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Myanmar Cycling Tour (11 Days)

offered by supplier M20818 (read about supplier)

Key Information:
Tour Duration: 11 day(s)
Group Size: 6 - 16 people
Destination(s): Myanmar  
Specialty Categories: Bicycle Touring   Cultural Journey  
Season: November - March
Airfare Included: No
Tour Customizable: No
Minimum Per Person Price: 1595 Pound Sterling (GBP)
Maximum Per Person Price: 1649 Pound Sterling (GBP)

Burma cycle tour begins in Yangon with a sunset trip to the splendid Swedagon pagoda. Combining highlights of Myanmar’s cultural and geographical wonders we visit Inle lake in the north enjoying a memorable boat trip, where you will witness the unique Intha oarsmen navigating their traditional leg-rowed boats and encounter Intha and Pao hill tribes who come to the area to trade their wares. Cycling picturesque roads we visit the Pindaya Caves; a magnificent Buddhist pilgrimage site with over 8 000 statues, located within limestone ridge. We continue along a rural inland route through forested areas of banana and coconut trees and farmland with a wide variety of crops from rice fields to peanuts, sesame and peas to reach the mighty volcanic Mount Popa. As we head on to the west we fly to Ngapali with it's beautiful coast line of unspoiled white sand beaches, framed by coconut tree palms and the cobalt blue sea on the Bay of Bengal. We have a few days exploring the area around Ngapali before we fly back to Yangon. The tour will leave you with lasting memories of Burma's culture, rural landscapes and intriguing cities.

Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive Yangon.
Arrive into Yangon. You will be met and transferred to your hotel. For those who arrive early in the day there will be a city walking tour of Yangon, Burma's largest city and the former capital. The tour will begin at 1pm. Later this afternoon you will be taken to see the sunset at the Shwedagon Pagoda, one of the most spectacular religious monuments in South East Asia and the oldest Buddhist stupa in the world. The pagoda's imposing form dominates the city skyline. This evening, there will be a group meeting with the redspokes guide.

Day 2: Yangon - Nyang Shwe.
We board a morning flight to Heho then transfer by vehicle from the airport to Nyang Shwe. Located on the banks of Inle Lake, Nyang Shwe is the trading hub for villagers living around the lake and in the Shan mountains. Local hill tribes include the Intha and Pao people. Street traders here sell cigars, local crafts and food. The Intha fishermen are renowned for their distinctive leg-rowing technique. This afternoon you can take a boat trip across the water, seeing floating gardens, pagodas and the main produce market.

Day 3: Nyang Shwe - Pindaya.
Today we start out on sealed roads and soon begin a sustained 6-7km climb. After 27km we turn off onto a secluded unsurfaced road that takes us to the lakeside town Pindaya. Most famous for the caves that house thousands of Buddha statues, Pindaya is also where traditional Shan paper umbrellas are manufactured. This is a very picturesque and relaxing ride and most of the route apart from a stretch of 7km 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. Although they are one of the town's main attractions, we will see few tourists as Pindaya is visited mainly by Burmese pilgrims. The many images of Bhudda are made of white marble, bronze or plaster, coated with gold leaf. 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 only to be rescued by Prince Kummabhaya of Yawnghwe.

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 terrain is fairly up and down, with nothing too challenging in the way of climbs.

Day 5: Ywar Ngan - Kyaukse.
We cycle on to Kyaukse through forested areas with rice fields, banana and coconut trees. Our route includes over 500m of uphill cycling but also a mighty 1,737 downhill. As we reach the 43km 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.

Day 6: Kyaukse to Myingyan.
Leaving Kyaukse behind we head for Myingyan, cycling on through remote Burma. There is a 20km stretch along busy road. You can take the support vehicle to avoid cycling this stretch of the route if you prefer. 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.

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 enjoying the landscapes of Burma’s dry zone; the first part of the route is fairly flat with a few gently undulating slopes. We will see Mount Popa in the distance, an imposing extinct volcano.

Day 8 : Mount Popa to Bagan.
We start the day cycling to Mount Popa, a 1518 metre-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 practiced here and oxen are still used to help grind corn and rice. We approach Bagan on the banks of the Ayeyarwady River with temples dotted all along the water front.

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 of Burma's later 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.

Day 10: Bagan to Yangon.
We will take a morning flight back to Yangon. This afternoon we have time for a walking tour of Little India and Chinatown.

Day 11: Yangon - Home.
This morning the tour ends. You will be transferred to the airport for your journey home.

Notes:
Airfare is not included in the tour price.

Optional Extras:
- Own Room: From £375
- Bike Hire from: From £160
- The extra costs for the optional extras are calculated after the booking process so will not appear in your shopping cart when booking the bike tour online. The extra costs will be added to your cycling tour cost, we will contact you with a total cost and give you instructions on how your outstanding payments can be made.
- Flights
- Approximate Cost of Flights: £680.

Our holidays do not include flights to and from the designated cycle Tour countries, however, some bike tours contain internal flights that are included in the price.

About This Supplier
Location: England
Joined InfoHub: Mar 2011

M20818 is a specialist company taking small groups of cyclists to spectacular, remote areas of the world. We offer a unique blend of physical challenges, cultural experiences and cycling camaraderie, at highly competitive prices. M20818 guides are experienced cyclists and tour leaders. Destinations include Laos,...

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