Day 2: Yangon - Nyang Shwe. We board a morning flight to Heho then drive from here to Nyang Shwe. Located on the bank of Inle Lake, Nyang Shwe is the trading hub for all villagers living around the lake and in the Shan mountains. Local hill tribes include the Intha and Pao people. Street traders sell cigars, local crafts and food. This afternoon we have time for an afternoon ride on the western side of the lake along the water’s edge. We then take a boat trip across the lake and cycle back to our hotel on the east side. Later we have the option to explore the lake further by boat, seeing the floating gardens, pagodas and the main produce market. Accommodation: Hotel. Meals: BLD.
Day 3: Nyang Shwe - Pindaya. Today we start out on sealed roads and soon begin a sustained 6-7 km climb. After 27 km we turn off onto a secluded unsurfaced road that takes us to Pindaya. This is a very picturesque and relaxing ride, and most of the route apart from a stretch of 7 km is surfaced. You can expect to get into Pindaya a little after lunch. It’s a beautiful place to stay and you have the opportunity to visit the Pindaya Caves featuring over 8000 Buddha images. They are one of the town’s main attractions although we will see few tourists as the town is visited mainly by Burmese pilgrims. Many legends are told about the caves including a tale of seven princesses bathing in a lake who were captured by a giant spider and trapped in the cave to be rescued by Prince Kummabhaya of Yawnghwe. Accommodation: Guest House. Cycle distance: 62 km. Meals: BLD.
Day 4: Pindaya - Ywar Ngan. We ride towards Mandalay today, first on quiet back roads, then on the main road which is main only by name, not by nature. We will encounter very little traffic here due to the road being unsuitable for large vehicles who take an alternate route. The riding is fairly up and down, with nothing too challenging in the way of climbs. Accommodation: Guest House. Cycle distance: 79 km. Meals: BLD.
Day 5: Ywar Ngan – Kyaukse. We proceed to Kyaukse through forested areas with rice fields, banana and coconut trees. Our route includes over 500 m of uphill cycling but also a mighty 1,737 downhill. As we reach the 43 km mark leaving the mountains behind our descent ends and we really begin to feel the heat. Kyaukse is a small peaceful town 25 miles (40 km) south of Mandalay located on the Zawgyi River, although it is in Burma’s dry zone. The Kyaukse area is known for its turmeric, mango and onions. You can walk out to visit the town pagoda and enjoy a lovely view of the area. Accommdation: Guest House. Cycle distance: 88 km. Meals: BLD.
Day 6: Kyaukse to Myingyan. Leaving Kyaukse behind we head for Myingyan, cycling on through remote traditional Burma. Along the way, we pass through many villages and have unparalleled opportunities to observe traditional lifestyles of the rural Burmese. We can stop to meet friendly locals. Farmers here grow crops such as peanuts, sesame and peas, there are many Toddy Palm trees. The route is flat, but we will need stamina to contend with the heat. Myingyan lies in the valley of the Ayeyarwady River, to the south of Mandalay, on the east bank of the river. Accommodation: Guest House. Cycle distance: 105 km. Meals: BLD.
Day 7: Myingyan - Mount Popa. Today we continue through the rural landscape cycling past fields of millet, sesame, cotton, maize, rice and a great variety of peas and beans. We head south east towards Mt Popa. Accommodation: Guest House. Cycle distance: 80 km. Meals: BLD.
Day 8: Mount Popa to Bagan. We start the day with a visit to Mount Popa, a 1518 – meter-high volcanic mountain with stunning views of the surrounding area. Popa Taungkalat monastery is perched on the top of the volcano and reputedly home to 37 Mahagrini Nats (spirits). At the foot of the mountain you will find a shrine to the spirits. A climb of 777 steps to the top of Popa is well worth the effort for the awe inspiring panoramic views. As we ascend we will pass pilgrims, souvenir shops and Mt Popa Monkeys.
Back on the bikes we set off for Bagan. We pass through villages where the locals produce a range of products using the juices of the Toddy palm trees, including sweet molasses and wine. As we pass by we see the farmers in action as they climb the trees to collect the juice. Traditional farming methods are practised here and Oxen are still used to help grind corn and rice. We approach Bagan, built on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River with temples dotted all along the water front. Accommodation: Hotel. Cycle distance: 50 km. Meals: B.
Day 9: Bagan Rest Day. We begin with an early morning guided ride (on local bikes) to visit the local Pagodas before the heat of the day sets in. You are free this afternoon. There are options to visit Nyaung Oo Market, and the Shwezigon Pagoda which many later Burma's Stupas were modelled on. You can join an organised tour of some of the major temples in the Bagan area or just relax by the pool in the hotel. This evening you will enjoy the sunset over Bagan’s imposing ancient monuments. Accommodation: Hotel. Meals: B.
Day 10: Bagan to Ngapali Beach. Today we take a flight south to the beautiful Ngapali Beach which is a short distance from Thandwe in Rakhine State. Ngapali beach is Burma’s most popular and well known stretch of sand. With the deep blue waters of the Bengal sea, white sands and beautiful palm trees you really will feel you’ve arrived in paradise. The remote tranquil surroundings offer a variety of activities. You can take a boat trip fishing or snorkelling. Alternatively you can stroll around the surrounding villages, visiting traditional markets or ride along the entire stretch of sand, experiencing the local way of life. This evening we can watch a beautiful sunset whilst sipping a cocktail on the sands before dinner. There is a wonderful variety of local fresh fish and seafood of offer in the restaurants. Accommodation: Guest House. Meals: B.
Day 10 Option B: Bagan to Mandalay. An early start today catching the 6 am Ferry on the Irrawaddy (Ayeyarwady) River, sometimes referred to after Rudyard Kipling’s poem as ‘the Road to Mandalay. A continental breakfast will be served on board. There is plenty of seating below deck but the sundeck area is very popular so it’s best to get your seat here early. It can feel cool in the early morning breeze but temperatures will rise so it’s a good idea to have removable layers of clothing. Leaving Bagan’s monumental splendour behind us, shrouded in early morning mist, we head upstream, with the ship’s crew skilfully navigating around sandbanks. We cruise at a leisurely pace on this beautiful stretch of water. Life along the riverbank includes fishermen after their daily catch, cattle drinking and women washing clothes at the water’s edge. Other river traffic includes a few cargo boats and the ferry south from Mandalay to Bagan. At times there is nothing other than an expanse of water around us and the relaxing motion of the boat will lull you into a state of relaxation. We make a couple of short stops on the river bank during the day when women from the local village greet us with fresh fruit for sale. They throw their fruit up to the boat and await payment by return throw. You will notice that contrast between distant gleaming Stupas and the relatively humble village buildings. As we approach Mandalay early this evening the river traffic increases and we pass under the New Sagaing Bridge. Accommodation: Hotel. Meals: B.
Day 11: Ngapali Beach to Gwa. Today we are re-united with our bikes which will have travelled by road from Bagan. We cycle south along the Bay of Bengal enjoying unspoiled natural surroundings along this lovely coastline. We pass villages of traditional thatched huts and timber houses with woven mat walls. You can look out at the sea view with birds, fishing boats and beautiful sandy beach, enjoying the sea breeze. You might want to take a stroll this evening in the hills behind the beach where the reservoir is a habitat for local wildlife. Accommodation: Guest house. Cycling distance: 138 km. Meals: BLD.
Day 11: Option B Mandalay - Home. You will be transferred to Mandalay Airport for your flight home.
Day 12: Gwa - Ah Thoke. We begin the day with a long uphill cycle setting out along the coast between the sea and the ridge of the hills.This is the ultimate challenge of the tour as the terrain is extremely challenging. We come to the coastal fishing village Gwa and then, up over the mountain top we enjoy an afternoon of mostly downhill riding towards the small town of Ah Thoke. Accommodation: Guesthouse. Cycle distance: 101 km. Meals BLD
Day 13: Ah Thoke - Yangon. Our final day is a flat 87 km to the outskirts of Yangon. This afternoon we have time for a walking tour of Little India and Chinatown. Accommodation: Hotel. Cycle distance: 88 km. Meals: BLD.
Day 14: Yangon. Depart. You will be transferred to the airport for your flight home. Meals: B.
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