Butterfield & Robinson (B&R), known for its slogan “slow down to see the world,” offers a 9-day biking tour of Inle Lake, Mandalay and Bagan, in Myanmar, including all hotels, transportation, and food. With plenty to see and do, B&R keeps travelers moving with a variety of historic, cultural, and culinary experiences.
The Villages of Inle Lake The first leg of your client’s journey will take them to explore the villages surrounding Inle Lake, where they’ll experience a traditional Shan tribal dinner, visit a hilltop temple overseeing the 17 nearby villages, and take a boat ride to visit the ancient ruins of In Dien. Before leaving the Inle Lake region, travelers will witness a morning chanted prayer in the monastery at Kaung Dang.
Here, your clients will stay at the Inle Princess Resort, Inle Lake, which was built by local craftsmen from teak and bamboo, and sits shoreside surrounded by the Shan Hills and green rice fields. Bikers will travel about 19 miles around the area, and will take some leisurely strolls through local villages to get a first-hand view of the local area and customs.
Historic Mandalay Travelers will experience both history and current events alike upon their arrival in Mandalay. They’ll bike alongside the Mandalay Fort to the Ayeyarwady River, and continue on to the Amarapura Monastery. The monastery, which is one of the best in the country for continuing education, is home to 1,200 monks, and your clients will have the opportunity to tour its libraries, kitchens and sleeping quarters to get a real feel of monastery life. They’ll also visit a gilding factory to learn about the gilded temples and statues around the country, and they’ll see the Kuthodaw Paya, the world’s largest book, made of 729 marble slabs.
Hotel accommodations here are at the Pupar Mandalar, Mandalay, a four-star hotel just minutes from the city center. Bikers will travel about 42 miles around the area during their two days in Mandalay.
Ayeyarwady River Cruise Taking a ferry from Mandalay to Bagan allows travelers to take in the views along the river, seeing dozens of stupas, moasteries and nunneries, stopping at some old colonial trading posts and isolated villages along the way.
While traveling along the river overnight, travelers will stay in the deluxe cabins aboard the RV Paukan. Each cabin includes an en-suite bathroom and balcony, and is decorated with traditional Myanmar handicrafts and fabrics. Upper decks are equipped with a theater and outdoor relaxation deck.
Artistic Bagan Rich in art, history, religion and architecture, travelers will see and do much while in Bagan. With a local expert, clients will explore some of the best-preserved temples, including the Ananda Pahto, or the stucco carvings of Shwegugyi. They’ll visit and interact with local craftsmen in the village and browse through local shops.
Guests will be welcomed at the Thiripyitsaya Sakura, Bagan during their two nights in Bagan. Originally built as a traditional Burmese temple, the riverside hotel now offers guests spa and pool amenities.
Yangon, Myanmar’s Travel Hub The tour begins and ends in Yangon, and if your clients are considering extending their trip, they might consider a stay at the Governor’s Residence. Located within the Yangon Embassy Quarter and nearby to Shwedagon Pagoda, this hotel dates back to the 1920s when it was built as the official home of one of the governors.
Optional Excursions While visiting Inle Lake, your clients will have the option to see the local style of weaving, which is done with lotus root instead of cotton. In Mandalay, travelers can take a 19-mile countryside bike ride or opt for a short town walk instead. In Bagan, travelers can choose to take a hot-air balloon ride, and later take a shopping trip through the local markets.
Starting at $7,495 pp ($900 single supplement), Butterfield & Robinson’s Myanmar Bikingpackage includes the following:
• All hotel accommodation • All meals, including wine • All internal flights and boat transfers • Use of a hybrid bicycle, handlebar bag and helmet • Services of B&R guides, Burmese national guide and Burmese local experts, as well as support vehicles • All special events and private tours • All baggage transportation • Detailed maps, route suggestions and water bottle • All gratuities for the ship’s crew, local guides, baggage, porters and hotel service