Gordon Leung

Travelled to 9 countries / regions

Written 29 briefs
I went to visit Myanmar in December 2018



Asia > Myanmar > Bagan > Useful Info
Submitted on Mar 17, 2019 Useful Info

Best way to get to Bagan from Mandalay

  • Bagan is about 180km southwest of Mandalay along the Irrawaddy River
  • Despite the relatively short distance, it's actually not very quick to travel between them overland
  • The best way to travel to Bagan from Mandalay is via a short flight. But you can also take a 5 hour day time bus or 8 hour overnight train
  • How to fly between Bagan and Mandalay (best way to travel):
  • Fare: $50-$70 USD one way
  • Flight time: 30 minutes
  • There are a couple of domestic airlines flying this route, including KBZ, Golden Myanmar, Mann Yadanarpon, Myanmar National. They're all very similar to each other when it comes to service. Golden Myanmar and KBZ tend to have lower prices.
  • I suggest using a meta flight search engine like Skyscanner to get the lowest fare
  • In both Bagan and Mandalay, the best way to get to and from the airport is by taxi. There is very little public transportation options available otherwise
  • How to bus between Bagan and Madalay (2nd best option):
  • If you want to save some money, bus is a decent way to travel between Mandalay and Bagan
  • Fare: $7-$10USD each way
  • Travel time: 5 hours
  • Lots of buses everyday, all of them are day/evening buses. There are no overnight buses on this route
  • Major bus operators include: Hello Express, OK Bus, JJ Express (Hello and JJ are both very well rated. JJ in particular runs buses all over Myanmar is very popular among foreign travellers)
  • Buses are air conditioned and pretty comfortable
  • MyanmarBusTicket.com is probably the best website to find the schedule and book tickets. However, you can also just show up to the bus station and buy your ticket in person there with cash kyat (they don't accept USD much these days anymore) as there are lots of departures everyday
  • Bus station in Mandalay is called Chan Mya Shwe Pyi Bus Station, located here (best way to get there from Mandalay city centre is by taxi). Bagan bus station is called Bagan Shwe Pyi Bus Station, and is located here very close to the airport. Again, taxi is the best way to get from there to the rest of Bagan
  • How to train between Bagan and Madalay (I don't recommend):
  • Fare: $13-$20 USD one way for a sleeper ticket (where you get a bed in a 4-bed room). $8 for a upper class seat. Foreigners cannot buy regular coach seats online, but I'm sure you can get one in person if you really want to experience it
  • Travel time: 8 hours or 17 hours
  • 2 trains a day, both overnight trains:
  1. 4pm departure to 9am arrival next day (don't take this)
  2. 9pm to 5am next day
  • The trains are not air conditioned so can be very uncomfortable
  • You can book the train in person at the train station, online at 12Go or MyanmarTrainTickets.com with credit card, or ask your hotel to assist you in booking it. Either way you need your passport to book. I suggest booking at least 1 week in advance
  • The train station in Yangon is very centrally located, easy and cheap to get to by taxi. The train station in Bagan is actually located very close to the airport and the only way to get from there to the city is by taxi
  • Unless you specifically want to experience what trains are like in Myanmar, there's no reason to take this train at all. It's slower, more expensive, and less comfortable than bus, and since it's overnight you don't even get to see the scenery outside. If you really would like to experience trains in Myanmar, I suggest taking the train between Yangon and Mandalay, since at least this route is air conditioned