Burma Heritage by Bicycle

DestinationsBurma
Tour MeetsMandalay
Tour EndsYangon
Fly in toMandalay International Airport (MDL)
Fly out ofYangon International Airport (RGN)
Group Size2-16 riders
Minimum Age18 (on scheduled departures)
247kmTotal cycling distance
49kmAvg distance / day
206mAvg climbing / day

Trip Profile

This is a touring trip for those who know biking can take you to the heart of a country. We ride 247 km on country lanes and quiet roads. There is little traffic, which makes for excellent bicycle touring. The first few days riding are on gentle rolling hills and through rice fields, ancient cities, and scenic countryside. Passing through many villages, you will find the people curious, friendly, and polite. We share the road with ox carts, cyclists, and waving children. There is an unbelievable amount to see throughout the tour, and we stop frequently to view temples, rural scenes (especially if riding during rice harvest), and villages.

Suitability: This trip is a touring bike journey and suitable for anyone with a reasonable level of fitness. A support truck is always available to help when required. Inexperienced riders and even non-riding partners can be catered for and are more than welcome to join this tour.

Biking Conditions: This tour covers around 247 km in 4 full cycling days and 1 half day. The roads can vary from being in quite good condition to broken tarmac, to vehicle-wide dirt trails. There is no technical riding on this trip, and the distances have been kept low to allow for plenty of time to visit sites and learn about the local culture.

What's Included

  • SpiceRoads jersey
  • Water bottle
  • Domestic flights
  • Support vehicle
  • Guide(s)
  • Meals (as indicated)
  • Accommodation
  • Bike and helmet
  • Snacks and drinks

What's Excluded

  • International flights
  • Airport pick up
  • Airport drop off
  • Visa fees
  • Alcohol
  • Tips

Nuts & Bolts

Bikes

Included in the tour are Trek mountain bikes with lightweight alloy frames, 24- to 27-speed gearing, disc/v-brakes, and Shimano components and front suspension. If you bring your own bike, please make sure it is a mountain bike, preferably with front suspension, in good mechanical order.

Bike Repairs

Basic spares and tools are carried by the guide and on the support vehicle, though we cannot guarantee having spares for every conceivable problem. Carrying a basic tool kit, a spare tube and a pump while riding is recommended.

Safety

Wearing a helmet is required on all our biking adventures and is non negotiable. If you do not wear a helmet you will not be allowed to cycle. Your tour leader is trained in first aid and emergency rescue, but to a large degree you must be responsible for your own safety while riding. It is therefore compulsory that you take out travel insurance that will cover you for a mountain biking tour.

Guides

You will be led by a local English-speaking guide and if the group is 9 people or more we will add another guide to the tour. All our guides are well informed in the history, culture and religions of the area where you are biking and are skilled at passing that knowledge on to you. Your guide is also medically trained and an experienced cyclist, able to handle most minor repairs en route.

The Nitty Gritty

Passports and Visas

A visa is required for all visitors to Burma. Please make sure your passport is valid for a minimum of 6 months beyond the duration of stay in Burma. Regulations are changing quickly, but at the moment the easiest method for those flying in is to obtain an e-visa for USD $50. The e-visa will be for a single-entry to international airports only (no land borders) and is valid for 28 days after entering the country. Apply online for the visa here and it takes one week to process (have a scanned copy of the first page of your passport and a digital photo ready). The approval letter must be printed as it will be needed to board international flights and needs to be submitted to immigration upon arrival. For those crossing at a land border (Bangkok to Yangon and Burma Road tours) you must go to your nearest Myanmar embassy to obtain a visa in advance. A list of embassies abroad is available here. Please click here for more information on visa requirements.

Health

Recommended vaccinations include typhoid, polio, tetanus and Hepatitis A. A certificate for Yellow Fever is required if arriving from an infected area within the prior six days. Some areas of Burma may be considered malarial areas. Please check with your doctor prior to departure for the most recent information.

Weather

Myanmar has a tropical climate with fairly high humidity. There are three seasons: from March to June it is hot and dry, with temperatures between 27 and 40˚C, and with night temperatures in the 20s. The rainy season is from July to September, but temperatures are slightly lower, because of the effect of the rain. The cooler season (particularly in the mountains) is from September to February, with average temperatures between 20 and 30˚C. It will be much cooler at night in the hills in Shan state, where we spend 2 nights, and adequate cold weather clothing – gloves, hats, jacket – is advised.

Food

Meals are included as per the itinerary where B = breakfast, L = lunch, D = dinner. Most meals are local dishes and feature noodles, rice, curries and soups. Any special dietary requirements can also be catered for as well. Please let us know at the time of booking.

Drink

Keeping you completely hydrated is a job we take very seriously. Cold water, some energy-restoring local fruit and soft drinks are included in the tour price. Beer is freely available everywhere, but is NOT included in the price.

Solo Travelers

SpiceRoads does not require you to pay a surcharge for travelling alone. We will arrange for you to share accommodation with another traveller of the same gender and if we can not match you up we will provide a single room at no extra charge. If you prefer not to share a single supplement is payable to guarantee your own room. The cost of the single supplement is listed above.

Extra Expenses

We recommend that you tuck away a few extra dollars, perhaps US$10, for incidentals. It is customary to tip local tour guides and drivers, however, the amount you give should be dependent on the level of service you receive. As a general guide we suggest US$ 3-4 per person per day is appropriate.

Money

Burma’s everyday currency is the kyat. The kyat is used to cover buying small items, bottle of water or a snack, while dollars are used for everything else and the euro is also increasingly being accepted. The exchange rate in Yangon is generally better than upcountry and the larger the bill, the better the rate (ie- 100 USD notes receive 2% more kyat compared to 50 USD notes). Bring only newly issued USD currency (meaning the ones with the large off-centered portraits) without any tears or holes and avoid serial numbers beginning with CB. There have been widespread rumors that CB series notes are counterfeit. ATMs from CB Bank and KBZ Bank are available in Yangon and Mandalay. There is a 5000 kyat service fee and the maximum withdrawal is 300,000 kyats. Credit cards are only accepted in some upscale restaurants and some hotels do accept credit cards (surcharge of 3-8%) but it is not recommended to rely on this service as the Internet often shuts down during the day making payment by card impossible. Travelers Checks currently CANNOT be used or exchanged in Myanmar.

General booking info

Booking

If this is the tour for you here's what you need to do to confirm your place: Read our Booking Conditions

From the tour page click the 'Book Now' link. All departures for this tour will appear, just select the date you'd like to travel. There is a minimum number of participants (usually 2) required to enable the trip to go ahead. Once the minimum number is reached, the trip status will change from 'Available' to 'Guaranteed to Depart'. Once a trip is guaranteed to depart you are free to book your flights and make other travel arrangements. If you are unsure about the trip status, please email us or call our office. For the next steps you'll need to know the names of the people traveling and have either a Visa or a MasterCard. If you wish you can also provide extra details such as passport numbers, height, or you can add that later by logging into Manage My Trip (we'll set up an account for you automatically if you don't already have one). However, if you wish to get a children's discount, please do fill out the date of birth of the riders. If you are having any problems, please send us an email, or give us a call (+66 2 381 7490) and one of our travel specialists will assist you with your booking.

Deposit

For Long Tours (7 days or more) to guarantee your place we require a 30% or 500 USD deposit, whichever is the greater. For Short Tours (6 days or less) we require full payment to guarantee your place. We also require that you take out travel insurance when you book your holiday. Besides covering you during your holiday it will also enable you to claim for any money that you have paid to us, including your deposit, should you have to cancel your trip.

Balance

Full payment must be paid 45 days before the departure date with fees for any bicycle rental(s), single supplement(s) and extra hotel nights. Our confirmation will include personal details you provided us (including your flight information), visa application advice, a packing suggestion list and a detailed tour itinerary. It will also include a checklist to ensure you get everything ready for your holiday.

Cancellation Policy

On the rare occasions when we, SpiceRoads, must cancel a trip, all payments received to date will be 100% refunded, which constitutes full settlement. There will be absolutely no deductions. If you, the client, must cancel your reservation, your cancellation fee will be determined according to when you cancel. For full details, please read our cancellation policy.

Loyalty Riders Club

For those who have been on several long tours with us we reward customer loyalty by offering repeat customers a special discount off the tour price (excludes single supplement and bike rental). If this is your fourth scheduled tour or more you will receive a 5% discount. If this is your eighth scheduled tour or more we will extend a 10% discount. The discount will be reflected in your online booking, but please contact us if any questions. Loyalty discounts can not be used in conjunction with any other offer. Note: Only tours of 7 days or more will be applicable for loyalty discount.

International Flights

International flights, to and from the start and finish points are not included in the tour price. Once your tour is Guaranteed to Depart you can book your flight. Please contact us for advice before arranging flights for the best arrival and departure times. We would only cancel a trip for an extreme circumstance, but in that case, where we cancel your trip, we cannot be liable for losses incurred relating to any flight booking you have made. Please claim any losses from your travel insurance that you acquired when you booked your holiday.

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