In February-March of 2012 I took a motorbike trip with my 68 year old father around Myanmar (Burma) as a way to explore the country on 2 wheels. I live in Mandalay and Pyin Oo Lwin with my wife, who grew up here, and son, who was born here.I never much rode far outside of the Mandalay area so when my Dad came to visit I had the perfect excuse. We wrote a trip report and posted pictures for our family but it has now become a bit of a guide for anyone else who is interested in these areas or, more specifically, to anyone who wants to travel Myanmar on a motorcycle. If you are interested in doing a trip like this, read this blog, ask around on the travel forums, check with the Myanmar Travels and Tours website to see which areas are off limits and read the news. Our trip worked for us but things change and roads open up or close so please seek out updated information.
Zach B

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Day 9: Kanthaya to Ngapali Beach

Day 9: Kanthaya to Ngapali Beach
February 28 2012

Goodbye Kanthaya Beach Resort
Start: 9:10am Kanthaya
Arrive: 3:30 pm Ngapali

Total distance traveled Zach: 115.8km, 71.7miles
Total distance traveled, David : 114.8km, 71.2miles

Dad's fuel efficiency: 49.4 km per liter, 116mpg
Zach's fuel efficiency: 61 km per liter, 143.2mpg

Tidal river

Bought gas from a roadside vendor near the hotel. The hotel manager said thee are no pump fuel stations in this area. He was accurate. The plastic liter bottles were not full, so it took six bottles to get 2.6 liters of fuel in each bike. Mine was not full.

Stopped in Kyeintali for breakfast.
Egg, coffee and fish breakfast

The raised road was so bumpy the locals would drive on the dirt path next to the road
The road variations were similar to what we experienced the the past days; relatively good and smooth in some places, very rough pothole ridden asphalt, reasonable gravel, one-jarring stone, and deep dust. Riding generally parallel to the beach gives the advantage of seeing nice green fields, banana groves and fish drying in the sun. We arrived in Thandwe around 2 pm. The block where the market stood last year was mostly empty, with a small building under construction. A fire had consumed the market several months ago.
The bikes were so dusty we did it like sitting on them, so we had them washed for 500k each. Zach,s would not start, even when pushing it. He pushed it to a mechanic's shop where the young man cleaned the start plug, adjusted the idle, tightened and lubricated the drive chain on both bikes. The total charge was 1,000k (about $1.25).

Bike wash in Thandwe
kids working at the repair shop
I wanted Zach to experience the Lin Tar Oo resort, so we checked in there. The lady manager remembered me from last year. She asked questions a out the motorcycles: Zach said we just had them washed in Thandwe. She smiles and remarked that the clean bikes did not fit with two dusty, dirty riders. Dust was caked on our shins, faces and in the folds of our clothing.

The Lin Tar Oo did have a double room available for the night, at $50. We Checked in and hurried to the beach to rinse off the day's grime. The water was clear, warm and delightfully refreshing. We were the only people in the water. There was no one else on the beach; the sun was too bright.

Our beach home for the next few days
After showering at the edge of the beach we started a conversation with Lloyd and Ann, an Australian couple from Perth, who were occupying the room next to ours. They invited us to share a beer.

They had gone fishing in the morning, and caught a bag full of several types of fish. They asked if we would like to join them for a fresh grilled fish dinner at nearby restaurant. The chief would be cooking the fish they caught earlier today. Five good sized fish were more than the fur of us could eat. Fresh tomatoes with onion, sour cooked potatoes similar to German potato salad, sweet fried bananas and Myanmar beer perfectly completed the meal. Zach and I split the bill, as Lloyd and Ann supplied the fish. The total was only 11,000k. The conversation was interesting. Ann is a native old Yagon who moved to Australia many years ago. They come to Myanmar every year to visit family, and make donations to a few chosen schools, families and homes caring for the aged. Lloyd retired recently, but said he does not know what retirement is like: they left for Myanmar the day after he retired. He will have an opportunity to see what it is really like once he returns to Perth.

Written by David, Posted by Zach


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  2. Thank you so much for posting this! I'm planning a similar trip by motorbike through some of these same areas and this helps a lot. Undoubtedly, things have changed these last 3 years, but now I know it's possible!

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