Best of Myanmar & the top of Thailand
Myanmar is finally slowly opening its gates for tourism. Be one of the first to explore this exotic country with its many hidden beauties and landscapes behind the handlebars of a BMW touring motorcycle. We have combined the best areas in Myanmar and Thailand with historical sites along the route.
Expect one million impressions, great food, and diversity, friendly and smiling people. This itinerary comprises some of the best ridings all over Myanmar and Thailand with endless corners, great paved roads, and spectacular scenery. Do you know that you are actually riding in the Himalayan mountain ridge?
This trip begins and ends in Chiang Mai. Among the highlights, White temple in Chiang Rai, crossing over the spectacular Mong Ka mountain range in Myanmar. Boat trip on Inle Lake, visit the thousands of pagodas of Old Bagan. Myanmar’s new capital, Naypyitaw, visit one of the holiest Buddhist sites in South East Asia, the Golden Rock.
Ending the tour with the famous Mae Hong Son Loop, the road of 1,864 bends along a 300 km stretch (don’t worry – there are countless more corners to ride). Spending one night in the hippy capital of South East Asia, Pai before returning to Chiang Mai.
|DEPARTURE/RETURN LOCATION||Chiang Mai/CNX|
|DEPARTURE TIME||Please arrive at least 2 hours before the flight.|
|TOUR GUIDE LANGUAGE|
“At Explorify Tours we believe that good experiences and camaraderie are at least as important as the tour. Our goal is to fill your tour bag with as many positive memories as possible, so you go home with a big smile on your face. And with friends, you didn’t have before you started your adventure tour.”
Day 1: Departure - Arrival Chiang Mai, Thailand
Upon arrival at Chiang Mai airport transfer to hotel (arrival not later than 1 pm). At 3 PM transfer to Bike Tour Asia for a welcome briefing, answer any questions you might have and motorcycle hand over. Short motorcycle ride back to your hotel. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Day 2: Chiang Mai - Chiang Rai
(Driving day 2: 220 km/137 miles)
The first day of our Myanmar & Thailand Motorcycle Tour is a great way to get familiar with your motorcycle and the local riding environment. In the morning we head northeast towards Chiang Rai. Break at Doi Chang Coffee Shop, excellent coffee, and cakes.
Another 20 km and we leave the main road and ride up the mountain to Doi Chang coffee plantation – a great remote and scenic area. During the afternoon when getting close to Chiang Rai we stop at Wat Rong Khun (White Temple), the remarkable temple which is today recognized as one of the main attractions all over Thailand. Park your motorcycle and take a stroll inside the temple. There are plenty of coffee shops around the temple. From here we have a short 30 minutes to our hotel downtown Chiang Rai which is your destination of the day. Overnight in Chiang Rai.
Day 3: Chiang Rai - Keng Tung (Myanmar)
(Driving day 3: 220 km/137 miles)
We leave Chiang Rai to the legendary Golden Triangle where the three borders of Thailand, Myanmar and Laos meet. Ride up to the viewpoint at Wat Pra That Pukhao for the signature group photo for our Myanmar & Thailand Motorcycle Tour. From here we ride to Mae Sot, the most northern part of Thailand, and also one of the main border crossings with Myanmar. After clearing Thai custom and immigration we cross the bridge to Myanmar. Here we meet our local guide, finalize custom and immigration and we are in the town of Tachileik. Riding on the right side we continue a nice road along the Sai River to Keng Tung which is our end destination for the day. Overnight in Keng Tung.
Day 4: Keng Tung - Nam Sang
(Driving day 4: 340 km/211 miles)
Today we have a long and beautiful riding day in front of us through Myanmar hinterland. Leaving Keng Tung behind us we ride the switchbacks up the Mong Ka mountain range. There is not much traffic in this part of Myanmar. Nature is spectacular, plenty of good photo opportunities. We head east through forested hills and remote outlying regions to Mong Ping were we have lunch. If you check out the route on Google Maps, you’ll see there are not too many straight sections! From here we cross over the Thanlyin River. There is a checkpoint at the bridge, the area is restricted. Before reaching Nam Sang we stop at a Myo Tribe village. Women are wearing big brass belts around their waists. Overnight in Nam Sang.
Day 5: Nam Sang - Nyaungshwe
(Driving day 5: 150 km/93 miles)
Day 6: Nyaungshwe - Old Bagan
(Driving day 6: 350 km/217 miles)
Today is a somewhat long riding day and takes us to the ancient capital of the Kingdom of Pagan. Pronounced “Pah-Gahn” and not to be confused with our modern interpretation of ‘pagan’, the Pagans were Buddhists and were the first to unify several disparate regions into what later became the country now called Myanmar. Between the 9th and 11th centuries, for 250 years, Bagan’s rulers and their wealthy subjects constructed over 10,000 religious monuments (approximately 1000 stupas, 10,000 small temples, and 3000 monasteries in an area of 104 square kilometers (40 sq mi) in the Bagan plains. Overnight in Bagan.
Day 7: Old Bagan
(Explorer & rest day)
More than 2,000 of these temples remain today, and it’s a stunning sight at sunrise to gaze down upon them from a nearby vantage point. Another great way of seeing the area is by hot air balloon. There are some interesting temples and pagodas to visit, e.g. Anada temple, Bupaya Pagoda, Dhammayangyi Temple, etc. Our local Myanmar guide will join and share our history with us. There are many souvenir/handicraft shops in the area. You can also take the opportunity to go on a boat trip on the mighty Irrawaddy River. Overnight in Bagan.
Day 8: Old Bagan - Naypyitaw
(Driving day 7: 300 km/186 miles)
Today’s motorcycle ride on our Myanmar & Thailand Motorcycle Tour is more about the destination than the journey. Naypyitaw, being an entirely planned city, similar to Canberra in Australia, Brasilia in Brazil, Washington, D.C. in the United States, and Islamabad in Pakistan. The town is located about 320 kilometers north of the old capital Yangon. Naypyitaw has a short history, construction started in 2002. On 6 November 2005, the administrative capital of the country was quietly relocated from Yangon to here. We will explore some of the landmarks like the Uppatasanti Pagoda, wide boulevards, and endless government ministries. Overnight in Naypyitaw.
Day 9: Naypyitaw - Kyaikto
(Driving day 8: 360km/224 miles)
If our permit allows us we will ride on the motorway south towards Kyaikto. If not we will spend a couple more hours on the old road. We’ll then stick to the smaller regional roads, heading to Taungoo, a former Capital of Burma. The forests here provide excellent hardwoods including teak which forms a major export industry, as well as a certain kind of palm called areca which is popular for supplying betel for the 8 locals. We run parallel to mountain ranges on our east and west as we head south to Kyaikto were we will stay at a resort at the foot of the Kyaiktiyo hill. Overnight near Kyaikto.
Day 10: Kyaikto - Mae Sot (Thailand)
(Driving day 9: 270 km/168 miles)
For the early risers, there’s an optional visit to the nearby pagoda of the Golden Rock. The legend associated with the pagoda is that the Buddha, on one of his many visits, gave a strand of his hair to Taik Tha, a hermit. The hermit, who had tucked it in the tuft of his hair safely, in turn, gave the strand to the king, with the wish that the hair is enshrined in a boulder shaped like a hermit’s head. The king had inherited supernatural powers from his parents. They found the rock at the bottom of the sea. They found the perfect place at Kyaiktiyo for locating the golden rock and built a pagoda, where the strand was enshrined. It is this strand of hair that, according to the legend, prevents the rock from tumbling down the hill. The rest of the day we spend riding east towards the Thai border which we cross in the afternoon. Overnight in Mae Sot.
Day 11: Mae sot - Mae Hong Son
(Driving day 10: 390 km/242 miles)
After breakfast, we restart our Myanmar & Thailand Motorcycle Tour by riding north along the Thai / Myanmar border. The road is winding and paved and we are passing many small communities like Mae Ramat, Tha Song Yang or Ban Sop Ngao. On the way, we also pass a huge Refugee Camp where thousands of Burmese refugees live. Lunchtime we reach Mae Sariang, a small town alongside the Yuam River where we have lunch.
Ride-on Road 108 towards Khun Yuam. It is a great wide winding road with long twists. In Khun Yuam we visit the local War Museum. The Imperial Japanese Army troops were stationed in Khun Yuam during the construction of a highway intended to cross Burma to India. We continue on a great winding road with wide bends to Mae Hong Son. We will stay at Fern Resort, a lovely resort in the middle of rice paddies. If still some energy left, take a drink at the bonfire. We stay overnight near Mae Hong Son.
Day 12: Mae Hong Son - Pai
(Driving day 11: 180 km/112 miles)
In the morning we take a pleasant boat ride on Pai River to visit a Karen Long Neck village. The Karen, a tribal minority, historically lived in the hills on the Myanmar side of the border. Some of their women wear heavy brass rings around their necks, forearms, and shins. http://www.huaypukeng.com/info_visitor.htm
We then set out for the famously chic town of Pai on the beginning of the road famous for having 1864 bends of varying sharpness. The road passes through some beautiful mountainous scenery. On the way, we do a side trip to Ban Rak Thai (literally “the Thai-loving village”), built around a lake on the Myanmar border. About 800, mainly Chinese settled here after the communist takeover of China and some of the buildings have a distinctively Chinese appearance. In the afternoon we arrive in Pai and relax in our hotel before we dine on delicious local or western food in a restaurant by the river. In the evening after dinner, you can enjoy the delights of the Walking Street market. We stay overnight in Pai.
Day 13: Pai - Chiang Mai
(Driving day 12: 190 km/118 miles)
Our final riding day on our Myanmar & Thailand Motorcycle Tour. Leaving Pai behind, we will use roads less traveled. The first stop is the elephant camp outside Pai. Riding along the Pai river in direction of Wat Chan. A couple of years ago this road was gravel and difficult to pass, especially during the wet season. Today it’s a beautiful windy road with great scenery. At Wat Chan, we have lunch and visit the “RayBan” temple. From Wat Chan, we continue over the mountains to Samoeng. There is little traffic, the scenery is as good as it gets. Before you know it we are back in Chaing Mai. A beautiful way to end this spectacular motorcycle tour. Overnight in Chiang Mai.
Day 14: Departure Chiang Mai - Home Travel
This amazing Myanmar & Thailand Motorcycle Tour ends with the transfer to the airport or your extension.
Note: This program is a guideline for activities and experiences on the tour. Deviations may occur, but we guarantee that our positive tour leaders will do their utmost to execute the program as described – as far as it is feasible and circumstances allow. We are continually working to improve the program, thus you may experience positive surprises.
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