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2 days/1 night
BOOK THIS TOUR
This two-day Bagan cycling tour from Myanmar’s iconic Bagan plain is a trip full of adventure and discovery. The trip highlights this fascinating and little-visited region between Bagan and Salay. Travel far off the beaten tourist trail by bike and boat on our carefully crafted route as you explore Myanmar.
+ Remote villages
+ Colonial architecture
+ Yoke Saung Kyaung Monastery museum
+ River cruise
+ Man Buddha Temple
+ Expert guide
+ Bike & helmet
+ Hotel pickup & drop off
Please note: Myanmar day tours will not operate April 12th to 17th due to Burmese New Year holidays. We will re-open April 18th and apologize for any inconvenience. Hope you enjoy the many celebrations happening this time of year!
Start Time: – End Time:
Bagan to Salay by Bike & Boat
We'll pick you up from your hotel and drive to our jetty in Old Bagan where our traditional teak boat is waiting. This boat will be our support vehicle for today, so you may stow your luggage here. We'll have fruit, snacks, tea and coffee waiting so you can top up your breakfast while we make our way across the river, enjoying the early morning sunlight illuminating the many pagoda spires of Bagan. Getting off the boat may well prove more adventurous than getting in, and soon we'll be riding through farmer's fields using tracks made by ox-carts and then onto sandy roads. These will bring us to the first of many villages where locals will be surprised to see foreigners, as they rarely get visitors here.
We'll pedal our way from the flatlands towards the distant hills, passing fields of crops and cycling through bamboo villages. The trail occasionally hugs the riverbank and finally delivers us to a small jetty where our boat will be waiting to sail us to Salay, allowing for a scenic couple of hours relaxation after the morning's exertions.
On arrival at Salay, we will disembark right at "Salay House", a restored Colonial house where we will eat a fabulous traditional lunch. This small, sleepy riverside town hides a surprising number of interesting places to visit, but for now remains pretty much off the tourism radar. Elegant, although mostly crumbling, Colonial-period houses line the Strand Road on the river bank, some still crowned by the rampant lion emblem of the British Royals.
Apparently, the British officials tasked with managing the nearby oil fields at Chauk preferred this smaller town for their base, building these magnificent dwellings. Salay had previously been an ancient satellite town of Old Bagan, with a number of Bagan-era pagodas dating from the 12C and 13C. It also hosts the largest lacquerware Buddha image in Myanmar, which is said to have washed up from the river after heavy flooding in 1888. We’ll stay in a charming inn run by a young Burmese couple.
Salay to Bagan by Bike
Setting off nice and early from Salay allows us not only to beat the heat, but is also in step with the locals who are all up at the crack of dawn. We will start riding on a peaceful road through the countryside as we climb steadily away from the riverbank and make our way inland, heading for the oil-producing town of Chauk. Here we'll visit the bustling, all-local market where giggling school kids and ladies carrying large baskets greet us with curiosity. After a short stop at Ma Tin Win's noodle shop to sample some of her signature specialties, we mount the bikes again and pedal on to encounter rolling hills dotted with the hypnotic 'nodding donkeys' of the oil pumps. Oil was discovered here by the British in 1902, giving birth to a company called British Petroleum.
The hills die away as we cycle through villages on a road that runs parallel to the Ayeyarwaddy River, catching glimpses of its tea-colored waters through the gaps between the toddy palm trees and peanut crops. We'll get a better view when we stop for lunch at a riverside restaurant, not far from Bagan itself. After lunch our guides will guide you to your hotel using the quietest trails they know and will introduce you to some of the more esoteric ruins along the way, showing you some fine examples of medieval mural painting.
Quality, well-maintained GT and Merida mountain bikes in a full range of sizes are included in your tour, fitted with full hydraulic brakes, hybrid tires for touring. Handlebar bags for your personal possessions and comfortable saddles are also provided, with a women-specific version available.
An experienced English speaking, local leader will host you on this trip who is well spoken, very knowledgeable, and charming. For tours of 7+ people, an assistant guide will accompany the group to allow for flexibility and ensure attention to service & detail.
Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use guides who have a passion for their country and are always well informed on topics ranging from history, politics, cuisine and importantly local customs and cultures. These guides are focused on your safety and comfort at all times. Our leaders will take pride in introducing you to every aspect of their country and will help you to connect with the villagers you meet along the way.
While nearby Bagan is getting busier and busier, few tourists are making the trip to Salay. Our route includes some stretches of riding through villages where no one had reason to go before, and not only because access is primarily by boat.
On day one an elegant local boat made from recycled teak will be our support vehicle and will carry your luggage. There is a simple toilet on board. On day two we will swap this for a small pick-up truck and this will be our support vehicle for the rest of the adventure!
Burmese cuisine has a distinct flavor and theme. We will introduce you to authentic Burmese food which is less about the central dish and more about the array of side dishes and condiments accompanying it. Included meals are listed in the day-by-day itinerary, and drinking water is always included with meals. Any soft or alcoholic drinks are not included and will be at your own expense.
Local snacks are provided to keep your energy levels up for the riding, and clean water and electrolyte drinks are always available to keep you well hydrated.
A custom souvenir Grasshopper Adventures sports drink bottle is yours to use and take home at the end of the journey as an extra memento.
2 to 14
This tour is available for private departures at any time for 2+ riders for no extra charge. This tour can also be scheduled as a group tour where we limit the group size to 14.
We (a family of four with teenage kids) just spent two wonderful days with Thwe Thwe on the Tour Bagan to Salay. We just loved it! A great mixture of insight in country life, boat ride, culture, answer to all sorts of questions, lovely hotel, very good food and of course lots of biking on high quality bikes.
We had a very good and enjoyable cycling tour from Bagan to Salay with Ye Ye. He organized everything during the day very well. Also our overnight stay at Salay House was very good. We can highly recommend this tour.
Nice way to discover local life and remote place, enjoying the river activity, ending up with wonderful family hotel with very welcoming owner.
Take a look at our Myanmar Travel Guide.Here is some general information about travel in Myanmar.
Fabulous! In our opinion it is one of the most delicious and exciting cuisines in Southeast Asia. Read our blog about the pickled tea leaf salad.
Yes, it was a made a World Heritage Site in 2019. Read a our blog: Tour the Latest UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Multi-day Cycling Tours Frequently Asked Questions
THIS TOUR CAN SELL OUT QUICK!
SAVE YOUR SPOT NOW! RELAX LATER!
We’ve carefully crafted this itinerary in order to take you off the beaten path to explore a part of Myanmar you otherwise wouldn’t discover. This two-day trip complements our tours in Bagan, or your own travel exploring this region of Myanmar. Cycle hidden paths through small villages that rarely, if ever, see foreigners and take in plenty of cultural stops along the way. The addition of boat travel to this tour provides some relaxation and beautiful views as well as access to places we otherwise couldn’t reach. Our expert guides are full of knowledge and will look after your comfort and safety for the duration of the tour, ensuring you have a premium tour experience. Enjoy fun cycling and a great itinerary on your bike exploration of Bagan and Salay.
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