Cycle Around Mandalay, Myanmar
Many people visit Mandalay for its historical structures and monuments. The beautiful outdoors feature a variety of activities and I am here to share how you can enjoy Mandalay like a local.
Mandalay has the best weather; it falls into what is known as a dry zone, which means you have plenty of opportunities to do outdoor activities. Now let’s get going on your very own Mandalay adventure.
Morning around the Moats
As early as 5:00 am, the pavements surrounding the palace moat are full of early risers. Locals and Travelers start their mornings walking, jogging, running, biking, or participating in exercise classes. Mandalaynians are known as fitness enthusiasts. Getting involved in any of the workouts is easy, just put on your training shoes and join in with the locals. You can also rent a bike from Hilton Mandalay Hotel. It is located on the moat, a prime location for bike riding.
The scenery and peaceful surroundings of Mandalay Palace in the early morning is a fantastic experience to take with you as a souvenir. Nearby, there are tons of exciting places including Mandalay Hill, Kuthodaw. Mandalay Hill is home to the world’s largest book and the Shwenandaw Monastery. This monastery is known for its teak carvings of Buddhist myths that adorn its walls and roofs.
Cycling in Mandalay
I stayed in Mandalay for a couple of months and soon found out that cycling is the best method of transportation for exploring. I recommend renting a mountain bike while you tour around the city. If you’re looking for group biking activities, there are several cyclist clubs in Myanmar and Mandalay such as Mandalay Free Riders and Mandalay Bike Adventures. The clubs organize fun rides in and outside of Mandalay regularly.
My favorite tour is the half-day cycling tour around Mandalay. You may explore on your own or join a scheduled tour organized by local travel agencies. The Grasshopper Adventure’s Mandalay Morning Ride is a great option. It’s a 22-kilometer ride, mild to moderate difficulty level, and it travels through rural areas off the beaten path.
If you’re looking for a more exciting afternoon tour I recommend the 20-kilometers ride to the ancient town of Inwa (Ava). This town is small and rich in history; the stunning architecture provides awesome photo opportunities. The traffic in Inwa is much lighter than in Mandalay, making it quite peaceful for cyclists.