Cycle Myanmar (Burma)

14 days
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£1,949
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Moderate
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Trip code: 
MOB
Ways to Travel:
Guided Group, Tailormade Adventures
Activity:
Cycling
Min age:
16
Group size:
5–16

Cycle around Bagan's temples and rural villages near to Inle Lake 

In the words of Kipling, 'this is Burma and it is unlike any land you know'. This may be even truer today when we arrive on two wheels in Bagan, one of Asia’s holiest cities, giving you the chance to explore this cultural nerve centre of a country only recently emerging from international isolation. Our route takes us to the tranquil Inle Lake with its famous local markets, the striking countryside of the Shan Highlands and the central plains around Mandalay. The key sites are joined up by some fantastic rural cycling in the more remote areas where tourists are still very much a novelty and villagers will be keen to greet you on your cycling adventure.

Highlights

  • The mystical temples of Bagan
  • Yangon's colonial charm and glittering Shwedagon Pagoda
  • U‐Bein Bridge at sunrise
  • Inle Lake's leg-rowing fishermen
  • Kalaw Hill Station trek
  • Internal flights avoiding notoriously bumpy roads and long drives

Key information

  • 11 days cycling (including one optional ride) with full vehicle support
  • 95% tarmac, 5% unsurfaced sections
  • Route mostly backroads and a few main roads with minimal traffic
  • Group normally 5 to 16, plus leader. Min age 16 years
  • 13 nights hotels

What's included

  • All breakfasts and 1 dinner
  • All accommodation (see below)
  • All transport and listed activities
  • Tour leader throughout
  • Flights from London (if booking incl. flights)
  • Arrival and departure transfers
  • Local bike hire

What's not included

  • Travel insurance
  • Single accommodation (available on request)
  • Visas or vaccinations
Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

11

Days of Cycling
Pace:

Moderate: 13-16km/8-10miles an hour

Terrain:

Low altitude; 90% tarmac, 10% unsurfaced sections

Day by day breakdown
Day 215.0km/9.0miles
Day 354.0km/33.0miles
Day 431.0km/19.0miles
Day 559.0km/36.0miles
Day 654.0km/33.0miles
Day 740.0km/24.0miles
Day 865.0km/40.0miles
Day 950.0km/31.0miles
Day 1025.0km/15.0miles
Day 1150.0km/31.0miles

Responsible Travel

At Exodus we believe in the power of Responsible Travel.

Every time we travel, we are part of a global movement that creates jobs, builds more sustainable societies, encourages cultural understanding and safeguards common natural and cultural heritage. To learn more about what Responsible Travel means to Exodus click here… 

Itinerary

Yangon
to
Yangon
  • Day 1

    Start Yangon.

    Start Yangon. The huge Bogyoke market is worth a visit with food, clothing and handicrafts all on sale (closed on Mondays and public holidays), or visit the historic Strand Hotel which was often visited by the likes of Rudyard Kipling and Somerset Maugham. There will be a welcome briefing this evening with an optional group dinner at a local restaurant.
    Grand United Hotel or similar

  • Day 2

    Fly to Heho and drive to Inle Lake; short ride.

    A short flight takes us to Heho, the gateway to the impressive Inle Lake. We then drive to Nyaungshwe our base for exploring the lake and its surroundings.The Shan Hills flank the lake on both sides, with villages on stilts, inhabited mostly by the Intha people (meaning sons of the lakes). After getting set up with our bikes we will have a short warm-up ride to visit a local vineyard for some wine tasting. Cycle approx. 15km.
    The Nyaung Shwe City Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 3

    Cycle to Inthein pagodas, then cruise on Inle Lake past craft industries and local markets, and see the famous leg-rowing fishermen.

    Today begins with a ride to Inthein on the western banks of the lake, this intricate pagoda complex has hundreds of Shan style stupas clustered together on the hillside. Following years of decline, and with the forest reclaiming the site, walking around and through it makes you feel like Indiana Jones. In the afternoon we cruise on the lake passing cottage industries, and visiting the local markets (if possible). We will see the famous leg-rowing fishermen casting their nets in the lake - this technique of standing up holding a long paddle in one hand and their leg wrapped around the paddle lower down leaves the fishermen free to cast their conical fishing nets. This unique style evolved as the lake is covered by reeds and floating plants making it difficult to see above them while sitting.

    There is a five-day market, named so because it moves between five different villages around the lake on a rota. Here the locals come to sell their traditional wares early in the morning and return to their village in the afternoon. The market serves most common shopping needs and depending on its location, we may be able to visit it. Cycle approx. 54 km.
    The Nyaung Shwe City Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 4

    Ride to minority villages around Inle Lake.

    Heading out on our bikes to visit the villages that surround the lake and the dense farmland, our ride is undulating and on quiet roads. We cycle around the edge of the lake towards Intha minority group villages passing rice paddies, sugar cane, traditional wooden houses and colourfully-dressed villagers. We will stop en route at villages and see what is being made and harvested depending upon the time of year.

    We take a boat on the lake, firstly visiting the village of Inpawkhone, famous for its traditional silk weaving from the stems of lotus flowers, a time-consuming process that results in high-quality materials. We will see the weaving techniques before visiting a cheroot factory where cigars are rolled by hand. Time-permitting we will also visit a boat-making workshop to learn about this key lakeside industry. We will then return to Nyaungshwe by boat. Cycle approx. 31km.
    The Nyaung Shwe City Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 5

    Cycle across Shan Highland to Pindaya; visit Pindaya caves.

    Making our way towards the Shan Highland there are a couple of tough uphills at the start of the day. Continuing through rolling hills we will stop and refuel at regular intervals. The last stretch of today's journey is the most scenic as we near Pindaya with Pa-Oh and other tribes working in the fields. After checking into our hotel we visit Pindaya caves, exploring its caverns and tunnels. There are more than 8000 Buddha images within the Pindaya limestone caverns and meditation chambers; every day pilgrims flock to the caves and install new Buddha images within this labyrinth of tunnels and chambers. Cycle approx. 59km.
    Conqueror Resort Hotel / Pindaya Conqueror Resort or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 6

    Drive and cycle to Mandalay.

    Leaving Pindaya we drive back to Kyone junction in order to avoid starting the day with a steep uphill. From here we continue over the hills to Ywar Ngan passing more fields and small lively villages. After lunch we will transfer the rest of the way to Mandalay - approx. journey duration: 5 hours. Cycle approx. 54km.
    Mandalay City Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 7

    Ride to Mingun and return to Mandalay by boat.

    Cycle to Mingun, the home of the largest uncracked bell in the world until 2000 at 90 tons. We will visit a huge unfinished pagoda which suffered earthquake damage but whose flat surface is now an ideal spot for amazing river views. From here we board a boat and head back to Mandalay. Cycle approx. 40km.
    Mandalay City Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 8

    Visit U-Bein Bridge; cycle/drive to Monywa; visit cave of a thousand Buddhas.

    An early start as we head out to one of Myanmar's most iconic sights, U Bein Bridge. This teak bridge spans over a kilometer and is best seen at sunrise when villagers use it to begin their journey to work and fishermen below get ready for a day on the water. This is one of the most photogenic sights of the country and not to be missed. After driving to Myin Mu (approx. 2 hours), we cycle to Monywa visiting the Hindu style Thanbodday temple en route. Thanbodday is one of Burma's main attractions, yet like a lot of sites outside Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan is seldom visited by foreign tourists. The site dates to 1303 and contains hundreds of gleaming gold-topped stupas. Inside, there are more than 500,000 Buddha images of all shapes and sizes. We will also stop at Boditahtaung pagoda, which houses the largest reclining Buddha image in the country, at 100m long and 27m high. Nearby is the largest standing Buddha in the world, Laykyun Setkyar. Cycle approx. 65km (the first part is along the main road which can be busy: depending on traffic and how everyone is feeling, your leader may suggest cutting out the first 25km, so that you avoid the busy section and only cycle the last 40km on quieter roads).
    Win Unity Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 9

    Drive and cycle to Pakkoku; boat ride on Irrawaddy River to Bagan.

    We start off cycling from the hotel towards Ma Au village and then transfer to Pakkoku where we board a boat on the Irrwaddy River to the ancient wonder of Bagan (Pagan). In Bagan there are over 2000 temples and pagodas in many shapes and sizes to explore amongst the 25 square miles of brick that compare to the Angkor Kingdom of Cambodia, Chichen Itza and Machu Picchu as one of the world's most spectacular archaeological sites. This is where Buddhism, Hinduism and Nat worship come together in an array of different shrines. Cycle approx. 50km.For those that would like to do the optional balloon ride please consult the Optional Extras section.
    Su Tine San Royal Palace Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 10

    Explore Bagan temple complex by bike.

    This morning is spent exploring the temple complex spreading out as far as the horizon with its peaks of brick stupas that dot the skyline in many shapes and forms. Building commenced after the former Kings of Bagan introduced Theravada Buddhism in the mid-11th Century, a string of Kings followed building temples to worship their gods. Ananda Pahto with its bejewelled 'hti' (umbrella), Dhammayangyi pahto and Shwesandaw Paya are the largest and most impressive sights we will visit along with the smaller hidden gems offering unique opportunities to climb and delve deeper into the history. We return to our hotel in the afternoon for free time but will finish the day with sunset at one of the viewpoints overlooking the temples to enjoy stunning views as they glow in the diminishing light - a truly magical experience and a photographer's paradise. Cycle approx. 25km.
    Su Tine San Royal Palace Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast Dinner
  • Day 11

    Cycle to Mt Popa, option to cycle or drive back to Bagan.

    Our scenic cycle to Mt Popa takes in more stunning brick temples, before reaching the petrified forest that surrounds the extinct volcano. At the base of the mountain, there is a display of 37 Nats (spirits) with frequent nat pwes (spirit ceremonies) held in their honour. One Nat, Ko Gyi Kyaw, is adorned with whisky bottles because he was a heavy drinker and this vice took him prematurely to his grave. He is the patron Nat of tramps and alcoholics. We have the option of taking a hike up the 777 steps to the summit and paying respect to the mountain top pagoda as well as enjoying the scenery of the surrounding area. For anyone that does not want to do the walk, we can go to a nearby resort to enjoy the views over lunch. We then have the option of either cycling back to Bagan or hopping on the coach for the journey. Cycle approx. 50km / 100km if return cycle chosen.
    Su Tine San Royal Palace Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 12

    Free morning (optional ride); afternoon flight to Yangon.

    After a free morning, we fly back to Yangon. The bikes and your leader will be available this morning for one last optional ride to Kyuak Gu U Min north of the main temple area on the banks of the Irrawaddy for anyone who is interested. This temple has intricate stone carvings and is situated away from the main archaeological zone, so here we can discover a different side of Bagan. Cycle approx. 30km.
    Grand United Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 13

    Yangon city tour including the old colonial areas of this former capital.

    Yangon sits under the shadow of the glittering Shwedagon Pagoda, the most religious site within Myanmar that is said to contain eight hairs of the Buddha. As the stupa glitters in gold with 5500 diamonds and numerous other precious stones overlooking the city, life goes on in the busy streets to the south where we will explore dilapidated colonial edifices on our city tour. Chinatown offers plenty of photographic opportunities with its unpaved streets lined with old wooden shuttered houses, medicine shops, temples and the more colourful markets. Close by, we visit Shwe Bontha, perhaps the most photogenic of all streets in the city, with its leafy sidewalks, pavement tea-shops and magnificent colonial buildings. Finally our tour takes us to Lake Kandawgyi to view the glittering Karaweik replica of the Royal Barge before ascending to Shwedagon Pagoda for impressive views over Yangon at sunset.
    Grand United Hotel or similar

    Meals included: Breakfast
  • Day 14

    End Yangon.

    End Yangon.

    Meals included: Breakfast
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Post-trip Extensions

Ngapali Beach

If you are keen to end your holiday on a very relaxed note, the following three‐night beach extension can be added to the end of the main itinerary. You can also choose to add on as many extra nights at the beach as you decide (your time here will be at leisure for you to do as you wish). Please note that you will be met and transferred between the airport and hotels but you are not escorted or guided. The extension does not operate during the wet season between May to September.

Please ask your sales consultant for prices.

 

Extension Day 1 - Fly to Thandwe; drive to Ngapali Beach.

Upon arrival at the beach, the rest of the day is free to explore the colourful reef offshore or simply relax and soak up the sun!

Pleasant View Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Extension Day 2 - Free day.

Free day at the beach

Pleasant View Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Extension Day 3 - Fly to Yangon.

Today we leave the beach and fly back to Yangon where the remainder of the day is free for some final sightseeing. Bogyoke Market and the Strand Hotel are both worth a visit.

Grand United Hotel or similar

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Extension Day 4 - End Yangon.

End Yangon.

Meals included: Breakfast

 

Non‐refundable payment

Please note that this extension request will be 'pending' until the point that Exodus confirm that the trip is operational ‐ never later than 6 weeks before departure and usually considerably earlier. Once confirmed to run, full payment for the beach extension will be required. Securing accommodation can be a genuine challenge in Myanmar and this additional extension payment will become non‐refundable. Should Exodus cancel your trip, the standard booking conditions apply.

Essential Info

Visas

Myanmar (Burma)

Nearly all nationalities require a visa to enter Myanmar (Burma), and this must be obtained prior to departure. Passengers without a visa will not be allowed to enter the country.
For further information see http://www.exodus.co.uk/assets/travelink/Burma.pdf
For nationalities where there is no Burmese embassy please contact the Exodus office for assistance.

Vaccinations

Myanmar (Burma)

There are no mandatory vaccination requirements for this trip.

Recommended vaccinations for this trip are: Polio, Tetanus, Diphtheria, Typhoid, Hepatitis A, Yellow Fever.

Malaria prophylaxis is essential and we suggest that you seek advice from your GP or travel health clinic about which malaria tablets to take.

Dengue fever is a known risk in places visited on this trip. It is a tropical viral disease spread by daytime biting mosquitoes. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available for Dengue, and therefore the best form of prevention is to avoid being bitten. We recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites.

Zika fever is a mosquito‐borne viral disease and a known risk in places visited on this trip. There is currently no vaccine or prophylaxis available, we therefore strongly recommend you take the usual precautions to avoid mosquito bites. 

Eating and Drinking

All breakfasts and 1 dinner included.

Myanmar's food is a diverse blend of Chinese, Indian and South East Asian influences, with many regional variations of their 'standard' dishes. Rice is at the core of most Burmese food, and good vegetarian food is widely available, curries are very common as are noodles and soup. In the bigger hotels and cities and at Inle Lake western food is available. Vegetarians are well catered for but please inform us before departure of any special dietary requests. Please note that in Myanmar the availability of certain specialised products for restricted diets, e.g. gluten-free or dairy-free, is minimal or non-existent and we strongly recommend you bring these specialised dietary items from home. You may find it beneficial to bring some 'cycling snacks' with you from home; high energy snacks are not readily available locally. For snacks and drinks during the rides, a kitty is normally arranged by the tour leader (see extra expenses).

On Day 10 we include a meal at Sanon Restaurant and Training School where they do great work in training disadvantaged youths in hospitality skills (and the food is delicious).

Drinking Water 

Plastic bottles are a big issue in many countries where recycling isn’t yet widely available; they often end up in landfill sites or get burnt, both processes are harmful to the environment and we would like to reduce our impact here. For 2018, your leader will offer to collect a kitty to purchase large water containers for the group to refill reusable bottles from, whereas from 2019 onwards we have included drinking water in the tour price. This provides an alternative to individual single-use plastic bottles in our aim to reduce the amount of plastic used. You need only bring a bottle to re-fill along the way - please add this to your packing list. 

Weather

Myanmar has a monsoon climate with three main seasons. The hottest period is between February and May, with little or no rain. The rainy season exists from May to October and dry, cooler weather from October to February. Inle Lake can get cold at night from October to February with temperatures dropping down to around 7 - 10 degrees C.

Mandalay

Is this trip for you?

Average daily distance: 44km / 27 miles

No. of days cycling: 10 (plus 1 optional ride)

Vehicle support: Fully supported except on the first warm-up ride

Routes follow a mixture of back roads and a few main roads, but Myanmar lacks the heavy traffic of other Asian countries. Myanmar is mountainous and there are a few tough climbs and long downhills in the first week, but vehicle support is always available and road conditions are quite good. The second week is generally flatter between Mandalay and Bagan, however roads can be bumpy and pot-holed. Depending on the time of the year, conditions will be hot and humid, but rests and water are on hand. Internet connection is now available at most of the accommodation, but can be intermittent. Mobile coverage is generally adequate and you should be able to use your phone in most areas. Accommodation standards can vary and should not be compared with hotels in neighbouring south-east Asian countries such as Vietnam and Cambodia.

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

Accommodation

Hotels

13 nights standard hotels, all en suite. The accommodation is of tourist-standard and mostly 2-3-star. Most hotels are comfortable and some have added amenities, such as an outdoor swimming pool and free Wi-Fi access (however the connection might slow or intermittent). There is mesh on the hotel windows where needed. Please note that double beds are not always widely available in South East Asia. 

Single accommodation (available on request).

Call for general departures:
020 8772 3936
Call for tailormade trips:
020 8772 3874
Trip Notes

Click on the button below for detailed Trip Notes containing all the particulars about this trip, including kit lists and practical information.

Note: these can vary by departure; you can check out the specific Trip Notes for your chosen adventure on the dates & prices page.

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  • Reviewed December 2018
    David Sargent

    Myanmar Cycle

    A great adventure, amazing country, incredibly friendly people, bonkers numbers of Buddha statues.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Cycling from Pindaya along the un tarmaced sections through villages and farmlands to the Irrawaddy River.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Our leader was fantastic, always enthusiastic, always available, treated his job with a passion to show tourists the best of his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Buy a Longyi dress/skirt early on and use it for Temple dress when visiting temples.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The hotels chasing guest asking for people to buy new towels at $10 because they were dirty, (with make-up or other) needs to stop.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Nigel Fawkes

    Surely the best way to experience Myanmar . .

    The full two week schedule was well justified (and we added a five day extension to travel south of Yangon after). The group of 14 were very compatible, and ranged in age from early 50s to early 70s. Noone had any big problems with the distances, although the variable tarmac surfaces left most wishing for more saddle padding than they had brought. . . The one day of mostly dirt roads and tracks was judged the most fun - the mountain bikes were designed for this, and there was, of course, no traffic. More such by-ways if possible please! Myanmar threw us surprises every day. No amount of reading prepares you for a temple with over 500,000 buddhas, or a village built over water, where everything is done by boat (there are no footpaths), or a stupa with more than 3 tons of pure gold covering it. Local food is fresh and delicious, local beer seems largely a monopoly of a brand called 'Myanmar' (presumed to be owned by the military), and the hotels much grander and newer than I had expected. Apart from the start and Yangon, all had pools, great for a wind down swim after a day in the saddle. Heat was... hot - but bearable as cycling creates its own breeze and most of the riding was done before lunch.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Every day threw up another wonderful surprise, and cycling between sights was the ideal way to approach them.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    He was extremely good. He had a very good command of English phrase and idiom and an infectious sense of humour. He encouraged any question - which was normally greeted with an announcement: "hey everybody - this is a really good question. . .!" He worked extremely hard and was a pains to make sure everyone knew what the plans were at all times.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    The cycling is split into roughly 1 hour/ 20 km sections, so make sure you are happy riding this distance. There were only two real climbs of note, otherwise rolling countryside was normal. You will need more padding for your bottom than in UK!

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Its fine to go as a singleton, people ride at different speeds, so you will find you naturally ride with two or three of the group and its all pretty relaxed.
  • Reviewed March 2018
    Michelle Gale

    Cycle Myanmar

    A wonderful tour with a well-organised itinerary that provided a good insight into Burmese daily life. Friendly, welcoming people, stunning scenery, and thousands of Pagodas. I would highly recommend this trip.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Highlights included the long-tailed boat rides on Lake Inle (seeing the leg-rowing fishermen at work, stopping to watch skilled craftsmen and women using traditional methods to make silk wear, cigars, the teak long-tailed boats, and silverware, plus seeing locals tend their ‘water-allotments’); our stay in Naung Shwe City (the Naung Shwe City Hotel was lovely and our favourite); day 9 cycling towards Ma Au village (a long, quiet rural road and stopping to spend time with the excited village children); and, of course, visiting the spectacular Shwedagon Pagoda at Sunset.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Naing’s leadership and communications skills were outstanding, as was his extensive knowledge and boundless energy and humour. Nothing to was too much trouble and he was mindful not to overload us with too much information at any one time, nor to over-organise us. It was a pleasure having him as our guide, and having now completed 15 Exodus trips, I would say he raises the bar of excellence. Naing’s support team were also brilliant.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    A couple of the rides had long inclines, which coupled with a headwind and the heat of the day, seemed arduous at times. With the exception of one, all the hotels were of a high standard (and included a hairdryer), far exceeding our expectations. When staying at the Conqueror Resort Hotel (Shan Highland) be mindful that whilst the functional wooden lodges appear delightful, the February night time temperatures drop significantly - the beds do have an electric blanket but getting out of bed into the cold room was probably the day’s toughest challenge! The food was generally very good and we took great care but occasionally still experienced short-lived upset tums. In a few locations we did experience polite vendors targeting tourists. In Yangon beware when asked for donations by young boys purporting to be Monks – they are fake.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you enjoy cycling and seeing everyday life, then this trip is a must.
  • Reviewed July 2017
    Colleen McDavid

    Burma by Bike...they only way to go!!

    If you enjoy cycling and want to see an Asian country not yet jaded by tourism this is the trip for you!! I have never done a cycling trip and wasn't sure what to expect. This trip was very well organized, with a fantastic support team. When I punctured a hole in my tire, my first thought is that I would never catch up to the rest of the group...however Joe, our bike mechanic had the wheel off and replaced with another in less than 10 minutes!!! The scenery, the Burmese people, and this itinerary make it an exceptional experience.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Biking through the city of Mandalay.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Top notch!! He kept us safe, informed, and very entertained.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Although it is rated as a 3 in terms of difficulty, do yourself a favour and go cycling on a route that incorporates hill training or attend spin cycling classes. I was not a very experienced cyclist and was very grateful that I had prepared myself in advance. It made the trip enjoyable; I looked forward to each day of cycling. .

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    The Burmese food is quite tasty and not yet influenced much by western cuisine. You should be able to find something you enjoy at every meal, but keep in mind you are not travelling to Burma as a culinary experience. Given their history, they have had limited opportunity to develop culinary expertise. I enjoyed it so much and it went by so fast I would love to do it all over again!!
  • Reviewed March 2017
    John Clement

    Cycle Myanmar(Burma)

    We found this trip lived up to our expectations. This is a country that is just opening up to tourists and the people although having lived through hard times are friendly, courteous and wanting to interact with tourists. The activities and sites which we experienced were educational as well as fun. The biking was moderate as rated and the bus was always available if you did not want to cycle at any time.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The friendliness of the people of Myanmar and the villages where they lived and worked.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was an excellent leader, always friendly, knowledgeable about the history if his country and Buddhism aa well as attentive. He went out of his way to make sure everyone was comfortable with the plans for the day. He worked well with his staff. He had a good sense of humour and we thoroughly enjoyed his leadership.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared for the heat and just go and enjoy,
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Steve March

    Burma By Cycle

    Wonderful trip which I would recommend to anyone. My only word of caution is that you are riding a mountain bike which causes you to be bent forward when riding. If you have a shoulder/neck problem, this type of bike can cause you pain in your shoulders/neck. It can be remedied by having an extender installed in the headset of the mountain bike which will allow you to sit more upright and take the stress off your shoulders. Exodus does not provide these and you should bring one with you which their bike mechanic will install. They cost about $20 Canadian and will make the bike riding on the bumpy roads much more enjoyable.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The Burmese people .
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Douglas James

    Myanmar Biking, Inle Lake to Bagan

    Moderate difficulty. Good for us 70 year olds. Excellent accomodations throughout and food locations suggested by "Alex",our lead guide. Wonderful and attentive crew. Would accommodate all our extra needs (handling shopping items). Great route selection through rural Myanmar. Could really appreciate the local culture.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    Serenity of the countryside and friendliness of the Burmese people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    "Alex" was excellent.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Be prepared physically. Weather is very hot

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    Very highly recommend this trip.
  • Reviewed March 2017
    Desmond Smyth

    Burma By Bike

    This trip provides a comprehensive insight into a country in transition- at this stage it has a long way to go to reach the economic and social standards of most of its neighbours in south east Asia. The people are friendly,welcoming and charming and much of the scenery is stunning.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The sheer numbers of Buddha statues was impressive ( in some cases thousands in one location ) as were the temples and stupas of Bagan. Inle Lake was a highlight- lovely scenery,good cycling,interesting insights into the making of various goods including silk garments,umbrellas,and cigars all made using locally available materials.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was a superb leader- excellent communication skills,good humour,and comprehensive knowledge about the history,religion and cultures of his country.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    Most of our group suffered at some stage with a stomach bug- shortlived but quite severe whilst it lasted- be prepared to be careful what you eat and bring appropriate medication. Mozzies were not a problem on this trip- we did encounter them from time to time,so a good repellant is advisable. The cycling is generally fairly easy- undulating for most part although there are some steep challenges e.g. last 2kms up to Mt Popa.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    If you are thinking of doing this trip,don't hesitate- this is a superb opportunity to get a comprehensive insight into a country in transition and which continues to face many challenges.You will be assured of a warm welcome by the friendly and charming people.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Rebecca Lee

    Great Cycling Trip

    A well organised trip. Plenty of breaks between cycling and enough sight seeing too. We liked that they provided electrolytes on the breaks and the selection of snacks and drinks was great too.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    There were a couple of really tough days in the first week, including a hard 7km climb uphill. It felt amazing when you reached the top, a wonderful sense of achievement. The many golden pagodas and stupas add a magical sense to the beautiful scenery, especially in the more rural areas.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex was very approachable, spoke very good English and looked after the group very well.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    This is classed as moderate but I would recommend doing several 30 miles rides at home to see if you like the distance before booking as it is pretty tough doing that sort of distance day after day. We trained and were fine. Padded shorts/pants are a must.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    This was our first cycling trip and we are looking forward to many more. This is a good time to see Burma, because its not very touristy yet. The hotels we staying in were of a good standard and we were able to get food and drink that we didn't think would be available.
  • Reviewed January 2017
    Anna Cunney

    Very interesting & active holiday

    Would recommend this trip to anyone who likes an adventurous cycling holiday. Be aware that you are up at 6 am every day to get the cycling done before the real heat sets in or to try fit in temple visits etc. Dinner is usually at 7pm and most people had collapsed into bed by 10pm.

    What was the most inspirational moment of your trip?

    The people of Myanmar were an absolute joy to interact with. They have suffered so much and yet still have a smile for strangers. We never once felt ripped off by the local people.

    What did you think of your group leader?

    Alex is excellent, ask him anything and he will answer you very honestly. Always pleasant and patient.

    Do you have any advice for potential travellers?

    It's a busy enough itinerary. So would recommend arriving rested. Also, the cycling is slightly challenging at times due to heat, road surfaces and pedestrian/canine/motorbike traffic around you. Watch out for snakes on the roadside also. If you do the Nagapali extension, 3 days there is plenty.

    Is there anything else you would like to add?

    50-60km per day may not seem like much cycling but can be tiring when you add in heat and hills.

Dates & Prices

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An overview of flight options

Exodus is committed to making joining our tours as easy as possible, wherever you live. We generally only block book seats from London, but this certainly does not mean that you need to fly from there. Depending on the route and airlines available, there will usually be various options available for those who want to fly from their local airport.

This page aims to provide a useful overview of the options available to our clients. However, the best flight arrangements should be tailored to your personal requirements, so please contact our Sales team for expert advice.

 

What kind of options do I have ?

1. We can book for you: Flights from anywhere in the world - not via London  

Depending on the route, this may be direct or via an overseas hub like Amsterdam, the Middle East or elsewhere. On short haul routes there may be direct flights with low cost airlines, charter flights or scheduled airlines. Exodus can book most, but not all, of these for you. The most appropriate airline may be different to that which we use for the group flight from London, but many people now travel on different airlines and meet up with their fellow passengers at the destination.

Pros Cons
  • May be the most direct route
  • Often the extra fare compared to the London flight is minimal.
  • As you will be in the hands a single airline for your entire journey, the airline will be responsible for your bags and your connections.
  • You may not be able to join the group transfers. However, we can usually arrange private transfers, or book your flights to try and coincide with the group transfers. See notes on transfer arrangements below.

 

2. We can book for you: Connecting flights from your local airport to London

Exodus can book connecting flights to London so you can join the group flight there. Connecting times will be followed according to airline advice, or as requested by clients. There are two types of fares we can use for this option: a 'through-fare' or a 'published fare'.
 
a) A 'through-fare' is where you will be in the main airline's care throughout. You change planes, but your bags are checked all the way through to your final destination. 

b) A 'published fare' ticket is completely seperate from your onward ticket from London. It is usually cheaper than a through-fare but will need to be paid for and issued as soon as it is booked. This can be a problem if your tour has not yet reached minimum numbers. On 'published fares' neither airline is aware that you have connecting flights, so Exodus is responsible for timing your connection, not the airlines involved. The tickets are also usually non changeable and non refundable.

Pros Cons
  • Depending on the fare type, Exodus or the airline is responsible for flight connections.
  • Through fare tickets can be expensive.
  • On a published fare, tickets must be issued immediately; tickets on published fares can be very difficult to change if onward flight times change; bags are not checked though to your final destination.
  • Published fares are non-refundable.

 

3. Booking some or all of the flights yourself

You can also book connecting air travel yourself, either to London, or all the way to the start point. There may be certain airlines or routes we don't have access to, so this is always an option. However, if you make your own travel arrangements you become liable for any delays, cancellations or missed connections, and Exodus is not required to offer refunds if you have trouble reaching the start of your trip.

Pros Cons
  • You might find cheaper fares, or routes not available to Exodus.
  • You are responsible for any delays or missed connections, and the cost of the tour is not protected should you miss your flight be cancelled.

 

 Notes on transfer arrangements

Sometimes it is possible to travel on a different airline to the group flight from London. Where this is the case, we need to think about ensuring you meet up with the group with minimum extra cost and hassle.

  • On certain trips, it is easy to arrive on a different flight and still meet the group at the hotel with time in hand. We can usually arrange private transfers (at extra cost) or offer advice on taking a taxi to the start hotel.
  • On other trips (especially in Europe), the transfer meets the group flight and then travels some distance to the first night's accommodation. Where this is the case, our Sales team will try to arrange flights that arrive before (and depart after) the group. However, we do have to make it clear in your final documentation that if your flights are delayed, the transfer cannot wait for you. While Exodus or our local operators will do what we can to help you reach the start point of the tour, any additional costs must be paid by the client. 

 

Next steps? 

Call our Sales team on: 0203 733 0698

Email your query: [email protected]

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Call us on 020 8772 3936