travel bike tools
  • Main support vehicle will have spare parts for biking days except on Day7 in Bagan
  • Meals as mentioned in the itinerary (B – Breakfast, L – Lunch, D – Dinner)
  • Sightseeing tickets where mentioned in the itinerary.
  • Accommodation as listed above with Twin/Double sharing included breakfast
  • Flight reconfirmations

Our services don’t include:

  • Visa arrangement
  • International and domestic flights
  • Meals other than mentioned above
  • Soft drinks, or beverages beyond water – we can add this into costs at agents request
  • Beverage and alcoholic drinks at mealtimes
  • Tips
  • Energy drinks or powders, performance bars, or performance gels (Gatorade, Powerbars, Gu, Isostar, etc)
  • Personal Travel Insurance
  • Personal expenditure (Laundry, telephone)
  • Any other services not clearly mentioned in the itinerary and in the inclusive portion.
  • Credit card and bank transfer fees
  • Other language speaking guides

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