Rural Encounters outside Bagan by Bicycle

Rural Encounters outside Bagan by Bicycle

An active biking break from temple and pagoda galore into Bagan’s rural landscape


The opulence of Bagan as a former empirical powerhouse still ebbs across the plains. With over 2000 temples, pagodas and stupas etched in the history books, there are little words to describe, without the excessive use of superlatives to come even close to the real deal, to get a sense of the region. Bagan attracts visitors from before sunrise to sunset with its stone-slabbed religious sites which are still actively used as a source for solace and reaffirmation of faith. Further away, a new world opens up – a world filled with authenticity, a sense of adventure and void of the main attraction of one of Myanmar’s largest tourism magnet.

It is a day of biking through the vastness of agricultural lands, dotted with small villages for a view in how little life has changed for decades and one day doing this in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle. Slated to bring out the best of Bagan from a non-temple point of view, this is a must-do tour option when authenticity scores top marks on your bucket list.


Day 1 | 2 Days Away from the Bagan Temples


Bagan – Countryside – Bagan                                                                                        [L]

An early morning departure from your Bagan hotel starts by meeting your bicycle guide for the coming 2 days. He will assist you in setting your saddle and steering wheel at the correct height before your pedalling adventure commences. Depending on the location of your accommodation versus the Nyaung Oo boat jetty, the first kilometres are recognisable views with examples of the expansive Bagan plains passing by in a leisurely tempo. From the jetty, we cross the Irrawaddy River to the Tha Phan Pin where we unload our bicycles and start touring into a whole new world. We end this first part at Htan Taw Chauk, famous for its basket weaving industry. Local villagers use strips from sugar palm branches to weave household goods and farming items of any kind. Through and along plantations, fields and farms, we continue our journey through this lesser-known part of Bagan. Depending on the season, stops will be made to watch farmers tending their grounds to grow eggplant, corn, peanuts, sesame and more.

Our weaving stops are not completed when skipping Thazin Village, known for using cane to make all kinds of daily household goods for the domestic market. Before knocking on the door of a farm house for a locally prepared lunch, admiring the skilful hands of the cotton weavers at I Shay village completes the morning. Around this time, you have biked for approximately 25 kilometres through rural Myanmar.

A simple local lunch is served at a farm house

With lunch completed, we continue our biking trip towards I Gyi village. A community that specialises in growing Acacia Intsia (Sue Pote in Myanmar Language), egg plants and okra, the sheer pleasure of seeing these hospitable people at work as your guide explains how the local produce turns from seed to dinner plate will enrich your experience. We make our final trip of the day back to the shores of the Irrawaddy and cross back into familiar Bagan territory from the Let Pan Chaung Jetty. The final pedalling kilometres are reserved for heading back to your resort in either Old or New Bagan. In total, your wheels have traversed through the landscape around Bagan for around 45 kilometres.

Dinner is on own arrangement.

Overnight at your hotel in Bagan

Day 2 | 2 Days Away from the Bagan Temples


Bagan – Countryside – Bagan                                                                                        [L]

Staying today on the Bagan side of the Irrawaddy, your guide and an air-conditioned vehicle are at your disposal to venture away from the Bagan temples and get a taste of an extraordinary local experience. For the first 30 minutes of this day, the landscape and route we’re taking heads straight to Ahtet Nyint, one of the few villages growing the well-known betel vine. Betel chewing has still maintained its popularity amongst all layers of Burmese society and continues to use the seeds for chewing…with red-tainted teeth as a clearly visible result.

Back to the west bank of the Irrawaddy via a bridge and off to Kandaw (a good 40 minutes’ drive). This town has been the centre for old car tires and recycling every little shred of rubber has become an art form for the families that work with this material. From buckets to slippers, these rubber masters are able to create anything with leaving hardly any waste material. The exploration of the western side of the Irrawaddy continues and brings you to Ohntaw, known for making broom sticks by using sticks from coconut palm leaves. Finally, as our last stop of the day, we head over to Pakokku for a local lunch and meet the people who have been making local cigars for generations.

Lunch included at a local restaurant in Pakokku

The final leg of this 2 day journeys is heading back to your resort in Bagan where you will say goodbye to your guide and thank him for showing you that there is more than temples and pagodas when exploring Bagan.




  • Tours with licenced English-speaking guiding services / assistance. Other languages are on request and are subject to availability
  • Accommodation in Bagan at a selected hotel
  • Use of a well-maintained bicycle during the trip, including helmet
  • All entrance fees for visits as mentioned in the program
  • All applicable taxes, service charges and baggage handling
  • All meals as indicated in the program (food only)


  • Personal expenses such as other meals, drinks, tips and gratuities, shopping, portage fees and optional tours/ visits, unless otherwise stated
  • Hotel accommodation in the destination of commencement
  • Any domestic / international airline tickets, airport taxes, visa fees, specific camera / video fees, additional transportation cost from and to the general pick-up / drop-off regions (such as airports, out-of-town resorts, ports, harbours and accommodation in surrounding towns)
  • Any accommodation expenses of a personal nature. This includes (compulsory festive) meals and drinks, mini-bar consumption, laundry, room service, any telephone or other communication cost not mentioned in the program
  • International travel and medical insurance coverage for customers


  • Customers booking this this leisurely bicycle tour may expect some light hills, unequal terrain and/or some bicycle carrying along the way. A minimal degree of fitness may be needed to enjoy this excursion to the fullest.
  • Recommend to bring a small back pack with you for essentials to bring with you.
  • We will do all possible to comply with any dietary requirements during this tour; it may not always be possible to confirm your wishes in advance based on the choice of local restaurants.
  • Natural elements of any kind have a destructive effect on electronic equipment. It the customer’s own responsibility to ensure that any camera, mobile telephone or other device is properly wrapped and protected against these elements. We cannot be held responsible in any way for negligence and/or not following suggestions for any damage related to this.
  • Tours and excursions often include obstacles of various kinds that may not make this excursion suitable for wheelchair users or guests with limited mobility.
  • We reserve the right to make necessary changes to the tour in case of unfavourable weather conditions or situations where we are forced to make alterations to guarantee the safety of our guests.
  • The protection of the country’s flora, fauna and its historical and cultural treasures is of immense importance for us. We will not pursue any activities that are not in line with our animal, wildlife and environment protection principles.
  • Guests traveling over and during local holidays may experience longer waiting times than normal, may see certain sites being closed down, and this program may be subject to supplementary charges.
  • Please ensure that you bring sunglasses, a hat /cap and sunblock with a high SPF factor when traveling with us. Even when it is cloudy, the sun still has an immense power.
  • Due to the nature of this tour, we regret to inform you that this excursion is not suitable for children under the age of 12. Families with children under this age may be denied participating based on the terms and conditions of this tour.
  • All mentioned times, durations and stops are based on approximations and may change due to unforeseen circumstances, weather and traffic conditions beyond our control.


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