Trip Advice

Travel Advice

Myanmar Cycling Tours is an expert-led bicycle journey in Myanmar ( Burma ). We strive to make our tours as good as they can possibly be and constantly fine-tune our services and itineraries. On all our tours we maintain a high standard of service and attention to detail. Through meticulous itinerary planning, careful preparation, thorough staff training and attention to our client’s needs, we deliver a comfortable, safe, fun and enriching travel experience.

If you have narrowed down a destination or a riding style, we suggest that you download or request the Factsheet for that tour and read over the itinerary where there will be more information about what you’ll see, riding conditions, visa information and weather.

If you can’t find the information you’re looking for, or require further advice, please remember you can always contact us and we will be happy to answer your questions.

What to expect

The route is the core feature of a successful cycle tour and we make the effort to weave together enjoyable cycle routes with favourite destinations. As much as we can, we ride point-to-point and make sure we avoid the worst traffic. We linger in the worthwhile places and always take the scenic route. We design all our own itineraries, carefully researching each new route. We constantly review our tours to ensure that we offer the optimum experience. Myanmar Cycling Tours is one of very few specialist cycle tour operators in Myanmar .

All cyclists need a good sense of balance and we try to strike the right one between price and service for our tours. We provide the very best services and accommodation for our clients without being overly exclusive or expensive. Our tours are fully supported with vehicles, well-trained staff and a full range of top-end equipment. We take very good care of our clients.

Our staff to client ratio is generally one to three. We do not make you fix your own flat tires or clean your own bikes and we certainly don’t assign chores. We provide more comfortable services and accommodation than most operations, but at a similar price.

Our service begins long before the tour departs. To help you make your decision, we provide you with a detailed Factsheet for each tour with information on what you will see, what’s included, what visas you need, what the weather is like and what to expect. When you book a space we send you a pre-departure information sheet telling you what you need to bring, how to pack and what paperwork you require.

As our clients usually come from many different directions at different times, our tours have a designated starting point so do not always include pick up at the airport. (Though we are happy to arrange transfers if you need one).

You will meet your cycle guide plus local staff and assistants who are responsible for taking care of you, your bike and to ensure that everything runs smoothly so you can enjoy a trouble-free journey with no worries about logistics or timetables.

The tour price includes all accommodation, all meals apart from the occasional lunch on some non-cycling days and maybe a dinner or two in big cities, so you can make some of your own culinary discoveries (Meals detail in your itinerary B = Breakfast , L = Lunch , D = Dinner ). Our support vehicles carry your luggage and provide a place for you to rest if you get tired. During the rides, we keep you topped up with water, fruit, soft drinks and snacks and we make sure you get a nice cold drink – and usually a cold towel as well – at the end of each ride.

At the end of the day, we make sure you get a good meal and we clean and prepare your bike for the next day’s riding.

Most meals are included and since so many meals we serve feature local cuisines, we do our best to deliver the real thing. We eat dinner together family style, which means sharing a number of delicious dishes, making sure it is an authentic feast worthy of hardworking and hungry cyclists. There is always enough food to satisfy the heartiest appetite and we provide lots of fruits and vegetables if possible . Drinking water, fruit and snacks are always available in our escort vehicle. Other drinks are not included when not riding, but are widely available at local restaurants and shops along the way. Beer and other alcoholic beverages are available but are not included in the tour price.

We strive to offer a good mix of accommodation on all of our tours, always aiming for local charm. Depending on the tour, we stay at three- or four-star lodges that compliment the local culture, and sometimes logistics forces us to become creative. If we have a great cycle route through an area where there isn’t any accommodation, so we will find a local family that is happy to work with us or perhaps set up tents for the night. In isolated or newly developing areas, we are sometimes forced to stay somewhere more basic than we would like, but it is only for one night and we make sure everything is clean and comfortable. And these places are certainly authentic, and often form some of the better memories of your tour.

Your fellow riders

Statistically speaking, an average Myanmar Cycling Tours consists of 2 -10 clients, a tour leader, a local guide, a driver and an assistant. The group of 10 will be comprised of four different nationalities (threes of which will be the AUS , UK and US), speak at least two languages, contain slightly more males than females and have an average age of 45.

All clients will contact each other at least once after the tour. Around half will remain in contact, many will become good friends, and on more than one occasion we have been invited to a wedding!

Our exceptionally good rate of return clients tells us we must be doing something right. It also tells us something about the people who join our tours. Myanmar Cycling Tours cyclists are fun and part of the attraction of our tours is meeting like-minded people with a passion for traveling by bicycle.

Solo travelers are always welcome and those who would like their own room have the option of paying a single supplement. Otherwise we will arrange for a shared room with another solo traveler (of the same sex) at no extra cost. If there is no roommate available, Myanmar Cycling Tours will cover the additional cost of a single room.

Children are welcome on our short tours . However, on our longer tours the minimum age is 18 years. This is for a number of reasons and more to do with group dynamics than the difficulty of the journey.

Visa Advice

To assist our travellers in understanding the visa and passport requirements of the countries we visit we have compiled the following information. As the requirements and fees vary according to the nationality of each traveller, and may change at any time, it is the responsibility of each traveller to verify that he or she has the appropriate travel documents for his or her nation. Myanmar Cycling Tours  is not liable for any expenses or costs arising from any traveller being denied entry into a country on the tour.

If your destination requires a visa you are responsible for ensuring that you can obtain it upon arrival or if you must arrange it prior to departure. Please note that rules often vary between air arrivals and border crossings by land. We update the information on our website as much as possible, but rules do change, so we strongly advise you to contact the nearest consulate or embassy in your respective country for official visa requirements regarding the country in which you intend to travel.

Passports

A universal requirement for Asian countries is that all passports must contain at least five blank pages and must be valid for six months after the completion of your trip.

Visas

VisasHQ is an online site to obtain visas for residents of the United States, Canada and the United Kingdom.

Myanmar (Burma)

A visa is required for all visitors to Myanmar and due to the nature of changing regulations, must be obtained from a Myanmar Embassy abroad prior to travel. Check with your nearest Myanmar embassy regarding visa requirements for travel to Myanmar, as they change frequently. For a list of embassies abroad go here.

A visa is valid for up to three months from the date of issue and costs US$20 for a stay of up to 28 days.

A visa on arrival can be obtained by anyone that does not have a Burmese embassy or consulate in their country of residence. Myanmar Cycling Tours can help arrange this for anyone who is booked on one of our trips. The application process for a pre-approved entry visa on arrival will take at least 12 working days. The visa is collected upon arrival at the airport.

 Cambodia

All nationalities require a visa. A 30 day visa on arrival is available at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap Airports and at some land border crossings, however, we strongly advise obtaining a visa in advance for land crossings due to unstable regulations. You can also obtain a visa online through e-Visa, but again, we don’t recommend using it for land border crossings.

Thailand

Unless you are staying for more than 30 days, or do not have onward air tickets, a visa for Thailand is not required by European, North American, Australian and many other nationalities. Please be prepared to show evidence of an onward international ticket to Thai immigration officials upon entry to Thailand.

Travellers without a visa arriving via a land border crossing can only stay in Thailand for 15 days.

Vietnam

Most nationalities require a visa for Vietnam and they can be obtained from any embassy worldwide .

A tourist visa is valid for a single 30 day stay. You must specify your arrival date when applying for a visa and it is from this date that the 30 days will be calculated. When picking up your visa check to be sure the dates match your travel plans and that it is stamped directly into your passport as it will not be accepted if it is stapled in or loose.

You can obtain a pre-approved entry visa online before arrival in Vietnam for a fee, however, the visa is still issued on arrival at international airports.

Health

 Pre-trip Check-up and Vaccinations

Anyone travelling on an adventure holiday should go to see their doctor for a check-up prior to the trip. Some countries will require specific vaccinations and your doctor will have access to the most up to date information about this. It is also a good idea to have a dental check-up before you go, as the facilities in many of the countries to which we travel may not be of the same standard as you are used to.

Personal First Aid Kit

Although every Myanmar Cycling Tours  trip carries a medical kit, it is advisable to bring a supply of first aid items for your own personal use. Here is a sample list:

  • Insect repellent.
  • Antiseptic cream.
  • Suncream and total bloc.
  • Throat lozenges or hard sweets.
  • Painkillers. Aspirin, Paracetamol etc.
  • Anti-diarrhoea (Diocalm or Immodium).
  • Plasters (band-aids) and ‘Second Skin’ for blisters.
  • Antibiotics. A broad-spectrum antibiotic (such as Ciproxin) suitable for a variety of infections.
  • Re-hydration salts. (Dioralite).
  • Dextrose glucose tablets.
  • Multi-vitamin tablets.

 

What to Bring

It is important that the clothing you take on your cycling holiday is appropriate for the trip you have chosen. There is a fine balance between taking too much and too little, especially considering that you need to equip yourself for differing levels of physical exertion and also for a range of climatic conditions.

On most days your main luggage will be stowed out of reach while we ride, so it is a good idea to bring a day bag or small rucksack to have quick access.

A suggested list will be included in your predeparture information, but here is some of the items that you will find on it:

  • Cycling helmet (mandatory) (if bringing your own bike)
  • Bandana or sweat band
  • Cycling gloves
  • Buff or similar
  • Biking glasses
  • Stiff soled cycling shoes / SPD shoes
  • Cycling tops – long or short sleeved depending on climate
  • Lightweight fleece top
  • Lightweight waterproof breathable biking jacket
  • Padded cycling shorts
  • Baggy overshorts or trousers (for propriety)
  • Cycling tights (if in a cold climate)
  • Sun hat
  • Miscellaneous
  • Towel
  • Sarong
  • Torch/Head Lamp
  • Sunglasses
  • Binoculars
  • Mosquito repellent
  • Sun cream.
  • Sun block for lips. Burnt lips hurt and take a long time to heal.
  • Camera. You’d be silly not to.
  • Spare batteries. For camera and flashlights.
  • Toilet kit. Suggestions: toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, moisture lotion, razor and shaving cream, tampons etc. (there won’t be any convenience stores nearby)
  • First Aid – see Health for more info
  • Electrolyte powder or tablets
  • Ear plugs.
  • Alarm Clock
  • Bike Kit (if bringing your own bike)
  • Bike (if bringing your own bike)
  • Pump
  • Allan keys
  • Chain lubricant
  • Inner tubes
  • Tire levers Puncture repair kit
  • Tires

Please be aware that if you have a high tech bike – full suspension, disk brakes, hydraulic brakes – we do not carry tools or parts for fixing all of these components, so please bring your own or you might even consider bringing a more basic bike. (if bringing your own bike).

 

Regional Airlines

Tohelp you with you tour planning we have compiled this list of national carriers and discount airlines that fly to the countries/cities where our tours start and end. This is by no means a complete list but is meant to be of assistance to those outside the region who may not know about local carriers.

Bhutan

drukair.com.bt

Burma

www.air-mandalay.com
www.airmyanmar.com
www.airasia.com

Cambodia – Phnom Penh and Siem Reap

cambodiaangkorair.com
www.pmtair.com
www.airasia.com
www.bangkokair.com

China – Yunnan

www.airchina.com
global.shenzhenair.com
www.flychinasouthern.com
www.airasia.com

Indonesia – Bali

www.garuda-indonesia.com
www.sriwijayaair.co.id
/www.batavia-air.com
www.airasia.com

India – Kochi

www.airindia.in

www.jetairways.com
www.flykingfisher.com
www.goindigo.in
www.goair.in
www.airasia.com

India – Leh

www.jetairways.com
www.goair.in

Japan

www.jal.com
www.ana.co.jp
www.skymark.jp
www.airasia.com

Laos

www.laoairlines.com
www.airasia.com

Malaysia – Kota Kinabalu

www.malaysiaairlines.com
www.airasia.com
firefly.com.my

Nepal – Kathmandu and Pokhara

www.yetiairlines.com
www.buddhaair.com

Philippines

www.philippineairlines.com
www.airphilexpress.com
www.cebupacificair.com
www.airasia.com

Sri Lanka

www.srilankan.lk
www.flykingfisher.com
www.airarabia.com
www.airasia.com

Thailand

www.thaiairways.com
www.nokair.com
www.bangkokair.com
www.airasia.com

Vietnam

www.vietnamairlines.com
www.airasia.com

 Recommended Reading

Myanmar Cycling Tours has created a reading list for each of our destinations. Working in partnership with Longitude Books, a speciality mail-order book store organized geographically. Click on the link and you’ll be taken to a selection of books and maps specifically formulated for the destination. Feel free to browse the list or you can purchase them online from Longitude Books.
 

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