Burma Cycle 2018
This is a unique biking challenge, starting in Burma’s second largest city – Mandalay , through unchanged villages dotted alongside the Irrawaddy River to our finish line at Inle Lake - a wonderful world of floating gardens and stilted villages.
Join us for a challenge you’ll never forget and help us care for more people living with a terminal illness.
Day by day, here’s what you and your fellow cyclists will get up to on your adventure.
Cycle grading: Challenging
This is when your adventure begins, meeting the group at the airport and flying to Mandalay via Bangkok.
On arrival in Mandalay, you'll be met by our local guides and transferred to our first hotel. Mandalay is the second largest city in Burma and is growing into a modern city. But beneath its bustling bravado, there is a more meditative side to life, as it's home to three in five of Burma's Buddhist monks.
This afternoon we will have our bike fitting before taking a short visit to watch the stunning sunset from Mandalay Hill. We end the evening with dinner in a traditional Burmese restaurant before a full bike breifing of the days to come.
Mandalay - Sagaing - Mingun
After a fuelling breakfast, we are straight out on our bikes. Heading the southwest of the city, our first destination is the 18th century capital of Amarapura where we visit U-Bein Bridge, a 200 year old teak bridge. We'll walk along this 2 kilometre bridge, which offers fabulous views of the surrounding farms and streams.
We continue by bike across the Irrawaddy River to Mingun, where we get a chance to explore the unique sites of this riverside village including the famous Mingun Pahtodawqi. The construction of this awe-inspiring pagoda began in the 18th century but remains unfinished to this day.
We then jump on a boat trip back to Mandalay, stopping at several cultural sites. We'll visit a traditional workshop making gold leaf, where the craftsmen use ancient techniques handed down over generations. You'll also visit the Mahamuni Pagoda, home to one of the country's most revered Buddha images.
The night will be spent in a local hotel.
Mandalay - Pindaya
Today, our bike challenge strarts at the Ayerwaddy Valley. After lunch in Ywar Ngan, we leave the plains of the Valley and enter the Shan Hills where our next stop is the Shan village of Kyone.You will notice differences in the landscape and cultural aspects as we cycle further in to the Shan state. Pines and bamboo now line the roads, and the accents and languages will change.
We then cycle to Pindaya, where we will visit the 'golden' limestone Pindaya Caves on top of the Shan Hills that are filled with thousands of Buddha images.
Pindaya to Kalaw
After breakfast, it's back on our bikes for another superb day riding through the pretty pine-clad and colourful villages of the Shan Plateau.
We will be transferred to our hotel in Kalaw. This town has a cool reputation among travellers and is surrounded by dramatic mountains, flowing rivers and bamboo grooves.
Kalaw to Nyaung Shwe
Today, we make our way to Inle Lake on one our longer, but less challenging, days of riding. We start with a great downhill ride to Aungban before we ride back up into the hills. We cycle around the Heho plains and climb up into the Nyaung Shwe Valley. As you climb, you will reach a spectular vantage point of the Inle Lake at your feet, the open road in front of you, and the might Shan Mountains as your backdrop.
From here we descend to Inle Lake to finish out day.
Nyaung Shwe to Inle Lake
The final day on our bikes! We begin today by cycling to a small lake village of Indein. After lunch, we'll cross the lake by boat, and cycle the last bit of this wonderful challenge to Red Mountain Estate Winery. Red Mountain produces a wide variety of wine with locally grown grapes of French and Spanish origins. Enjoy an optional tasting or go for a stroll around the vineyard.
Tonight we celeberate our biking achievements with a special Burmese dinner.
We catch an early morning flight from Mandalay, saying goodbye to this beautiful country and bringing back amazing memories of our challenge.
This itinerary is subject to change with any change in Community regulations as well as Governmental changes and natural circumstances beyond our control.
This itinerary is complex and subject to change.
By taking on this once in a lifetime challenge for Marie Curie you will help us care for more people living with a terminal illness. And when you join us you, we’ll help you have a trek you’ll never forget. You’ll get:
- training guides, hints and tips to get you ready for your big challenge
- lots of fundraising ideas in your welcome pack. If you’re keen to get started with your fundraising right away, check out our fundrasing ideas
- access to a local community fundraiser who’ll advise you and help you smash your target
- two Marie Curie representatives who’ll trek the entire way, join you on a training day and organise a post-trek reunion
- we’ll set up a Facebook group just for your trek, so you can chat with your fellow trekkers before the trip starts
- a 15% discount at Cotswold Outdoors to help with your gear buying.
Our treks are designed to make sure you have a fantastic time, so you don’t have to think about the details, just enjoy. The trek includes:
- return flights
- local transfers
- an experienced trek leader who’s fully trained and knows the route and sites
- a doctor in the unlikely event of injury or sickness
- all meals while trekking.
The Ultimate Travel Company
This challenge is organised through the Ultimate Travel Company. Ultimate Travel have over 16 years running pioneering charity challenges including Kilimanjaro and the Inca Trail. They use the best ground agents, the most experience trek staff and doctors to ensure you have a safe and memorable challenge.
Frequently asked questions
Do I need to sign up online?
Signing up online is quick and easy to do and it saves us vital money to put towards supporting people living with a terminal illness. The registration form is also available to download and print. If you are not able to sign up right now, why not save this page to your favourites so you can sign up online later?
Who can take part?
People over the age of 18 who are looking for a challenge are able to take part. The group size will be approximately 30-40 with people of all ages and from all backgrounds. The majority will be on their own, but some will go with friends, partners or relatives.
The event will be tough and exhilarating, but it will be fantastically rewarding and is suitable for anyone with a bit of grit, determination and willingness to work as part of a team.
How fit do I have to be?
This is a challenging trip and you will need to train extremely hard to succeed. All our challenges are designed to suit people who are fit and have trained to take part - the fitter you are the more you will enjoy the adventure. We will cycle approximately 70-80 kilometres per day (7-8 hours).
Will I need specialist kit?
We will send you a recommended packing list in your welcome pack which will detail any specialist equipment you may need.
What is not included in the package?
- Registration fee
- Travel insurance
- Recommended vaccinations
- Tips and gratuities
- Personal spending money
- Cycling helmet
What food and drink will there be?
Bottled water is provided throughout the trip. All meals are provided on the challenge and will include lots of carbohydrates such as pasta and potatoes, along with cereals, bread, fresh fruit, vegetables and eggs, plus some meat. There will be vegetarian options at every meal. Feel free to bring a few of your favourite snacks too. Please let us know in advance of any special dietary requirements.
What about vaccinations?
As a guide diphtheria, hepatitis A and typhoid are advisable, and tetanus and polio vaccinations should be up to date. We recommend you seek professional medical advice from your GP.
How will I be supported?
Beforehand: You will be sent a fundraising pack with great tips on how to meet your sponsorship target. We will be in touch regularly and will organise a briefing day where you’ll meet other trekkers and hear more about the challenge.
During the trip: Your group will be accompanied by a doctor and trek leader, as well as a Marie Curie representative. Local guides will escort the group along the route. Your luggage will be transported by vehicle to each camp.
Can I cover the cost of the trip myself?
We ask you to raise a minimum of £3,650. A minimum of £1,845* will go directly to Marie Curie, as well as anything you raise over the minimum sponsorship. If you would like to pay for the trip yourself please contact us on 0800 716 146 for further information.
*Based on minimum participant numbers
What will the weather be like?
November is dry season month. We can expect to enjoy 10-11 hours of sunshine a day. The rainfall is almost non-existent. The average temperature is 28 degrees Celsius.
Passports and visas
Participants should have at least six months’ validity on their passports from the date of return to the UK. British passport holders will require a visa to enter Burma which must be obtained prior to departure. We will send you more information on this nearer the time.
Can I extend my stay?
Anyone wanting to stay on after the trek can arrange to do so through Ultimate Travel at an additional cost and subject to availability.
How can I help limit the environmental impact of travelling abroad for this trek?
Marie Curie is committed to responsible tourism. This challenge is organised by our tour operator, Ultimate Travel, which will provide guidelines on responsible tourism.
What are the deadlines for my sponsorship money?
We require the 80% minimum of £2,920 by 31/08/2018. The remainder of the sponsorship is due 4 weeks after you return from the event.
If you have any further questions please call the events team on 0800 716 146 or email email@example.com.