Sagaing Cycling Guide

An ancient city called Sagaing is famous for its meditation centers. The peaceful place 21 km Southwest of Mandalay on the opposite bank of the Ayeyarwaddy River, known as a religious center, with dozens of Buddhists nunneries and monasteries as well as an important monastic hospital.

Pyin Oo Lwin Cycling Guide

At more than 1070 metres above sea level, Pyin Oo Lwin is a popular hill station about 70 kilometres from Mandalay on the fringe of the Shan plateau. It is a former British colonial summer hill station and nowadays Pyin Oo Lwin is an ideal and refreshing destination for visitors to Upper Myanmar. Well known for its colonial-style houses with large compound and pine trees, eucalyptus and silver-oak abound in town. Delightfully cool and pleasant the whole year round, in sharp contrast to the rest of upper Myanmar. Most places of interest can be reached on foot, by bicycle or a horse card though Kandawgyi National Botaniacl Gardens, Pyin Oo Lwin market, Pwe Kauk Falls, Dat Daw Chaing waterfall, Paik Chinmyaung caves at Wet Wun (Wet Win) and the Pagoda of the Reluctant Buddha are best.

Pyay Cycling Guide

Pyay – formerly Prome ( 5-hour drive from Yangon) is one of beautiful spots and stop on the Yangon-Bagan Highway in Myanmar with a breezy location on the Ayeyarwaddy River. Three  Ancient Myanmar Pyu Cities which were excavated,   Halin (near Shwebo), Beikthano (near Taungdwingyi) and Sri Ksetra (in Pyay)  are listed as Unesco World Heritage sites. They were existed from 2nd century BCE to Mid-11th century. Sri Ksetra Ancient city is easily accessible, just 15 minutes away from Pyay. Shwe sandaw ; one of the most famous ancient pagodas, Baw Gyi Pagoda, Payagyi and Payama Pagoda, north of the old city walls are conically-styled and were built about the sometime as the Be Be Temple.

Mount Popa Cycling Guide

Mt. Popa is an extinct volcano last active 250,000 years ago. However, Popa attraction today lies not so much in its geological aspect, but more in its religious and mystical interests which are still prevalent. Popa has been described as the Mt. Olympus of Myanmar, it is considered the abode of most powerful “Nats”. Popa today is one of the most popular pilgrimage spots in the country. At 1500 meters is the highest point in the Bago Yoma mountain range. The main attraction of the region, however, is the smaller, 730-metre conic rock Popa Taungkalat also known as the “Olympus of the Nats” because it is the home to Myanmar’s legendary 37 “Nats” (animist spirits), one hast to climb 700 steps accompanied by a crowd of monkeys to reach the top of the volcanic plug, with its many shrines and monastery. This view from Popa Taungkalat is an extraordinary panoramic view of the surrounding landscape. Around the area of Mount Popa is Popa National Park, which features dense sandalwood forests and rare species of birds and butterflies – certainly worth a walk or trek. Other attractions include two important “Nat Pwes” (or festivals) held each year – one in May-June and the other in November-December – when people from all parts of the country come to appease and worship the spirits. These spirits are evoked by so-called “Natkadaws” (mediums), who offer their bodies to individual ants. The nats still play an important part in many people’s lives in spite of the dominance of Buddhism.

Pindaya Cycling Guide

Pindaya Caves is one of the most wonderful places in Myanmar located near the town of Pindaya in Shan State.  It is famous for its extensive limestone caves that has more than 8,000 Buddha images, made of wood, marble, lacquer, brick, stone and bronze and Shwe U Min Paya and pleasant Boutaloke Lake which is set amongst huge old trees. The handicraft production of Shan Bamboo hat and umbrella and Shan Paper made out of Mulberry tree are also the attraction of Pindaya. Visitors can absorb the Pa – O and Danu villages of the countryside. Pindaya is situated at about 1,200 metres above sea level and is surrounded by hill tribe villages. Devoted Buddhist pilgrims have placed the images over the centuries and the collection is unique and well worth seeing. A major handicraft industry in Pindaya is umbrella manufacturing. Handmade from paper, the umbrellas can be seen in several workshops in town.

Hpa An Cycling Guide

Hpa-An, capital of Kayin State, on the eastern bank of Thanlwin River is a very scenic trip. Zwegapin hill is the most prominent and landmark of Kayin with a height of 2,372 ft. above the sea level located 7 miles from Hpa-An. The residents around Zwegapin are traditionally farmers, growing paddy, beans and pulses, raising orchards. Agriculture is the mainstay of Kayin people’s livelihood. Kayin people residing at the foot of Zwegapin hill are simple, honest and content with their peaceful life.

Naypyitaw Cycling Guide

One of the major cities to travel to in Myanmar is Nay Pyi Taw (Also spelled Naypyitaw or Nay Pyi Daw, translation: “Royal Kings“) located in Pyinmana Township of Mandalay Division. Nay Pyi Taw is the new capital of Myanmar, which was built in the early 21st century to serve as the administrative center of Myanmar. The huge and impressive parliament building – Hluttaw (Parliament House) and all the ministries. Nay Pyi Taw is strategically located in the central Myanmar, 376 kilometers from Yangon and 274 kilometers from Mandalay, easily accessible from both major cities. Nay Pyi Taw is the third largest city in Myanmar and fascinatingly known to be one of the 10 fastest growing cities in the world. Major attractions in Nay Pyi Taw include Uppatasanti Pagoda, the Gem Museum, Water fountain Garden, the National Landmark Garden, Zoological Garden (largest zoo in Myanmar) and Nay Pyi Taw Safari Park. There are flights via Nay Pyi Taw to tourist destinations such as Bagan, Heho, Sittwe, Myitkyina, Kyaing Tong and others.

Monywa Cycling Guide

Lies on the banks of the Chindwin River, about 140 kilometres northwest of Mandalay. It is the gateway for excursions to the cave temples of Pho Win Taung, situated across the river and usually reached by ferry. There are supposed to have been more than 400,000 Buddha image carved into the caves. Another highly regarded attraction is Thanbhodday (or Sambuddha Kat Kyaw) Pagoda, completed in 1951 after 12 years. There are about 800 small stupas on and around the pagoda, as well as 582,357 Buddha statues in and on the ceiling, walls, archways and niches of the building. The caves are famous for their Buddha statues, mural paintings and wood carvings. There are quite a few legends surrounding the caves, mostly related to famous nat spirits.

Mogok Cycling Guide

Mogok is famous for its gem mines of rubies and sapphires roughly 200km north of Mandalay. The town is nestled in a valley at over 1000 m around a large lake – the weather is cool. Mogok has been famous since ancient times for its gemstones, especially ruby and sapphire, but semi-precious stones such as lapis lazuli, garnet, and moonstone are also found. The gems are found in alluvial limestone gravels by means on panning, tunneling and digging pits by hand. Gems are sold in markets in Mogok; however, foreigners require special permits to visit the town, and purchase/export of gems from Myanmar at non-government licensed dealers is illegal.

Mingun Cycling Guide

Mingun, one of the four ancient city around Mandalay is a short boat-ride upriver from Mandalay. Not only interesting sights to see but also a very pleasant boat trip. Mingun Pahtodawryi is the big incomplete temple built by King Bodawphaya in 1790. Two chinthe in front of the building are at the height of 95ft but badly damage by the 1838 quake. King Bodawpaya dedicated a big bronze bell which was made of bronze and it is the world’s biggest ringing bell; but it is said that Buddhist devotees inserted gold, silver ornaments and jeweler into the bronze. The Bell measures eleven cubits and four thits (fingers) in diameter at its mouth; 33 cubits, 6 inches and four thits in circumference and 13 cubits, one mit and four thits in height. It weighs 55,555 viss (90 tonnes). Hsinbyume Paya or Myatheindan Paya was built by King Bagyidaw in 1816, three years before he succeeded Bodawpaya as king, the paya was constructed in memory of his senior wife the Hsinbyume princess. Unfortunately this was badly damaged in 1838 by a quake but King Mindon renovated it in 1874.