Upper Myanmar Explorer – Motorcycle Tour

Upper Myanmar is usually overlooked by visitors in favor of more well-known “classic” destinations in Central and Southern parts of the country. But this doesn’t mean that the North has nothing to offer – quite on the contrary you will get a chance to see untapped natural wonders and ethnic diversity while staying off the beaten trails. We will head North of Mandalay to visit multi-ethnic Kachin capital Myitkyina, beautiful lake Indawgyi, big rivers and lush green valleys. On this 11 days Myanmar motorcycle tour you will ride mostly on sealed asphalt roads but also venture to unpaved rural tracks.


  • Be one of very few foreign visitors who make it to Myanmar’s North on two wheels
  • Visit remote boulder pagoda set amidst lush teak forest near Banmauk
  • Make new friends in a colorful northern town of Myitkyina
  • Explore the largest fresh water lake in Myanmar
  • Experience the hospitality of Shannyi and Kachin inhabitants of Indawgyi valley
  • Discover age old colonial mansions in Katha
  • Explore the remnants of ancient Pyu city of Hanlin

Duration: 11 days
Trip Type: Cultural motorcycle tour
Guide: English speaking local motorbike guide
Grading: Moderate
Tour price: On request
Departures: TBA
Starts: In Mandalay
Ends: In Mandalay




Mandalay motorcycle tours


Welcome to Myanmar!

Arrive in Mandalay and settle in, free time. There will be no riding on this day. Join your guide in the evening for a dinner with briefing on the tour.

Meals included: Dinner
Overnight: in Mandalay


Upper Myanmar motorcycle tour


Our first riding day would be quite long as we hit the road leading north of Mandalay. After crossing the bridge, quick stop in Kyaung Myaung, a small town on the right bank of Ayeyarwaddy River that’s famous for it’s pottery production. Back on the bikes continue cutting through dry hilly landscape of southern Sagaing Division. Early in the afternoon we make it over the low rising mountain range and head to Indaw, our first night spot of the trip. Spend rest of the day exploring the quiet town or chill at a big lake just a few km north.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: in Indaw

Upper Myanmar motorcycle tour


Today we ride to Banmauk some 45 km away, in the hilly country side populated by ethnic minorities. There’s a dirt road leading to famous Zalone mountain through relict teak forest, not for faint hearted, with some nice views from the top of boulder pagoda. If road conditions are tough or it’s been raining recently we might switch to a jeep run by locals from a base camp – it takes about an hour to get to a pagoda. On our way back to Indaw valley we’ll stop by some Kadu or Kanan ethnic villages to learn about lifestyle of local rural communities.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: in Indaw


Upper Myanmar motorcycle tour


Early in the morning get on the road again as we continue to Myitkyina. We’ll pass Mohnyin where can stop to try some local Shan dishes, and couple hours later will arrive in Kachin State capital. Although modern age has brought some obvious changes to the face of town, there are still many old teakwood mansion scattered around, a reminder of town’s old trading history. Myitkyina’s remote location helped keep it largely off the map of casual tourists, so you won’t see many foreigners here. Early p.m. we’ll head to one of riverside dining places on stilts to savor spicy Kachin food and enjoy the view of lush riverbanks. Later in the evening join local multi-ethnic crowd at a bustling night market in downtown.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: in Myitkyina

Upper Myanmar motorcycle tour


Get up early for a cup of tea with snacks and hop on the bikes for a leisurely ride to Myitsone where at a distance of some 40 km north of Myitkyina rivers Nmaikha and Malikha join to form the main waterway of Myanmar – Ayeyarwaddy river. There are quite a few laid back road cafes around. On our way back stop by a rest camp to have a drink and swim in a clear mountain spring water. We can pass some Kachin ethnic villages and turn off the main road to experience more of a rustic country side. Closer back to town there’s a popular viewpont tower of Jaw Bum. In the afternoon time permitting we can do a little detour to Washaung dam across the river roughly an hour away, which is also more of a life-seeing experience as we make our way through village communities. Spend your evening with local Gurkha community, chill out or play football with friendly young people.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: in Myitkyina

Upper Myanmar motorcycle tour


After breakfast we leave Myitkyina and head back along the state highway to transit town of Hopin. From there it takes only about 45 min to reach the major highlight of our trip – Indawgyi – the largest freshwater lake in Myanmar and important biosphere reserve park. Large low-lying area around the lake is home to compact Shannyi ethnic communities while Kachins live in the hills encircling the valley. For the time being guests are only allowed to stay in Lonton village on the western bank. Chill in the afternoon making new friends with villagers or head to the lake for a few hours of kayaking before sunset. There are no big restaurants in the village so for the dinner we’ll visit one of local roadside houses for a hearty home cooked dinner.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: at Indawgyi

Upper Myanmar motorcycle tour


Spend this day exploring the lake surroundings. Ride along sealed road leading north through the strip of villages stopping in some to taste local delicacies or check out traditional workshops. A hill called Shwetaung at the northernmost edge of the lake provides with a sweeping view of the whole valley many kilometers across and on a clear sunny day it’s particularly beautiful. In the afternoon visit one or two villages on the eastern bank. There’s no asphalt in that area yet, so the ride would be rather bumpy but surely worth it – learn about Shannyi culture while meeting with locals and spend some time by the lake front to meet fishermen getting back with daily catch of fish and shrimps. Return to the western bank for sunset at Shwe Myitzu pagoda. Water surface is so wide here, that by dusk it almost feels like you are at the sea…

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: at Indawgyi


Upper Myanmar motorcycle tour


Rise up early to watch first rays of light breaking through the morning mist – sunrises at Indawgyi are fantastic… We leave after breakfast and make our way across the mountain range back onto the main highway for couple hours ride to Katha, provincial riverside that back in the days served as important administrative and trading center of Northern Burma. Explore town in the afternoon, visit couple of colonial teakwood mansions described in a popular novel Burmese Days by George Orwell who used to live and work here in 1920-s. Late p.m. walk along the riverfront alley and taste some great Burmese food for dinner.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: in Katha


DAY 9 > Upper Myanmar motorcycle tour KATHA TO SHWEBO

Say good-bye to Katha as we leave the town and head west. A short distance off the main road into the hills here’s a large elephant camp for retired animals that used to work in timber extraction industry, we can visit there. Pass Indaw again and here’s time for some bucolic detour of upper Sagaing – ride to an old famous Buddhist monastery and some Kadu/Burmese villages along dirt treks if you feel like doing a bit off road. Late in the afternoon we reach Shwebo, a small but busy town in the northern part of the dry zone.

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: in Shwebo


Upper Myanmar motorcycle tour


In the morning we can drop by couple places around Shwebo and then continue south-east through the country side to Hanlin – an important 1,5 millennia old archeological site. Terrain here differs slightly, it’s an elevated volcanic plateu with hot springs. Ruins of old Pyu city walls and stupas, as well as more recent structures of last Burmese kingdom are spread across the vast valley, so exploring it might take a while. Later p.m. after having simple lunch in a nearby village we drive back to Mandalay. Time permitting we can stop by Mingun or Sagaing, depending on which road we take while making our return way. Arrive in Mandalay just before sunset and check-in the hotel for overnight

Meals included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner
Overnight: in Mandalay


DAY 11 > shan highland myanmar motorcycle tour DEPARTURE

No riding today. Breakfast, enjoy free time and transfer to airport for your onward departure

Meals: Breakfast
Overnight: N/A




* English speaking local motorcycle guide
* Motorbike and helmets for each participant
* Accommodation
* Meals
* Entrance fees for sites visited

Not included:

• Visa to Myanmar
• International air fare or domestic air fares
• Early check-in, late check-out, services
• Meals or any other item not described in the itinerary
• Personal expenses
• Drinks during meals, hotel extras and personal spending

Book Now for this tour

Tour name: Upper Myanmar Explorer – Motorcycle Tour

Sending your message....
Thank you for your booking! Our team will get back to you shortly.
Latest Tours

Into The Shan Highlands – Motorcycle Tour

On this motorcycle tour you will ride through some of the most culturally and ethnically diverse regions on Myanmar – Shan highland. It’s a fascinating journey passing scenic valleys, tribal villages and gorgeous mountain ranges. We begin in Mandalay and ride up to the plateau along the old China-Myanmar road all the way to Lashio and even beyo

[Read more...]

Myanmar Off-The-Beaten Trails – Motorcycle Tour

Your off the beaten trails Myanmar motorcycle adventure tour starts from the last royal capital, Mandalay. From here we drive along the rural roads of Myanmar and experience the countryside life. You will certainly attract attention and will be greeted by smiles and laughter. During this tour you get to see and explore: Pyin Oo the summer capita

[Read more...]

Motorcycle Tour of Northern Myanmar

This Myanmar trekking tour to Chin State and Mount Victoria will introduce you first to country's cultural highlights before heading off to less known Chin State to explore its unique nature and landscapes.

[Read more...]

Highlights of Myanmar Motorcycle Tour

Join us on a motorcycle tour through the beautiful and varied landscape of Myanmar. Experience the ancient Burmese capitals, drive through the fertile highlands of Shan State and admire the temple ruins of Bagan. On this 10-day Myanmar motorcycle tour you will drive mostly on paved roads and experience the country at close range. Driving a two whe

[Read more...]