What is it to be extraordinary? Rudyard Kipling knew. So when he described Burma as "unlike any land you know about," trust him. One hundred years later, his assessment still stands. For nearly 20 years we've been exploring this mysterious and long-cloistered world by bike. Let us show you why we keep coming back to Myanmar. It's the temples. The landscapes. The complex history. The diverse culture. The authenticity of the people. How often can you leave the ordinary behind for something that defies expectations?
We want to make sure you're on the right trip and that you have the best experience possible. Every Backroads trip is unique and this one is no exception.
AccommodationsIn each location, we've chosen the best op-tions possible. Our Casual Inn, Pindaya Inle Inn, just started catering to Western travel-ers. While at times humble and quirky, it’s comfortable and clean, but has much more modest guest rooms than the other hotels on this trip.
The Premiere Inns on this trip provide all the amenities typically found on Backroads trips, although they can be large resorts which lack some intimacy and charm. Service in Myan-mar is improving day by day, but you might experience some of the service hiccups that come with only recently having opened their doors to tourism.
Biking in an Emerging WorldMyanmar has emerged as an exciting new destination, but travel here can be challenging. It is very much a developing country, where the scarcity of resources and different attitudes can sometimes be jarring and may require more hardiness than on other trips.
Navigating Myanmar's streets and rural roads on a bicycle is both a physical and cultural adventure that requires quick thinking, patience and humor - and it’s part of what makes the trip so memorable! Though the route distances may be relatively short, the terrain, road conditions, heat and humidity, and the need to be alert can make activity more physically demanding. We use mountain bikes to better traverse the less-than-ideal and ever-changing road conditions.
Our itineraries and Trip Leaders remove as many obstacles and inconveniences as possible, making your next extraordinary encounter always within reach. But it's important to remember that even all the efforts of your Trip Leaders can't replace a poorly maintained road or revolutionize service standards. If you can be flexible and approach the region with an open mind, you'll enjoy your trip to the fullest!
Days 1-3 Relish the sights and sounds of secluded areas rarely seen by outsiders Stroll through the iconic 6th-century Shwedagon Pagoda, Myanmar's most sacred religious structure Lose yourself biking amid some 2,000 temples and pagodas in ancient Bagan, a place that rivals the wonderment of world-renowned sites like Angkor and Chichen Itza Travel by traditional horse-drawn cart to a remote temple, where a marvelous sunset awaits On a visit to a colorful market, engage with locals who've been yearning for contact with the outside world Retreat to the oasis of our luxurious hotel.
Days 4-5 In the valleys and mountains of the Shan State, visit traditional markets and fascinating spiritual enclaves Explore a cave containing more than 2,000 Buddha statues and shrines The Pindaya area affords a rare opportunity to see Myanmar as it truly is - agrarian, relatively undeveloped, and full of quiet charm Spin past terraced rice fields, farmers tilling fields with water buffalo, huge bamboo waterwheels at the river's edge and wide-eyed Burmese thrilled to see us and our bikes Savor authentic Shan noodle soup in the tranquility of a monastery.
Days 6-8 Pedal to heavenly Inle Lake and behold floating gardens, ancient pagodas and entire villages built on stilts Hike to the top of a pagoda hill, passing the ruins of hundreds of ancient stupas in thick vegetation Board traditional long-tail boats to explore remote lakeside villages, visiting silversmiths, silk weavers and a private home.
- Soak up sights and sounds of secluded areas rarely seen by outsiders
- Pedal amid the iconic temples and pagodas of ancient Bagan
- Enjoy authentic interactions with Burmese who have been yearning for contact with the outside world
- At Inle Lake, explore floating gardens, ancient pagodas and entire villages built on stilts
- Embrace serendipitous moments and unexpected discoveries off the tourist-trod path
The Governor's Residence (1 night): Recalling the romantic golden age of travel, this beautiful Colonial-style mansion features atmospheric verandas and lush gardens with lotus pools. (pool, spa)
Aureum Palace Hotel (2 nights): A sprawling resort property with private villas and a pool that affords stunning views of the pagodas dotting the landscape below. (pool, spa)
Pindaya Inle Inn (1 night): You'll certainly feel close to nature at this mountain retreat surrounded by verdant gardens. (spa)
Aureum Resort & Spa Inle (3 nights): Nestled on the shores of Inle Lake, this resort features elegant villasin a picture-perfect setting. (pool, spa)
Every Backroads trip is designed to appeal to a wide variety of
interests and fitness levels. We know your pace may vary from one
day to the next-and your traveling companion's may differ somewhat
from yours. So we present a range of mileage options, and each
day you decide exactly what and how much you want to do.
Routes For All Abilities
|Daily Route Options|
|Level 1||Level 2||Level 3||Level 4||Level 5|
|miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain||miles||feet gain|
|1||Shwedagon Pagoda visit (2 hours)|
|Cultural walk to Bagan ruins (1.5 hours)|
|8||Conclusion of the trip|
On this trip, we'll be using titanium mountain bikes that are just right for the non-technical dirt road riding as well as the paved riding. (approximately 35% dirt and 65% paved).
* Includes a shuttle
2014 Dates & Pricing*
- 11/16-23 Price: $5048 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 12/30-1/6 Price: $5248 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 12/22-29 Price: $4948 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1430 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 1/27-2/3 Price: $4848 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 2/5-12 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 2/14-21 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 2/23-3/2 Price: $4848 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 3/4-11 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 3/22-29 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 11/1-8 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 11/15-22 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 11/27-12/4 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 12/4-11 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 12/12-19 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 12/23-30 Price: $4798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 12/30-1/6 Price: $4798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 3/13-20 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
- 12/21-28 Price: $4798 pp dbl. occ., (+ $1530 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $420
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Pricing for Private Trips (prices may vary based on departure date)
|8 - 9 guests from $5,498 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $4,398 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests from $4,998 pp dbl. occ.|
|8 - 9 guests from $5,398 pp dbl. occ.||12 or more guests from $4,598 pp dbl. occ.|
|10 - 11 guests from $4,898 pp dbl. occ.|
Guest Trip Reviews
We fell in love with Southeast Asia on this trip and want to go back. We are so impressed with the gentle graciousness and friendly demeanor of the people. The temples are fantastically beautiful. The culture, religion, and history are fascinating. We loved the food; and the natural beauty of the country delighted us...This was the most magical, even mystical, Backroads trip that I have been on. It went beyond my imagination and exceeded my expectations.- San Francisco, CA
This was an extraordinary trip... The biking and hiking allowed us to interact very closely with the people in the villages and along our routes. Having entire villages come out to meet you when you stopped for a drink in the shade was a tremendous experience. The trip covered key parts of the country which allowed us to get a broad understanding of what the country had to offer.- Bethesda, MD
We really didn't know what to expect from this trip. It turned out to be, I think, the best one we've done so far. The combination of the uniqueness of Myanmar and the excellence of the leaders made it very, very special.- Ponte Vedra Beach, FL