A Myanmar tour the whole family will love
A memorable, active family adventure by bike through one of the most intriguing destinations in Southeast Asia. Seven days of activities, cycle touring, sights and adventure travel in Myanmar, that will have the family talking for years to come!
This family bike tour departs from Yangon to Bagan
A family adventure through the exciting country of Myanmar, this excursion is a great way for the whole family to get to know the country.
Starting from the beautiful Inle Lake we cycle through the highlands of the Shan state, concluding at the plains of Bagan. The trip has a great deal of scenic diversity and a range of fun activities, including light kayaking, biking, walking, boating and even a scavenger hunt to add to the excitement. We pack a lot into seven days, but you'll never feel rushed on this trip. It's all about balance and keeping the kids engaged.
Peak Season Surcharge
For tours commencing from Dec 23 to Jan 3 there is a peak season surcharge of 15% on the tour price due to hotel rate increases at this time of year.
Please Note - This tour is intended for families only. It is possible for us to schedule a private session of the same tour for adults, on request, at a nominal surcharge.
7 days duration
115 km distance
Trip Features & Tour Inclusions
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For our Family Tours in Myanmar we provide Cannondale CX3 mountain bikes. We have modified these with the addition of a softer seat, hybrid tires and a handlebar bag to suit the conditions and to ensure maximum convenience. We have bikes to suit all ages and sizes as well as tag-alongs and child seats. We include helmets, although you can bring your own if you wish.
The hotels on this tour are chosen for comfort, location and with the kids in mind so you don't have to cram into undersized rooms and the kids don't need to behave like they are in a library. Pools are present on all but one night.
An experienced English speaking, local leader will host you on this trip who is well spoken, very well informed, and charming. Our leaders are often cited as being the main highlight of the tour. We use local leaders 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. 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.
For groups of 5+ people a bike mechanic will join the group. Whilst not a master of linguistics, our technical team always make an effort to form a bond with the group and provide not just mechanical support, but additional encouragement to those who may find themselves at the back of the group. Our drivers support the group by ensuring that the freshest fruit and tastiest snacks are picked up along the way.
Kids are well catered for on Grasshopper tours with a range of bike options to choose from. We have quality children's frames ranging down to XX-Small for those comfortable on a bike. For the less experienced tag-alongs are available that hook to the rear of an adult bike and allow kids to pedal along if they want, and for the youngest kids we have children's seats, so no one misses out on the fun.
An air conditioned backup support vehicle is always available in case you want a break from riding, and to carry your luggage.
Burmese cuisine has a distinct flavour and theme. We will introduce you to authentic Burmese and Shan cuisine which is less about the central dish and more about the array of side dishes and condiments that it is accompanied by. 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.
Energy bars and 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 beautiful souvenir Grasshopper cycling jersey is yours to wear and take home. We even have mini ones for the younger kids. We also provide a Grasshopper drink bottle as an extra memento.
3 to 14
The tour is guaranteed to depart at a minimum of one family numbering at least three members. We apply a maximum group size of fourteen, so you can expect to be traveling with one or two like-minded families.
Kids 12 years and under get a 20% discount. Kids 12 and under sharing a room with parents or 2 other siblings get a 30% discount.
for Myanmar Family Adventure
Arrival in Yangon & Connect to Inle
We meet in the domestic terminal of the Yangon Airport at 9am. There are a number of inbound international flights that will get you there in time. The flight and subsequent drive up to Inle takes around two hours, so by 1pm, we'll be enjoying our first Myanmar meal before we try out the bikes. In the late afternoon, we take a ride of the countryside surrounding the town of Nyaung Shwe to see what the locals are up to. There is always lots happening and often we encounter some snack vendors, selling freshly made treats. We conclude back at the hotel to enjoy a delicious dinner.
Bike and Kayak Inle Lake
A great day of adventure awaits! We set out while there is still a little mist on top of the hills around the lake and as the markets are still in full swing. We ride around the lake on a quiet road that hugs the shore. In the first sizeable village, we find our kayaks and while the bikes are motored away on a boat, we kayak peacefully through the stilt villages and floating gardens. It is a really lovely experience and instead of chugging through people's front yards, we glide through eliciting giggles from the locals. If the rotating market roster permits, we can stop and visit a bustling local market that sets up in a different location each day and we might even visit the Burmese Cat House. We paddle all the way to an early lunch, then after a short rest, we ride up along the east bank to return to the hotel.
Transfer & Cycle to Pindaya
After breakfast, we will farewell Inle and drive up the winding mountain road to exit the valley. Up in the hills, the landscape feels quite different with rolling fields off into the distance and farmers working them with cattle and traditional plows. We find a quiet place to set up and then enjoy a scenic ride on rolling hills, on a mostly downward trend, into the next valley where Pindaya sits. This is not a well-known town, but it is in a lovely position at the foot of limestone cliffs, set by a lake. After checking into our accommodation, we can visit the town's main attraction, the Golden Cave, where hundreds of Buddha statues occupy this extensive cave and where something of a fairy tale is set, involving princesses in distress, giant spiders and a saviour prince.
Fly to Mandalay & Climb Mandalay Hill
We make an early start with a breakfast box as we have a 45 minute drive to the airport for a short flight to Mandalay. Arriving late morning, we check into the hotel that sits next to Mandalay Hill and is named after the same. Lunch is had nearby and as the afternoon cools down a little, we set out on foot. Climbing the hill is a popular activity with locals for their afternoon exercise and tourists for the hilltop view. We are going to add a dimension by completing a scavenger hunt along the way. We'll learn a bit about Theravada Buddhism and also some Mandalay History as the town begins to reveal itself through our climb. Cold drinks, and prizes await us at the top of the hill as well as some great views. As the sun sets, we'll pile into the car for the trip back down.
Cycle Ava & Transfer to Bagan
Downstream on the Irrawaddy River from Mandalay is Ava, the ruins of a walled city that was the seat of power for Burmese regimes between the 14th and 19th centuries. Today, it is almost like a large, walled garden with a few ruins still remaining. It is a charming place for a bike ride on traffic-less backroads and trails where we enjoy some shade and get to stop and chat with local villagers. We'll stop along the way to see a few village industries like copper bowl making and mat weaving as well as some more food related stops. It is a full and fun morning of riding, learning and eating, so when it is time to take the 3.5 hour drive to Bagan, you will be more than ready for some relaxing time in the van.
Cycle to Explore Bagan
The pagodas of the Bagan Plain are best visited early in the morning as the sandy landscape heats up by the middle of the day. We make good use of an early start and focus our visit on the four most remarkable temples: Shwezigon, Sulamani, Htilominlo, Dhammayazika. Don't worry about getting "templed out", these structures are amazing and whilst the adults might like to hear the full story, the kids will find lots of interest in clambering around the grounds and interiors. In the late morning we find a shady tree to enjoy lunch under and then have an afternoon for free time before we board a little boat out on the Irrawaddy River to take in sunset with snacks and drinks.
Note: Day 6 or 7 are ideal timing for Balloons Over Bagan, a professional ballooning operation based in Bagan. They run sunrise balloon flights that are considered some of the best ballooning in the world. We can arrange this for you. Prices are approximately US$360 per person and the balloon rides operate between 01 Oct and 15 Apr each year. Please inquire when booking on the tour if this interests you.
Cycling Bagan & Tour Conclusion
On this last ride of the tour, we don't visit any temples this morning. Our focus is more on the villages and what the villagers are making. We ride over to Nyaung U, the main commercial area of Bagan, and stop in on some village workshops and factories. Here we are among a collection of British colonial-era buildings that are still quite intact. We take a short ride on the local style rickshaw to explore the busier areas, then head back to the hotel by car for a shower. Check out time is extended just slightly and the tour concludes with lunch. From Bagan, flights to Yangon are relatively frequent as are those to the coast and Ngapali Beach. Please feel free to inquire at the time of booking about onward travel plans which are best made well in advance.
What's the Riding Like?
Mostly flat terrain
Some track & dirt trails
6 days riding
This tour is all about achievable fun on a bike. We use the bike to get closer to the real Myanmar and in doing so, get some exercise and fresh air. The stops are frequent and we are sensitive to the abilities and needs of younger kids. We have sufficient support staff on board to cater for a range of ages and abilities within one group and we always aim to ride during the cooler part of the day. The riding itself is generally on unpaved backroads and trails. We aim to avoid traffic and for the most part are highly successful in doing so. Where we do encounter vehicles they are usually traveling at the same pace as bicycles as they are likely either motor scooters or tractors. There is a little riding in sand, but your guide will provide some tutorial on technique for handling that and once you get the hang of it, it won't even be an issue. You can expect to be out on the bike for up to four hours in a day, but those four hours will involve a lot of time off the bike, walking around and of course, eating.
Coolest time: Nov-Feb
Wettest time: Jul-Aug
Our favourite: Oct-Nov
Given that Myanmar is the biggest country in 'mainland' South East Asia, (about the size of Texas, or the size of Germany and Italy put together) it should be no surprise that there are great regional differences in weather. The Wet Season in Upper Myanmar might mean rain two or three times a week while Yangon and Lower Myanmar might get it two or three times a day! Generally the coolest time of year is from November to February, with temperatures rising to a peak in April and May. With the arrival of the rains in June temperatures fall but humidity rises. July and August are the wettest months with a return to dry conditions in November.
Shan State (Inle Lake) can be significantly cooler than the flat plains of Central Myanmar and has a slightly longer and heavier Wet Season.
Our Recommendation: The combination of lower numbers of tourists together with the lush countryside that blooms from the monsoon season means October and November are great months to cycle in Myanmar.
Create Your Own Date
Don't see the date for this tour to suite your schedule? No problem - create your own date. Chose the dates that you would like to travel and as long as you are happy to open the tour to other people joining we will charge the standard tour price - no markups!
1. You must have booked and paid your deposit for travel dates that are at least 3 months in the future. This just gives us time to promote the trip and find other people to join you.
2. Create Your Own Date for this tour applies for bookings of two or more people only. If you are a solo traveller we can do our best to get a group for the dates you choose but we cannot guarantee standard pricing until we achieve a minimum of 2 people.
3. This offer is subject to availability. In peak season we may not have the capability to add tour dates to our already busy schedule.
What our guests tell us...
Don't take our word for it, listen to what guests say about our tours!
Family and I did a multistop cycling tour of Inle Lake, Mandalay and Bagan. It was a fabulous experience. I cannot thank the staff enough ( both back office and guides). I would recommend trip. Insights to culture, food and daily life that you can get on the bike is second to none. Burmese people are the most genuinely friendly people I've ever come across.
We booked our whole trip to Myanmar with Grasshopper. It was an excellent mix of easy and a little bit more challenging cycling tours, very nice hotels, perfect organization, and free time also to wander on our own … We learned a lot of things thanks to them and really enjoyed every second of this wonderful holidays.
Video testimony from other tours...
Other Grasshopper Family Tours
Our range of exciting and active family tours is ever expanding! Cycle down the coast from Bangkok to the islands of the Gulf of Thailand, take a short journey through northern Laos as part of a longer trip, or make cycling the focus of your whole holiday with a 13 day tour to Myanmar. All our family tours include a range of off-the-bike activities in addition to cycling, and the emphasis is always on safety, fun and comfort.
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