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Tour myanmar (Burma)

Old 03-23-09, 10:50 AM
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Tour myanmar (Burma)

hello
i want to do a 4 week tour from northern Thailand west towards Mandalay and perhaps further, ideally with plenty of non-tarmac surfaces (i.e. rough roads and tracks)

does anyone know if this is possible?
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Old 03-23-09, 04:35 PM
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I don't know the specifics, since we weren't there on bikes - but Burma is spectacular!! I do remember traveling around the country thinking about how it seemed absolutely perfect for bicycle touring!
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Old 03-23-09, 05:48 PM
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Check the latest info but I remember reading that it wasn't possible to enter Burma by land but only by flying in and out.
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Old 03-23-09, 06:07 PM
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I was in Burma in February and you can't enter by land, unless you're just doing single day visa run from Thailand. I twice met people cycling around Burma. An Austrian was taking his mountain bike with him on buses and boats and using it to get around towns and explore outside towns, and occasionally for 50-100km distances. A German was using a mountain bike to go everywhere. Both of them made me jealous, as I was without bike.

The roads in many areas of Burma are not suited to anything but a mountain bike with front suspension and tough wheels. I rented a local bike for a 40km ride (20km each way out of a city I was in) and, while it was fully worth it for the experience and the people I met outside that town, I was in a fair bit of pain from the quality of the road and single speed bicycle with far too small a frame. The Austrian guy on his front suspension bike was as comfy as a peach riding alongside me.

It is now the hot season in Burma, so make sure you check what time of year you're planning on going, as you could be very miserable on a bike there during hot season or rainy season. The best time of year is the 'winter' dry season between Oct/Nov and end of February, when the heat is bearable and the rain is not pouring down constantly.

Many areas of the country are off-limits to foreigners, and they don't always have signs in English warning of off-limits locations as they don't expect many foreign cyclists to be going down random roads, so don't be surprised if you get questioned by the police or military at some point, but smiles and innocent looks go a long way.

It's an amazing and beautiful country, and I definitely want to go back with a bike some day. You miss too much on the buses and trains.
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Old 03-25-09, 05:30 AM
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in 1970, I flew into Rangoon from Calcutta, with my bicycle, on a Douglas DC-3. Along the way we landed on a small airstrip carved into the dense jungle with a small hut sheltering a three-wheeled tractor and an old man delivering a parcel to the pilot. Later in my journey, whilst cycling through Thailand, I heard a story about a UBA pilot that had been arrested for drug smuggling. Perhaps it was the pilot from my flight.
I enjoyed cycling in Burma - a beautiful country with a rich culture.
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