Cycle Myanmar (Burma)
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Start and end in Yangon! With the bicycle tour Cycle Myanmar (Burma), you have a 14 day tour package taking you through Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) and 9 other destinations in Myanmar (Burma). Cycle Myanmar (Burma) is a small group tour that includes accommodation in a hotel as well as an expert guide, meals, transport and more.
8 ReviewsWrite a review
- AnonymousWritten on November 15, 20134.0 - GoodA great way to see a beautiful country.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The view from the bridge in Mandalay and the amazing temples in BaganDo you have any advice for potential travellers?It is VERY hot in April.
- AnonymousWritten on August 13, 20134.0 - GoodThis is a great trip, providing an excellent overview of Burma. The guide is very knowledgeable and overall it was a very enjoyable experience. On some days I would have liked more cycling but overall it was good and I loved Burma!What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Cycling around Bagan, seeing the 26 sq.km of temples! also seeing Aung San Suu Kyi's house..What did you think of your group leader?The group leader is great! Myo is extremely knowledgeable and provides a lot of insight into life in Burma, the political situation, the traditions and Buddhism.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?The main objective os this trip is to see Burma and get an insight inbto the country, the landscape, the peopleÂ and the various places of interest. The cycling is good but this is not a tough cycling trip, more of an easy one. on some days I would have liked more cycling but overall it was good.Is there anything else you would like to add?Burma is changing fast! you want to get there now!
- AnonymousWritten on May 13, 20134.0 - GoodI was completely enchanted with Burma and travelling by bike was an excellent way to see it. Despite its recent turbulent history, it was a very calm and peaceful place to visit with amazing sights around every corner. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The Schwedagon pagoda in Yangon at sunset was magical and mystical. Â Zooming along Lake Inle in a long narrow boat with the mountains fading into the distance around the lake, trying to spot the fishermen with their unique leg-rowing technique.Visiting a convent near Mandalay to use the loo and being welcomed by all the nuns, despite the fact that they were in the middle of their morning ablutions.The bustle and noise on the early morning commuter ferry in Yangon.All of Bagan - and particularly the achievement of cycling in such heat.Â What did you think of your group leader?Myo was marvellous. Â Calm, professional, organised, flexible. Â I agree with everything Jonathan says in his review about the team we had. Â They could not have been more helpful or welcoming. Â Amazing.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Your mobile phone won't work (yet - I'm sure it won't be long before international roaming agreements are in place.) Â There is free wifi in most hotels but it is very slow and pretty unreliable. Is there anything else you would like to add?I loved this holiday and agree, again, with all Jonathan's comments and issues. Â I keep remembering more and more wonderful things we saw on the trip and think it really is one of the most magical places I've visited. Â The organisation on the ground was fabulous and everything was very smooth. Â Myo and his team reacted well to the extreme weather conditions (heat) and adapted the route/stops accordingly. Â They were good at accomodating all levels of fitness and made sure we drank plenty of water etc. Â The snacks were great - the most delicious watermelon and tiny tasty bananas, plus plenty of strange cookies for those with a sweet tooth.My one big criticism is the quality of hotels in Yangon, in particular. Â The Asia Plaza had lovely staff and a good location but it was, quite frankly, a dump. Â This is not a cheap trip and decent hotels in Yangon are still pretty reasonable so we really should have been lodged somewhere better.
- AnonymousWritten on April 11, 20134.0 - GoodIf you are reading this review you must be considering going to Burma - our advice is go ahead and book. It is a beautiful country with surprises around every corner, friendly and welcoming people and cycling is a great way to see the country. If you are lucky to have the same tour leader and a good group as we did, you will have no regrets.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The morning cycling from Mandalay to U Bein's Bridge and onto Mingun was one of our favourite rides. After visiting the famous bridge we then cycled onto a more modern bridge with great views of the river and temples beyond - if you had seen it in a movie you would have thought it was computer generated. We then cycled along the river and at one stop were treated to an impromptu tour of a Buddhist convent, with a warm welcome from the beautiful serene nuns. Despite their recent turbulent history, the Burmese people are very friendly and always smiling. In every village and town we went through people were waving and saying hello and it felt like we were on the Tour de France! In some villages we were the tourist attraction.What did you think of your group leader?If we were grading this trip on the quality of our guide and the organisation of the cycling alone - this would definitely be 5 stars! We have been on many group tours and Myo is by far the best guide/leader we have had. He was pleasant, well organised and had a great sense of humour and always willing to answer our questions on the history, current changes and his hopes for the future of his country. Every aspect of the trip was smooth and I am sure that this was due to Myo's hard work behind the scenes. Exodus must have listened to previous comments as Myo was in Yangon at the start and end of the trip, which of course meant all was smoothly and seemingly effortlessly well organised The cycling was well organised and his estimates of distances were reliable. Each ride was broken down into 9 - 12 kms sections with water always available and after approx 20kms snacks, including plenty of fruit, were ready and waiting for us. He is supported by a fantastic, smiling, helpful and friendly team that are always ready to fix any bike problems immediately. He gave us good restaurant recommendations that enabled us to eat local food at clean places and on one occasion we had a great 2nd breakfast in a local tea house. One of my highlights of the trip was Myo's impromptu longyi tying demonstration whilst we waited for sunset on the top of a temple in Bagan. Both our group and the locals enjoyed seeing the many ways of tying a longyi and how practical they can be!Do you have any advice for potential travellers?For me (a keen 80 km Sunday morning road cyclist) this trip is correctly rated. Day 6 to Ywar Ngan was the hardest with some climbs, however it was the heat on our trip that made the cycling more challenging. On our last morning we arrived back at the hotel in Bagan at 10.30 and Myo's bike computer was showing 47.2 degrees C. The day before his computer stopped working due to the heat. So choose your dates carefully if you do not want to cycle in oppressive heat. Overall we cycled approx 100 kms less than the trip notes mentioned and I am not sure if this was due to the heat or if Exodus have adjusted the distances for this trip. The great thing about these supported trips is that you can adapt to your own fitness level (or if you are simply having an off day) - most of the group hopped in the minibus at some point to skip a hill or take a break from the heat if they needed to - but you can get back in the saddle again at any time. Not to be missed in Mandalay was the blind massage, for 8000 kyat (Â£6) our aching muscles were expertly manipulated. We were advised to change $300 per person at the airport and with a bottle of wine with a few meals we needed to change an extra $35 per person, this combined with paying for a couple of nice meals in Yangon (at Monsoon) in US$, you should allow approx $400 per person plus tips and snack money as mentioned in the trip notes. Make sure your dollars are in pristine condition and don't fold them - anything less than a perfect note is universally rejected.Is there anything else you would like to add?The only reason we have not given the trip 5 stars is the quality of the hotels. Exodus need to work on this aspect of their trips, in general all the hotels were clean but all needed renovating or tidying up, sadly this seems to be the case with most Exodus trips that we have been on. We do understand in remote locations it is not possible to have much choice of hotel, but this is not the case for many of the places we stayed. The hotel in Yangon (Asia Plaza) was shabby and dark with stains everywhere, dirty marks on the floor and mould on the ceilings, and needed a major face lift - it is sad to say, but it was a typical Exodus city hotel! The Inhe Lake hotel was fine but the rooms small (we were on the ground floor in a room 3m x 3 m, no wardrobe and we had to store our cases under the bed and take turns to get dressed!). The Pindaya hotel was good but we only had one night here, the Mandalay hotel (Great Wall hotel) was awful, smelly and full of mosquitos. The Bagan hotel was nice and had a garden that was well used by our group for reading and socialising - it just needed a pool (as this was the only place we had some rest time before the trip ends). We are convinced that if Exodus researched their hotels better than they would get better quality for the same price or for a few extra pounds. After a day in the saddle you really appreciate a decent shower and comfy bed.... All other aspects of the trip are 5 stars, and the tour cannot be faulted for the pre-departure organisation, smooth running of the tour, the cycling, tour leader and support staff.
- AnonymousWritten on March 21, 20133.0 - AverageOn balance this was a good trip, a balance of an excellent main part (cycling in central Burma), marred by a series of cock-ups at teither end of the trip in Yangon.A number of perfectly avoidable organisational errors in Yangon at either end of the trip caused disappointment and a loss of confidence in the organisation of the trip, but the main part of the trip, the cycling, was very well organised (in particular, the cycling leader, Myo, was excellent), and biking is definitely a great way to see the country. I think that the balance of temperature, terrain and distances intended (which were excessive for our group on the longer days, and therefore cut back by the local tour leader (on one day from 95km to 60km!) have been underplayed in the 'moderate' rating. On poor roads, and in warm temperatures, the loger journeys are challenging, and are not well suited to occasional weekend riders (as suggested in the brochure).I also feel that the group size of 18 is somewhat excessive for the logistics available; the mix of abilities within the group meant that the group became very strung out, and the passenger vehicles were bursting at the seams for the transit sections, which is not ideal considering there are some longish (up to 6 hrs) journeys. If these issues could be sorted out, and the communication between Exodus and their subontractors improved, this trip has the potential to be very good indeed. I have been delighted with Exodus' trips in the past, and just hope this is a one off blip rather than evidence of taking their eye off the ball.
- AnonymousWritten on March 21, 20134.0 - GoodOf all the cycling trips I've done this ranks as my favourite. The cycling is quite varied (the food less so...) and there is a mix of hills and flatter bits. There's plenty of opportunities to visit sites of interest along the way and to really take in the Burmese culture. The attitude of the Burmese people was really humbling and has left its mark. This was the first trip so I am sure that as Exodus tweak it things will only get even better. What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Cycling along Lake Inle in the early morning with the mist causingÂ ghostly silhouettesÂ of boats, bridges, vegetation. Bagan - sitting at the top of an old temple at sunset with an array of temples spread out before you. A perfect end to the cycling part of the trip.At the end of a days cycling arriving at Po Win Taung caves and seeing monks, monkeys, and mural paintings in the caves. There were no other tourists around so sharing the history with the group was something that I won't ever forget.Seeing how the Burmese are so resourceful with what they have, their apparent contentness. I often thinkÂ back to the people I saw to remind me of how lucky I am with what I have in life.What did you think of your group leader?Zaw Zaw was a fantastic guide. Friendly, thoughtful, keen to help and iron out small problems. He had a tough job in that it was the first trip and he had to contend with us saying "Can we change the cyling in the morning to do XYZ?" He always listened, took our views on board and come up with alternatives. It is obvious that he has done a lot of guiding with other companies and exodus are lucky to have him. The support team he had with him were also excellent - well chosen stops and varied snacks (requests were also met and water melon produced after we mentioned they looked lovely)He was really knowledgable about the places he took us to and didn't seem phased byÂ our constant bombardment of questions. I also loved the way that we often ate at local places and not the big tourist places that I'm not particularly keen on.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Be prepared for the heat and some long days in the saddle.Take a few well chosen snacks for times when another plate of fried noodles doesn't quite hit the mark or for times spent watching the sun set with a beer.Is there anything else you would like to add?Thanks to my group for making it such an awesome amazing holiday!
- AnonymousWritten on March 14, 20132.0 - Rather poorA nice way of seeing the sights and countryside of Burma - as long as you are keen to cycle up a lot of hills in the blazing sun every day.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?The first couple of days of cycling around Inle Lake were wonderful - pretty countryside, almost no cars, children running to the roadside to shout hello, water buffalos ambling past pulling carts, and some delightful boat trips.I also really liked the day that is spent exploring the temples of Bagan, probably the best day of this trip - there aren't as many sights as you might expect in Burma, but these 2000+ temples are amazing and worth the whole trip: interesting, picturesque, and inspiring.What did you think of your group leader?Our main leader, Myo, was very pleasant and organized, and took care of us well. He rapidlyÂ knew all our names though was fairly impersonal, and he was always available, fixing problems.Â He ensured things went smoothly.Â My issues with him were (1) he reliably gave us unreliable estimates of the distances we were about to cycle, (2) he didn't give us much information about the places we were visiting or sights we were seeing, and (3) he tried to make us eat at restaurants he chose every night, at a giant 18 person table, then did not join us - and discouraged trying other restaurants, limiting most people's culinary experience in Burma.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?Despite what you may read, we found that the exchange rates for money at the airport were better than anywhere else we encountered on the entire journey, so don't be afraid to change cash there (especially as the guide telling you where to exchange cash doesn't happen til Inle Lake and you'll definitely need kyats before that!). Be aware that our initial Yangon part of our tripÂ was stressfulÂ and disorganized, but that once we arrived into Heho, our proper guideÂ was waiting, we got aÂ proper introductory briefing, andÂ all was fine thereafter. So don't get too stressed by the initial chaos - things are likely to improve rapidly. They seem to outsource the Yangon portion, and on our trip the Yangon guide was confused and spoke minimal English. There was an hour of chaos that could not be called a briefing by any stretch of the imagination. If it remains the same, my advice would be to make sure he has your plane tickets, andÂ not rely on the tour for your evening entertainment (or cash exchange). The flight from Yangon - Heho on day 2 was booked for 2pm, meaning we didn't get to the hotel until about 4:30pm and therefore the cycle on the first day clearlyÂ couldn't happenÂ happen. Most people were unhappy about this, but we dumped our stuff, grabbed our bikes, andÂ had a happy half hour self-guided cycle along the canal-side path.At Inle Lake, visiting the Red Mountain Winery isn't on the tour, but it's open til 6 and you can get a tuk tuk there and back (about 15 mins). There's a pleasant bar with an open air section at the top of a hill overlooking the surrounding area - lovely for sunset. Bring a wifi-enabled device: finding computers for the internet is a hassle; finding free wifi is not.When visiting key sights, take a guidebook with you as the information our guide provided was minimal.We always had hot water in our rooms but others repeatedlyÂ didn't - so if you don't, consider asking to change rooms.At the rest stops, most snacks were candy-based so if you want fruit type items, you may want to bring your own (or be more explicit with the guides at the beginning). We had lovely bananas the first day, but not thereafter, for instance.Be aware that the distances are estimatesÂ - due to the extreme heat, despite usÂ setting offÂ at 6:30am most days, we had to trim down the distances every day as it becameÂ far too hotÂ by noon - and even so, some people got heat stroke. Keep hydrated! Note the bikes get a lot of punctures but they are rapidly repaired by the tour team, who follow behind usually on bikes and always in a van. The mountain bikes are quite good. There are slightly more costs than you might expect so bring a little extra money, in small dollar denominations (we only brought $100s as I thought that's what I'd read on the trip notes, which was inconvenient). We were allÂ expected to payÂ $30 for the kitty (for snacks, water, and teahouse stops), $50 for tips (which covered everyone but our main guide), $30-ish (for the main guide's tip at the end), and then, other than the optional things of course, and our meals, we had to pay $5 to enter the Inle Lake area and $10 to enter the Bagan area, which were bizarrely not covered in the tour despite being clearly non-optional (our hotels were in those areas!). Worth noting through that we spent less than the estimate for meals, and had we not opted for some fancy meals, we'd have spent much less. Pretty much every dish is under $5. Your guide will try to direct you to certain restaurants, or to the hotel restaurant,Â which is fine if repetitive, but will also try to disuade you from others. The meals we had when we rebeliously went off-pisteÂ and used Lonely Planet and Tripadvisor were our best meals of the holiday. At Inle Lake, we loved the rather fancy but not especially expensive Viewpoint Restaurant (make a reservation), in Mandalay, Rainforest Cafe was simple but fantastic, in Bagan the Black Bamboo was casual but delicious, and in Yangon Monsoon was posh and excellent (again, make a reservation), and Traders upstairs bar was great for posh-for-Yangon food and drinks.If you like white wine, we thought Aythaya was much better than Red Mountain.The cycling is every day, and I found it more difficult than described, being a fairly weak cyclist (good cyclists zoomed on happily and had no such qualms about the heat and the hills and the distances - but mostly it was the intense heat, and the fact that the guide often underestimated the distances we were cycling, or decided to keep going, leaving me exhausted). I felt like I needed aÂ rest dayÂ and regretted that I didn't follow some of the others who cycled to U Bein Bridge near Mandalay, then took a taxi back to the city and spent the day sightseeing alone while we cycled in the heat onwards. (note the U Bein bridge cycle didn't happen at sunrise - it was en route for the rest of our cycle so we got there around 8). On the last day, the cycling finished around 9:30am, check out from the hotel was noon, and the bus to the airport was at 4pm. Plan an activity accordingly if you want - most of our group ended up sitting in the hotel lobby for hours.Is there anything else you would like to add?This is a great way to see Burma, but for me, cycling every day up and down hills was too much, especially in the heat. So know your own cycling powers before you make a decision! But know it's never a disaster - you can always ride in the comfortable, air conditioned minibus. Literally, you can decide at any moment before or during the ride, and they'll scoop up your bike onto the van,Â and welcome you into the minibus for as little orÂ long as you want to.And I really hate to say it but the scenery didn't change much and for me, I felt it got a bit monotonous. I've traveled a lot in this part of the world, and Burma wasn't as exciting as I'd hoped.
- AnonymousWritten on February 4, 20134.0 - GoodA really well designed trip with a good selection of sights and experiences.What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?Bagan and the thousands of pagodas/temple were truly a once in a lifetime sight.What did you think of your group leader?Zaw Zaw and his team were very good and very helpful.Do you have any advice for potential travellers?ATM's able to draw on non Burmese accounts are very few and far between but do exist so don't take lots of USD other than in very large notes (50's and 100's).
ItineraryDownload PDF Brochure
- Day 1: Start Yangon.
- Day 2: Fly to Heho and drive to Inle Lake; short ride.
- Day 3: Cycle to Inthein pagodas, then cruise on Inle Lake past craft industries and floating markets, and see the famous leg-rowing fishermen.
- Day 4: Ride to minority villages around Inle Lake.
- Day 5: Cycle across Shan Highland to Pindaya; visit Pindaya caves.
- Day 6: Drive and cycle to Mandalay.
- Day 7: Ride to Mingun and return to Mandalay by boat.
- Day 8: Visit U-Bein Bridge; cycle/drive to Monywa; visit cave of a thousand Buddhas.
- Day 9: Drive and cycle to Pakkoku; boat ride on Irrawaddy River to Bagan.
- Day 10: Explore Bagan temple complex by bike.
- Day 11: Cycle to Mt Popa, option to cycle or drive back to Bagan.
- Day 12: *Free morning (optional ride); afternoon flight to Yangon. *
- Day 13: Yangon city tour including the old colonial areas of this former capital.
- Day 14: End Yangon.
Questions & Answers
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Is there a single supplement available on this tour?
Yes. Please take note that there will be an extra charge for a single supplement room. Please contact us to arrange this.
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- Amanda15th May 2018
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About the countries
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- KyatMyanmar (Burma)
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Here is an indication for which countries you might need a visa. Please contact the local embassy for help applying for visas to these places.
These are only indications, so please visit your doctor before you travel to be 100% sure.
- Recommended for Myanmar (Burma). Ideally 2 weeks before travel.
- Hepatitis A
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- Hepatitis B
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- Recommended for Myanmar (Burma). Ideally 1 month before travel.
- Yellow fever
- Certificate of vaccination required if arriving from an area with a risk of yellow fever transmission for Myanmar (Burma). Ideally 10 days before travel.
- Japanese B encephalitis
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- Start and end in Yangon.
- Hold my space
- TourRadar can request Exodus Travels to hold spaces for you for up to 48 hours without any credit card details.
- TourRadar only requires a deposit of 20% to confirm this Exodus Travels booking. The remaining balance is then payable 60 days prior to the departure date. For any tour departing before 18 November 2018 the full payment of $2,875 is necessary.
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- No additional cancellation fees! You can cancel the tour up to 60 days prior to the departure date and you will not need to pay the full amount of $2875 for Cycle Myanmar (Burma), but the deposit of 20% is non-refundable.
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Covering a total distance of approx 1,483 km.
- Yangon (Myanmar (Burma))
- 442 km
- Heho (Myanmar (Burma))
- 21 km
- Inle Lake (Myanmar (Burma))
- 12 km
- Nyaung Shwe (Myanmar (Burma))
- 32 km
- Pindaya (Myanmar (Burma))
- 143 km
- Mandalay (Myanmar (Burma))
- 11 km
- Mingun (Myanmar (Burma))
- 11 km
- Mandalay (Myanmar (Burma))
- 98 km
- Monywa (Myanmar (Burma))
- 108 km
- Bagan (Myanmar (Burma))
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