Burma Motorcycle Tour, A Journey into “Old Southeast Asia”
Only 2 tours per year in the absolute best weather months in Burma, because Burma is one, bloody hot country.
2017: February 13-28; December 5-20 – still open!
Note: If you are a group of 4 or more you can choose whatever start date you want for the Burma Tour.
This 16-day Burma motorcycle tour will visit Myanmar’s most famous and historic places such as Yangon, the Shwedagon Pagoda, Bagan, Inle Lake, Mandalay, The Golden Rock, Inle Lake, and Hpa An.
Burma, or Myanmar as they now call themselves, is presently undergoing cataclysmic changes as it switches from a half-century-long, iron-fisted military junta rule into an infancy of a government based on democratic principles.
If you want to see what Burma is really like before everyone starts walking around with smartphones and laptops and the roads and cities become choked with traffic, you better come soon before the old ways are lost forever.
The roads are generally in good condition but there are many segments in rural regions where road surfaces are poorly maintained and pot-hole filled. And befitting any country without a long history of motorized transportation, the driving skills of the Burmese in general leave much to be desired.
Therefore we request that only motorcyclists with some riding experience in Asia consider participating on this tour.
ITINERARY: 16 days / 15 nights
Myawaddy – Mawlamyine – Golden Rock – Yangon – Pyay – Bagan – Mandalay – Inle Lake – Loikaw – Naypyidaw – Hpa An – Myawaddy
DAY 1: MYAWADDY – MAWLAMYINE
Our guide and driver will meet you at Myawaddy/Mae Sot border checkpoint to help you with necessary documents as well as represent you with the border crossing formalities and procedures at checkpoint authority’s counters. After a few minutes break, you’ll head over the border to Mawlamyine. Arrive at noon time, then we check in and relax for a while before we start the sightseeing today. Free at leisure and enjoy the sunset over the Thanlwin River and bridge.
DAY 2: MAWLAMYINE SIGHTSEEING
Enjoy the leisurely guided city tour with us for this second day in Burma (Myanmar). Visit Mahamuni Pagoda – a major pilgrimage site, and Seindon Mibaya Kyaung, marvelling at its hundred-year-old wood carvings. Check out Kyaikthanlan Pagoda, also known as the Kipling Pagoda, due to rumors the site was the inspiration for Rudyard Kipling’s famous poem, Mandalay.
In the afternoon, drive to a small town called Mudon to visit the Win Seint Tawya Monastery and the world’s largest Reclining Buddha Image which has been constructing at Win Sein Taw Ya Forest. If time permits, visit the Mon State National Museum, and get a large dose of the local culture. Return to Mawlamyine and spend your evening at leisure and relax.
DAY 3: MAWLAMYINE – GOLDEN ROCK
Today, we head to Golden Rock, one of the most revered pilgrimage sites in Burma. Arrive to Golden Rock at afternoon, we will park the bikes and cars at the police station then go to the hotel at the top of the mountain by public truck. Arrival hotel and enjoy the beauty of the Golden Rock.
The Golden Rock is one of Burma’s most sacred Buddhist sites and you will see religious pilgrims from all over the country and the rest of the Buddhist world. This is a fantastic place for people watching; one of the true spectacles of humankind.
DAY 4: GOLDEN ROCK – YANGON
Early sunrise time, strolling around the hill sites for an unforgettable experience of Golden Rock then return to hotel for breakfast. Continue our ride to Yangon.
The highlight of the day is a visit to the magnificent Shwedagon Pagoda, the most outstanding and revered Buddhist pagoda in Burma, whose golden stupa dominates the skyline of Yangon.
DAY 5: YANGON SIGHTSEEING
Enjoy the full guided tour with us today. Visit the Chaukhtatgyi Pagoda with the huge Reclining Buddha. Continue to visit to the downtown to the Sule Pagoda, known as the ‘gathering point’ by the city’s residents. Then continue west on foot towards Mahabandoola Park and Myanmar’s Independence Monument.
From this point you can see many grand colonial buildings including the City Hall, the Supreme Court and the Baptist Church, followed by a visit to National Museum to get the best insight of the Burma history and cultures. Stroll around the Kandawgyi Lake before returning to the hotel for relaxation.
DAY 6: YANGON – PYAY
After breakfast, ride to Pyay and visit the Pyu Ancient City and its relics which have been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. Overnight in Pyay.
DAY 7: PYAY – BAGAN
Today we travel to Bagan via the Magwe intersection, a very new path with verdant lined trees. Enjoy the sunset over the Irrawaddy River on a boat. Overnight in Bagan, another one of the signature stops in all of Southeast Asia.
Bagan is often compared to Angkor in Cambodia for the breadth and scope of the antiquities; over 2,200 temples spread across 100 square kilometers. It would be impossible to visit them all but we will ride our motorcycles to the most important and interesting ones.
Several small towns are situated within the Bagan Archeological zone and the locals are friendly and hospitable to strangers, especially those who arrive on motorcycles and have some money to spend on trinkets.
Bagan is another one of those point-you-camera-anywhere-and-shoot places.
DAY 8: BAGAN SIGHTSEEING
This city is no doubt one of the most impressive sites anywhere in Asia. Begin with a visit the vibrant Nyaung Oo Market, the economic center of Bagan. Local people gather at this bustling market daily to buy and sell a variety of goods, from fruit and vegetables to clothing, china, and lacquerware.
Continue to the gold-plated Shwezigon Pagoda, Bagan’s greatest reliquary, built to house relics of the Buddha brought from abroad.
From here, drive to the small village of Wetkyi-in to see the Ananda temple, one of the most reserved monuments in the entire Bagan.
After lunch, continue your exploration of the city’s treasure trove of Buddhist art and architecture including the Dhammayanggyi, which houses four Buddha figures on the ground floor and four more on the first floor. Enjoy the sunset over Bagan on the top of Shwenandaw pagoda.
DAY 9: BAGAN – MANDALAY
After breakfast, we have a short time to walking around the town then we back to the hotel check out then depart to Mandalay via Pakkoku. Arrival hotel then spend time at your own leisure. We spend two nights in Mandalay, Burma’s second-largest city and its last capital before British domination began. It is a hustling, bustling place but easy to find your way around because the British laid out the city on a grid. Mandalay is also Burma’s cultural capital.
DAY 10: MANDALAY SIGHTSEEING
Today, we make the full day to see Mandalay, the old capital of Burma. In the morning we explore Mahamuni Image Pagoda then the Mahaganayone Monastery to see the monks have lunch in silence.
In the afternoon, continue to visit the Royal Mandalay vestiges and relics covering Imperial Palace, Golden Palace Monastery, well-known for its exquisite wood carvings and Kuthodaw Pagoda also known as the world biggest book.
We will be at Ubein Bridge at the sunset time, enjoying a walk over the bridge, the longest teak wood bridge in Myanmar. Back to hotel, free and leisure.
Mandalay has their own unique cuisine and we will sample some of the most flavorful dishes during our stay. Mandalay is another one of those cities where just wandering around is eminently enjoyable.
DAY 11: MANDALAY – PINDAYA – INLE LAKE
After breakfast we leave Mandalay to drive to Inle Lake via Pindaya. On the way, we will have time to see
emerald lake. Visit Pindaya caves then we continue the ride to Inle Lake. Arrival hotel at late afternoon time,
check in to the hotel then free and leisure.
Inle Lake is a delightful stop and worthy of a two night stay. The lake dwellers, who predominantly belong to the Intha ethnic group, have worked out a unique way to garner subsistence from the lake’s waters—they build floating gardens on top of the water in a low-tech version of hydroponics. It works real well because the produce it produces is delicious.
The Inthas build their homes high above the lake’s surface on wooden posts driven into the lake bed. Entire towns have no connection to the land at all, and below everyone’s house is tied a canoe or two because there is no other way to get around. Even the children have kid-sized canoes.
DAY 12: INLE LAKE BOAT TRIP
Skimming along the waterways in a long-tail boat, catch a first glimpse of floating gardens, stilt houses, and fishermen propelling their skiffs with one leg wrapped around an oar. Visit the infamous Phaung Daw U Pagoda, which enshrines five Buddha images believed to have been carried to this area by the widely-traveled 12th Century King Alaungsithu.
We then ride our boat to the Nampan and Innpawkhone villages. Here we get an ideal chance to see some traditional cigar making and silk weaving, and hopefully some local fishermen practicing their uniquely distinctive rowing technique. Visit the blacksmith factory and see the long neck women in their traditional colourful attires. We have time to see the sunset on the way back to the hotel. Free and leisure at hotel.
DAY 13: INLE LAKE – LOIKAW
Ride to Loikaw by bikes to visit this hidden small town. You have chance to interact with the local people as well as enjoy panoramic view from hill of Taungkwe Zeti, famous land mark of the area. Check in the hotel then free and leisure.
DAY 14: LOIKAW – NAYPYIDAW
After breakfast, you will have free time to walking around the city near by the hotel. After lunch, drive to Naypyidaw. Visit Uppatasanti Pagoda in the sunset time.
DAY 15: NAYPYIDAW – HPA AN
Today we ride to Hpa-An, a small city with an eclectic culture and intriguing landscape. Hpa An is also the capital of the ethnic Karen State, a fascinating town to explore.
Enroute we will stop to visit Kawgun Cave, the ancient wall carvings that date back to the 7th-century. We will arrive at hotel late afternoon.
DAY 16: HPA AN – KAWGUN CAVE – MYAWADDY
Our final day: our guide will transfer you to the Myawaddy border check-point to re-enter Thailand. Sadly, finish the tour.
Burma Tour Dates – Only 2 tours per year.
2017: February 6-21; December 5-20 – still open.
Tour Price: USD 5,995 based on private room. Pillions: $3,495.
For twin beds – (2 persons sharing a room) – there is a USD 700 discount.
For local riders who ride their own motorcycle, deduct $750 from the tour price.
Minimum group size: 5; Maximum 9
Included in the tour price are all lodgings, food, tolls, entrance fees, and support vehicle.
Not included in the tour price: Air fares to and from Mae Sot, visa fees, vehicle insurance (obtainable at the border) and all items not specifically mentioned as “included in the tour price.”
Watch 2 videos from our Burma Recce Tour: click on the links below:
Click to view a map of Burma.
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