Find your ideal cycling holiday
Thailand & Myanmar - Bangkok to Yangon
18th January 2019 - 3rd February 2019 (17 days)
This is a moving on tour between the capital cities of Thailand and Myanmar with two historic and cultural themes. The first is the ‘Burma Railway’, with visits to the ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’, ‘Hellfire Pass’ and Commonwealth War Graves in Kanchanaburi and Yangon. The second is the influence of Buddhism with visits to the historic city of Sukhothai and the two most important Buddhist sites in Myanmar: Shwedagon and Golden Rock Pagodas. Southern Myanmar is off the main tourist trail and has fantastic limestone karst scenery. Cycling is mostly on flat roads, with the longest cycling distance being 100km. Because of the distances involved there are vehicle transfers at the beginning or end of many days. There will also be rest days and a cruise along the Thanlwin River.
- Holiday Type Guided
- Tour Manager Robin & Yvette Youngs
- Grade Moderate
- Booking Status Fully Booked
- Accommodation Hotel
- Board Basis Half Board
- Travel Arrangements Air
- Road / Off Road Road
- Holiday Style Moving-on
- Vehicle Support Full Vehicle Support
- Holiday Ref 01867
Friday 18th January
Fly from London Heathrow to Dubai on Emirates flight EK002, departing at 1340.
Saturday 19th January
Arrive Dubai at 0040. Onward travel to Bangkok on Emirates flight EK376, departing at 0330 and arriving at 1235. Transfer to hotel. Stay 2 nights.
Sunday 20th January
Morning guided sightseeing tour of Bangkok, visiting the Grand Palace and Wat Po. Boat trip along Chao Phraya River. Afternoon and evening free.
Monday 21st January
Vehicle transfer to Amphawa then cycle to Damnoen Saduak to visit the floating market. Transfer to Tha Maka and continue cycling along the bank of the Mae Glong River, seeing farms producing tapioca, corn and sugar cane. 55km. Vehicle transfer to Kanchanaburi. Stay 2 nights.
Tuesday 22nd January
Full-day guided tour of ‘Burma Railway’ sites. Visit the Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery and Thailand - Burma Railway Centre Museum. Two-hour train journey from the ‘Bridge over the River Kwai’ over the Wampo Viaduct to Nam Tok. After lunch, vehicle transfer to the Hellfire Pass Memorial Museum and walking trail then back to Kanchanaburi.
Wednesday 23rd January
Vehicle transfer to Hup Pa Tad National Park. Cycle to Uthai Thani visiting Wat Tha Sung en-route. 79km. Stay 1 night.
Thursday 24th January
Cycle from Uthai Thani along the west bank of the Chao Phraya River. 86km. Vehicle transfer to
Kampaeng Phet. Stay 1 night.
Friday 25th January
Cycle to Sukhothai, the capital of the first Kingdom of Siam in the 13th and 14th centuries. Late afternoon visit to Sukhothai Historic Park, a UNESCO World Heritage Site containing the remains of a Royal Palace and 26 temples. 89km. Stay 1 night.
Saturday 26th January
Cycle towards Tak. Vehicle transfer to Mae Sot. 86km. Stay 1 night.
Sunday 27th January
Cross the Thai-Myanmar border at Mae Sot / Myawaddy. Change of support team and bicycles. Vehicle transfer to Eindu, then cycle to Mawlyamine. 48km. Stay 1 night.
Monday 28th January
Morning cruise along the Thanlwin River to Hpa An. Afternoon free to explore Hpa An. Stay 2 nights.
Tuesday 29th January
Rest day. Optional morning hike to summit of Mount Zwekabin. Afternoon guided visit by vehicle to Kyauk Kalap Pagoda and Sadan Cave.
Wednesday 30th January
Cycle towards Kyaikhtiyo via Thaton. 100km. Vehicle transfer to Kinpun Base Camp, then transfer 11km uphill by public vehicle to Yathetaung Camp. Visit the Golden Rock Pagoda. Evening meal at mountain top hotel. Stay 1 night.
Thursday 31st January
Descend by public vehicle to Kinpun Basecamp, then cycle towards Bago via Waw. Vehicle transfer to
Bago. 92km. Stay 1 night.
Friday 1st February
Vehicle transfer from Bago to Yangon, visiting Taukkyan Commonwealth War Grave Cemetery en route. Late afternoon visit to Schwedagon Pagoda. Stay 1 night.
Saturday 2nd February
Morning free. Check out of hotel at lunchtime. Afternoon tour of Bogyoke and Chinatown markets. Vehicle transfer to Yangon International Airport.
Sunday 3rd February
Fly to Dubai on Emirates flight EK389, departing at 0210 and arriving at 0555. Onward flight to London Heathrow on Emirates flight EK029, departing at 0940 and arriving at 1350.
Accommodation & Meals
This will be in 3-4 star (equivalent) hotels, in double and twin ensuite rooms, based on two people sharing. Breakfasts are included and evening meals on 13 nights.
Vehicle transfers for participants, luggage and bicycles is provided as per the itinerary.
Passports, Visa & Health
EU citizens must hold a passport with at least six months validity remaining at the end of the tour. A visa is required for Myanmar, and you are responsible for completing your own visa application. Other nationals will need to check their requirements.
There are no compulsory vaccinations for foreign visitors although it is strongly recommended that you are vaccinated against Typhoid, Tetanus, Polio and Hepatitis A and B. You should contact your doctor or a foreign travel clinic at least three months prior to travel to obtain these vaccinations and the latest advice to travellers.
Our Booking Conditions stipulate that, for holidays outside the UK, travel Insurance is mandatory. Details of the level of cover needed and other conditions you should check are stated in the Booking Conditions. CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any costs that may be incurred due to insufficient insurance cover.
The price of £3,300 is based on a minimum number of 12 people taking part in the holiday and is calculated at a rate of US$1.33 to £1 sterling (based on exchange rates published on www.xe.com on 13 December 2017; please note Booking Conditions, clause 3). If there are insufficient bookings by 9th November 2018, we will contact you and return all monies paid.
- Flights from London Heathrow to Bangkok and Yangon to London
- Transfers between airports and hotels
- Vehicle transfers on cycling days as described in the itinerary
- Boat transfer from at transfer from Mawlyamine to Hpa An
- Backup vehicle to carry luggage, cyclists and bikes as required
- 14 nights hotel accommodation, B&B basis, sharing rooms
- 13 nights evening meals
- Guided tours and visits as per the itinerary
- Cycle hire costs
- Entry fees to religious sites as per the itinerary
- CTC Cycling Holidays & Tours costs
Price Does Not Include
- Travel to/from London Heathrow Airport
- Evening meal on one night
- Drinks, other than those supplied with evening meals
- Lunches or refreshments during the day (although light snacks will be supplied by the support crew on cycling days - budget US$50 to be paid locally)
- Visa costs (Myanmar e-visa US$50, as of 9 December 2017)
- Single occupancy supplement (£590, subject to availability)
- Any other personal expenses
- Gratuities (at your discretion, but allow US$50)
- Travel Insurance
A deposit of £800 per person is payable upon booking, with the final balance of £2,500 per person to be paid ten weeks prior to departure, by 9th November 2018.
Should you be forced to cancel your booking for any reason you must notify us in writing. Cancellation charges are as follows:
Written notice received:
Before 9th November 2018
From 9th November 2018 through to departure
The Area Covered By The Holiday
Thailand and Myanmar are large and diverse countries stretching from the tropical Andaman Sea in the south to the Himalayan foothills in the north. They are home to more than 100 ethnic groups. The predominant religion is Buddhism, and the countries are home to some of the world’s most
sacred Buddhist sites.
Thailand’s capital, Bangkok, is a modern highrise metropolis and yet contains some of the country’s most impressive historic sites, such as the Grand Palace. North west of Bangkok, in and around the the city of Kanchanaburi, are the sites of the ‘Burma Railway’ where during World War II the Japanese Army used forced labour to construct a railway line in brutal and frequently fatal conditions. Sukhothai was the capital of the first Kingdom of Siam in the 13th and 14th centuries and contains many important historic monuments.
For decades Myanmar remained closed to the outside world but has recently opened up to tourism and commerce. The opening of land border crossings between Thailand and Myanmar makes this tour possible. Southern Myanmar is off the main tourist trail and is home to the Mon and Kayin ethnic groups. The town of Hpa An is surrounded by dramatic karst limestone peaks, many of which contain large and sacred caves. The port city of Mawlyamine is where Kipling wrote his famous poem The Road to Mandalay. The Golden Rock Pagoda in Kyaikhtiyo is perched high on a mountain range reached by an uphill ride in an open-top truck. The capital of Myanmar, Yangon, is a busy city where there is a visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda.
Rides & Rest Days
This tour is suitable for experienced cyclists capable of distances of up to 100 kilometres and cycling on consecutive days. There are, however, rest days and days of sightseeing where the distances will be much shorter. Support vehicles will be with the group for the duration of the tour. The terrain will be on road, although some surfaces will be poorly maintained.
The landscape will vary from long tracts of farmland to forest and river valleys. The tour will pass through small towns and many villages. Most of the route will be flat or gently undulating. On riding days an early start will sometimes be made to allow cooler conditions for most of the ride. There will be no obligation for the group to stay together, although there will be rest stops where the group will rendezvous with each other and the support vehicles.
There will be a local cycling guide riding with the group. Daily cycling distances are as described in the itinerary, with vehicle transfers at the start and end of some days. Organised sightseeing to places of interest has been arranged, as are extra options on some days.
Detailed route instructions including GPX tracks will be available to download before departure.
Accommodation & Meals
The accommodation is in good and mid-range hotels. Two nights are spent at Hpa An in a deluxe mountainside lodge. One night is spent in a mountain top hotel within walking distance of the Golden Rock Pagoda. Some hotels will have swimming pools. All will have en-suite facilities and a ceiling fan or air-conditioning.
Evening meals will be provided on all but two nights either in the hotels or at a local restaurant. Thai cooking places emphasis on lightly prepared dishes with strong aromatic components and a spicy edge. Myanmar food is influenced by its Indian, Chinese and South East Asian neighbours. Curries and stir-fries are served with rice or noodles, using the abundant local produce. In addition fresh fruit is plentiful.
During each cycling day, mineral water and snacks will be provided by the support team, to be paid for from a kitty. Lunch stops will be arranged, although the nature of these will depend on the day’s itinerary.
Flights from London Heathrow to Bangkok and returning from Yangon are included in the price, but you should not make any travel arrangements to/from London Heathrow until the Tour Manager has confirmed that the tour is running.
The maximum group size will be 16 excluding the Tour Manager(s). As well as the two Tour Managers, there will also be a local cycling guide along with a mechanic and drivers.
Non-smokers only please. Also, as snoring can adversely affect the sleeping of the person you share a room with, anyone who habitually snores and wishes to share a room with someone they
have not previously met is asked to declare this on the Booking Form in the box marked ‘Medical Conditions’.
Weather & Clothing
It should be hot and dry, with daytime temperatures around 30C. For most cycling days shorts and light layers will be adequate, although an additional layer maybe needed for descents and early morning starts. Adequate sun protection when required is essential. Casual wear can be worn in the evenings. Modesty is expected in towns and temples: ladies should cover their legs and shoulders when not cycling, and in Myanmar shoes and socks are removed when visiting religious sites.
Cycles & Equipment
Bicycle travel by air is increasingly restricted. This tour involves four international flights! In addition the carriage of bicycles across the Thai-Myanmar land border presents potential problems with customs officials. As a result, participants on this tour will need to hire bikes from the local land agent. At the time of writing the bikes available are modern Specialized Pitch and TREK Marlin 7 bikes with front suspension, disc brakes and 29 or 27.5 inch wheels. You are welcome to bring your own pedals and saddle if you wish. Cycles will not be taken across the border, and thus there will be different cycles and support teams in each country. Cycle hire and mechanical support is included in the cost of the tour. The use of a helmet on this tour is strongly recommended. Sizes of participants will be supplied to the local agents before the tour so that appropriate bikes can be provided.
All luggage will be transferred by vehicle and assistance will be available if necessary. An equipment list will be included with the final documents.
Maps & Guides
Maps of Thailand and Myanmar are available from good map shops, in the UK and on line. Some of the minor roads we use will not be shown, but you will be provided with route details (including GPX tracks) and be guided by the drivers and local guide.
The address, phone and location of your accommodations will be provided. You should carry this information, and a mobile phone, if you use one, with you each day. In both Thailand and Myanmar the mobile phone network including 3G is good with widespread coverage. It is possible to purchase a local SIM card for local and international calls.
Travel Insurance & Advice
Before booking you should check the latest travel advice from the Foreign & Commonwealth Office including security and local laws, plus passport and visa information, at www.gov.uk/foreign-travel-advice or on 0845 850 2829.