Bike, Hike & Kayak Myanmar

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As you bike, hike and kayak through Myanmar's stunning landscapes and temples, you will gain a fascinating insight into one of the world's most enigmatic and friendly destinations


Duration: 13 Days
Starts in: Myanmar
Group Size: 5-16

Operated by:

World Expeditions

World Expeditions is an adventure travel and ecotourism company that offers guided small group trekking and adventure holidays.


Arrive Yangon

You will arrive in Yangon this morning and be transferred to your hotel. After lunch the group will gather in the lobby for an afternoon excursion in Yangon. We begin with a visit Kyaukhtatgyi Pagoda, home to a 70-meter long reclining Buddha. A visit to Kyaukhtatgyi provides a great overview of Buddhism with murals depicting the life of Buddha, the feet of the statue carved with traditional symbols and often many locals gathering to pay homage and pray. From here we continue to downtown Yangon to explore the fabulous mix of colonial architecture and religious monuments. We will take a short walking tour past the most famous buildings such as City Hall and the Post Office. Depending on the time, there is the option to stop at a local tea shop to experience an integral part of Burmese life: drinking tea! Select from an array of snacks and enjoy a coffee or tea as you sit amid businessmen, friends and families who gather at the tea shop to socialize or conduct business. The tea shop is also unique in the way they prepare the tea, so be sure to have your camera ready. From here we return to our hotel for a chance to freshen up. Later this afternoon, we visit Shwedagon Pagoda, the most revered Buddhist temple in Myanmar. The central stupa is 90 meters tall and gilded with gold leaf. As the sun begins to set enjoy the breathtaking views of the Pagoda and surrounding skyline. Overnight at Clover Hotel or similar

Fly to Mandalay

After breakfast, we transfer to airport for the flight to Mandalay. Upon arrival at Mandalay, we transfer to the hotel. Your bikes will be waiting here and after checking in, we will take some time to do a bike fitting. Lunch is at a local restaurant. This afternoon you will explore the hidden places of the city by car. Stops will be made at a workshop making gold leaves, where the craftsmen use ancient techniques handed down over generations. You’ll also visit Mahamuni Pagoda, home to one of the country’s most revered Buddha images which, over the years, has been covered with gold leaves giving it an almost ‘lumpy’ texture. We end the day enjoying the magnificent sunset view from the top of Mandalay Hill. Overnight at Ayarwaddy River View Hotel or similar

Cycle outskirts of Mandalay (65km)

It’s time to begin cycling! After breakfast at the hotel, your guide will take you on a bike ride to Mandalay’s outskirts. Heading to the southwest of the city, your first destination is the 18th century capital of Amarapura (17 kms/ app 1 hour). We stop here to visit U Bein Bridge for a walk along this 200 year-old teak bridge. The bridge spans over 2 kilometers in length and offers fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams. We continue by bike across the Irrawaddy River to Sagaing and over a quiet road to Mingun (48 kms / app 3 hours). We visit the main sites of Mingun beginning with the famous Mingun Pahtodawqyi. This huge brick structure was left unfinished after an astrologer predicted the King’s would die should the temple be completed. In the 1800s, an earthquake left several large cracks in the structure. You will continue your visit to the beautiful white Hsinbyume Pagoda whose distinctive style is meant to resemble the mythical Mount Meru. Then we will see the Mingun Bell which weighs 90 tons and is considered the world’s largest uncracked ringing bell. Lunch boxes are served on the way in typical Myanmar tiffin boxes, at a local monastery. We return to Mandalay by boat. This 1-1.5 hour journey along the Irrawaddy is a great way to observe the lives of the fishermen and enjoy the beautiful, tranquil scenery. Upon reaching Mandalay, we continue by bike to your hotel (10 minutes). Overnight at Ayarwaddy River View Hotel or similar

Cycle and transfer to Meiktila (45km)

Today’s journey takes you to Meiktila. After breakfast at the hotel, the journey starts on bike and then continues the last stretch by vehicle. You will cycle to Pyin Si Junction from Mandalay. Along the way, you will pass by the villages and you will have unparalleled opportunities to observe traditional lifestyles of the rural Burmese. Their life is lacking in many amenities yet the concepts of mutual help and cooperation are central to village life here and there are a number of social and religious customs which prevail in the upper Myanmar. Lunch at the village or on route (lunch box) Biking Distance: Approximately 45 km (Bike: Mandalay – Pyin Si Junction 45 km/2 hours; car from Pyin Si - Meiktila 2-3 hours) Meiktila – food from the heart of the country In the heart of the country we convinced a lady with a passion for food to start a pop-up catering service and cook a good dinner for us. A typical milk curd curry is served together with salads and soup. All send to your hotel in typical food carrier boxes that you see all over the country. Overnight at the Wun Zin Hotel or similar

Cycle to Mt Popa (50-70km)

This morning is a scenic ride to Mt Popa. The road is good and the traffic light, varied scenery and lots of stops make it an enjoyable ride. After a hotel breakfast the journey starts on bike and then continues the last stretch by vehicle. The terrain starts out quite hilly but there are options to ride in the support van if you wish. A home cooked lunch will be served at the host family’s home and you can take a look at their family photos for a glimpse into local life. Be seated around a low, round table and enjoy a meal of traditional, home-cooked dishes including soup, salad, vegetables and meat curry. Following the meal, sip green tea and sample sweet seasonal fruits grown around Mount Popa. After checking in to Popa Mountain Resort you can enjoy the spectacular views or go for a refreshing swim. Dinner this evening is at your hotel. Biking Distance: Approximately 50-70 km Biking note: Support vehicle will be with you throughout so if you wish to stop biking at any point to shorten the ride, this is no problem. Overnight at Popa Mountain Resort or similar

Mt Popa to Bagan cycle (45km)

After breakfast, we start with an easy bike down from your hotel to the base of Mt. Popa. From here you can climb the almost 900 stairs to the top of Popa Taung Kalat. Along the way you will pass dozens of nat shrines and many local pilgrims who come to honour these spirits. From the top you will have superb views of the surrounding plains. We then proceed to Bagan by bike along Byatta Pan Sat Road which leads to Kyauk Padaung – Nyaung U road. En-route we will stop at a village and palm garden to see ways of life of rural people in this area. A picnic lunch box will be served along the way. From here we continue the last stretch by vehicle arriving in Bagan this afternoon and checking into your hotel. After freshening up we take a horsecart ride to an elevated temple to watch the sunset over the pagoda-filled plains. Biking Distance: 45km Biking Note: 100% tar road unless otherwise en-route visit into the villages on the way. 50% mostly flat or 10º slope up and down, 45% up and down 20-35º slope Overnight at Zfreeti Hotel or similar

Bagan cycle (16km)

After breakfast at the hotel, spend a full day biking around the ancient temples. Start with a visit to the colourful Nyaung Oo Market where the locals come to buy and trade fresh produce and handicrafts. Continue to Shwezigon Pagoda, known for its magnificent golden stupa, and Wetkyi-In Gubyaukgyi, a cave temple with exquisite jatakas murals paintings. Your final visit this morning is at the elegant Htilominlo Temple noted for its fine plaster carvings and glazed sandstone decorations. Take a break from the midday heat for lunch and a chance to relax. This afternoon, observe the process of traditional lacquerware, one of Myanmar’s best-known handicrafts and a specialty of Bagan. Then, visit Ananda, an architectural masterpiece reflecting the early-style of Bagan temple construction and containing four impressive standing Buddha images. Continue to nearby Ananda Okkyaung, one of the few surviving brick monasteries from the early Bagan period. A special lunch is served today: Bagan – curries from the dry zone served at a monastery The dry zone (as the area around Bagan is called) is not known for its fertile lands as the main crops grown are rice, peanuts, sesame seeds and tamarind. The food created from it is delicious though and we will serve you some beautiful food in a traditional monastery. Biking Distance: Approximately 16 km Overnight at Zfreeti Hotel or similar

Fly to Heho, transfer to Kalaw

After breakfast, you will transfer to airport for the flight to Heho. Upon arrival, your journey to Pindaya begins with scenic drive to Pindaya. (1½ hour drive) You will visit the famous Shwe U Min cave where pilgrims placed thousands of Buddha images over the span of many centuries. Then, we observe how the paper parasols and traditional Shan Paper are being made at a small workshop at the foot of Shwe Oo Min Hill. Lunch is at a local restaurant. After lunch, you will resume your journey to Kalaw. It is a beautiful hill station in the midst of rolling hills and pine forests and it was summer resort in colonial era. Upon arrival, we transfer to your hotel and the rest of the day at your leisure. Note: At Heho aiport it is time to part ways and say goodbye your fellow cycling companions as some people will go to Inle Lake for the continuation of their ‘Cycle Myanmar’ adventure. Overnight in Kalaw at Dream Villa Hotel or similar

Walk to Htee Thein village (4-5 hrs)

After breakfast, you will visit the morning market in Kalaw. On the market days, the hilltribes of the surrounding villages gather to buy and sell their products and crops. The market is a fascinating mix of people and goods. Then, you will transfer to Baw Hnin Gone village to start your trek to Inle Lake. (1 hour drive). Today’s trek is around 4-5 hours through beautiful scenery of the Shan Plateau. The gently undulating terrain is dotted with villages of the Palaung, Shan and Danu people as well as many other hilltribe groups. You’ll encounter friendly locals: farmers working in the fields, curious kids playing in the woods and villagers going about their daily lives. Enjoy lunch en-route. Later this afternoon you’ll reach Htee Thein village, your overnight stop. You will either stay in a village monastery or in a family homestay. This is a great way to meet and learn more about the cultures and traditions of rural Burmese life. Overnight: Htee Thein village, homestay (Note: Basic accommodation)

Continue walk to Inle Lake (4-5 hrs)

After breakfast, we say goodbye to our hosts and resume your walk to Inle Lake. Today’s trek is also around 4-5 hours with the final destination being Than Daung village. Then, we pass through Kyauk Su and Ngue villages on the way. Lunch will be served in a village near the lake shores. Upon arrival at the lake shores, you will transfer to your hotel in Nyaung Shwe by boat. The rest of the day is at leisure in Nyaung Shwe. Overnight at Paradise Nyaung Shwe or similar

Kayaking on Inle Lake (2-3 hrs)

An active adventure is waiting today as you are taken this morning to the starting point of an interesting trip, by kayak through rural villages in this part of Shan state. A transfer by motorboat over the lake will bring you in approximately 30 minutes to In Phaw Khone, the famous weaving centre of the Intha people in the middle of Inle Lake. Light kayaks are ready for you to start paddling on the lake (2 persons per kayak) for a trip that takes you in 2 – 3 hours through rural areas few people visit. A landscape of villages, beautiful nature with the Shan mountains in the background and floating gardens is passing by, while every now and then we stop in a traditional Intha village. After about 1 hour we stop in a village for a short walk to meet some of the villagers in their house and learn more about their life style or to discover some locally produced food production.We continue paddling and around lunch time we arrive at an Intha house were we are welcomed for a home-cooked lunch. We leave the kayaks behind and continue from here by motorboat back to the hotel or we continue for more visits on the lake by boat and guide. Note: Total kayaking time (non-stop) is about 2 - 3 hours of gentle paddling on the lake. Including stops in villages and lunch total excursion is a bit more than half a day while the rest of the day a motor boat and guide are available for additional visits on the lake. Overnight at Paradise Nyaung Shwe or similar

Drive to Heho, fly to Yangon

After breakfast, visit the lake’s morning market for some last minute shopping. The market rotates its location around the lake’s villages in a 5 day rhythm and is visited by lake inhabitants and surrounding hill tribes who come to sell and trade their wares. (Note: market is daily except on dark moon day and full moon day). Explore the local crafts of Inle Lake with a stop at the weaving village of Inpawkhone and a cheroot factory, where the typical Burmese cigars are made by hand. Inle Lake area – Intha food in the middle of the lake While the Shan and the Pa O people live around the lake, the Intha people traditionally live ON the lake, literally in houses built on stilts on the lake. A home-cooked Intha style lunch including noodles, salads, soup and exotic looking food wrapped in banana leaves is prepared for you in a pop-up restaurant created to support the Intha community. After lunch, you will transfer to Heho for the domestic flight to Yangon. Upon arrival at Yangon, transfer to your hotel. Overnight at Clover Hotel or similar

In Yangon, trip concludes

Depending on flight time, there is an option to take a ride on Yangon’s Circle Train in the morning. The trip concludes today in Yangon.

Additional Information

This multi activity trip is the chance to mix it up on an exciting adventure in Myanmar. Our journey begins in the charming colonial city of Yangon, before flying to Mandalay on the banks of the Irrawaddy. We enjoy the view of the city from Mandalay Hill before beginning our cycling to Mount Popa and Bagan, considered by many to be the finest collection of temples in Asia. Savouring the sunrise from the upper terrace of a temple is an experience not soon forgotten. We get off the beaten track and see the real culture and traditions of Myanmar with a trek on the Shan Plateau. Kayaking towards Inle Lake among the stilt houses and floating gardens of the Intha people is a wonderful experience. This adventurous itinerary combines cycling, hiking and kayaking through timeless villages with some of the most welcoming and hospitable people in the world.


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