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 not the easiest place to travel, but it's one of the more magical places we know. 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 truly unique? Join us - before it finds its way onto the tourist map.
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 options possible. 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. Many of our Casual Inns have just started catering to Western travelers and often don't offer Western-style service and amenities yet. These hotels, while at times humble and quirky, offer comfort, style and service. Please note that the Pindaya Inle Inn, while comfortable and clean, has much more modest guest rooms than the other hotels on this trip.
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 1-2 Soak up 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 which 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.
Days 3-4 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 Pedal further into the countryside and climb toward Mount Popa, an imposing extinct volcano Amid the gold and glass spires of the stunning Taungkalat Monastery, pay respects to local spirits (nats).
Days 5-6 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 Savor authentic Shan noodle soup in the tranquility of a monastery.
Days 7-8 Pedal to heavenly Inle Lake and behold floating gardens, ancient pagodas and entire villages built on stilts Hop aboard traditional longtail 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
Casual & Premiere Inns
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): This sprawling resort property features private villas and a pool that affords stunning views of the pagodas that dot the landscape below. (pool, spa)
Popa Mountain Resort (1 night): Perched on a volcanic peak, this resort offers airy villas surrounded by gardens and lovely views of Taungkalat Monastery below. (pool, spa, golf)
Pindaya Inle Inn (1 night): You'll certainly feel close to nature at this mountain retreat surrounded by verdant gardens. (spa)
Inle Princess Resort (2 nights): Enjoy unbelievable views from the comfort of your traditional wooden chalet at this tranquil resort, perched on stilts along the shore of Inle Lake in the Shan hills. (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: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
- 11/28-12/5 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
- 12/30-1/6 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
- 12/22-29 Price: $4598 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
2015 Dates & Pricing*
- 1/9-16 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
- 1/18-25 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
- 1/27-2/3 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
- 2/5-12 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
- 2/14-21 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
- 2/23-3/2 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
- 3/4-11 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
- 3/22-29 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
- 3/13-20 Price: $4398 pp dbl. occ., (+ $980 for sgl. occ.), Internal Air: $510
*Prices may change. Once you book your trip, your price is guaranteed.
Private Trips Options & Pricing
Gather your favorite people to share a Backroads adventure on a ready-to-book Private Trip - featuring all the legendary Backroads hallmarks from expert leaders to unforgettable activities.
You can pick any open date for your group of 8 or more except for trips departing during the last two weeks of December, where a 16 guest minimum is required. Call us for date availability.
Pricing for Private Trips
- 8 - 9 guests $5,498 pp dbl. occ.
- 10 - 11 guests $4,998 pp dbl. occ.
- 12 or more guests $4,398 pp dbl. occ.
For groups of 2 to 7 guests, please call for Custom Trip pricing.
Guest Trip Reviews
Wonderful opportunity to experience a country that is opening up to the outside world... Amazing, friendly people there.- Lakewood, CO
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
It was truly a "back roads" experience, cycling through fields and villages of a human scale, in a slower pace of daily life. Our leaders and local guide did a great job in introducing some of the complexities and beauties of the Myanmar history and culture. I left with a great appreciation for the country and the drive to stay informed. As ever, I appreciated the flexibility of the daily activities and how I was able to choose how hard and how far I wanted to ride.- Portola Valley, CA
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
Myanmar is an amazing country. I would never be brave enough to explore it on my own and was so glad to see Backroads offer a trip to this amazing country. I was also extremely impressed with how well the guides not only knew the region but helped teach us how to keep it in a natural state and not do little things that a normal tourist might not think about that change a place over time.- Jacksonville, FL
This was Backroads Trip #23 and it was my "Top 3," based on the country, the trip design, and (most of all), the leaders. We can't wait for #24, #25, #26, etc.- Palo Alto, CA
I had such a marvelous time! Every day held a "wow!" moment. It was well designed, the efforts that went into the planning are truly appreciated and noted for the thoughtfulness, thoroughness and care.- Minneapolis, MN