About the challenge
Burma is a beautiful country of jungles, mountains and fertile plains, with graceful pagodas dotted across the diverse landscapes. Cycling is the perfect way to discover the friendly culture of this land almost untouched by tourism.
From Mandalay we head for Bagan’s ancient temples, before heading east through hot dry lowlands, passing small villages, teak plantations and rice paddies before tackling the long winding road up into cooler jungle-clad hills. A great descent brings us to the shores of Lake Inle, where we have time to relax and see the local way of life.
Part payment option available on this challenge
Dates & prices
|Departs||Days||Charity||Availability||Registration fee||Fundraising target||Payment option|
|04 Nov 2017||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£299||+||£4200||Or||£1875||Book now|
|10 Feb 2018||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£299||+||£4200||£1875||Book now|
|03 Nov 2018||10||Open challenge||Spaces||£299||+||£4200||£1875||Book now|
Discover untouched Burma by bike
Visit Bagan’s ancient temples and fascinating Lake Inle
Fantastic cycling from flat plains and teak plantations to hill-villages of Shan highlands
Diverse insight into Burmese way of life
Days 1-2: Flight to Mandalay
Days 3-5: Cycle from the lowlands to rolling farmland via the temples of Bagan and extinct volcano Mount Popa
Days 6-8: Uphill through jungle to Shan highlands, ride tracks through hill tribe villages to finish at Lake Inle - overnight on lake to see local fisherman and floating gardens
Days 9-10: Time in Yangon and flight home
What makes it demanding?
Longest day 140km on flattish roads
30km winding climb through forest
Hot and humid on plains, cooler in hills
Discover Adventure reserves the right to change the route or itinerary for safety reasons should local conditions dictate.
The tour cost includes all flights, transport, accommodation, internal air tax, all meals except three as specified in the itinerary, and entrance to Bagan and any other sites included as part of the itinerary. A bike is also included. It also includes full trip support of experienced Discover Adventure leaders/mechanics, and doctor (depending on final group size) as well as local guides and drivers.
It does not include personal travel insurance, airline taxes charged by the airline (capped by Discover Adventure), meals as specified, entry visa, tip for local support crew, Burma entry visa, or international airport tax. It also does not include entry to any optional sites you may wish to visit. We strongly recommend you carry a credit card in case of personal emergency.
Group flights leave from London Heathrow or Gatwick, (we regret that we are unable to book connecting flights), and are booked through Discover Adventure Ltd under ATOL licence 5636. By travelling with Discover Adventure you are protected by the Civil Aviation Authority (CAA). We are most likely to fly with Singapore or Malaysian Airlines, however, we don’t always fly with the same airline so this is a guideline only. You will usually receive confirmed flight details several months before departure. Our itineraries are always based on current flight schedules and are therefore subject to change by the airline. If you prefer to book your own flights please ask us for a land-only cost.
We stay in clean, comfortable hotels throughout the ride; some are quite simple, others very good, so expect some variation. Rooms are on a twin-share basis.
All food is included except three meals. The food is local in style and very tasty; there is plenty of it. Please let us know any dietary requirements well in advance.
Being vegetarian or having other dietary requirements is not usually a problem provided you let us know well in advance. Please do not expect as much variety as you would have access to at home – we will be in rural areas and among people of a different culture who may not understand your requirements, however willing they are to help. If you know there are plenty of foods you cannot eat you may wish to bring extra snacks from home so you can top up your energy supply. Please feel free to ask us for advice. Any meals not included are listed in the itinerary and are generally when we are in towns or cities and you are free to explore and try other culinary experiences! There is always something to suit every budget.
Discover Adventure Crew
Your trip will be led by experienced Discover Adventure leaders. Our leaders are selected for their knowledge of travel in remote areas, friendliness and approachability, sense of humour and ability to safely and effectively deal with any situation that arises. They are also trained in expedition first-aid. You are in very safe hands with a Discover Adventure leader. Depending on group size, an expedition doctor or medic will also accompany the group.
Local Support Crew
Our local support crew is made up of a friendly team of local guides and drivers. Your local guide is a great source of knowledge about local customs and lifestyles. The Discover Adventure crew work closely with the local crew to ensure your trip runs smoothly and safely.
Support vehicles will be with the group at all times. All luggage and spares will be carried in the vehicles.
Your safety, and that of the rest of the group, is our highest priority. Our trips are designed and planned with safety in mind. Your crew will be equipped with radios and emergency satellite phones, extensive medical kit and other safety apparatus where necessary. They always have access to our 24-hour emergency back-up in the UK. Our leaders are responsible for safety on the trip, and will make any changes to the itinerary they deem necessary should local conditions dictate. Pre-trip administration – such as compulsory medical questionnaires and travel insurance – is all done with your safety in mind.
Preparing for the challenge
The terrain is varied, with flat plains, rolling farmland and more significant climbs in the Shan Hills. Many roads are shaded by trees, so even in the dry plains there is some respite from the heat. Cycling distances range from half-days at 50km to the longest day at 140km. Cycling is on good tarmac roads most of the time, though the last day has some unsealed track – this requires no technical off-road experience but we recommend some experience of cycling on tracks so you know what to expect. Traffic is usually light and we will cycle at our own pace, but we may re-group at times for busy sections. We are travelling through remote areas and weather may have an impact on road conditions. We will be riding 21-speed mountain bikes with semi-slick tyres.
Clothing & Equipment
We are travelling through remote areas where we could be exposed to bad weather at any time so be prepared for everything! Weather conditions can change quickly. We provide you with a detailed packing kit-list on registration, as well as details on useful discounts you are entitled to as a Discover Adventure customer. We are always available if you need advice. It is imperative that you supply your own helmet and wear it at all times while cycling, with straps done up.
It will be hot and dry in the lowlands, and gets a little cooler when we reach the hills; it can be a little chilly at the start and end of the day, especially on Lake Inle. We don’t travel at the wet times of year, but rain is more likely towards the end of the trip – it’s green and lush in the hills for a reason!
This ride is designed to be challenging for those of good health and fitness, and is achievable for most people provided they train well in advance. We will supply you with a thorough training guide when you have registered. Training for the challenge is all part of the preparation and requires commitment! Without it, you will find the ride less enjoyable – and we want you to have the time of your life!
Passport & Visa
A ten-year passport is essential and must be valid for at least 6 months after entry into Burma. UK citizens require a visa which should be obtained in advance.
You must have had a Tetanus injection in the last ten years, and we highly recommend protection against Polio, Hepatitis A and Typhoid.
For most people, the main attraction of travelling to a different country is to see new sights and enjoy new experiences. Sometimes those new experiences can make life harder or more inconvenient than you may like, such as toilet hygiene or different food, or simply a different attitude to solving problems. This is all part of the challenge you are signing up for! We are very privileged to live in a country with a high standard of living, and travelling exposes us to different challenges – all of which help broaden our horizons. We can guarantee that coming face-to-face with experiences outside your normal ‘comfort zone’ will help you bond with your fellow cyclists and provide you with plenty of things to laugh about! A sense of humour and sense of adventure are two of the most important things to bring with you!
Worldwide Sustainable Tourism
Long before ‘Responsible Tourism’ became a recognised phrase, we designed and ran our trips to ensure they made minimum impact on the environment and a positive impact on the local communities we pass through.
In November 2010, Aung San Suu Kyi, the pro-democracy leader of Burma signalled the end of a tourism boycott which started in 1995. At Discover Adventure we have witnessed the rise in interest in the country and are pleased to have visited in May 2014 to reconnoitre two challenges.
It is important to us that we’ve selected privately-owned ground operators for all of our services and have planned itineraries which, to the best of the knowledge at our disposal, are not affiliated with the government of former military junta. We strongly believe we will be contributing to the local economy in a positive way
Discover Adventure Projects
We are supporting a tree-planting project in Peru and a children’s home in Tanzania on a long-term basis. If you would like to ‘give something back’ please consider donating £5 to our projects when you sign up.
We encourage all our customers to offset emissions connected with their trip. You can offset at any time in the lead-up to departure by visiting Climate Care via our website and making a donation to a worthwhile project supported by them. Alternatively, if you wish to take more practical action in the UK you can volunteer for a day with TCV and work on an environmental project local to you. Work may include construction footpaths, dry stone walling, creating wildlife habitats or planting trees in your community. Volunteer today at www.tcv.org or call 01302 388883.