Among 4 tourist highlights of Myanmar (Yangon, Mandalay, Bagan and Inle Lake), Inle Lake is only natural destination which is famous for incredible natural landscapes and the rich culture of the ethnic minorities living around the lake. From Yangon, the Myanmar’s largest city, you can travel to Inle Lake by train, bus or plane. If you want to save time and have the most comfortable journey, there is nothing better than a flight from Yangon to Inle Lake.
The Yangon terminal is the Yangon International Airport, which is approximately 30min north of city center. Allow 2 hours during the rush hours. The easiest way to get to and from the airport is by taxi (7,000 kyats or dollar equivalent from city to airport or USD10 from the airport to city, all pre-paid). A much cheaper way is to use a public bus, which cost only 200 kyats (from Pyay Road to Sule Pagoda). However, you will have to walk in 10 minutes from the airport to the bus station.
The Inle Lake terminal is the Heho Airport, about 45 minutes away by taxi from the main town by Lake Nyaungshwe. Taxi price is very expensive and fixed at 25,000 kyats (January 2017). If you want to reduce the cost, you can share your taxi and split the fare with other tourists. Another possible way to save money for your Myanmar travel is to book a taxi in advance with your guesthouse. They may offer a better price at 15,000 kyats.
Yangon to Inle Lake flight service providers
There are six airlines operating daily flights from Yangon to Inle Lake. They are Air Bagan, Air KBZ, Asian Wings Airways, Mann Yatanarpon Airlines, Myanmar National Airlines and Yangon Airways. Air KBZ has the largest number of daily flights with 6 flights per day.
The price of a flight from Yangon to Inle Lake
Here we list the fare of several airlines serving Yangon-Inle Lake route. Note that the price is quoted for economy class, non-promotion and one-way tickets in low season (May-October, 2017). The price is just for reference; please contact the airlines or agents to have updated information.
Saver: $108.21, flexible: US $ US $118.21
Flight time: 1h10 – 1h15m for a direct flight
Asian Wings Airways
Price: US $118
Flight time: 1h10 for a direct fight
Mann Yatanarpon Airlines
Price: US $104
Flight time: 1h10 for a direct fight, 1h50 for a non-direct flight (2 stops, via Nyaung U Airport and Mandalay Airport).
Myanmar National Airlines
Saver: US $93, flexible: US $106
Flight time: 45m – 1h05 for a direct flight, 2h10 for a non-direct flight (1 stop)
How to book a flight from Yangon to Inle Lake
The best way to booking a Yangon to Inle Lake flight for your Burma tours is via local travel agents, which are also PSAs (Passenger Sales Agent) of the airlines. There are a great number of the agents in Yangon such as Unique Myanmar Travels & Tours, and Myanmar Golden Image Travels & Tours and Exotic Myanmar Travels & Tours.
Besides, you can ask your hotel in Yangon for booking the flight ticket. Note that a small fee may be a surcharge for this service.
You can book online via the websites of the airlines. However, some of the websites do not update the information about flight schedule and price as well as there are a lot of errors occurring during the booking process. Some of the airlines which have quite good online booking service are Myanmar National Airlines, Mann Yadanarpon Airlines and Air KBZ.
Although traveling by air is the most time-saving and comfortable way to get from Yangon to Inle Lake, it’s quite expensive and usually complained about incomprehensible taxes. If you want to save money, consider other transportation means such as bus or train.