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Our bike route in Myanmar (Burma)

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Our bike route in Myanmar (Burma)

Old 11-14-14, 06:12 PM
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Our bike route in Myanmar (Burma)

We had a great 2-week trip to Myanmar last February on our Co-motion tandem and finally created a Google map detailing the route, accommodations, etc.
Just wanted to share: [URL="https://goo.gl/mqVbVy"]
This is a trip that anybody can do. Not only for the hardcore.
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Old 11-14-14, 08:22 PM
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If you truly wanted to share, you would give us some information about touring in Burma, in this your very first post on the forum. What are the roads like? What are the accommodations like? What did you use for maps? Are there any bureaucratic issues to be aware of? Instead, the URL you posted brings up nothing but a map and some words which are essentially an ad for your book. What you're doing is basically Gorilla marketing. Of course, we have to buy your book if we want to get some actual information about touring in Burma. Not cool.

I'll leave it to the mods to decide if your thread should be removed.
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Old 11-14-14, 09:33 PM
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Originally Posted by axolotl
What you're doing is basically Gorilla marketing.

nah, it's just plain vanilla SPAM.

oh, gosh, they've also spammed lonely planet!

https://www.lonelyplanet.com/thorntr...-myanmar-burma

Last edited by saddlesores; 11-14-14 at 09:38 PM. Reason: spam spam spam spam i am
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Old 11-14-14, 10:22 PM
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Yeah... I see your point. I'm really not a spammer. I'm barely an internet person... But I get now that, of course, that's what this looks like (and is, but unintentionally). We just finished creating this little Google map (and, yes, a little Amazon ebook). We have zero expectation of making any money and could care less whether we do. But we had fun doing the trip and writing about it; and we really do just want to share our experience. I naively signed up for a 90-day Amazon exclusive thing, but in February I will share a full pdf of our ebook and I'm happy to answer any questions about touring in Burma. As you can see from the Google map, we did a C-shape, one-way trip from Mandalay to Bagan to Inle Lake.
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Old 11-15-14, 04:08 AM
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Originally Posted by bartlettjudy
Yeah... I see your point. I'm really not a spammer. I'm barely an internet person... But I get now that, of course, that's what this looks like (and is, but unintentionally). We just finished creating this little Google map (and, yes, a little Amazon ebook). We have zero expectation of making any money and could care less whether we do. But we had fun doing the trip and writing about it; and we really do just want to share our experience. I naively signed up for a 90-day Amazon exclusive thing, but in February I will share a full pdf of our ebook and I'm happy to answer any questions about touring in Burma. As you can see from the Google map, we did a C-shape, one-way trip from Mandalay to Bagan to Inle Lake.
Hi,
Thanks for posting your thoughts and clarifying.
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Old 11-15-14, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by bartlettjudy
I naively signed up for a 90-day Amazon exclusive thing, but in February I will share a full pdf of our ebook and I'm happy to answer any questions about touring in Burma.
Are you happy to answer questions now, or do we have to wait until February?

I'll repeat my questions above: What are the roads like? What are the accommodations like? What did you use for maps? Are there any bureaucratic issues to be aware of?

Do you still have to fly into Burma or do they allow land crossings now? Any particular issues cyclists should be aware of?
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Old 11-15-14, 11:13 AM
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I'm not the OP but you might find some answers to your questions in this article over at crazyguyonabike.com: https://www.crazyguyonabike.com/doc/14930
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Old 11-15-14, 11:16 AM
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Originally Posted by axolotl
What are the roads like? What are the accommodations like? What did you use for maps? Are there any bureaucratic issues to be aware of?

Do you still have to fly into Burma or do they allow land crossings now? Any particular issues cyclists should be aware of?
Re: road conditions, we had read that we should use mountain bikes, but we didn't find that to be the case. We put good tires on our tandem (Panasonic Panaracer Pasela PT tires) and didn't have a single flat. Leisurely bikerst that we are, we only bothered to top off the air in our tires once. (It wasn't a terribly long or hardcore trip: 450 miles in 10 days.)

We were mostly on paved roads, although they usually had a good number of unpaved miles. My sense was that we hit Myanmar (Feb/March '14) at that sweet point where the infrastructure had improved dramatically, but the onslaught of cars hadn't started yet.

That said, about one-fifth of our biking was on the main road connecting two tourist hot spots--Bagan and Inle Lake. With some exceptions, this road was the least scenic and interesting of our trip. The large tour buses that zoomed by somewhat regularly also made this road a bit unnerving. We limited our mileage by taking secondary roads into and out of Mt. Popa and Pindaya, and by taking a van, rather than our bike, to one Kalaw. Using more alternative transportation or alternate routes, we recommend shaving off even more miles. We also sought out some off-road experiences and would do this more if we did another trip to Burma. Our outings on dirt roads near Bagan, Kalaw, and Inle Lake were highlights for us.

Re: maps, we used the MapsWithMe app on our iPad, which uses OpenStreetMap data. Overall, it seemed more detailed than what Google shows and, more importantly of course, didn't require an internet connection.

Arranging accommodations was easy. We only made one reservation, which probably wasn't necessary. We leaned towards lower-priced options, but did not really go bargain hunting, typically paying $20-$25. Our favorite spot was $15 in Inle Lake (Gypsy Inn). We also heard from a few sources that recent policy changes make home stays easier to arrange. Apparently, families are now allowed to offer a 1 to 2-night stay with few bureaucratic barriers. We were offered a home stay for $5 near Inle Lake, but unfortunately already had room for the night.

Re: bureaucratic issues, Tourism Transparency (Tourism Transparency | Campaigning for an open, accountable and responsible tourism industry in Burma/Myanmar) seems to keep the best track of where you can and cannot travel to. We flew into Mandalay and were on route without any travel restrictions.

I think my biggest message for cyclists considering an independent tour is: Myanmar is easy and safe. If you run into a problem, you'll also run into 10 people who will help you out of your bind.

Hope this helps. Let me know if you have other questions.
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Old 11-15-14, 11:26 AM
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Thanks for the information.
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Old 11-29-14, 10:08 AM
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Judy,

Appreciate the synopsis. This is useful as I'm planning a similar trip this February with two friends, also starting in Mandalay and cycling to Inle Lake in a counter-clockwise direction. We are flying in to Yangon and then taking the overnight train to Mandalay. For other readers, Myanmar have just started an e-visa initiative so visa requirements are now straightforward and can be sorted out via an online submission. I will take on board your tips on the mappinp app - also you have validated my decision to stick with my Marathon Plus road tyres.

A few follow-up questions - did you enjoy the food? what was the road like between Pindaya to Inle Lake and what route did you go? (I can't tell from your trip map).

thanks - Gavin
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Old 11-29-14, 06:06 PM
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Thanks bartlettjudy. Myanmar is one country I'd like to bike tour, but find bike specific information difficult to come by. Also thank you raybo.
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