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Cycling the historic Burma Road.


Cycling the historic Burma Road.

Cycling the original Burma Road

The original Burma Road is an interesting road to cycle for several reasons. There is of course the historical significance of the road but it is sportive as well.

The road is quite a physical challenge to cycle because it crosses thirteen mountain ranges in China alone. Many of these mountain crossings are on tracks with a very poor surface.

Specifically the parts of the road which are not in use as main road anymore often lead through beautiful forests and mountain landscapes with great views and clean air.

Moving by bike brings one in easier contact with the people living along the road. Mind you they will think you are very special (well actually stark raving mad) because none of the locals will cycle these mountain ranges and especially not for fun and very few visitors will do this unique trip.

This page is a general introduction to cycling the original Burma Road. Below are links to more detailed descriptions of the three sections.

The original Burma Road and its new replacement.
The original Burma Road and its new replacement.

Original road

Cycling the road gives a good insight into the road; after a while one can feel if the road one is cycling on is original or not by looking at how the road hugged the mountain and avoided the valleys with its rivers, creeks and muddy flats. The Burma Road has only bridges there were really necessary and only a few short tunnels in a part of the road that was constructed before as a rail road. The road hugs the mountains quite in contrast to the modern G56 motorway that cuts through the valleys with many bridges and cuts through the mountains with endless tunnels and even the G320 national road that largely replaces the original Burma Road is build in quite a different style.

Fellow travellers on the Burma Road.
Fellow travellers on the Burma Road. Also abandoned as main road it does not mean that the road is not in daily use.
Burma Road just outside Anning.
Ones out of the industrial area around Anning things become very rural.

Four sections

In China the Burma Road can be divided into three sections: section 1: from Kunming to Xiaguan (Dali) of 420 Km, section 2: from Xiaguan to Baoshan of 270 Km, and section 3: from Baoshan to Wanding of 277 Km. The fourth section is in Myanmar and is off limits to cyclers, it leads from Wanding to Lashio and is about 165 Km long.

The Chinese sections can be cycled each in four to five days. The total length is about 970 Km. (On the new motorway it is just over 700 Km).

Hotel accommodation with bike inside.
Not everyone's taste in wall decoration and finishing but parking the bike inside is one of the plus points.


Also the Burma Road passes through major towns and tourist locations most of the road is through rural Yunnan. This means that accommodation is limited to that what is available and that leads to interesting places to stay that would not normally be the first choice.

At Huitong Bridge next to the pigs and with plenty of roosters.
Shan State.
The Burma Road between Muse and Lashio in Shan State in Burma.
Motorbike escort.
Cyclers and the motorbike escort on the Burma Road.

Cycling the original Burma Road tour

Burma Road online specialises in cycling the original Burma Road. Our experience tells that cycling provides the right atmosphere to absorb the historical significance and physical challenge that the Burma Road offers.

Our package includes among others:

  • Guidance & Maps.
  • Books & documentation library.
  • Technical support.
  • Support vehicle and recovery.
  • On request motorbike escort.
Contact cycling
For cycling tours on the Burma Road
View over the landscape.
Crisp mountain air and wide views are the rewards for cycling the Burma Road.

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