Cycle around Inle Lake

7 Days, 6 Nights

The fertile fields, bamboo groves and thickly forested mountains sur-rounding Myanmar’s incomparable Inle Lake make for some of the best cycling routes in the country. This challenging adventure unveils the cool elevations of the colonial hill-stations perched on the Shan Mountains and the serenity of Sagar Village and its sunken stupas, before finally en-joying a full-day cruise on the calm waters of Inle Lake.

Trip Highlights

  • Visit the 108 ‘sunken stupas’ of Sagar, a lesser-seen, undisturbed site in southern Inle
  • Take a full-day cruise over Inle Lake and stop for lunch over the water
  • Stay overnight at a farm-style property in the hilltop town of Kalaw
Price
$2140 USD per person
Trip Activities
Cycling
Trip Length
7 Days, 6 Nights
Physical Level
Enthusiast
Start/End
Yangon, Myanmar / Nyaung Shwe, Myanmar
Accommodation
Hotel (4 nights)
Adventure Lodge (2 nights)
Age
Minimum 16 years of age
Meals not included
Lunch, Breakfast Day 1
Dinner Day 2
Lunch, Dinner Day 7
Flights Included
Yangon to Heho

Day-by-day Itinerary

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Day 1
Arrival in Yangon, Fly to Heho, Drive to Nyaung Shwe
Activities
None
Transfers
  • Van: 2
Description

Upon arrival at Yangon Airport, a Rove representative will meet you in the domestic terminal around 12:30 (we’ll notify you of the exact time 1 month in advance) to help you check in to your domestic flight to Heho. From here, it’s just a 1-hour flight to Heho Airport, your gateway to Inle Lake and your meeting point to get acquainted with your cycling guide, drivers and fellow travelers.

We’ll drive one hour to the town of Nyaung Shwe, where our cycling adventure in the fertile Inle Lake region begins. After checking in to your hotel, join us for a bike fitting and short tour briefing. Then we’ll treat you to dinner at our favorite local restaurant.

Meals
  • Dinner
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Day 2
Cycle Nyang Shwe to Kalaw
Activities
  • Cycling: 70 km
Transfers
None
Description

We bike west today from Nyaung Shwe to Kalaw, a former British Hill Station perched on the slopes of the Shan Mountains. Our ride takes us first along the western shores of Inle Lake, then a challenging but rewarding climb brings us up into the forested highlands of Shan State.

We’ll pedal past fields, hill tribe villages, bamboo groves and spectacular viewpoints before reaching the junction town of Aung Ban. From here it’s a further 15 kilometers to Kalaw, where we’ll arrive in time for a late lunch. After lunch, feel free to join us for a brief walking tour through town, which retains an interesting mix of colonial-era buildings and Tudor-style homes in addition to Buddhist pagodas and temples. If you’re not too tired, hike up to Tein Taung along the ‘stairway to heaven’ to watch the sunset over an expansive view of peaks and valleys.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch
Accommodation
  • Kalaw Hill Resort
Day 3
Cycle Kalaw to Pinlaung
Activities
  • Cycling: 72 km
Transfers
None
Description

We head further off the beaten track today with a ride to Pinlaung, a small town that will serve as a stopover on the way to Loikaw. We’ll cycle south through rural landscapes and small villages, likely seeing more cows than people along the way. A simple lunch at a local tea shop plus a steady stream of snacks from our van will keep us fueled as we continue on to Pinlaung.

Pinlaung, located at an altitude of 1,500 meters above sea level, sees few tourists. After checking in to the hotel, feel free to join us on a walking exploration of this remote hilltop town and enjoy an early dinner on us before heading to bed.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Pinlaung Hotel
Day 4
Bike Pinlaung to Loikaw
Activities
  • Cycling: 92 km
Transfers
None
Description

Today we’ll leave the higher, cooler elevations of Shan State and ride south into Kayin State, one of Myanmar’s smallest divisions. The ride follows Route 54 to route 5, curving down the western side of southern Inle Lake until we enter Kayin toward the latter part of the ride.

After 50 scenic kilometers we’ll start to see the southernmost part of Inle Lake, called Pekhone, inhabited mostly by the Padaung people. From here, we’ll catch some glimpses of Inle shimmering in the distance. We’ll stop for photos and take a short break before continuing on to Loikaw, which lies along the Pilu River. The region is famed among birdwatchers and you may see a few rare breeds in the wetlands too.

Upon arrival in Loikaw, take your time checking in to your hotel and freshening up. When you’re ready, we’ll drive to Taung Kwe Pagoda perched atop a jagged, limestone outcropping. From the top, you’ll get some fantastic views of the town below as the sun begins to set.

Meals
  • Lunch, Breakfast, Dinner
Accommodation
Day 5
Cycle Loikaw to Sagar
Activities
  • Cycling: 73 km
Transfers
None
Description

You’ll want to fuel up with a good breakfast as today as we’ll embark on a challenging ride! Departing from Loikaw, we’ll head north along the eastern side of Inle Lake on a paved but narrow road. Fortunately, there’s little traffic here so we can fully enjoy the views of the hills and rural villages as we pass by. Then we’ll turn down a small lane toward Inle Lake until we reach the village of Sagar. This quiet village of stilted houses and boats sits on the shores of a small lake that forms the southernmost part of Inle. Here, we’ll check in to our modest but comfortable guesthouse for the night.

Sagar is most famous for its ‘sunken stupas’, a set of 108 crumbling, 13th-century stupas that are partially submerged in the lake at certain times of year. The village is also well known for its pottery and, depending on the time of year, you may be able to see local artisans using traditional methods to make clay pots.

(Note: Most vehicles won’t be able to follow our route from Hsi Hseng Village to Sagar. Today we’ll send our main bags with our van back to Nyaung Shwe and bring our small overnight bags on a motorbike or pick-up truck. It’s all part of the adventure!)

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • A Little Lodge
Day 6
Boat from Sagar to Inle to Nyaung Shwe
Activities
  • Cycling: 12 km
Transfers
  • Van: 6
Description

Today we’ll take a day away from the saddle to explore Inle Lake. After breakfast we’ll board a boat and travel north on Inle Lake, a journey of 3 hours. We’ll then take a further 2 to 3 hours to explore Inle’s narrow waterways, canals and atmospheric stilted villages. You’ll have the opportunity to stop at small artisan workshops where you can watch skilled hands at work.

For lunch, we’ll dine on fresh lake fish and vegetables at a restaurant on the water in Mine Thauk Village. In the late afternoon, we’ll take one last ride into the town of Nyaung Shwe. If you’re feeling a little thirsty, we’ll stop for a drink and an indulgent moment at the Red Mountain Estate Winery. Here, you can sample locally produced wine while gazing down at vast vineyard views.

This evening over dinner, we’ll celebrate a ride well done and say goodbye to our biking team.

Meals
  • Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Accommodation
  • Hotel
Day 7
Departure
Activities
None
Transfers
None
Description

Today after breakfast, we wish you a safe return flight or onward journey.

Meals
  • Breakfast
Accommodation
None

Trip Information

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Inclusions

6 nights’ Accommodation in a shared twin/double room

English-speaking Biking Guide on days 1-6

Mechanic on biking days for groups of 5 guests and above

Airport assistant on day 1

Bike and helmet rental

Snack breaks on cycling days

Private transportation for all included excursions and support vehicles on cycling days

Entrance fees for all included excursions

Meals as mentioned in itinerary

Domestic flights as mentioned in program (Yangon-Heho on day 1)

Accommodation in a shared twin or shared double room

Tips for all included meals + 2 drinks (soft drink, juice or local beer)

Myanmar sales tax

Bank transfer fees

Exclusions

Tips for guide, mechanics, drivers and porters

Airport porters: 50 cents US per bag per check in / check out o Hotel porters: 50 cents US per bag per check in /check out o Drivers: 2-3 USD per person per day