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Holiday Overview

Highlights

  • See the real Burma during 10 days of rural, backroads cycling
  • Ride the sweeping downhill on quiet roads to Inle lake
  • Spend time in Mandalay, see the Mingun Bell and the U Bein Bidge
  • Watch the sun set over the temples and pagodas of Bagan

We begin this cycling holiday in Burma with a short internal flight to Heho and an exploration by bike in the cool highlands around the former hill-station of Kalaw. At an elevation of around 1300 metres, we take our first ride amongst the Palaung, Intha and Shan villages that are a feature of this partly forested upland area. We then head down to the wondrous Inle Lake and embark on a relaxing half-day boat trip where we can marvel at the Intha fishermen, who famously manage to row with their legs. Throughout our time in Burma, we can expect to be greeted by warm, friendly people who have, as yet, relatively little experience of meeting foreign travellers, let alone cyclists. Crossing the Shan Plateau to Mandalay, a city made famous by one of the greatest of Kipling's poems, we can bike to the towns of Sagaing and Mingun on opposite sides of the Irrawaddy River. We will visit the famous U Bein teak bridge and the Mingun Bell and take a boat ride on the river. Then, we ride south through the ancient Ava Kingdom and pay a visit to the unique, hill-top temple of Mount Popa, where we have a welcome day off the bikes, before continuing our journey on a snaking mountain road to Bagan. We spend a day here, exploring amongst the hundreds of temple - by bike. Watching the sunset from a prime viewpoint at Bagan will leave you with memories to last a lifetime. Travelling by bike allows us to see the very best of Burma and to strike up a rapport with the people we meet along the way! On our return to Yangon, a visit to the amazing Schwedagon Pagoda at dusk is a great way to round off the holiday. 

explore international

Explore International. This is one of our Explore International holidays. Participants on these trips can book through KE or through one of our international partners. This helps us to gather together sufficient numbers of like-minded adventurers to get your holiday up and running quickly. Led by an English-speaking guide, the cosmopolitan nature of these groups can be an important part of the experience!

Is this holiday for you?

ADVENTURE CYCLING. Averaging around 50 kilometres on each of 10 days cycling, this cycling holiday in Burma takes us between the most amazing of the country's highlights: Yangon, Kalaw, Inle Lake, Mandalay, Mount Popa and Bagan. Two short internal flights and a number of easy transfers in our full-time support vehicle allow us to fit all of this within a 2-week trip. The riding is on quiet backroads and dirt tracks and includes something for everyone - from steady climbs and fast descents, to more leisurely riding through picturesque farmland and fascinating tribal villages, well off the beaten track. Anyone who rides a bike regularly and has a reasonable level of fitness will cope well with the demands of this cycling holiday. More than just a cycling holiday, this one is as much about meeting the Burmese people, spending a day on Inle Lake and watching the sun go down over the temples of Bagan. Vehicle support is available for almost all of the route. BIKE HIRE AVAILABLE LOCALLY.

 

Brief Itinerary

View in full
  • Meet at the group hotel in Yangon. Dinner and overnight at the group hotel.
  • Fly north the Heho and drive to the hill-station of Kalaw (1320m). Afternoon back roads ride.
  • Sweeping day of downhill riding directly to the shores of Inle Lake.
  • Lakeside ride and exploration of some of the Inle temples. Afternoon cruise on Lake Inle.
  • Cycle across the Shan Plateau to overnight stop of Pindaya. Afternoon visit to the Shew Oo Caves.
  • Cycle through undulating patchworks of farmland to Burma’s second city, Mandalay.
  • Ride to the U Bein Bridge teak bridge and Migngun Bell. Return to Mandalay by boat.
  • Ride out in the morning to explore the markets and monasteries of Mandalay. Afternoon free.
  • Cycle beside the Irrawaddy River to Pyinsi, then transfer to Mount Popa.
  • A day off the bikes at Mount Popa.
  • Snake around Mount Popa and cycle through small villages and palm gardens to Bagan.
  • A day of bicycle Bagan touring, ending with sunset amongst the temples.
  • Transfer to Bagan Airport and fly to Yangon. Schwedagon visit at dusk.
  • Departure day. Morning free and then independent return to Yangon Airport.
2016
Sun 17 Jul - Sat 30 Jul Code BUMB/05/16/ Adult$3,875 Status Departed
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/05/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 17 Jul and departs on Sat 30 Jul
  • This trip has already departed
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
Sun 16 Oct - Sat 29 Oct Code BUMB/08/16/ Adult$4,100 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/08/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 16 Oct and departs on Sat 29 Oct
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
Sun 18 Dec - Sat 31 Dec Code BUMB/10/16/ Adult$4,100 Status 1 more to guarantee Book now
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/10/16/
  • This tour begins on Sun 18 Dec and departs on Sat 31 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
2017
Sun 15 Jan - Sat 28 Jan Code BUMB/01/17/ Adult$4,100 Status Guaranteed Book now
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/01/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 15 Jan and departs on Sat 28 Jan
  • This departure is guaranteed. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
Sun 12 Feb - Sat 25 Feb Code BUMB/02/17/ Adult$4,100 Status 2 more to guarantee Book now
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/02/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 12 Feb and departs on Sat 25 Feb
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
Sun 12 Mar - Sat 25 Mar Code BUMB/03/17/ Adult$4,100 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/03/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 12 Mar and departs on Sat 25 Mar
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
Sun 14 May - Sat 27 May Code BUMB/04/17/ Adult$4,100 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/04/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 14 May and departs on Sat 27 May
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
Sun 16 Jul - Sat 29 Jul Code BUMB/05/17/ Adult$4,100 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/05/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 16 Jul and departs on Sat 29 Jul
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
Sun 13 Aug - Sat 26 Aug Code BUMB/06/17/ Adult$4,100 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/06/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 13 Aug and departs on Sat 26 Aug
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
Sun 17 Sep - Sat 30 Sep Code BUMB/07/17/ Adult$4,100 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/07/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 17 Sep and departs on Sat 30 Sep
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
Sun 15 Oct - Sat 28 Oct Code BUMB/08/17/ Adult$4,100 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/08/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 15 Oct and departs on Sat 28 Oct
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
Sun 12 Nov - Sat 25 Nov Code BUMB/09/17/ Adult$4,100 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/09/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 12 Nov and departs on Sat 25 Nov
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
Sun 17 Dec - Sat 30 Dec Code BUMB/10/17/ Adult$4,100 Status Available Book now
More information
  • Burma - The Road to Mandalay
  • The departure reference for this tour is BUMB/10/17/
  • This tour begins on Sun 17 Dec and departs on Sat 30 Dec
  • This departure is available to book. Secure your place today with a deposit of $400
  • Single Supplement $1,115 - Includes all group hotel and resort nights.
The LAND ONLY dates and prices are for the itinerary joining in Rangoon/Yangon. For clients making their own flight arrangements, Yangon International Airport is the most convenient for transfers to the group hotel. Please refer to 'Joining Arrangements and Transfers' in the trip dossier for further details.

Flights SHOULD NOT be booked until you have received your booking confirmation and the trip is showing 'Guaranteed to Run' or 'Limited'.


BOOK WITH KE CONFIDENCE - No surcharge guarantee

The price of our holidays can change depending on a variety of factors but unlike some other tour operators, KE have undertaken to guarantee the Land Only price of your holiday will not change after you have booked. The price when you book is the price you will pay, whether you are booking for this year or the next. Book early to avoid any tour price increases, get the best flight prices and take advantage of our 'No Surcharge Guarantee'.

KE Adventure Travel is a fully ATOL licensed and bonded tour operator with ABTA and AITO.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

  • airport
  • point
  • peaks
  • trip direction
  • internalflight
  • bike

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Yangon. Dinner and overnight at the group hotel.

    Meet at the group hotel in Yangon in the early evening. Airport transfers are not provided and we recommend that you use an official taxi from Yangon Airport - for details see Holiday Information and the section on Joining Arrangements & Transfers. KE Land Only package services begin with dinner at the hotel, during which the local guide will brief the group about the week ahead.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals d

  • Fly north the Heho and drive to the hill-station of Kalaw (1320m). Afternoon back roads ride.

    We have a morning transfer to the airport to catch the 1-hour flight north to Heho. We then make the short drive to our accommodation in the former hill-station of Kalaw which is situated at 1320 metres above sea-level and has managed to retain some of its colonial feel. After lunch at our hotel, we have a brilliant introductory ride on dirt and paved roads through the surrounding countryside. A great opportunity to stretch our legs and to make sure our bikes are in good working order.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 750m

    • Distance 36km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 750m

    • Time 2 hrs cycling

  • Sweeping day of downhill riding directly to the shores of Inle Lake.

    Early in the trip, this is one of the best day-rides and one of the longest, as we follow a mix of paved and dirt roads through idyllic countryside. Our ride includes a fabulous section, as we drop down from the Kalaw highlands, with 2 long and sweeping downhills. Reaching the shore of Inle Lake, we cycle beside this beautiful inland waterway to our hotel in Nyaungshwe.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 725m

    • Distance 80km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 1150m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs cycling

  • Lakeside ride and exploration of some of the Inle temples. Afternoon cruise on Lake Inle.

    We have a morning ride on the shores of the lake, passing through villages and visiting a number of temples. Then, after a lakeside lunch, we board a boat and set out to explore the lake, with its temples, floating gardens and monasteries. We will no doubt see and be approached by the leg-rowing Intha fishermen who have been quick to take advantage of their status as one of the icons of Burma - asking for a tip in return for posing for photographs. Returning to shore, we will go to a nearby vineyard for dinner. We spend a second night at our Nyaungshwe hotel.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Ascent 40m

    • Distance 20km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 40m

    • Time 2 hrs cycling

  • Cycle across the Shan Plateau to overnight stop of Pindaya. Afternoon visit to the Shew Oo Caves.

    Today we leave lovely Inle Lake and head back up onto the Shan Plateau. Shan State covers almost a quarter of Burma and is home to several different ethnic groups. Will again be both on a mix of dirt and paved roads, with quite a lot of climbing as well as some downhills. There is one major 10 kilometre climb today, but the gradient is gentle. Passing through picturesque farmed countryside, we will see bullock carts driven by smiling Danu and Pa-O people in their black tunics and bright headscarves. Arriving at Pindaya, we will also see local artisans at work, including manufacturers of paper umbrellas. Here, too, we will make a visit to Shew Oo Min Cave with its thousands of gilded Buddhas and fantastic views of the countryside below.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 700m

    • Distance 60km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 400m

    • Time 7 hrs cycling

  • Cycle through undulating patchworks of farmland to Burma’s second city, Mandalay.

    Today's ride is one of the longest of the holiday and we will have a short transfer before setting off. Our route leads through some of Burmas's finest rural countryside; a patchwork of bamboo and eucalyptus forest, fields, farms and villages, scattered amongst low hills. This is a long and undulating ride that ends with a long downhill, through the valley of one of the tributaries of the Irrawaddy. When we reach Ywa Ngan, we will stop for lunch and then load up the support vehicle for the transfer to our hotel in Mandalay.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 650m

    • Distance 55km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 750m

    • Time 5 hrs cycling

  • Ride to the U Bein Bridge teak bridge and Migngun Bell. Return to Mandalay by boat.

    Heading out from our hotel on our bikes, we set out to explore the towns of Sagaing and Mingun on the opposite side of the Irrawaddy River. We cycle first to the famous U Bein Bridge, the longest teak bridge in the world. This is a great place to get your camera out, to try to capture an iconic image of the pedestrian and 2-wheel traffic on the bridge. We then ride along the river to the important religious and monastic centre of Sagaing, with its numerous monasteries and stupas. After a stop for lunch, we continue our photogenic cycle ride to Mingun, where we visit the ruins of Pahtodawgyi. This massive and unfinished stupa would have been the largest in the world if completed. It remains one of the largest piles of bricks in the world and is, nonetheless, impressive. We will, of course, also see the Mingun Bell which weighs 90 tons and, in spite of its cracks, is the largest ringing bell in the world. Later in the afternoon, there's a chance to relax as we hop on a boat to take us downstream and back to Mandalay.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 170m

    • Distance 45km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 160m

    • Time 4 - 5 hrs cycling

  • Ride out in the morning to explore the markets and monasteries of Mandalay. Afternoon free.

    This morning we explore Mandalay by bike, starting with a ride out to the sprawling Zegyo Market, crammed with stalls and shops selling everything from food to clothing to jewelry. We have some time to explore this labyrinth before we jump back on the bikes and continue our ride. We will still have the chance to stop when we see artisans weaving bamboo into large sheets to be used as roofs and walls, or to watch a crispy tofu maker at work. A visit to Shwenandaw Monastery, aptly named `golden palace`, is a must. It is a wonderfully fragile, yet grand example of 19th century Burmese teak architecture, heavily gilded with gold and adorned with glass mosaic work and impressive carvings of Buddhist myths. We'll head back to
    Mandalay a different way, stopping for tea and to taste some local snacks. The afternoon and evening is free to give you the chance to explore Mandalay on your own.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 65m

    • Distance 26km

    • Meals bl

    • Descent 65m

    • Time 3 hrs cycling

  • Cycle beside the Irrawaddy River to Pyinsi, then transfer to Mount Popa.

    We start early and ride from the hotel along the banks of the Irrawaddy River. Following pretty back roads we take a very small and short ferry ride so we can cycle by the capital of the ancient Ava Kingdom. Here we'll see remnants of a city wall that protected the city that ruled upper Burma for nearly two centuries, from 1364 to 1555. We continue our ride through fields of millet, sesame, cotton and many varieties of peas and beans to the town of Pyinsi. Here we pack up the bikes again and transfer to our resort accommodation below Mount Popa.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 380m

    • Distance 85km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 360m

    • Time 7 - 8 hrs cycling

  • A day off the bikes at Mount Popa.

    Our first complete day off the bikes but that doesn't mean we won't still be active! After breakfast we climb the almost 900 stairs to the top of Popa Taung Kalat, a temple that is populated by Burma’s most revered Nats (spirits). As you walk up you will pass dozens of nat shrines and see pilgrims who come to honour them. From the top you will have a panorama of the surrounding plains. The views are excellent and photographers will get some great shots. The rest of the day you are free to relax by the hotel's infinity pool overlooking the temple, or for those more adventurous there are hiking trails in the adjacent national park. We meet up for dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Snake around Mount Popa and cycle through small villages and palm gardens to Bagan.

    Overlooking the perched temple, our hotel has great views, which we can enjoy over breakfast. Then, our day's ride starts out with an easy descent from our lofty heights, snaking around the mountain as we ride through small villages and palm gardens, coming across farmers ploughing their fields with teams of water buffaloes and wooden implements that have changed not at all in generations. Riding across the plains of Bagan, which lie beside the Irrawaddy River, we pass close to hundreds of temples of sizes, most of them with the classic pagoda shape. Our riverside hotel offers a refreshing pool to cool down in.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 90m

    • Distance 60km

    • gps data View now

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 820m

    • Time 6 - 7 hrs cycling

  • A day of bicycle Bagan touring, ending with sunset amongst the temples.

    Bicycles provide the perfect way to explore the temples and pagodas of Bagan and we have a morning ride and an evening ride, separated by a return to the hotel pool. The sunset ride amongst the temples is particularly memorable.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Ascent 120m

    • Distance 30km

    • Meals bld

    • Descent 120m

    • Time 3 - 4 hrs cycling

  • Transfer to Bagan Airport and fly to Yangon. Schwedagon visit at dusk.

    In the morning we transfer to the airport and fly back to Yangon, viewing from the air some of the terrain we have covered by bike. We arrive in time to take a trishaw ride in downtown Yangon and then see the infamous Shwedagon Paya, Burma’s holiest religious site at dusk. In the evening we'll meet up for a farewell dinner.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. Morning free and then independent return to Yangon Airport.

    The first part of the day is free for independent sightseeing and souvenir buying. You can visit the Bogyoke Aung San Market, for example. In the early afternoon, the hotel will be happy to call a taxi for you to take you back to Yangon Airport to catch your homeward flight. KE Land Only package services end after breakfast at the hotel.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced local English-speaking mountain bike guide
  • Support vehicle and driver
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan
  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Yangon Airport transfers on arrival and departure
  • Tips for local crew and drivers
  • Some meals as per the Meal Plan
  • Miscellaneous expenses - drinks and souvenirs etc
  • Bike Carriage on the flights - please check with your carrier for charges

Part of the experience of a visit to Burma is the wonderful variety of food available. All sorts of influences from neighbouring countries (Thailand and China amongst others) contribute to this variety. Rice and noodles are the main staples, eaten with fish, meat and poultry dishes. The food is generally considered to be a bit richer than Chinese food and less spicy than Thai food.

All meals are included in the trip cost, with the exception of dinner on the third night we spend in Mandalay.
Airport transfers on arrival and departure are not provided, because there is a reliable taxi service in Yangon which provides the most cost-effective way of getting from the airport to the group hotel and vice versa.

These are the instructions for taking a taxi from Yangon Airport. After clearing immigration and customs, look for either the Ministry of Travel & Tour (MTT) Counter or the Taxi Service Counter. The staff at either of these desks will help arrange your taxi transfer. Alternatively, proceed to the Arrivals Hall exit, where you will see many taxis lined up. The fare should be 10-12,000 Myanmar kyats (10-12 USD) and payment can be made either in either currency. Please make sure to use an authorised taxi and confirm the price with the driver in advance. It is around 17 kms to central Yangon and the journey time is 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.

Clients booking a Land Only Package MUST provide the KE office with full details of their flights. Hotel contact details and an emergency number will be provided with your booking confirmation.
There are 2 nights in Yangon, 1 night in Kalaw, 2 nights in Nyaungshwe, 1 night in Pindaya, 3 nights in Mandalay, 1 night in Myingyan, 1 night at Mount Popa and 2 nights in Bagan. The hotel accommodation is in comfortable, tourist class establishments with twin sharing rooms and en-suite facilities. If you are travelling by yourself you will be paired up with another single client of the same sex. Depending on availability, it is possible to book a single supplement for the trip. For hotel prices and single supplement costs please refer to the dates and prices page of the trip on our website.

View the gallery below for images of the style of accommodation used

The group will be accompanied throughout by a professional English-speaking local biking leader.

You should take around US$250 in US dollars cash. Sterling and euros are not readily accepted for exchange. Note that new dollar bills are preferred, and notes with any marks or tears are often refused. $250 should cover your miscellaneous expenses, drinks, souvenirs, as well as the US$50 - 60 you can be expected to pay for tips to local staff. If you are intending to buy expensive souvenirs, you should budget accordingly. The unit of currency in Burma is the kyat. It is not possible to obtain local currency prior to departure. US Dollars can readily be changed in Yangon. You must carry your travel money in the form of cash, since you will exchange the majority of this on the day of your arrival we recommend taking a money belt or similar safe way of transporting your money. You cannot rely on finding an ATM machine, exchange travellers cheques nor on being able to use credit cards in Burma.

Tipping is commonly practiced in Burma. We do recommend you tip your local crew and driver depending on how you feel they have done. We suggest you co-ordinate this tip as a group with each member contributing around $50 (in Burmese kyat) to a group pool which will be administered by the tour leader.

Taking a bike on an aircraft is usually straightforward. Different airlines have differing policies with regard to baggage allowances and transporting bikes. We strongly advise that you check the current policy of your chosen airline for carrying bikes and their baggage allowances before purchasing your air ticket. The baggage section on your chosen airline’s website will usually contain this information. We suggest that you are aware of the weight and dimensions of your intended check-in baggage in advance of your arrival at the airport as airlines may charge for both excess and oversize baggage, or refuse to carry oversized baggage. If you are using a domestic flight to connect with your international flight, then it is likely that a different baggage policy will exist for the domestic and international flight sections. Again you should check the baggage policy with your chosen domestic airline prior to booking your domestic flight tickets. Any additional charges incurred for transporting your bike on any of the flights required for this adventure (international, domestic and internal flights within the trip itinerary - if applicable) are the responsibility of each individual client.

We recommend semi-slick tyres for this trip. Your bike must be at least a mid level Mountain Bike such as a Specialized Rockhopper or Trek 6500. Please call us if you are unsure about the suitability of your current bike. Front suspension is essential and comes as standard on the vast majority of modern mountain bikes. Many of the roads and tracks we follow are only suitable for four-wheel drive vehicles, and in many places not even these. We cannot stress enough the importance of ensuring that your bike is in perfect working condition before you start this trip. You are depending on your bike to transport you throughout your holiday, across demanding terrain. It is VITAL to ensure it is THOROUGHLY SERVICED to guarantee it is in good mechanical order before departure. If you are not mechanically minded, get your local bicycle dealer to service it for you. For home mechanics, points to note particularly are:

a) Check rims and if they are worn, cracked or dented replace with a new rim or wheel to avoid wheel failure. It is especially important to check that the rims on rim-braked bikes are not worn concave by the brake blocks - replace them if they are.

b) Check wheels are true and spoke tension is tight.

c) Check ALL bearings and quick release skewers, adjust / grease bearings as required.

d) Check and, if required, replace brake and gear cables.

e) Check brake discs, brake pads, calliper mounts and cables / hydraulic lines - replace if necessary.

f) Check, lube / threadlock (as required) and tighten all bolts to specified torque settings (esp. suspension pivots, bottom brackets, disc rotor bolts & disk mount bolts).

g) Check chain, cassette and chain rings for wear - replace as necessary.

h) Make sure you have the right tyres, inner tubes and BIKE SPECIFIC SPARES for your bike.

Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs to your bike e.g. fixing a puncture and changing an inner tube. Naturally, our bike guides will always be happy to assist with any repairs. However, due to the often-remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and the inconvenience of waiting for assistance.

Travelling with a bike is usually as straightforward as travelling with any other type of baggage, providing you have packed it adequately. We have many years experience of travelling with our bikes, and nowadays we think that the best way to travel and fly with a bike is to partially dismantle it and put it into a purpose made soft bike bag. Although more expensive than a cardboard bike box, they are smaller in size to transport and are considerably easier to handle. To pack your bike you simply remove both wheels and pedals and prepare it for travel as follows. Obviously, extra care when packing your bike can minimise the chances of accidental damage occurring in transit. Ask your local bike store for plastic wheel hub protectors (which will prevent damage to your bike bag) and plastic fork and frame spacers, insert the spacers into the dropouts, tape them in place and then put extra padding over this area. Use pipe insulation lagging (from your local DIY store) to cover frame tubes, forks and seat post. If required, remove your bars from the stem and attach them carefully to your frame/forks using plastic ties or pvc tape -ensure that your Ergo/Sti levers are well padded to minimise the chance of damage. You may also wish to remove your rear gear mech, pad it with foam and tape it to the chainstay out of harm's way. Finally, you should partly deflate your tyres, but leave some air in them to help absorb any impact on the wheels. Don’t forget to pack wheel skewers, pedals and any bolts you have removed, these are the items that tend to get left behind. Finally, find an old cardboard bike box and cut out panels to fit inside your soft bike bag for extra protection. Don’t forget to bring sufficient packing materials to pack your bike on the way home. PLEASE DO NOT USE a purpose-made rigid bike box -these are heavy (which can put you over your baggage allowance) and are also too bulky to be easily stored or transported on the group’s support vehicle.

For approximately 90% of the route, we have the back up of one or more support vehicles. On most mornings, our main baggage will be loaded onto the support vehicle which will follow the group on the day's ride. The local biking leader and the support vehicle driver will watch over the group and will carry mobile phones, allowing you to contact them in the case of a breakdown or other incident. We want everyone to enjoy their cycling experience on this trip and we understand the importance of group members being allowed to cycle at their own pace. However, on certain sections of this ride we will keep the group together to avoid losing anyone, as the route finding is tricky in places. Where the group does get strung out, we will have regular stops to allow everyone to get back together. The support vehicle will pick up any group members who wish to take a break from cycling at any time.

One option is that you take your own bike on this holiday. It is the bike you know best and will provide you with the best riding experience. However, with baggage charges on long-haul flights becoming increasingly prohibitive, it can make a lot of sense to hire a bike locally. Our local agent has access to Trek 4300 bikes in a range of sizes. They are good quality and well maintained bikes with Shimano components, suspension forks and disc brakes. These can be reserved, subject to availability, at a cost of US$230 (September 2015 – subject to change) for the duration of the trip. You will make this payment directly to the local agent via the following payment link www.spiceroads.com/pay Payment must be made before travel. This payment does not cover you if you lose the bike or damage it beyond 'fair wear and tear'.  If you want to hire a bike, please contact the KE office and we can reserve one on your behalf. We must stress that your hire contract will be with the local hire company and that KE cannot be held responsible for any issues arising from bike hire. If you do hire a bike, we recommend that you take your own shoes, pedals and possibly even your saddle, which will go a long way towards making it feel like your own bike. You should also take your helmet, which must be worn at all times when riding.

All KE clients will receive a FREE KE trek bag.  These have been specially made to stand up to the rigours of adventure travel.  Your KE bag will be posted to you when your trip is guaranteed to run or on receipt of your booking if the trip is already guaranteed.  If you have travelled with us before and already have a KE trek bag you can select an alternative free gift in the booking process.

This holiday does not involve any significant ascent to altitude and we would not expect any altitude issues with this trip.

The following is a basic checklist to help you with your packing. We recommend using the layering principle of clothing for generally warm days with cooler evenings. Good padded cycling shorts are essential.

Your bike MUST be at least a mid level Mountain Bike such as a Specialized Rockhopper or Trek 6500. Front suspension is essential. It is vital that your bike is THOROUGHLY SERVICED and in perfect working condition before the trip.

PERSONAL CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES

Feet

  • Stiff-soled cycling shoes or SPD’s

Torso

  • Base-layer - short sleeve cycling top (x 2)

  • Long sleeved cycling top (x 1)

  • Lightweight waterproof jacket

  • Lightweight windproof gillet

  • T-shirts

  • Long-sleeve, lightweight casual shirt

  • Fleece jacket or jumper

Hands

  • Regular biking gloves

Legs

  • Padded cycling shorts x 2, inc 1 pair of baggies

  • Cycling tights or tracksters

  • Lightweight travel trousers

  • Casual shorts

Head

  • Biking glasses

  • Cycling helmet - mandatory

Daypack and contents

  • A cycling daypack (e.g. Camelbak) of at least 15 litres total capacity is recommended

  • Mobile phone (optional)

  • Water bladder - min. 2 litres

  • Lightweight waterproof top

  • Multi-tool

  • Puncture repair kit & Tyre Levers

  • Inner tube

  • Mini-pump

  • Camera

  • Sun cream

  • Basic First Aid Kit. Including: antiseptic cream, throat lozenges, diarrhoea treatment (Imodium), painkillers, plasters and blister treatment, Insect repellent, and re-hydration salts (Dioralite).

Trek Bag Contents

  • Travel and apres biking clothes

  • Trainers/Leisure shoes for apres biking

  • Wash bag and toiletries

  • Antibacterial hand wash

  • Swimwear

  • Headtorch and spare batteries

  • Chamois Cream (e.g. Assos or Ozone)

PERSONAL TOOLS AND SPARES

Please note: If you are hiring a bike, you do not need to bring any spares – but you should still take a pump, a puncture repair kit and a couple of 26 x 2 inch standard mountain bike inner tubes with Presta valves.

You should bring the following with you as a minimum. Whilst not essential, it is a good idea that you familiarise yourself with how to carry out at least some basic repairs e.g. fixing a puncture, changing an inner tube. Naturally the bike guide will always be happy to assist with any repairs, but due to the often remote nature of our trips, being able to carry out a simple repair can save time and inconvenience waiting for assistance.

  • Tyres – for this trip you will need 1.9 – 2.1 inch, semi-slick tyres suitable for mostly dry conditions.

  • Pump

  • Plastic tyre levers

  • Small tube of grease

  • 1 rear brake cable

  • 1 rear gear cable

  • Spare set of brake blocks / disc pads (front and rear)

  • 2 spare spokes for front and rear wheels

  • Spoke key

  • 4 x inner tubes

  • Spare chain links

  • Liquid chain lube (bottle not aerosol)

  • Multi-tool with Allen keys

  • Chain link extractor (if not on multi-tool)

  • 2x puncture repair kits

  • A rag and brush for cleaning bike and drive train

  • Spares specific to your bike **

KE tools and spares

On all of our trips we carry a toolkit and a basic range of spares for emergencies. As bikes become increasingly part specific it is impossible to carry a comprehensive range of spares compatible with all makes and models of bike.

** Please ensure you bring any bike-specific spares which might be needed - such as disc brake bleed kits (and appropriate fluid), shock pumps etc.

Energy Gels/Sports Drinks/Power Bars

Our back up vehicle will carry ample supplies of water, snacks and lunches but if you like a particular energy gel, sports drink or power bar we suggest you bring a selection of your preferred choice along.

For each holiday there is a minimum number of participants required to enable it to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to run'. You can check the trip status for each departure in ‘Dates and Prices’ table. Other than in exceptional circumstances, we will not cancel a trip once it has achieved this guaranteed to run status and so you are free to proceed with your international flight booking and other travel arrangements.

A passport with 6 months remaining validity at the end of your stay is generally required. The information that we provide is for UK passport holders. Please check the relevant embassy or consulate for other nationalities. It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct travel documents and visas for your holiday. Visa requirements and charges are subject to change without notice. If you are travelling outside the EU you should have at least 2 blank pages in your passport for each country that you visit.

Visa Burma/Myanmar

UK & USA passport holders do require a visa. The visa fee is $50 and you should apply for this prior to departure online at http://evisa.moip.gov.mm . Please download the detailed information document: Visa PDF Burma/Myanmar

You should contact your doctor or travel clinic to check whether you specific require any vaccinations or other preventive measures. You should be up to date with routine courses and boosters as recommended in the UK e.g. diphtheria-tetanus-polio and measles-mumps-rubella), along with hepatitis A and typhoid. Malarial prophylaxis are required. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination is required if travelling from countries with risk of yellow fever transmission and for travellers having transited for more than 12 hrs through an airport of a country with risk of yellow fever transmission. On holidays to more remote areas you should also have a dentist check up. A good online resource is Travel Health Pro.

The unit of currency in Burma is the Burmese Kyat.

We recommend you check if you require an adaptor for your electrical items at:

http://www.worldstandards.eu/electricity/plugs-and-sockets/

The better conditioned you are the more you will enjoy your trip. We suggest that you adopt a sensible weekly exercise regime and fit in a number of long cycle rides in hilly country to ensure you are physically capable of taking part in this trip - this will also provide you with an opportunity to make sure all your riding kit is tried and tested before you travel. Cycling is obviously the best activity to prepare for this trip, however, running, squash and swimming are also good for developing aerobic fitness and stamina.

As a reputable tour operator, KE supports the British Foreign & Commonwealth Offices ‘Know before you go’ campaign to enable British citizens to prepare for their journeys overseas, and we recommend that all KE travellers take a look at the FCO Travel Advice for their chosen destination on the official FCO website: www.fco.gov.uk. North Americans can also check out the U.S. Department of State website: www.travel.state.gov for essential travel advice and tips.

KE treat the safety and security of all clients as the most important aspect of any trip we organise. We would not run any trip that we did not consider reasonably safe.  Should the FCO advise against travel for any reason, we will contact everyone booked to travel to discuss the situation.  We receive regular updates direct from the FCO and are in constant touch with our contacts on the ground.  If you have any questions about government travel advice, please call our office.

Myanmar has three seasons, the 'cold' season, from October to February, when the average temperature in Yangon is between 20 - 30ºC, the 'hot' season, from March to May, with average temperatures of around 30-35ºC and the wet (monsoon) season, from May to October. Yangon is more prone to showers than Mandalay and Bagan, further north, whilst the climate around Inle Lake is pleasant all year round. Night-time temperatures can fall as low as 0ºC at Inle and Pindaya in January.

  • Myanmar (Burma). Lonely Planet. Robert Reid

  • Insight Guide Burma Myanmar. Wilhelm Klein

  • Burmese Days. George Orwell

  • Letters from Burma. Aung San Suu Kyi

  • From the Land of Green Ghosts. Pascal Khoo Thwe

  • The Glass Palace. Amitav Ghosh

  • The River of Lost Footsteps. Thant Myint-U

Myanmar Nelles Map. 1:1,500,000 Scale

Map of Burma/Myanmar, with city plans of Rangoon, Mandalay and Bagan. 1:1,500,000

Extend Your Holiday

Extensions

When booking your holiday, you will be able to 'add an extension option'.

Once we have received your booking we will contact you to discuss additional services required for the extension and to take any additional deposit.

Burma - Golden Rock Extension

Golden Rock, a giant boulder perched precariously on the side of Mt Kyaiktiyo is the second most important pilgrimage site in Burma after the Shwedagon Pagoda. Legend has it that the Golden Rock rests on a strand of Buddha's hair.  Join the thousands of Buddhist pilgrims ascending to the Golden Rock every day and stay overnight close by at a mountain-top hotel.  From the pathway to the summit there are fabulous views of the plains and jungle below.

Burma - Golden Rock Extension

From $630 per person

More info

Burma - Ngapali Beach

What better way to end your trip in Burma than by spending a few days relaxing at Ngapali Beach. Enjoy the white sands, palm-fringed beaches and the crystal blue waters of the Bay of Bengal. If pure relaxation is not for you, snorkelling and boat trips can be organized locally. Nearby villages can be visited by bicycle. It's said that Rudyard Kipling wrote the first draft of The Jungle Book at his beach bungalow in the area. Accommodation will be at the Amata Resort (or similar) hotel.

Burma - Ngapali Beach

From $850 per person

More info

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