Fri 28 Sep - Sun 07 Oct 2018

OVERVIEW

What to expect

ITINERARY

What you will do

COSTS

Ways to pay

INFORMATION

All you need to know

Your challenge day by day

Day 1, Fri 28 Sep 2018

International departure from London

The day has arrived and it’s finally time for the long-awaited departure to Mandalay, Myanmar’s second largest city. Here we meet the rest of our team and the Charity Challenge representative, before saying goodbye to family and friends.

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Day 2, Sat 29 Sep 2018

Arrive Mandalay

Touching down in Mandalay, the nerves turn to excitement as we disembark the flight and head for our bike fitting. Remember to bring any additional cycling gear you require (such as clip-in pedals and gel seats), as this is the best opportunity to adapt your bike for your comfort before setting off. We will spend the night in a hotel and enjoy our first team dinner together.

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Day 3, Sun 30 Sep 2018

Mandalay to Monywa (approx 52km)

After breakfast you will transfer to the starting point for about 3 hours where your cycling challenge begins. The transfer will take you out of the city to avoid the busy traffic.  You’ll start your cycle on the paved road to Monywa for approx 28km as your first leg; en-route they will be time to stop and visit the Hindu-style Thanbodday Temple and Boditahtaung Pagoda.
After lunch at a local restaurant in Monywa, you’ll cross the Chindwin River by boat and continue cycling to Pho Win Taung Cave famous for its carving and mural paintings dated between the 14th and 18th centuries for another 22 km; passing through several small farms and villages where you will have a glimpse of the Burmese way of life. After visiting the cave, return to Monywa by car or option to ride 32 km more to the jetty by riding on different dirt trail.  

 

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Day 4, Mon 01 Oct 2018

Monywa to Pakkoku to Bagan (approximately 62kms)

Now you have a feel of the roads and are a little more acclimatized to the heat, you will start from your hotel for an interesting 40K on off-road. Start your ride to head south along the Irrawaddy River bank in search of A Myint & A Neint villages where you can find a group of very ancient pagodas and local lifestyles of villagers. It’s a lovely ride, rural and quiet by discovering the hidden temples decorated with mural painting and old monastery. After 40 km on dirt trail, continue cycling on paved road to a junction before Yezagyo where you will end your cycling.  Depending on time you may be able to rack up some more kms and cycle to Pakkoku, otherwise you’ll be transferred to the boat and then to the elevated terrace to watch the sun set over temples Bagan.
(There is an option to cycle the further 47 km to Pakkoku today prior to boarding your private boat to Bagan. However, this will depend on the time remaining, and how well the group are doing. You certainly don’t want to miss the sunset in Bagan, which is a truly spectacular)

 

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Day 5, Tue 02 Oct 2018

Bagan to Mt Popa to Meiktila (approximately 55kms ride and two hour climb of Mt Popa)

This morning you will rise early for breakfast and then depart for your cycle from your hotel on a mix of back roads and tar roads to Mt Popa and Taung Kalat, a volcanic standing 1518 metres high. Today’s cycle will involve a climb up to Mt Popa on the bike, but you will be rewarded by the incredible views.

Mt Popa has played an important role in Myanmar culture, religion and history since earliest times. Its shrine, located at the top of Taung Kalat, is dedicated to the worship of the 37 Nats, the Burmese ancient animist spirits. Learn about Nats and Nat-worship as you climb the 770 stairs to the top of the tower with your local guide. This will allow you to see impressive views over the Myingyan Plain from the top of the volcanic peak. After the hike, you will transfer on to Meiktila.

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Day 6, Wed 03 Oct 2018

Meiktila to Kalaw (approximately 86kms)

Today your cycle takes you to the former British hill station of Kalaw, passing through pine forest and a much hillier route; gradients are getting tougher, and you will be thankful of your training! After an early start, you will enjoy your first 40 km on the flat before a hill for approximately 15 km, and another 46 km of undulating terrain thereafter. The slightly higher elevation up to 400 m today and a more testing hillier cycle than your previous days means that the air temperature will probably be cooler. Lunch will be at a local restaurant on the way. Then load your bike into the truck and shuttle to Kalaw.  Kalaw is a charming little town with a mix of local and colonial-style houses. After checking in to your hotel you may wish to enjoy a stroll around town or simply relax at your hotel. 

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Day 7, Thu 04 Oct 2018

Kalaw to Nyaung Shwe (approximately 77kms)

Today you will make your way to Inle Lake starting with a great downhill ride to Aungban before you ride off road into the hills, the home of hill tribes once again. There is a stretch of rolling hills then climbs down to Indein when you see Inle Lake. On the way you will pass small villages, its huge monasteries and have opportunity to interact with local people. Reach Indein at the noon time. Lunch at local restaurant in Indein.
Indein is a Pa-Oh village which is known for its stupa-covered hill at Alaung Sitthu. Spend time exploring Indein on foot, making your way to the top of Alaung Sitthou where you can wander amid the weather-beaten stupas and enjoy magnificent views of the lake below. Proceed cycling to Nyaung Shwe along the western shore of Inle Lake with a stop at Kaung Dhine village and arriving to  Nyaung Shwein the later afternoon.  Nyaung Shwein  is located north of Inle Lake, one of Asia’s most beautiful inland waters.

 

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Day 8, Fri 05 Oct 2018

Nyaung Shwe to Inle Lake (approximately 30kms)

Your final day’s cycle will start along the lake and will be a short 30 km cycle to the finishing line in Nampan. You head first to the village of Mine Thauk, crossing over the town to the south. Take time to explore this village and its beautiful long wooden bridge. From there we head to Nampan Village where your cycling journey in Myanmar will end. Check out the local market (available according to time permitting) and you will board your private boat to visit Inle Lake and the beautiful sites along and in the lake.

Take an afternoon boat back before your well-deserved evening’s celebratory meal.

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Day 9, Sat 06 Oct 2018

Inle lake to Heho to Yangon sightseeing

Fly from Heho to Yangon for the final day of the trip. As the hard work is over we indulge in a sightseeing tour of the city, taking in the Shwedagon Pagoda, the country’s most revered Buddhist temple. Built more than 2,500 years ago, this massive temple complex offers breath-taking views and the perfect finale before we transfer to the airport for the flight home.

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Day 10, Sun 07 Oct 2018

Arrive UK

It’s a poignant time as we arrive back in Britain, happy and proud of our achievements – though sad to say goodbye to new friends and cycling partners.

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Important information

The itinerary is there as a guide and may change due to unusual weather patterns, the strength of the group and so on. We will do our very best to keep to the set itinerary; however we cannot be held responsible for any last minute changes that might occur. In all such circumstances, your challenge leader will have the final say.

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We hold an Air Travel Organiser's Licence granted by the Civil Aviation Authority. Our ATOL number is 6546. Many of the flight-inclusive challenges on this website are financially protected by the ATOL scheme. But ATOL protection does not apply to all holiday and travel services listed on this website. This ATOL protection only covers challenges that include flights booked by Charity Challenge and that originate in the UK. Please ask us to confirm what protection may apply to your booking. If you do not receive an ATOL Certificate then the booking will not be ATOL protected. If you do receive an ATOL Certificate but all the parts of your trip are not listed on it, those parts will not be ATOL protected. Please see our booking conditions for information or for more information about financial protection and the ATOL Certificate go to: www.atol.org.uk/ATOLcertificate

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