Big Bike Tours are proud to offer this pure adventure tour in the unseen areas of Thailand and Myanmar (formerly Burma). They were the first tour company to organize tours across the Thailand and Myanmar border with motorbikes. They simply take your touring holidays to the next level, around unseen places and exotic countries. Big Bike Tours feature unique motorcycle tours as experience of a lifetime.
Located in the beautiful and tranquil Mae Rim Valley, a 30-minute drive from Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX), Suansawan Resort Chiang Mai, is a relaxing boutique garden resort outside of the city but still in the center of the wide range of Chiang Mai's attractions. You will be staying here on the first night of the tour.
Centara Mae Sot Hill Resort is located 10 minutes from Mae Sot Airport (MAQ) and offers easy access to Myanmar. You will be staying here on the second night of the tour.
The Mawlamyaing Strand Hotel is situated on the banks of the Thanlwin River with beautiful views of the sunset. It is located on the lower main road and Strand Road. The hotel is the most luxurious hotel in Mawlamyine with room rates being reasonably priced. You will be staying here on the third night of the tour.
Sane Let Tin Resort and Zoological Garden is a 150-acres wide resort which lies on the sloping bank of a mountain stream in Kyaik Hto, Mon State, Myanmar. You will be staying here on the fourth night of the tour.
Han Thar Gardens is a colonial style, boutique hotel with the aim to provide you with the best possible service, whether you're escaping from busy Yangon or visiting Burma from foreign shores. The rooms, oozing with rustic charm, were designed by the owner to keep you in the height of comfort during your stay. You will be staying here on the fifth and sixth night of the tour.
Set in a prime location of Pyay, Lucky Dragon Hotel puts everything the city has to offer just outside your doorstep. You will be staying here on the seventh night of the tour.
Conveniently located in Bagan, Bawga Theiddhi Hotel is a great base from which to explore this vibrant city. From here, guests can enjoy easy access to all that the lively city has to offer. You will be staying here on the eighth and ninth night of the tour.
Ayarwaddy River View Hotel is an ideal place of stay for travelers to discover the sightseeing, religious interests, and culture district of Mandalay. It is overlooking the Ayarwaddy River so guests will have a great river view in the hotel room as well as watch the sunset in the sky bar at the rooftop of the hotel. You will be staying here on the tenth and eleventh night of the tour.
Thanakha Inle Hotel is located in the heart of Shan State, facing the Inle Lake canal and green mountains, in the busy town of Nyaung Shwe. You will be staying here on the twelfth and thirteenth night of the tour.
You will be staying here on the fourteenth night of the tour.
You will be staying here on the fifteenth night of the tour.
You will be staying here on the sixteenth night of the tour, in superior rooms.
Nestled in a bustling neighborhood just off Tapae Road and in walking distance to the Tapae Gate entrance to the old city, Banthai Village is a cozy retreat that also affords easy access to much of Chiang Mai’s best attractions including the Sunday walking street market and the night bazaar. You will be staying here on the seventeenth and eighteenth night of the tour.
Arrival at Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX) from Bangkok. Your guide will await you outside customs hall and transfer you to Mae Saa Valley, located roughly 20 kilometers north of Chiang Mai. You will have dinner with the tour crew and your accommodation will be at a standard room in Centara Away Suansawan Resort, Mae Rim at Mae Saa Valley.
You will have breakfast at the resort. Today’s ride from Chiang Mai to Mae Sot at the border between Thailand and Myanmar is, although relatively long (360 kilometers), an easy ride for which you can use the whole day. Much of it is on dual-lane highway, except for the last 80 kilometers which will take you along a nice and winding road across the mountain range separating Mae Sot from the rest of Thailand. You will have lunch and dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation for tonight is at Centara Mae Sot Hills Resort.
Today, you will cross the Goodwill Bridge which links Mae Sot with Myawaddy, Thailand with Myanmar. As it is not usual that Myanmar immigration and customs officials are dealing with a group of motorcycles entering Myanmar, the team are prepared to have a lot of patience until the lengthy procedures to get all the papers right, inspect all the motorcycles, and others are terminated.
Afterwards, you will drive from Myawaddy across the Dawna Mountain Range to Kawkareik on the western side of the mountain range. Immediately after leaving Myawaddy on the Burmese side of the border, you will encounter what will be the worst road (but only road link available) during the tour to Burma. Approximately 45 kilometers of road are in a bad state so that the Myanmar government has decided to let traffic use this road in only one direction on alternate days - hence you should encounter no or almost no traffic in the opposite way on this stretch of road. You will have lunch at a local restaurant on the way.
Later, you will cross the Thanlwin (Salween) River for the first time as you continue to Thaton, get onto the main road linking north and south Myanmar and continue in the southern direction towards Mawlamyine (Moulmein). Shortly before you reach Mawlamyine, you will cross over the Salween River again as you take Burma’s longest bridge connecting the cities of Mottama and Mawlamyine. You will have dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation is in a superior room at Mawlamyine Strand Hotel.
You will have breakfast at the hotel. You will start the day with a short excursion of around 20 kilometers to Mudon, site of a huge reclining Buddha. From there, you will drive north, again across the Thanlwin (Salween) Bridge, as you continue to Thaton, which was the capital of the former Thaton Mon Kingdom which ruled lower Burma from the ninth to eleventh century and stretched far into Thailand. Lunch will be at a local restaurant on the way.
From Thaton, you will continue in the northern direction to Kyaik Hto, a small town in Mon State, known for its rubber plantations and the Golden Rock Pagoda in the vicinity. Dinner and overnight accommodation will be at Sane Le Tin Resort which also boasts a small private zoo.
You will have a very early breakfast at the hotel. The morning is spent visiting one of Myanmar’s landmarks, famous for its precarious position and religious importance: Kyaiktiyo: the ‘Golden Rock’, a huge boulder completely covered by gold leaf and delicately balanced on the edge of a cliff. You will ride to Kin Mon, the base camp from where a steep 15-kilometer road leads to the upper staging point.
The journey is made in open trucks, which are very crowded. From the summit where you disembark from the truck, it is a mere 10 to 15 minute walk to the Golden Rock. A visit to the Golden Rock is a mesmerizing experience as you will encounter the religiosity of Myanmar people in stunningly beautiful natural surroundings. Afterwards, you will return to Kin Mon base camp by truck. Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
Next, you will take off in the direction of Bago, also called Pegu and formerly known as Hanthawaddy (or Hongsawadee to the Thais). Dinner will be at a local restaurant. Accommodation is at Han Thar Gardens Resort.
You will have breakfast at the hotel. Today, you will leave your motorcycles behind as bikes are not allowed in Yangon (Rangoon), the capital of Burma. You will ride by bus into Yangon (approximately 90 kilometers) and to the Chauk Htat Gyi Pagoda containing a huge reclining Buddha image. Then, you will visit the tranquil Kandawgyi (Royal) Lake with Karaweik Hall, a royal floating barge.
This is an ideal spot to take photographs of the lake and the beautiful gardens and trees lining its shores. Then you will enjoy a typical Myanmar lunch at a local restaurant. In the afternoon, you will drive to the eastern entrance of Shwedagon Pagoda. After that, you will return to Bago. Dinner will be at a local restaurant. Accommodation is at Han Thar Gardens Resort.
You will have breakfast at the hotel. You will leave Bago in the morning and ride to Pyay (formerly called Prome), situated on the banks of the Ayeyarwaddy (Irrawaddy) River. Most of today’s drive will takes you through vast plains made colorful with small villages and towns. Lunch is taken at a local restaurant on the way.
Prome is a lovely town and if time permits, you will visit the Shwesandaw Pagoda on the eastern bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River, one of the most scenic spots in the country. Dinner will be at a local restaurant. Accommodation is at Lucky Dragon Hotel.
You will have breakfast at the hotel. The ride today will take you in the northern direction and more or less along the Ayeyarwaddy River, all the way to Bagan. Again, the landscape is mostly flat and becoming visibly more arid. Lunch and dinner will be at a local restaurant. Overnight accommodation is in superior rooms at Bawga Theiddhi Hotel in New Bagan.
You will have breakfast at the hotel. Today, you will explore the archaeological site of Bagan. Visits include the golden stupa of Shwezigon Pagoda, which is Bagan’s most important reliquary shrine. Look out for images of the 37 ‘nats’ housed in a small hall. You will also visit Gubyaukgyi (Wetkyi In Village). Lunch will be at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, you will learn about one of Myanmar’s most treasured handicrafts at a lacquerware craftsmen’s workshop in nearby Myinkaba Village.Then, you will continue to Manuha Temple. Finally, you will proceed to Shwesandaw Pagoda to watch the sunset over the Ayeyarwaddy River. Dinner will be at a local riverside restaurant. Accommodation is in a superior room at Bawga Theiddhi Hotel.
You will have breakfast at the hotel. Today, a scenic overland journey leads you first to Mount Popa (approximately 50 kilometers), an extinct volcano with a shrine dedicated to animist spirits known as “Nats”. For the energetic - and if time allows it - there is the possibility to climb the 777 steps to the shrine at the top of the volcanic plug. Afterwards, you will continue the journey through pleasing landscape and local villages to Mandalay. Lunch will be at a local restaurant. Dinner and accommodation will be at Ayeyarwaddy River View Hotel.
You will have breakfast at the hotel. In the morning, you will drive out of Mandalay to Amarapura to visit Mahagandayone Monastery, home to some 1,200 monks and one of the most prestigious monasteries in Myanmar. Afterwards, you will take a stroll over a historic bridge known as U Bein Bridge, originally built in 1851 entirely of teak wood and spanning over the Taungthaman Lake. You will return to Mandalay for lunch at a local restaurant.
In the afternoon, you will experience the sights and sounds of Mandalay and start with a visit to one of the most revered religious monuments of Myanmar, the Mahamuni Pagoda. Then, you will continue to Shwe Nan Daw Kyaung or the Golden Palace Monastery, a superb example of a traditional wooden building and Kuthodaw Pagoda, the world’s largest book made of marble. Dinner will be at Bistro @ 82nd Street. Accommodation will be at Ayeyarwaddy River View Hotel.
You will have breakfast at the hotel. Today’s ride promises to become very scenic as you head into the mountains and up to the high plateau of Southern Shan State. Lunch will be at a local restaurant on the way. In the afternoon, you will reach Nyaungshwe at the fabled Inle Lake. Dinner and accommodation will be at Thanakha Inle Lake Hotel.
You will have breakfast at the hotel. Inle Lake is a photographer’s dream as its calm waters are dotted with floating vegetation and fishing canoes, to which scenic high hills provide the perfect backdrop. You will spend most of the day touring the lake by boat, passing endless floating gardens, where fruit and vegetables are grown and will observe the lake’s unique “leg rowers” - the Intha people row standing up with one leg wrapped around an oar.
You will also visit Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda, the holiest religious site in southern Shan State, and see traditional handicrafts such as silk weaving on wooden handlooms and a blacksmith shop. Lunch will be at a local restaurant on the lake. Dinner will be at a local restaurant. Accommodation will be in deluxe rooms at Thanakha Inle Lake Hotel.
You will have breakfast at the hotel. Today’s ride takes you first up a steep mountain to Taunggyi, the capital of Southern Shan State. From there, you will ride into fantastic mountain scenery and on a road which, until this year, was forbidden for any foreign visitors. You will ride through spectacularly beautiful mountain scenery and through many ethnic minority villages, particularly of the Shan people.
Lunch will be taken at a local restaurant on the way. You will reach Namsang, an important Shan town, in the early afternoon. You will have dinner at a local restaurant. Accommodation at the simple Shwe Ngar Kan guesthouse in Namsang.
You will have breakfast at the guesthouse. The road takes you in the eastern direction, through spectacularly beautiful landscape and villages that are predominantly of the Shan and Palaung minorities. Lunch will be at a local restaurant on the way.
In the afternoon, you will cross again the Salween River, which you had already encountered on your very first day in Burma more than 1,000 kilometers further South. After you have crossed the river, a piece of work expects you as the last 80 kilometers to your destination will takes you up and over an important mountain range. Beware of construction sites, landslides, and pot holes on the way. Dinner and accommodation will be at the simple, yet comfortable Sein Yatanar guesthouse in Mongping.
You will have breakfast at the hotel. Today’s drive starts with another challenge as you will take again up and over spectacular mountains in direction of Kengtung, which is the capital of Eastern Shan State. Kengtung is a lovely town built around a lake. Upon arrival in Kengtung, you will have lunch at a local restaurant.
After lunch, you will leave Kengtung in Southern direction and ride one more time through beautiful mountains on a good and relatively fast road towards the city of Tachilek on the Burmese-Thai border. On the way, you will have to twice pass police and immigration checkpoints before you will reach the busy Tachilek. Dinner will be at a local restaurant. Accommodation will be at Shwe Buu Thee Hotel (superior rooms) in Tachilek.
You will have breakfast at the hotel. Your day begins with the border formalities as you exit Myanmar and enter back into Thailand. Then, you will continue on a very good, but busy road towards Chiang Rai. Right after passing Chiang Rai, you will visit Wat Rong Khun, a contemporary purely white temple with startling design. Afterwards, you will continue towards Chiang Mai and enjoy lunch at a local restaurant on the way. Arrival in Chiang Mai in the late afternoon. Dinner and accommodation will be at Ban Thai Village Hotel (superior rooms).
You will have breakfast at the hotel. You will spend the full day at leisure. Chiang Mai has a lot to offer: shopping, culture, and a vibrant pub and bar scene. There is also the possibility to undertake an optional excursion up to Doi Suthep Mountain overlooking Chiang Mai and to visit Wat Doi Suthep, Chiang Mai’s most revered temple on the mountaintop.
According to an old legend, Monk Sumana presented the king with a bone relic of the Lord Buddha. He then tied it to the back of a royal elephant that stomped through the jungle for days. The elephant finally stopped at the actual place of the temple where he died. Both the king and monk Sumana agreed that this would be the place where Doi Suthep temple would be built. A farewell dinner will take place at a popular restaurant. Accommodation will be in a superior room at Ban Thai Village Hotel.
You will have breakfast at the hotel and then transfer to Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX).
The tour will start in the morning, at 08:30, the day after your arrival day. The tour will finish after the breakfast at the hotel on the departure day.
Most nationalities do not require a visa to enter Thailand for a stay that does not exceed 30 days. However, it is important to note that Thailand’s immigration regulations require that passports must remain valid at least six months beyond visitors’ intended length of stay in Thailand.
Furthermore, it is important to note that Thai immigration authorities only grant a visa-free stay of maximum 15 days in Thailand if tourists enter the country overland (from Burma) rather than through an international airport. Hence, after returning overland from Burma, you will only be allowed a maximum visa-free stay of 15 days in Thailand.
First of all, please note that today it is irrelevant whether you refer to Myanmar. In order to facilitate the issuance of visas through a Myanmar Embassy or Permanent Mission, it is best if persons with pre-booked travel arrangements submit along with their visa application a so-called “Visa Confirmation Letter” from the tour operator in Yangon responsible for the tour arrangements.
Big Bike Tours shall obtain the visa confirmation letter and forward it to you. The confirmation letter implies that the tour operator is responsible for you during your entire stay in Myanmar and eliminates further questioning by the Myanmar Embassy.
Please note that Myanmar Embassies generally do not consider the exact travel dates but simply stamp visas valid for three months and entitling the holder for one single entry into Myanmar within these three months. Therefore, Big Bike Tours will forward to you the visa confirmation letter approximately one and a half months before the start of the tour to ensure that the validity of your visa will extend beyond the length of your stay in Myanmar.
Once you have received your visa confirmation letter, you should contact the nearest Myanmar Embassy or Permanent Mission to obtain visas application forms, fill in the visa application forms in triplicate, attach one passport photo to each copy of the application form, and enclose a printout copy of the visa confirmation letter with the application.
During this motorcycle tour, you will visit the following places:
This motorcycle tour will take place in Chiang Mai, Mae Sot, and Chiang Rai in Thailand and in Mawlamyine, Golden Rock, Bago, Yangon, Pyay, Bagan, Mandalay, Inle Lake, Mongping, and Kengtung in Myanmar.
It is a cave temple with fine frescoes of the ‘Jataka Tales’, Ananda Temple, a whitewashed masterpiece of Mon architecture with four standing Buddhas, and the adjacent brick monastery with beautiful, well-preserved 18th century murals.
Hanthawaddy, or Hongsawadee to the Thais, is located only 80 kilometers to the northeast of Yangon. You will visit the charming and characteristic monastery of Kya Khet Wai, an eminent teaching center for hundreds of monks from neighboring regions who come to study Buddhism and the over a thousand years old Shwemawdaw Pagoda with its spire taller than the Shwedagon Pagoda.
If there's enough time, you can also visit the 55-meter long reclining Shwe Tha Lyaung Buddha, which is among the country’s most impressive Buddha images.
It was built in the Mon-style in 1059, and Myingaba Gu Byaukgyi Temple, a temple noteworthy for its mural paintings which today are under the protection of UNESCO.
Mawlamyine is Myanmar’s third largest city and capital of Mon State. This charming and multicultural city lies at the mouth of the Salween River and was British Burma’s first capital from 1826 to 1852.
Depending on how much time remains after arrival, you visit the Kyaikthanlan Pagoda which the famous English writer, Rudyard Kipling, meant in his poem when he wrote: “By the old Moulmein pagoda lookin’ lazy at the sea. There’s a Burma girl a-sittin’ and I know she thinks o’ me”. Sunsets at this pagoda are a scene to behold.
Passing the picturesque streets of Yangon and enjoying nice photo opportunities, you will ride towards the Shwedagon Pagoda. You will walk through the small shops where monk accessories, Buddha statues, flowers, and many items are sold. The entrance to the Shwedagon Pagoda is always very busy with sellers and Myanmar visitors.
You will enjoy the sunset at Shwedagon Pagoda, famous worldwide for its golden stupa is the ‘heart’ of Buddhist Myanmar. The pagoda is believed to be 2,500 years old and the central stupa in surrounded by dozens of intricately decorated buildings and statues. There are always many Myanmar people praying and making offerings at Shwedagon, and it’s a fascinating place to spend time watching the world go by.
It is a contemporary purely white temple with startling design. Inside the temple, you will find astonishing paintings (they even include George Bush and Keanu Reeves). The artist, Chalermchai Kositpipat, also created the mural paintings at the Buddha Prateep Temple in London.
You will be provided with daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner during this motorcycle tour. Your meals on the arrival and departure days are not included in the price.
Every day, Big Bike Tours will offer advice on the best things to see and do, but you’re under no pressure to follow the (small) crowd. You can strike out on your own at any time and simply meet back up with the group when you’re ready. Big Bike Tours will have preferred routes mapped out for you - but anyway, you choose to arrive at the booked hotel is up to you! There are elephants and water buffalo although you might not get there in time for dinner.
Please book your flight to arrive at Chiang Mai International Airport (CNX). Most customers touring with Big Bike Tours usually come from Bangkok and in this case, they recommend traveling up to Chiang Mai by one of the many flights operating on this route. It is not expensive and with companies such as Air Asia. The earlier you book, the cheaper the flight.
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