Yangon and Bagan are 2 out of 4 most typical tourist destinations of Myanmar. The former is the largest city and the latter is the most important archaeological sites of the country. Most international visitors spend several days in Yangon and its surroundings and then travel to Bagan on their Myanmar tour. How to get to Bagan from Yangon? It depends on your budget, timing and also your adventure mind. Here is useful information for transportation from Yangon to Bagan.
1. Overnight Bus from Yangon to Bagan
Normally the overnight bus will take around 9 – 10 hours to complete the 611-kilometer journey between Yangon and Bagan. The road condition is quite good and the quality of overnight buses is better than you imagine or hear about transportation services in Burma.
Traveling by overnight bus from Yangon to Burma can help you save money quite a lot (it costs 15,000 – 18,000 kyat for a ticket bus and you can also save 1-night hotel). It is a very good choice if you don’t suffer from motion sickness and can sleep in noises as the driver turns on Burmese music very loud until midnight.
The bus normally leaves the downtown Yangon at 6.00pm each evening and arrives in Bagan around 4.00am (the next day). So make sure to book your hotels in Bagan in advance and prepare for the transfer from bus station to your hotel. If not, you may have to stand around with the cockerels and cows for several hours until a more sociable hour!
2. Local Train from Yangon to Bagan
During Myanmar travel, the journey from Yangon to Bagan by train is very time-consuming (15-17 hours) and mostly unpleasant. The train is noisy and hot, and your bed in the cabin is quite hard to sleep. In addition, the speed is incredible slow.
It’s a little odd that you can not buy train tickets at the train station. Instead, you have to buy them from some travel agents in Yangon center. It will cost 16,500 (17 USD) kyat for an upper-class sleeper ticket, 12,000 (12 USD) kyat for an upper-class seat ticket. If you must travel as cheap as possible, an ordinary class seat ticket of 4,500 kyats (4 USD) may be an economical choice. However, remember that it will not be a particularly enjoyable journey. Food and drink is served throughout the journey, but they are not included in ticket price. Trains normally leave Yangon station at 4.00pm, and arrive in Bagan around 10.00am (the next day).
3. Short Flight from Yangon to Bagan
For Burma tours, a Bagan-Yangon flight is an easiest and most time-saving way to travel between two sites. The Air Bagan is probably the best airline flying the route of International Yangon Airport and Nyuang U Airport (the closest airport to Bagan), but you can also choose from Air Mandalay and Myanmar Airways.
Flying from Yangon to Bagan will cost you around 95 – 155USD/ ticket, depending on which airway company you choose and booking time. Note that Nyuang U Airport is 7 km far from Bagan, so check to see if your hostel or hotel will pick you up.