Explore's Product Director, John Telfer, has recently returned from a trip to Burma (Myanmar) and believes that getting around under your own steam is the best way to explore it:
"What better way to explore the countryside, villages and sights of Burma than by bike? Some countries are built for exploration on two wheels and Burma is certainly one of them. For any visitor Bagan is one of the most impressive religious sites anywhere on the planet - over 2000 temples and shrines dotted over the plains, quite unlike anywhere I have ever been. Before travelling there in March I had always (wrongly) assumed it was a huge and spectacular archaeological site - but in fact several of the temples are still used to this day. Between the pagodas are the Buddhist pilgrims' resting place; covered wooden platforms with a roof where the locals sleep en route to the Schwezigon temple. I am a firm believer that nothing can beat seeing the silhouette of one of the many mighty temples in the distance gradually nearing as you pedal along the sandy tracks.
The Burmese people are a friendly bunch, and travelling by bike gives you time to visit villages that other travellers never notice, never mind stop at. Slow travel at its very best – diverting from the day’s journey to try local food in a roadside eatery, slicing a fresh papaya, watching the sunset over the Irrawaddy river or joining a crowd of red-robed monks watching a game of chinlone. Imagine a badminton height net, a small ball with two teams of three men trying (successfully) to keep the ball in the air using only your head and feet. Perhaps a reflection on the national psyche, sometimes there is no opposing team, the point being to keep the ball aloft gracefully and interestingly. My only regret? Not being able to find Mandalay’s local brew which touts itself as an anti-aging beer!"
If you don't want to just take John's word for it, you can read about cycling in this majestic country from three different angles - that of an Explore staff member, an Explore Tour Leader and an Explore customer. We've got all bases covered!
Our Finance Director, Mike Tyler, has a real passion for cycling and has travelled on many of our cycling adventures. Here he tells us more about one of his most recent cycling holidays - a visit to Burma.
Tour Leader blog
Mark Steadman is an Explore Tour Leader and talks about the challenging ascents, spectacular descents and easy-paced pedalling through traditional villages and hidden temple complexes which add a new dimension to holidays in Burma.
Explore customer Alastair Walters travelled with us on Cycle Burma. Here he shares the highlights of the trip, including the welcoming – and intrigued – Burmese people and the reasons you should Explore this emerging country on two wheels.
You can choose between an easy grade or a moderate grade cycle exploration of Burma. Take your pick from our cycling holidays in Burma.