|Type of tour:||Guided|
|Distance:||33 Miles/day average|
|Dates:||Jan 13; Feb 10; Mar 10*; Apr 7; May 12; Jun 9; Jul 14; Aug 11; Sep 8; Oct 27; Nov 24; Dec 8, 2014. *Guaranteed to depart!!|
|Start city:||Yangon, Burma|
|End city:||Yangon, Burma|
Traveling around Burma, or Myanmar as it is now known, you soon become aware of the immense legacy of a proud and powerful former kingdom that dates back 1,000 years or more.
As you cycle among the ancient temples on your route from Mandalay to Bagan you'll also soon be impressed by the diversity of its people, culture, and topography which all make Burma one of the region’s most fascinating and beautiful countries. Our trip takes us from Kipling’s Mandalay on the imperious Irrawaddy River, to the temples at Bagan, before flying back to the capital, Yangon.
There once was an estimated 13,000 temples and stupas at the 42 sq/km site of present day Bagan. Approximately 2,200 remain today, in various states of disrepair. Bicycling on the paths connecting the thousands of temples is the the best way to visit them.
We'll ride around Mandalay stopping at the famous 200-year-old teak U Bein bridge whilst greeting warm, friendly people. We visit the ancient city of Bagan and cycle amongst the pagodas, stupas, and temples dominating a river valley that once formed the centre of a great and deeply religious empire. The sunset view of Bagan's skyline is something you will truly never forget.
On our way back through Yangon we visit the Shwedagon Paya, Burma’s holiest religious site, before heading to the airport for the flight home.
Learn more about guided tours.
Day 1: Yangon – Mandalay
We will pick you up at Yangon International Airport and transfer you to our meeting point where we have rooms available for you to sleep or shower. You can also enjoy the swimming pool. In the afternoon we fly to Mandalay and transfer to the hotel. We'll meet up for dinner (provided).
Overnight at Red Canal Hotel in Mandalay.
Day 2: Mandalay – Mingun – Mandalay (29 miles/46 km)
We start off our tour with a leisurely ride as we get used to our bicycles. Making our way towards Mingun we stop at the famous 200-year-old teak U Bein bridge. Our route follows the Irrawaddy all the way to Mingun and there's little traffic on this undulating road.
There'll be plenty of photos ops as we ride past more monasteries on this one road than on the entire rest of the trip. In Mingun we'll visit the ruins of Pahtodawgyi, a massive unfinished stupa that would have been the largest in the world if completed and now might be the the largest pile of bricks in the world, but is nonetheless impressive. We'll also see the Mingun bell which weighs 90 tons and is the largest ringing bell in the world. After lunch at a restaurant we hop on a boat to take us downstream to Mandalay and then pedal from the dock to the hotel. We'll meet up in the evening to drive to Mandalay Hill to watch the sunset before dinner. Today, breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Overnight at Red Canal Hotel in Mandalay.
Day 3: Mandalay – Monywa (37 miles/59 km)
Today we transfer about an hour to the small town of Myin-Mu and then start our ride to the non-touristy town of Monywa. This is a pleasant ride on a tarmac road with little traffic as we cycle through the Chindwin Valley and see a variety of crops from orange orchards to sugar cane. Monywa's famous Mohnyin Thambuddhei Paya, dates back to 1303 and claims to house more than 500,000 images of Buddha. From Monywa we continue to visit Po Win Taung Cave before transferring to our hotel. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Overnight at Win Unity Hotel in Monywa.
Day 4: Monywa – Pakkoku – Bagan (28 miles/45 km)
We start with a transfer to Yezagyo (approximately 2 hours) and then continue by bike to Pakkoku, stopping for lunch en route. The scenery is varied and the road good and flat as we ride towards the Irrawaddy River and there are plenty of villages to stop at and opportunities to interact with locals who rarely come into contact with foreigners. From Pakkoku we'll have a relaxing afternoon as we boat to Bagan. Once we dock it's a short transfer to our riverside hotel. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Overnight at Bagan Hotel in Bagan.
Day 5: Bagan (19 miles/30 km)
Bicycles are the perfect way to explore the temples of Bagan. We take a morning cycle around the Archaeological Zone before returning for a dip in the pool. The sunset, with views across the plains studded with chedis and temples is something you will never forget. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Overnight at Bagan Hotel in Bagan.
Day 6: Bagan – Mount Popa (28 miles/45 km)
Following the highway east, we transfer by bus up to Mt Popa. Popa soars 650 metres up out of the plains and the temple is populated by Burma’s most revered ats (spirits). As you climb the almost 900 stairs to the top of Popa Taung Kalat you will pass dozens of nat shrines and see pilgrims who come to honour the spirits. From the top you will have a panorama of the surrounding plains. After your visit, begin biking downhill to Bagan. Along the way we will stop to enjoy a picnic box lunch in a village. The ride weaves through villages and quiet lanes as we make our way to Bagan. Breakfast, lunch, and dinner provided.
Overnight at Bagan Hotel in Bagan.
Day 7: Bagan- Yangon
In the morning we transfer to Nyaung U airport and fly back to Yangon. On arrival we'll visit Bogyoke Aung San market before lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon we visit Shwedagon Paya, Burma’s holiest religious sight before heading to the airport for the flight home. Breakfast and lunch provided.
We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$10 per day, for incidentals. It is customary to tip local tour guides and drivers, however, the amount you give should be dependent on the level of service you receive. As a general guide we suggest US$ 3-4 per person per day is appropriate.
Included in this tour are well-known makes of mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27-speed gearing, disc/v-brakes and Shimano components and front suspension.
Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.
Wearing a helmet is strongly recommended on all our biking adventures and if you choose not to wear one you will be asked to sign a liability waiver. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.
We will be supported by air-conditioned vehicles that have been specially modified for cycle tours. The vehicles follow us the whole time and are always available for tired cyclists. It is very easy to get bikes on and off, so you can rest when you are tired and cycle whenever you feel like it.
This is a touring trip for mountain bikers and road cyclists. We ride 169 miles/272 km on country lanes and quiet roads. There is little traffic, even on the main highways, which makes for excellent bicycle touring.
The first few days riding are on gentle rolling hills and cut through rice fields, ancient cities and scenic countryside. Passing through many villages, you will find the people curious, friendly and polite. We share the road with ox carts, cyclists, and waving children. There is an unbelievable amount to see throughout the tour and we stop frequently to view temples, rural scenes (especially if riding during rice harvest) and villages.
The roads can vary from being in quite good condition to broken tarmac, to vehicle wide dirt trails. There is no technical riding on this trip, but there is one long day.
A support truck is always available to help when required. Inexperienced riders and even non-riding partners can be catered for and are more than welcome to join this tour.
Tour start and end
Nearest airport: Yangon
This tour starts and ends in Yangon. International flights to and from there are not included in the tour price. Domestic flights listed are included. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times.
All nationalities require a valid passport. A visa is required for all visitors to Myanmar and must be procured from a Myanmar Embassy.
Recommended vaccinations include typhoid, polio, tetanus and Hepatitis A. A certificate for Yellow Fever is required if arriving from an infected area within the prior six days. Some areas of Burma may be considered malarial areas. Please check with your doctor prior to departure for the most recent information.
Myanmar/Burma has a tropical climate with fairly high humidity. There are three seasons: from March to June it is hot and dry, with temperatures between 80-104 degrees F (27-40 degrees C), and with night temperatures in the 60s (F). The rainy season is from July to September. The cooler season (particularly in the mountains) is from September to February, with average temperatures between 68-86 degrees F (20-30 degrees C). It can be cold at night in the hills in Yunnan and Shan state and adequate cold weather clothing – gloves, hats, jacket - is required.
Weatherspark.com offers information on average weather conditions at most destinations throughout the globe. Type a destination in the search box, and select "Averages," and you'll find a range of information such as average high and low temperatures, precipitation, cloudy days, humidity and wind speed/direction.
Of course, if your tour is coming up in the next week, you can also select "Forecast" to get the most current information on upcoming conditions.
Burma’s everyday currency, the kyat, and should cover buying small items, bottle of water or a snack, while dollars are used for everything else and the euro is also increasingly being accepted. Please be aware it is not possible to use ATMs, credit cards or exchange travelers checks anywhere in Myanmar so USD cash should be brought. Bring only newly issued USD currency (meaning the ones with the large off-centered portraits) without any tears or holes and avoid serial numbers beginning with CB. There have been widespread rumors that CB series notes are counterfeit.
SpiceRoads endeavors to offer high-quality, educational, and adventure-filled itineraries that highlight and focus on the diversity of landscapes found in Asia and its people. As a specialized "niche" bicycle tour operator since 2000, we provide the most authentic, unique and exciting adventures in Asia.
The SpiceRoads family began back in the mid 1990s, when Hamish Keith was creating, operating and leading ground breaking cycle tours throughout Thailand and in emerging destinations such as Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos and Myanmar for well known companies such as Exodus Travels and World Expeditions and his own company the Wild Planet.
In 2000 Hamish decided to concentrate on what he loved doing the most and he established SpiceRoads as a specialist cycle tour operator in the region he knew best - Southeast Asia. The “niche” was to promote bicycle group tours directly to clients all around the world via the internet. Hamish set the standard for all subsequent SpiceRoads tours by offering a high quality tour - from customer service, to bicycles, to well researched routes to the guides we use – at a good value.
In 2002, when Hamish left to pursue other opportunities in the travel industry, Struan Robertson came on board, and with his skills in management, IT and of course cycling, the company has grown to encompass other Asian countries. During the years of growth what hasn't changed is the spirit of SpiceRoads, which is to offer professional, international standard cycle tours and services to independent travellers and cycle enthusiast looking to discover Asia by bicycle.
Our well-planned eye-opening cycling tours provide an active immersion into local cultures, languages, scenery and, of course, the most delicious of foods. By combining legendary service and rare opportunities for cultural experiences, our travel philosophy continues to excite, enthuse, and positively impact every guest. Take a look at our guestbook if you don't believe us!
SpiceRoads' staff and all of our professionally licensed multi-lingual tour guides are passionate about creating the best possible experiences, with fun, creativity, and total dedication to satisfaction.
We're always peddling towards making your tour perfect so you can See Asia by Bicycle!
(Involuntary) On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions.
(Voluntary) If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to the following formula:
For all tours (except short Thailand tours 4 days or less, see below):
Number of days prior to trip start
Cancellation fee per person
50% of tour price
70% of tour price
**Administration fees include bank fees and exchange rate losses.
Exceptions to this policy cannot be made for any reason, including weather or personal emergencies. Please note:
We strongly advise that clients have full personal travel insurance that covers for the refund of monies paid in case either party cancels the tour for any reason.
We regret that we cannot be held responsible for incidental/consequential costs or expenses you may incur as a result of any changes or cancellations. No compensation is payable for minor changes.
Any damages/injuries incurred that are attributable to your own actions, acts of some other party unconnected with the contract services or where the damage/injury results from events/circumstances which our outside our control and could not be reasonably foreseen.
For damages where SpiceRoads is responsible, our liability is strictly limited to twice the total price of the tour. In booking a tour with SpiceRoads you, the client, are agreeing to these terms and you accept this limit on our liability. This limit allows us to keep the prices of our tours as low as possible.
You must be in possession of a valid passport and all the visas and permits required for your tour. This includes any medical certificates that are required. The client accepts full responsibility for obtaining any and all such documentation. Every client is encouraged to contact the consulate/embassy for the countries they are traveling in respectively to receive the latest and most current information about their immigration / transit policies.
SpiceRoads does not accept responsibility if your documentation is not in order. Information provided by the company about these matters and other related items (clothing, baggage, climate etc.) is given in good faith but without responsibility on the part of the company.
For all tours (except short Thailand tours 4 days or less, see below):
SpiceRoads insists that all clients must take out good travel insurance before joining one of our tours. There are inherent risks involved in cycling and mountain biking and we will not be liable for your medical expenses or evacuation in case of an accident.
This insurance must include adequate coverage for any personal accident, medical expenses, injury, death and repatriation. Insurance should also provide coverage for cancellations or curtailment of the holiday. Clients should also ensure that there are no exclusion clauses limiting protection for any dangerous or unusual activities that might be included in their tour.
If you join the tour without adequate insurance you may be disallowed from continuing on the tour without the right of refund. Clients are solely responsible for arranging their own insurance and they should ensure that they are covered for the full duration of their tour. Your tour leader will ask for copies of your insurance before allowing you to join the tour. This protects both you and us.
In case of an accident, please consult with your tour leader or contact our reservation staff at +66(0) 89 895 5680 (24 hour hot line).
Upon signing up for a tour you must agree to accept the authority of the tour leader who is the representative of the company. The tour leader should be regarded as the same as a “ship’s captain” or an airline’s “Pilot.”
At all times the authority of your tour leader will be final when concerning matters likely to endanger your own health or safety or in regard to behavior or ill health that is causing or is likely to cause danger, distress or disturbance to the group and the well-being of the tour. Failure to abide by the authority of the tour leader could result in legal proceedings and the immediate termination of your participation in the tour without recourse.
In such circumstances we reserve the right to terminate all travel arrangements without liability on the part of the company. You must always comply with the local law, customs and drug regulations of the country/ies you are visiting. Failure to do so may lead to you being ordered to leave the tour without recourse to any refund or any legal claim against the company. In the case of ill health the company and its operators can make those arrangements that it sees fit and recover all monies paid from the client. The person who signs the booking form (which incorporates these conditions) warrants that he/she does so, with full authority on behalf of all those whose names appear thereon, and confirms thereby that all such persons accept and are fully aware of these conditions.
No refund will be given for non-utilized services, however if we are able to obtain a refund ourselves for these services we will endeavor to pass these on to the client less reasonable administration charges.
SpiceRoads pledges never to increase the tour price except under exceptional circumstances for those that have previously book the tour. Circumstances of this policy include: government action or legislation that directs the company to increase prices, exceptional and unfavorable changes in exchange rates that exceed a 20% fluctuation or currency devaluation.
Clients will be notified of any price increase at least 4 weeks before departure.
We will not accept any liability for any delay in your outward or inward flight/s, whether the cancellation or delay is caused by the weather, airline rescheduling, industrial action or mechanical failure. We will give no refunds or compensation for lost time and services from the itinerary.
Should you have a complaint while on tour, you must notify your guide, or the local operator, at the earliest opportunity, so that they can do what they can to immediately rectify it. Failure to do so will result in the limiting of a client's ability to claim compensation. If the problem is not brought to our attention we have no opportunity to rectify it. Any complaints should be sent to us in writing, or by email, not more than 28 days after the tour ends.
Complaints related to booking, inquires, billing, sales or operations should be directed to the Sales and Marketing Manager and/or the General Manager.
If there is anything else you need to know or want to hear in order to put your mind at rest, please do not hesitate to contact us.
SpiceRoads is not liable for any bodily injury or property damage as a result of (but not limited to): physical exertion for which a guest is not prepared; forces of nature; travel by plane, train, auto, boat or other conveyance, or by bicycle, horseback, foot or other form of active or adventure travel; consumption of alcoholic beverages; civil unrest; terrorism; breakdown of equipment; high altitude; lack of or limited access to medical attention in remote locations; and the adequacy of medical attention once provided.
SpiceRoads is also not liable for: expenses (e.g., meals, transportation or hotel costs) that are not specified as included in the trip cost but may be required to get to or from a trip start or end point.
SpiceRoads reserves the right to make route and hotel modifications as necessary to improve the trip quality or to accommodate the comfort and well-being of guests. Guests grant SpiceRoads express permission to take photographs or make film records of its trips for promotional and commercial use, as well as approve such use by third parties with whom SpiceRoads may engage in joint marketing, without financial remuneration.
To view our liability release form click here. You will be asked to sign this form before you start your tour.