Burma - The Road to Mandalay

A cycling holiday amongst the cultural highlights of Burma



From $3,875 Land only

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Holiday Overview


  • 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 visit to the awe-inspiring Schwedagon Pagoda in the capital city of Yangon. Our adventure continues with 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, after a welcome free day in Mandalay, we ride south through the ancient Ava Kingdom and pay a visit to the unique, hill-top temple of Mount Popa, 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!

Is this holiday for you?

SEMI-SLICK ADVENTURE. Averaging a little more than 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. A single transfer from Yangon Airport is provided.
  • 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 to exploring 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.
  • Rest day to explore the markets and monasteries of Mandalay.
  • Scenic ride through the ancient Ava Kingdom to Kyaukse. Transfer to Myingyan.
  • Cycle to Mount Popa. Optional 900 stair climb to Pop Taung Kalat.
  • 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. Free time in the later afternoon.
  • Departure day. A single transfer to Yangon Airport is provided.
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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*

* Against Land Only services.

Map & Itinerary

The Route

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

Holiday Itinerary

  • Meet at the group hotel in Yangon. A single transfer from Yangon Airport is provided.

    Meet at the group hotel in Yangon in the afternoon. A single airport transfer will be provided. Depending on your arrival time, KE Land Only package services begin with an early evening visit to the incredible Schwedagon Pagoda, which is also the time when many local people come to pay homage at this incredible Buddhist shrine. Returning to the hotel, we have dinner, 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

    • Distance 40km

    • Meals bld

  • 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

    • Distance 70km

    • Meals bld

  • Lakeside ride to exploring 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

    • Distance 25km

    • Meals bld

  • 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

    • Distance 60km

    • Meals bld

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

    Today's ride is the longest of the trip and we 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 blissful 30 kilometre downhill, through the valley of one of the tributaries of the Irrawaddy. Finally, we get back on board the support vehicle for the transfer to our hotel in Mandalay.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Distance 100km

    • Meals bld

  • 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

    • Distance 50km

    • Meals bld

  • Rest day to explore the markets and monasteries of Mandalay.

    After 6 days of biking and sightseeing, it’s great to have the option of a day off the bikes. We spend a rest day at Mandalay, with the chance for some independent exploration. It's great to stroll through the downtown market area and to see the workshops of local artisans, including gold leaf makers, woodcarvers and workers in bronze statuary. We spend a third night at our Mandalay hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals b

  • Scenic ride through the ancient Ava Kingdom to Kyaukse. Transfer to Myingyan.

    Today’s ride will take us once again past Thaungthaman Lake and the U Bein Bridge. Then, following pretty back roads we ride through the ancient Ava Kingdom to the provincial town of Kyaukse. Lying to the west of the Shan Plateau, this area is mostly fertile lowland and important for rice growing. After our lunch stop, we pack our bikes onto the support vehicle and transfer to our next overnight stop at a hotel in Myingyan.

    • Accommodation Guesthouse

    • Distance 80km

    • Meals bld

  • Cycle to Mount Popa. Optional 900 stair climb to Pop Taung Kalat.

    Today we leave the flat lands and climb up onto another plateau, this one topped by the unique temple on Mount Popa. Mount Popa is an extinct volcano and has a distinctive, sheer-sided volcanic plug known as Taung Kalat, with the temple is perched on top of this rugged spire. Burma’s most revered 'nats' (spirits) are believed to make their home on Taung Kalat and we have the chance to meet them as we hike the 777 stairs that lead to the temple itself. As we ascend, we will pass dozens of spirit shrines and see the Burmese pilgrims who come to honour the spirits. From the top, there is a splendid panorama of the surrounding plains. The views are excellent and photographers will get some great shots. We overnight at a nearby resort hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Distance 80km

    • 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. We take a different route down, 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

    • Distance 75km

    • Meals bld

  • 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

    • Distance 30km

    • Meals bld

  • Transfer to Bagan Airport and fly to Yangon. Free time in the later afternoon.

    In the morning we transfer to Bagan Airport and fly back to Yangon, viewing from the air some of the terrain we have covered by bike. Afternoon sightseeing in Yangon and overnight at the group hotel.

    • Accommodation Hotel

    • Meals bld

  • Departure day. A single transfer to Yangon Airport is provided.

    We have the early morning free for final sightseeing and souvenir buying, before transferring to Yangon Airport to catch our homeward flight. KE Land Only package services end on arrival at the airport.

    • Meals b

Holiday Information

  • An experienced local English-speaking mountain bike guide
  • Single timed airport transfers
  • Support vehicle and driver
  • All accommodation as described
  • Meals as per the Meal Plan

  • Travel insurance
  • Visa (if applicable)
  • Airport transfers other than those described
  • 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

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 single timed transfer from Yangon Airport to the group hotel is included in the Land Only trip price. This transfer will normally be timed to meet the Singapore Airlines flight from Singapore arriving in the afternoon of Day 1. Anyone may use this transfer but clients making their own flight arrangements must check the time immediately prior to departure. For clients arriving on earlier or later flights, independent Airport transfers can be arranged at an additional cost, or there is a reliable metered taxi service which costs approximately $10 for the journey to the group hotel. 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.

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

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

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.

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.

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

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 harms 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, another realistic option is 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 2014 – 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'. You will need to provide a photocopy of your passport information pages and your credit card details, as security against loss of or damage to the bike when you receive the bike. 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.

KE Trek Bag / Free Gift

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.

UK Passport Holders

A passport with at least 6 months remaining validity at the time of departure, together with a Single Entry Myanmar Tourist Visa, is required.

From 2 October 2014, an official eVisa service is now available to nationals of the UK (also the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Ireland and many other countries) for a fee of US$50.

Full information, and the online application form, can be found at the official Union of Myanmar Ministry of Immigration and Population website page on eVisas: http://evisa.moip.gov.mm/

There are 4 steps to obtaining an eVisa:

  1. Fill in the online form and upload an electronic passport-sized photograph (max 2MB and sized 4.6cm x 3.8cm – the website has the facility to let you take an appropriate sized image if you have a webcam). You will be asked for the contact details of the agency you are travelling with – please enter “KE Adventure Travel” and our main telephone number 00 44 17687 73966. If you are asked for your address in Myanmar, please add the hotel named in your Booking Confirmation (usually the Asia Plaza, 277 Bogyoko Aungsan Rd, Kyauktada Township, Yangon).
  2. Confirm your application and make the payment of US$50 by secure SSL server payment portal (Visa or Mastercard acepted)
  3. Await your approval letter (this should arrive by email within 5 working days)
  4. Take the approval letter with you to the airport and on arrival in Yangon present it to immigration officials to receive the official entry visa stamp

A Single Entry Tourist Visa (allowing up to 28 days in the country) is valid for three months from the date of issue. As processing the approval letter takes up to 5 working days (and can be interrupted by Burmese public holidays) we suggest you apply in good time, at least 6 weeks prior to departure.

It is very important you only try to make an application directly through the official website at www.myanmarevisa.gov.mm. There are other websites out there with similar addresses and we strongly advise you avoid them!

If you are a national of a country not yet approved for eVisa you will need to make your application through a visa processing agency or directly to an embassy of the Union of Myanmar. Please contact your local embassy for further advice.

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.



  • Stiff-soled cycling shoes or SPD’s


  • 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.


  • Regular biking gloves


  • Padded cycling shorts x 2, inc 1 pair of baggies
  • Cycling tights or tracksters
  • Lightweight travel trousers
  • Casual shorts


  • Eyewear - Biking glasses
  • Cycling helmet - mandatory

Daypack and contents

  • A cycling daypack (e.g. Camelbak) of at least 15 litres total capacity is recommended
  • Mobile/Cell 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
  • Training/Leisure shoes for apres biking
  • Wash bag and toiletries
  • Antibacterial hand wash
  • Swimwear
  • Headtorch/headlamp and spare batteries
  • Chamois Cream (e.g. Assos or Ozone)



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.

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


Know before you go

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.

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.

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.

The national language of Burma is Burmese. Most people involved with tourists speak some English. Outside of the main cities, however, few ordinary Burmese speak English and it is well worth the effort of learning a few simple phrases and common greetings. Very few tourists make the effort to learn any Burmese. So, it will really be appreciated if you have a go.

Myanmar (Burma). Lonely Planet. Robert Reid et al. Insight Guide Burma Myanmar. Wilhelm Klein et al. 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

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