15 Days 15 Nights
This is our longest tour of Myanmar covering over 2000km in 15 days on roughly 80%-90% sealed roads. This will be a motorcycle trip like no other in an unspoiled, genuine and isolated country that is just starting to open up to the rest of the world. We will go up into Shan villages, The hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin, Inle Lake, the surreal capital Naypyitaw, the immense Mount Victoria, Chin Villages, the incredible Bagan, the spiritual volcanic Mount Popa and back to the cultural heart of Myanmar, Mandalay.
Our local guides in Mandalay, the Shan villages, Inle Lake, Chin State and Bagan will be there to enhance your experience by helping you better interact with the many ethic groups we will come across on our journey. We’ll do this trip on the extremely reliable, comfortable and stealthy Honda CRF250L which is perfectly suited for the terrain and distances we will be covering. We will also have a support truck for our trip so we can travel light and make sure we get to each destination on time no matter what happens. There will be a good mix of posh, rustic and mid range accommodation to give you a memorable experience without feeling too isolated from, or too immersed in, the local culture. This once in a lifetime trip, at this moment in history, will be an amazing experience we hope to share with you.
Hotel: Hotel Queen. Mid Range
Whenever you arrive in Mandalay we will pick you up at the airport, bus station or train station and take you to the hotel. You will have today to settle in and adjust to Myanmar time. We will have a dinner at a local Burmese restaurant where you can meet the other riders and go over the trip ahead.
Hotel: Hotel Queen. Mid Range
In the morning we will meet the motorcycles we will be riding for the duration of our tour. The CRF250L. The 250 is the perfect motorcycle for touring Myanmar's varying terrain. The bike is light enough to put on a boat but powerful enough to make it up the highest mountain Myanmar has to offer. We will take a tour of Mandalay and the surrounding areas today and get used to the bikes and the local riding style. We will visit U Bein bridge, Amarapura, Sagaing and have a sunset on Mandalay hill before going to dinner.
Hotel: A Yone OO. Mid Range
Time to get out of the city and up into the mountains. We will ride among rice fields for about 30km before we start climbing up onto the Shan pateau. We will quickly ascend to 1000m above seas level. We will visit the newly constructed, yet seemingly deserted, Cyber City with great views of the plains below. We will then visit a few waterfalls as we pass through Pyin oo Lwin and Nyaungcho to the historic Goktiek Viaduct on sealed roads. We will weave our way down and up the Goktiek gorge before we make it to the railway town of Kyaukme. We will eat at a Shan/Chinese restaurant before we retire to our hotel.
Hotel: Village Stay. Very rustic
We will meet our guide in the morning and visit the bustling local market. The hill tribes we'll visit today are happy to let us stay in their homes but they don't have enough food for our group so we'll have to bring enough meat and produce for dinner. The trip will mostly be off road today as we work our way through the maze of mountain trails and oxcart paths to get to a Shan village for the night. We hope you had a good shower in Kyaukme because there are no showers in the village, just a bucket and a bowl. We will have our food cooked for us on an open fire while we relax and experience a more simple off-the-grid lifestyle.We will have a rugged night sleeping on straw mats in the village chief's house.
Hotel: Royal Parkview Hotel. Mid Range
We will wake up early in the morning to the sounds of roosters crowing and schoolchildren playing. Vilage life starts early so we will too. We'll work our way north on a newly constructed road toward the ruby capital or the world,Mogok. We won't be allowed to enter the city with out bikes so we will get about as close as we can before we turn south. These newly constructed roads along the mountain ridges are absolutely stunning so we will have lots of time to take photos of the surrounding areas. We will go south zigzagging our way down the mountains and then leveling out at about 1100m for the last 50km into the British hill station of Pyin Oo Lwin. We should have time to visit the picturesque Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens before sunset. We will have dinner at an upscale European/Asian restaurant on the lake.
Hotel: Shwe Gu Gu. Basic
If we didn't make it to the gardens the day before we will see them in the morning. We will also have time to ride around town to experience the old summer capital of colonial Burma. Then we will work our way back down the Shan Plateau (back-road this time) and have a spectacular river crossing on a small wooden boat.
We will pass another mountain range before finally heading up a narrow paved mountain road to the small Danu town of Ywangan. The sleepy village doesn't offer much for entertainment but the food is good, beds are clean and the showers are hot.
Hotel: Cassiopea Hotel. Mid Range
After a simple breakfast at the Ywangan hotel we'll head east over another mountain range on an unfinished road that will take us through some tea growing villages and cliff-side trails to a sealed road on the other side. We will then go to Pindaya where we will visit a famous Buddha filled cave where, legend has it, a Shan prince saved a group of captive maidens from a giant spider. We will continue to make our way south through Shan, Danu and Pa-O villages until we descent on Inle Lake. We will make our way into Nyaungshwe town to a modern hotel for the night.
We'll take a rest from the bikes today and take a boat ride on Inle Lake. The lake is home to the Intha people who have lived with the lake for countless generations. The Intha people have a special relationship with the lake that is best explored and and investigated while on boat. We will also have a local guide who will help us unlock the secrets of this serene lake and it's people. Lunch will be on the lake and we'll have dinner in town.
Hotel:Oattara Thiri Hotel. 4 Star
We should feel relaxed and ready to roll after our rest day on the lake. We will head south along the lake then cut West at the bottom of Inle. We will continue through the Pa-O town of Pinlaung before we wind down the Shan pateau toward Naypyitaw. Naypyitaw is the shimmering brand new capital of Myanmar with the widest roads and newest buildings in the country. This surreal, out of place, capital is home to some of the nicest hotels and restaurants in the country which will be in extreme contrast to much of the places we will visit on our amazing adventure.
Hotel:Nan Htike Thu. Mid Range
We will ride around Naypyitaw in the morning and pass the decadent parliament building on an enormous 20-lane road on the way out of town. We'll then take some dirt roads through protected forests as we head west. We will pass Taungdwingyi and make it to the dusty riverside town of Magway. We'll have dinner at a local riverside restaurant/beer station.
Hotel:Mountain Oasis. Mid Range
We'll leave Magway and go north after crossing the Ayeyarwaddy River. The roads are mostly sealed but there will be some parts that are under construction that can add a bit of challenge to our ride. We will traveling through plains and rolling hills all the way to the town of Kazunma Before we go west through a protected forest to Saw on the Chin border. As soon as we pass Saw we will climb up to Kanpetlet and our mountainside hotel at more than 1700m. It will be cold in Chin State so the hotel will light up a wood fired water heater so we can have a hot shower for the night. Dining options are limited in Kanpetlet so we will have dinner at our secluded hotel.
Hotel: Victoria Guesthouse. Basic
The hotel would have cut power before 10pm so we will probably be up quite early in the morning. We will ride the bikes back down into town and have a morning hike in the small Chin villages downhill from Kanpetlet. Our local Chin hiking guide will help us communicate with the villagers and better understand their unique way of life. After the hike we will go back up the mountain, past the hotel, and into Nat Ma Taung National Park. Along the road between Mindat and Kanpetlet we will make a detour to Mt Victoria(Nat Ma Taung). At over 3000 meters, Mt Victoria hosts a unique environment which contains many endemic flora and fauna. After Mt Victoria we will continue on to Mindat on a winding single-track unsealed road. We will make it to Mindat by sunset for dinner and stay at a simple guesthouse for the night.
Hotel: Zfreeti Hotel. 3 Star
We will visit Mindat's local market with some interesting seasonal forest products before we descent down the mountains and into the plains for the last time. We will cross many dry riverbeds and rocky hills on our way east toward Bagan. We will cross the longest bridge over the Ayeyarwaddy River at Pakokku and take a short stretch of road west to Bagan. After checking into our mid range hotel, where we will stay for the next 2 nights, we'll go out for dinner at a local or western restaurant depending on whatever the group is craving.
We are back on the tourist circuit today. In the morning we will meet our local guide at the hotel to begin our tour of the ancient city of Bagan. We can either travel by motorcycle, van, horse cart, or e-bike depending on your preference. Our guide will escort us around the multitude of ancient temples for the day until we retire to our hotel. Dinner will be at any of the numerous restaurants near the hotel.
Hotel:Kyi Tin Hotel.3 Star
Our last day of riding will be on mostly sealed roads with a few river (dry and wet) crossings before we get back to Mandalay. We will first go west to visit Taung Kalat at Mt Popa. If we have time we can hike up the 777 steps to the top. We will then ride north all the way to Mandalay. At night we'll have a final goodbye dinner at a local BBQ buffet restaurant.
The motorcycle tour is over but your adventure continues. We will meet you in the morning to help you make it to your train/bus/plane to get out of Mandalay or just say goodbye as you continue your travels on your own.