Overview

Our 10-day soft adventure and cycling tour of Myanmar mixes active and leisure trips around the beautiful countryside and towns in this region. Our experienced local guide takes you into the heart of Myanmar, including bustling local markets, traditional crafts workshops, ancient religious sites ​and scenic routes and hilltops. You will also enjoy an extended luxury river cruise with Belmond Road to Mandalay which offers fantastic onboard activities, sumptuous food and cocktail parties, all while passing some of the most pristine riverine views in Myanmar. Our cycling tour of Myanmar takes you along undulating plains past lakes and the exquisite site of dozens of red brick pagodas on the Bagan plain. You will enjoy lunch and tea time snacks at local restaurants along the way for the full flavour of Myanmar. Engage with locals, observe daily work on artisanal craft as it happens, and visit majestic temples and the U Bein Bridge made of teak wood. Our soft adventure and cycling tour brings you the best of Myanmar in just 10 days.

9 Nights 10 Days 08 Dec, 09 Dec, 10 Dec, and more Yangon, Yangon Region
Inclusions/Exclusions
What we'll give. What we won't

What is included in the tour

  • Transfers and sightseeing tours by Belmond Road to Mandalay cruise
  • Local guides fluent in English for tours, transfers and biking
  • Bicycles/helmets and entrance fees for scheduled visits
  • Potable water, snacks while cycling and wet towels
  • Baggage handling, room tax, service charges

What is NOT included in the tour

  • Flights, visas and travel insurance
  • Throughout guide surcharges (any language)
  • Personal expenses and gratuities
  • Alcohol and any meals or services not mentioned in the schedule
  • Peak season compulsory gala dinners
Highlights
What makes this tour special
  • Cycling to Mount Popa for panoramic views at the summit
  • Cycling tour of Kyauk Padaung
  • Explore historic sights and rural life in Sagaing, Mandalay and Amarapura
  • Luxurious river cruise on Road to Mandalay
  • Variety of onboard activities, cocktail party, traditional food
Itinerary
Day 1: Mandalay - Mingun - Myit Kan Gyi
  • We take you to the heart of Myanmar, its agricu ltural community and other local occupations, some using methods seen nowhere else in the world. You will be transferred first to Mandalay jetty where a private wooden boat takes you on a pleasant three-hour sail up the Ayeyarwady River to the village of Shein-ma-kar. An interesting local market sits on the river bank, and after a short visit here, you will be served a delicious lunch on board.
  • From here, you will sail to Myit-kan-gyi where you can take a walk around the village to see its peculiar stilt houses and monasteries nestled among the trees and farmlands. Look for Sa-Gyin Hill in the distance, from where Myanmar quarries beautiful white marble for use within the country and for export to China.
  • In the evening, it is time to head towards the riverbank to observe the fascinating way local fishermen and the Ayeyarwady dolphins communicate with each other so the former can catch fish and the latter can eat the ones that escape the net. After a beautiful sunset by the river, you will spend the night on board the private wooden boat (non air-conditioned).
  • Meals: Lunch and dinner are provided
Day 2: Kann Phyu - Mingun - Mandalay
  • Wake early this morning to get another chance to observe the interesting collaboration between river dolphins and fishermen. You can also visit the Kann-phyu village nearby, which has a tranquil meditation centre and a home for the elderly. From here, we sail back to Mandalay.
  • On the way, we make stops to see the world’s largest intact bronze bell - the Mingun Bell, which weighs 87 tonnes and the spellbinding Ma Thein Tan or Hsinbyume Paya pagoda. We will also see the Mingun pagoda which is shaping up to be the biggest in the world. Lunch is served on board. We arrive in Mandalay in the late afternoon and you will get transferred to your hotel.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 3: Mandalay - Mingun - Sagaing - Amarapura - Mingyan (45kms)
  • Today, our Myanmar soft adventure tour will hit the country’s Buddhist epicentre. But first you must head further upstream, and we take you there by boat to explore Mingun down to Sagain on bicycle.
  • You will head to Amarapura’s famous U Bein Bridge. Built of beautiful Burmese wood, this kilometre-long structure is said to be the world’s longest teak bridge. We will then head to Sagaing, a scenic town of rolling hills where the gold and white tips of a number of pagodas and monasteries peek through the foliage.
  • The afternoon brings you back in touch with nature and local culture as you cycle along the banks of the Ayeyarwady River where women do laundry the traditional way and riverine commerce sails back and forth. A sparkling treasure awaits at the other end in the form of a gold Buddha image at the Mahamuni Pagoda. Our guide will also take you to watch traditional crafts coming to life at local workshops making Kalaga tapestries of razor-thin gold leaf as well as stone carving and bronze casting.
  • See the ‘world’s largest book’ at Kuthodaw Pagoda, a volume of 729 marble slabs engraved with Theravada Buddhist scriptures. In a spectacular end to the day, we stop at the famous Shwenandaw Monastery, a splendid structure carved in teak and the only structure of the Royal Palace that survived the bombings of the Second World War. Climb up Mandalay Hill to see the sparkling glass-studded walls of the temple. You will also visit the village that is still home to the descendents of Mayor U Bein, who built the grand bridge. The day ends with a drive to the small town of Min Gyan. Lunch and dinner are served at a local restaurant.
  • Your accommodation for the night is at Kaung Kaung Guest House in Mingyan or a similar property in the city.
  • Meals: Lunch and dinner are provided  
Day 4: Mingyan - Mount Popa (80kms)
  • Today you will ride nearly double the distance but the exquisite views and serene natural beauty t ake away any sense of fatigue. Our Myanmar cycling tour will pass a few small lakes and into a slightly drier area characterised by gradual slopes. These get steeper as you move further inland, passing pretty villages along the way.
  • Suddenly the sunflower farms come into view with their burst of yellow against the blue sky and you will notice Mount Popa in the background. A short climb leads you to your accommodation for the night, which boasts a splendid pool at the edge of the mountain overlooking the Taung Kalat temple. It’s the perfect spot to cool off after your Myanmar cycling tour.
  • If you like, you can head to the temple in the afternoon and regale yourself with tales of the 37 guardian spirits - or nats - which live here. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch and dinner at the local restaurant.
  • Your accommodation for the night is a deluxe garden view room at Popa Mountain Resort in Popa or a similar property in the vicinity.
  • Meals: Lunch and dinner are provided
Day 5: Mount Popa - Bagan (65kms)
  • It’s a fast-paced cycle tour today as you proceed down into the valley towards Kyauk Padaung. Refresh yourself with snacks at a local tea house and have a look around the local market in the town before cycling towards Bagan.
  • It will be hard to miss the view of the beautiful red brick pagodas as they get more and more numerous. Enjoy lunch at a local restaurant in Bagan before our transfer takes you to Taung Be village close by where you will board your cruise for the next leg of the journey.
  • Your accommodation for the night is on board the cruise ship.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 6: Bagan
  • Your cruise ship will depart at 10.00hrs, heading towards Mandalay with numerous stops at interesting sites along the way. Enjoy a sumptuous lunch on board before taking a tour of one of Bagan’s most impressive temples - known locally as Ananda. As the day draws to a near and darkness sets in, you will visit another temple that is slightly off the tourist map and explore this with the help of a torch.
  • Enjoy a stunning sunset as the fading rays touch the dozens upon dozens of temples dotting the plains of Bagan. Then an exclusive candle-lighting ceremony will create a magical atmosphere at a small temple near the jetty. An al fresco style dinner is laid out on the Observation Deck at the Road to Mandalay Grill.
  • Your accommodation for the night is on board the cruise ship.
  • Meals: Breakfast and lunch are provided
Day 7: Cruise To Mandalay
  • Runs from January-March and then October-January
  • Enjoy an early morning soft adventure tour of your choice to help you explore the area around Old Bagan. You could either take a bicycle ride or a horse-cart ride around the old town or stop by a local community project to engage with the locals. You could also take a hot-air balloon flight that gives you a stunning aerial view of the town (supplementary charge). Guests who book this flight in advance with Balloons over Bagan will enjoy tea and coffee ahead of the tour.
  • The cruise ship then heads on to Mandalay, during which time you can enjoy a variety of activities on board or simply watch the time slip away into nature. Unwind by the pool at the Observation Deck. This is the largest outdoor space on any river cruise in the country. You could also keep up your physical activity by spending time in the onboard gym.
  • The Burmese Tea Shop on board gives you the opportunity to taste a variety of local infusions and delicious bites to go alongside. You can also look through an exhibition by a local artist.
  • We will host a special cocktail party for guests on board, at which you are invited to wear the traditional longyi before a sit-down meal in the elegant onboard restaurant that traverses Asia and the western world.
  • Your accommodation for the night is on board the cruise ship.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
Day 8: Myin Mu/Mingun

Myin Mu (January-March)

  • Around 30 miles from Mandalay lies the town of Myin Mu, a picturesque p lace that gives you a sense of rural life and community. We take you around in a trishaw and you will visit a bustling market before watching how traditional Burmese slippers are made and spending time with a family that makes a variety of products from bamboo.
  • We transfer you back to the cruise ship for lunch and head out again in the late afternoon for Alacapa. This beautiful village is filled with farmlands and offers an insight into how locals live their lives in this region. We will show you the various types of crops grown in the area, including fava beans, sesame, corn and chilli peppers.
  • Traditional entertainment awaits you on the cruise ship after dinner.
  • Your accommodation for the night is on board the cruise ship.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided

Mingun (October-March)

  • As we sail down the river in the morning, you can choose from a variety of activities on board, including yoga at sunrise with meditation, a cooking demonstration and an interactive talk with an onboard doctor.
  • On arrival in Mingun, you can choose to either immerse yourself in history or discover the rural life in the area. For the former, our experienced local guide will take you around all the historical sites nearby. For the latter, you will walk through a village nearby and get a chance to interact with the locals and understand how they live.
  • We invite you to wear a vibrant longyi or traditional sarong to our special cocktail party on the observation deck this evening.
  • Your accommodation for the night is on board the cruise ship.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
Day 9: Sagaing - Mandalay

January-March

  • Have a hearty breakfast on board before a day filled with excursions to interesting places. You will first be transferred to Mandalay where you can explore the Kuthodaw Pagoda protected by UNESCO and Shwenandaw’s wooden monastery. We will then take you down the streets of the area famous for its marble work and you can visit a family of bronze casters to watch them at their work.
  • The world renowned U Bein Bridge made of wood is also worth a visit, following which you can visit a nunnery - a rare opportunity - amid the stunning environs of the Sagaing Hills. If this does not entice you, choose instead to go to the town of Monywa, perched on the Chindwin River. It’s off the beaten path for most tourists but is in fact the location of the world’s tallest standing Buddha statue. The vibrant Thanbuddhay temple is also part of this tour as well as a stop at an interesting thanaka market.
  • We transfer you back to the cruise ship where you will enjoy a delicious farewell feast.
  • Your accommodation for the night is on board the cruise ship.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided

October-January

  • A short sail down the river brings us to Mandalay. If you are up early, you can participate in a traditional Buddhist almsgiving ceremony on shore. For the day, you have the option of choosing to visit the historic and religious sites around town on the Highlights of Mandalay tour or explore more of the regions traditional occupations on the Mandalay Arts and Shopping tour.
  • The first tour takes you around the beautiful town of Mandalay and our guide will show you all the important sites in the area, including the Kuthodaw Pagoda protected by UNESCO and Shwenandaw’s golden monastery. The other option brings you in close contact with artisans who specialise in traditional crafts that the region is famous for, including work in silk, bronze, marble and wood.
  • We transfer you back to the cruise for lunch at the Shwe Kyet Yet jetty.
  • In the afternoon, you will head to the epicentre of Buddhism in Myanmar up in the Sagaing Hills. As the sun sets, we toast to the stunning natural beauty of this picturesque country with a Champagne cocktail overlooking the U Bein Bridge. A delicious farewell dinner on board awaits along with traditional entertainment.
  • Your accommodation for the night is on board the cruise ship.
  • Meals: Breakfast, lunch and dinner are provided
Day 10: Mandalay Departure
  • We serve you an early breakfast before you leave for Mandalay from Belmond Road at about 9.00hrs for your onward travel arrangements. Guests who have booked the group flight to Yangon with us will be transferred to the airport.
  • Meals: Breakfast is provided

Points to note

  • December 15 - January 15, and April 13-17 is peak season. There may be additional charges during Christmas, New Year and the Water Festival
  • You will be notified of compulsory gala dinner charges when booking
  • Hotel prices can be adjusted for higher or lower categories on request. Featured hotels are subject to availability during booking, and you will be notified of any deposits when booking
  • Domestic airfares quoted based on averages and are subject to change. The most convenient flight is booked and final price confirmed once tickets are issued based on class of seat and availability
  • Wear clothing suitable for biking - shorts, quarter-length pants, t-shirts and comfortable shoes - and sunscreen
  • Varying water levels in the river (as much as 30ft) according to the season can create narrower navigation channels. The Belmond Road to Mandalay cruise reserves the right to change the itinerary and mooring locations in such cases.
Pickup point
Directions.
Yangon, Myanmar (Burma) View on Map