A compact bike tour in Myanmar from Mandalay to Bagan
Cycle tour classical Mandalay and the ruins of an ancient neighbouring city, before riding into Myanmar's central plain, located between the country's second largest city and its iconic heritage location, Bagan. A great short bike tour in Burma if you are limited on time.
This bike tour runs Mandalay to Bagan.
This is an ‘On Request’ tour - We understand active travellers value flexibility and we do our best to accommodate every request. Simply propose your travel dates, bring one or more companions and you will receive our standard price - no private tour markups.
More details below the itinerary.
On a map, the start and finish points of this ride don't appear far apart, but geography alone cannot explain the significance of Mandalay and Bagan. From the 9th to 13th centuries, Bagan was the center of the Kingdom Of Pagan, the first kingdom to unify regions that would later form modern Myanmar. Mandalay was the last royal seat of power in the country before the British took control and is now a bustling, commercial city.
It is the territory between the two locations that is the subject of this tour and for good reason. We ride some really lovely landscapes as we pass through the Ancient Court Of Ava, along the Irrawaddy River and stay a night in enchanting Mount Popa. Quiet back-roads, palm trees and friendly villagers working the fields are the images that await you on this compact, achievable and highly enjoyable tour.
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.
This is an ‘On Demand’ tour - We understand active travellers value flexibility and we do our best to accommodate every request. Simply propose your travel dates, bring one or more companions and you will receive our standard price - no private tour mark ups.
More details below the itinerary.
3 days duration
194 km distance
Trip Features & Tour Inclusions
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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 tyres for touring. Handlebar bags for your personal possessions and comfortable saddles are also provided, with a women's specific version available.
Two contrasting examples of Myanmar accommodation are featured on this trip. The first is a simple hotel with air conditioning and ensuite bathroom, the best available in the town. The second is the charming, tasteful, Popa Resort, sitting on the hillside, overlooking Taung Kalat, a hugely important spiritual site and a curious crag of rock with a temple on top.
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.
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 flavor 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 also provide a Grasshopper drink bottle as an extra memento.
2 to 14
This tour is guaranteed for a minimum of just 2 travellers. And we limit the group size to only 14 travellers so that you get all the attention you want in an intimate group.
There is no surcharge for single travellers - we will match you with another same sex single traveller. If you want a single room there is a an optional upgrade that you can book.
for Cycle Mandalay to Bagan
Cycle Ava, U Bein Bridge & Sagaing, Transfer to Myingyan
We transfer a short ways out of town this morning then hop on the bikes to ride the back trails of the Mandalay region. We pass by ruined pagodas dating back to the heyday of Ava and we discover a weaving village that is home to the descendants of Mayor U Bein who built the longest teakwood bridge in the world. We continue across the river to Sagaing, the centre of Buddhism in Myanmar, and ride amid the numerous monasteries and nunneries. We have lunch before driving onto Myingyan, a small town of little note, but perfectly located for us to break our journey for the night. Meals: LD
Cycle to Mount Popa
A pleasant ride takes us through the dry zone, terrain that is markedly different from the rest of Myanmar. We pass villages along the way and as the day progresses, the gently rolling hills become more pronounced. As we pass the last of the flat fields, we find Mount Popa and a sharp, but relatively short climb to the lovely resort with its pool perched on the edge of the mountain overlooking the Taung Kalat temple. In the afternoon, you will have the option to visit this temple and hear the stories of the 37 Nats - spirits who call this place home. Meals: BLD
Cycle to Bagan via Kyauk Padaung
A flying downhill starts us off into the valley and onto Kyauk Padaung. After a stop at the local tea house for snacks, we will look through the produce market before riding onto Bagan. As we ride in, the red bricks of the pagodas come into view and they become more and more numerous as we near the city. The tour concludes on arrival at your hotel. Meals: BL
Create Your Own Date
On-Request scheduling is subject to the availability of guides and tour resources on the dates that you would like to travel and as long as two or more people are travelling 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 48+hrs in the future. This just gives us time to organise all travel arrangements.
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 accommodate you for a surcharge. Please enquire for a quote.
3. All trips are subject to availability. In peak season we may not have the capability to add tour dates to our already busy schedule.
What's the Riding Like?
Mostly flat & 2 short hills
Some dirt tracks & sand
3 days riding
The terrain is a mix of sealed and unsealed roads on secondary roads and quiet country lanes. We aim, wherever possible to be away from main roads with traffic and have adjusted the itinerary over time to achieve this. There is only one sustained climb over the trip, and the length of this is around 6km split into two sections with a flattish bit in between. It is important to understand that you must be comfortable with riding on rough surfaces. The dirt trails do feature holes, gravel, sand and other obstacles, while the roads are often potholed. There is always a support vehicle on hand to give you a lift if you need a break from the riding.
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.
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.
What our guests tell us...
Don't take our word for it, listen to what guests say about our tours!
The sounds, sights and smells of Myanmar were a joy and never to be forgotten. Phyo was an excellent guide who ensured we saw the beauty of the land and explained the history and culture of many different sites in an eloquent fashion … There are not really enough adjectives to describe the memorable, amazing experience we had, encapsulated by the fantastic organisation of Grasshopper Tour
We had a fantastic three day cycle trip … The excellent support from the Grasshopper team makes this much more realistic than doing this on your own.
We couldn’t have asked for more… The bikes we were given were excellently maintained hard tail GT’s. There was always a support bus with 2-3 stops each day.
Video testimony from other tours...
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