Myanmar's Top 3 Bike Rides
Exploring cities on foot can be exhausting, taxis expensive, and public transportation confusing. There's one device, however, that allows visitors to explore with ease. Myanmar's roads are a wonderland for cycling enthusiasts. The country's tourist industry may be nascent, but for adventurous travelers keen to see historical ruins, beautiful scenery and culturally diverse communities few destinations are better. Grab your helmets as we reveal the most spectacular places to cycle in Myanmar.
One of the best ways to explore the architectural wonders of Bagan is by bicycle. Though electric bikes (e-bikes) are the main form of transportation, ambitious cyclists can take to the dirt roads via bicycle. Gilded pagodas and towering stupas are scattered throughout the Bagan Archeological Zone, and cyclists can explore each one as they please on their own set of wheels.
Start in New Bagan and head to the Bagan House Lacquerware Workshop to see how this amazing art form is made. From there, head towards Old Bagan, stopping at the top temples and pagodas along the way, including Dhammayangyi, Shwe San Daw Pagoda, Thatbyinyu, Ananda Temple, and finally Gubyaukgyi, before arriving at the Mani-Sithu Market. There are plenty of things to see and do along the way from New Bagan to this market, so stock up on water and stop and go as you please.
Pyin Oo Lwin
Escape the heat and make your way to Pyin Oo Lwin, a peaceful hill station located approximately two hours from Mandalay. Start the morning with a downhill ride to Dat Taw Gyaik waterfall. From Pyin Oo Lwin, jump on the main Mandalay Highway towards Anisakan and take the second signposted right, then continue straight until the road ends approximately a 10km ride. Park the bike and begin the 45-minute trek down to Dat Taw Gyaik, a spectacular, thundering, three-step waterfall.
After a quick dip, hike back up and ride uphill to Pyin Oo Lwin. Pick up lunch in town before cycling to the National Kandawgyi Botanical Gardens. Take a stroll around the gardens and end the afternoon by hopping on the Circular Road showcasing historic colonial buildings.
Island monasteries, Buddha-filled caves, stunning viewpoints: there is so much to see and do around Inle Lake. You’d certainly miss out on a top sight or two if you didn’t have a set of wheels to get around on. Many shops renting out bicycles can be found near the Mingalar Market. Make this the starting point and first explore the vibrant and thriving market before heading off to the Pindaya Caves. These are about a 30-minute cycle from the market, and the ride back is much easier than the way there, so try not to get discouraged when your legs start burning.
From the caves, head back towards the market to explore the exterior of Inle Lake, heading to the hot springs, stopping along the way at viewpoints, grabbing a bite to eat at the Tofu Palace, visiting the Khaung Daing village for a unique experience, and more.
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