meet the women of MYANMAR on 2wheels
Explore unbeaten paths in the Highlands
In the late 1800s, the famous author Rudyard Kipling wrote ‘This is Burma, and it is unlike any land you know about’. Still today, this quote holds true: every visitor to Myanmar (Burma) is captivated by the country’s unique culture, friendly people and stunning landscapes. A population of around 55 million live within the country’s borders, in a landmass similar in size to France, and is comprised of 135 different ethnic groups, many with their own languages and traditions. We’ll meet some women entrepreneurs and leaders along the way, supporting women’s rights and sustainable tourism. We’ll learn about women’s role in a rapidly evolving society and how they are preserving their traditional skills.
• Explore two of Myanmar’s most breath-taking sites: Inle Lake & Bagan. We’ll take a day off the bikes to explore Inle by boat, stopping to see floating gardens, entire villages built on stilts above the water and more. And in Bagan, we’ll use battery-powered scooters to explore some of the 2,000 pagodas at this UNESCO heritage site.
• Get off-the-beaten track in Myanmar! Tourism is still relatively small in Myanmar so even during the peak season, sites are seldom crowded, and it is easy to feel like you have stumbled upon a hidden gem! This trip goes one step further, relying on secondary roads whenever possible to take you through areas rarely seen by tourists. The riding days on rural roads will give you the unique opportunity to truly see what Myanmar is all about!
• Be immersed in Myanmar’s rich culture and traditions. Learn the secrets of some of the country’s tastiest dishes as you cook alongside local women. Witness skilled weavers spinning the finest textiles. Join pilgrims and worshippers at pagodas, gaining a deeper understanding of Myanmar’s spiritual side. And chat with farmers, fishermen and other locals along the way who will share their story with you.
This ride is focused on central Myanmar, a land of diverse landscapes. The trip starts and ends in Mandalay. It takes us to Pindaya, the highland region known as the Shan State, where the majority of residents make a living farming the fertile lands, and Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake), one of Myanmar’s ‘must see’ destinations. The ride continues to Loikaw, a small town only recently opened to tourists, and the former British hill station of Kalaw. The ride wraps up with a visit to Bagan, home to more than 2000 pagodas dating back to the 9th century, and one of Southeast Asia’s archeological gems. We’ll ride back through Inwa and Amarapura.
Price and Bikes
USD 2590 to 2880, depending on bike choice, including
bike rental for 9 days: Bajaj Boxer 150X 100cc, or Honda CRF250L 250cc or Royal Enfield Himalayan 400cc, and fuel
entry tickets at local tours, e-bike in Bagan and boat trip in Inle Lake
support vehicle for repairs and bags
English-speaking local woman guide
Accommodation (twin share)
all classes/activities in communities conservation areas permits
all meals and purified drinking water
Myanmar sales tax
-need to add:
personal travel insurance
personal expenses and tips
drinks other than water
credit card fees (approx. 4%) and/or bank transfer fees based on your bank’s regulations
Challenge level: 2
While the daily riding distance may not seem long, the road conditions in Myanmar make for slow going and a bit of technical know-how. But even beginner riders can complete this journey with a bit of grit and patience- slowly but surely is perfect fine for this journey! We will never be ‘off-road’ however there are times where massive potholes and patches of loose gravel require more focus. As well, Myanmar drivers follow their own road rules- as do the cows, goats and dogs- so it is important to pay attention and learn a bit about the unusual habits of Myanmar driving before setting off. It’s also worth noting that the roads we will ride on have little in the way of shops and toilets. We’ll pack some snacks and extra water in the support van, but it is best not to expect a latte along the way to give you an energy boost. You should also be comfortable squatting behind a bush when mother nature calls!
Food and Accommodation level: Basic
During the trip we will be staying in small guesthouses run by locals, many of whom are women. While homestays are not allowed in Myanmar, many of the guesthouses have the same warm atmosphere as a family home. One night you may be sharing toilet facilities with your fellow riders but on all other nights you will have an ensuite bathroom with maximum 2 persons/room.
Myanmar cuisine is not well-known but it is delicious! During the journey we will have breakfast at our guesthouse, where there will be a mix of local dishes (such as Mohinga, a fish-based noodle soup) and western options like toast and eggs. For lunches and dinners, we’ll head out to restaurants in the area. You can expect a spread of tomato-based curries, flavorful salads, sour side dishes and salty soups at most meals but we will also introduce you to delicious barbeques, regional dishes such as stuffed-fish in Inle and sour pork sausages in Loikaw and plenty of fresh vegetables.
Team: Burmese, American and French
This trip will be led by Anne, American rider living in Myanmar since 2010, and her local team, accompanied by Alison, our FreeW founder. You will really feel like visiting some friends as they will take us to their favourite places, and meeting their favourite people. Anne founded Myanmar Pure Travel to provide a customised experience to the visitors of Myanmar and support the local communities in developing tourism skills. Combined with its in-depth knowledge of the country, this team will connect you with the people, culture and places that make Myanmar so special. Oh by the way, we are fun lovers 😉
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