The most exciting but lesser-known experiences in Myanmar


1. Find the country’s pure beauty by bike

With its rich culture newly opened up to the world, Myanmar is one of the most fantastic cycling tour destinations of Southeast Asia. As most of the local countryside areas offer perfect quiet roads running through incredibly idyllic landscapes that are rarely accessible by bigger vehicles, it is always great to experience to discover the country on a bike. Below are several ideal destinations to grab a bike.   

  • Ava 

Cycling in the old capital of Ava (Inwa) is always fascinating as you go back in time and explore the remains of an ancient city full of ruins, old watchtowers, city walls, monasteries and temples that feel like a different world away from the hustle and bustle. 

Ava Myanmar

  • Bagan

Despite the fact that Bagan is crowded with visitors most of the time, not many people think about mapping around this charming land by bike. The sandy and dust tracks covered by palm trees shadow will lead you to hidden temples that others can rarely explore, and you’re sure to find out a quieter spot to admire the pleasant sunset over the plain at the end of the day.

  • Inle Lake 

A boat trip is no doubt the most popular way to explore Inle Lake but this beautiful area really has much more to discover on the lakeshore and a bike ride is such an interesting way to work this out.

The bike trip will pass you through rice paddy fields, quaint villages dotted with stilted bamboo huts with thatched roofs, colourful tribal markets, a hot springs, and even an uphill winery when you almost reach the mountains. Most of the time the roads were quiet except for some local farmers dragging buffalos, women with the pot on their heads or some children playing around. It is the perfect end to a rewarding day with a glass of exotic Burmese wine on veranda of the winery watching the sunset over mountains. 

2. Navigate Myanmar’s historic railroads

The train ride will surely take you into a totally special experience when having a random seat on the carriage and watching a whole new world pass by without any worries about traffic. As Myanmar railways networks are provided nationwide, it’s cheap and easy to travel around by train even though it is sometimes quite time-consuming. Out of many interesting train rides that may be worth navigation, below are some for a quick sample.  

  • Mandalay to Hsipaw

The trainsets if off from the royal Mandalay to Hsipaw with the pass over Goetik Viaduct about halfway between Pyin Oo Lwin and Hsipaw. This could be totally a daring ride for any timid visitors. It remains Myanmar’s highest railway bridge up to now which offers thrilling but fantastic views over the mountain valleys. Good to know: This train ride will work perfectly in 2D1N round trip.  

  • Kalaw to Nyaungshwe 

This 3.5-hour journey between the former colonial hill station of Kalaw and Shwenyaung, the gateway to the idyllic Inle Lake is such a great opportunity to enjoy the scenic beauty of Shan State with a smooth transition from hill-top plantations to port town villages. As the train moves in gentle pace, you can really make use of time to relax your eyes over natural landscapes. 

  • Yangon’s Circular Train 

The train ride exclusively provides a different look of the bustling Yangon on the curving railway taking you to rural outskirts of this booming commercial city. It is a picturesque and slice-of-life experience passing paddy fields, a military base, a notorious prison and palm huts where some of Yangon’s poorest live. Since it is mostly used by local commuters, this 3-hour journey will get you up close and personal with all interesting locals who hop in and hop off for work or school.  

Yangon Myanmar

3. Climb the mountain with an open truck

Getting to Golden Rock is quite a thrilling ride of adventure since the open mountain truck seems the only mean of transportation to access the place. The truck set off from Kin Pun base (where your car can’t go further) transferring up to 40 passengers each way. The spacious back van is customized with eight rows offering seats for 5-6 people each. The feeling when the truck climbing up the mountain is exactly like a rollercoaster too many. The whole journey takes about 45 minutes. No seat belts, no roof that every single turn could be a scare to death. Yet, the higher you are getting up, the more exhilarating you can feel as if you blended in the surrounding nature and flew with the wind. 

Golden Rock Myanmar

4. Trek in the highlands

While Myanmar is not so reputable for trekking and hiking, there are lots of lovely soft treks here to offer. The best time for trekking is from November to March, during the dry season. Here are some stunning places to go for some breathtaking views of nature.

  • Anisakan Falls

Anisakan in Pyin Oo Lwin is genuinely considered one of the most epic waterfalls in Myanmar. At around 120m tall, it could be easily noticeable from miles away. It might require up to 2 days making this waterfall trip as it normally takes up a half-day to get there as you will walk through the forest to reach the entrance of Anisakan waterfall. This is a great place for camping and swimming while enjoying the great symphony of nature.

Anisakan Falls

  • Kalaw & Pindaya

The trek from Kalaw and Pindaya offers extensive local experiences of farming fields and rolling hills. You can choose short or extended trekking routes to surrounding Danu, Pa-O or Palaung villages where the pace of life is unhurried, soak into the beautiful natural surroundings with greenery hill plantation and valleys, discover limestone caves with countless of Buddha images inside or stop by for gorgeous views of Pone Taloke Lake in the middle of Pindaya town.

Kalaw Myanmar

If you are looking for some of best Myanmar tours, feel free to send an inquiry to Asia Tours experts and we will make a dream holiday in Myanmar as your wish!

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