If you have enough time and want to save money, overnight buses are the ideal way for you to explore Myanmar.
Buses in Myanmar
Referring to night buses, you may feel very tired because they are not only crowded, inconvenient but also lack of even basic facilities. However, if you are a backpacker and would like to travel on a budget, bus is an ideal option when coming to a new country.
In Myanmar, in order to travel between cities, two most popular means of transport are plane and intercity bus. The advantage of travel by airplane is that you will save a lot of time and energy because the Myanmar’s famous attractions are often far apart. However, the domestic airfare in this country is quite expensive and booking ticket is not convenient. There are only a few airlines allowing you to book online or you have to book ticket via travel agencies.
Therefore, buses are more popular mean of transport in Myanmar to travelers. Although some bus companies have just put into operation, their service is very well and professional. The buses are imported and equipped with full of facilities such as TV, spacious seat,… Passengers are also offered free blankets, bottled water and toiletries.
The itinerary that tourists often choose to explore Myanmar is Yangon – Bagan – Mandalay – Inle – Yangon. Two longest routes are Yangon – Bagan and Inle – Yangon, taking 10-12 hours for about 600km; the route Bagan – Mandalay – Inle is closer, only takes about 5-6 hours.
Yangon – Bagan
After arriving at the airport, you will take about 45 minutes to fill out an immigration application, convert money and take your luggage. In order to save time, you should go to Bagan right on that day. It takes about 10 hours for a distance of 600km.
There are many bus companies for you choose but two most famous are JJ Express and Elite Express. All buses depart at Aung Mingalar Bus station, about 20-30 minutes from the airport. JJ Express departs at 20:00, costing 18,500 kyat/ticket while Elite Express costs 14,200 kyat/ticket, departing a little bit later at 21:30.
Yangon – Mandalay
JJ Express also offers buses from Yangon to Mandalay, the famous city with the longest and oldest teak U Bein Bridge in the world. The bus departs from Yangon at 9:00 and 21:30, economical ticket costs 11,000 kyat. From Yangon to Mandalay, you will take about 10 hours traveling with a distance of nearly 650 km.
Mandalay – Taunggyi (Inle Lake)
JJ Express bus departs at 10pm daily, arriving in Taunggyi (Inle Lake) at 5am with the price of 11,000 kyat/ticket. Two destinations are quite close so it just takes 4-5 hours for 250km.
Bagan – Taunggyi (Inle Lake)
You can ask the hotel or hostel to book Bagan Minthar bus ticket, costing about 11,000 kyat. There are two buses for you to choose, departing at 7:30 and 19:30. You do not have to go to the bus station because this bus company will pick up you right at your hotel. It takes about 7 hours to move, you will arrive at around 3am.
Taunggyi – Yangon
From Taunggyi (Inle Lake) to Yangon, you also can travel by JJ Express, departing from 5:30pm in Taunggyi, with 18,500 kyat/ticket, dinner included. This is the longest route, you will stay on the bus for about 12 hours and arrive in Yangon in the early morning.
- You can book JJ Express tickets online via JJ Express Facebook (JJ-Express Highway Bus). You have to provide them your name and passport numbers, after that, they will give the departure time and pick up place. You should book in advance for 1-2 weeks.
- Each bus stop has toilets, restaurants to serve visitors.
- You should take the night bus to save time as well as money for renting the hotel.
- The fares and departure time can be changed at the present time
- If you go on other routes, you should ask your hotel, motel or travel agent for the latest departure times and fares.
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