If you have no much time for your Myanmar tour while the intended destinations (commonly Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake) are extremely far from each other, traveling by air may be the best choice. Booking domestic flights in Myanmar, particularly flights from Yangon to Bagan, is not so difficult, but it’s not easy as the transportation in the Golden Temple Country generally remains backward compared to some of the neighbor countries such as Thailand. As a result, below we want to share some tips on booking flights from Yangon to Bagan.
General information for flights from Yangon to Bagan
There are quite a few daily flights from Yangon to Bagan severed by domestic airlines such as Mann Yadanarpon Airlines, Asian Wings Airways and Air KBZ. Ticket price is about $95-155, depending on the airline you choose and the booking time (the price is always high at the peak of high season of December every year; you have to book your ticket at least 3 days in this time). It takes about 1h10 for a direct flight from Yangon to Bagan and 1h50 for a non-direct one. Many flights may be canceled in the rainy season (May to October)
The Yangon terminal is Yangon International Airport, which is 30 minutes driving from the city center. However, it will take you 2 hours for that journey in rush time. Traveling by taxi will cost you $7-10. The Bagan terminal is Nyaung U Airport, 7 km from New Bagan. It will take about 15–20 minutes by car and cost 7,000 – 10,000 kyat to travel from the airport to New Bagan.
Tips on booking flights from Yangon to Bagan
Booking online: you can, but be careful!
Although the airlines offering flights from Yangon to Bagan allow customers to book tickets via their websites, some of the websites respond very slowly (even they cannot respond) to your access request. However, there are several airlines that are quite good at online booking service; Air Bagan is one of them.
If you are having a Myanmar travel, we advise you not to think about booking your ticket online. The Internet in the country is always said that “very slow speed” and “instability”. You will never know what could happen to your booking process due to “the Internet error”.
Another reason why we do not recommend booking online your ticket is flight cancellation. Some flights will be canceled without updated notifications sent to you.
Booking via your hotel: a good choice if you can
You, of course, can choose this option if you stay in a Yangon hotel for a particular time. In case you just consider Yangon as a transit place and traveling to Bagan without staying here, the option is impossible. Ask the hotel’s receptionists to book your ticket; they are very experienced. However, note that a small fee may be surcharged for the service (commonly 7% of price ticket).
Booking via local travel agents: the best choice
Local travel agents have a close relationship with the airlines. They know exactly sale promotion programs and flight cancellation information. It’s the best choice for you to booking your ticket via the agents for your Burma tours. Before you travel to Myanmar, google some prestigious names, save their addresses and even contact them if you want more information. Some travel agents in Yangon are Unique Myanmar Travels & Tours, Myanmar Golden Image Travels & Tours, Exotic Myanmar Travels & Tours, etc.
Everything, even very little ones, may contribute the success of your Myanmar trips. As a result, pay attention to the tips on booking flights from Yangon to Bagan so that you would have best travel experience in Myanmar.
Yangon is the largest city and main gateway to the foreign country of Myanmar. The ancient city of Bagan, the home to more than 2,200 Buddhist sites, is the most important tourist destination of the Golden Temple Country. A journey between Yangon and Bagan is commonly included in the itinerary of almost all Myanmar tours. As a result, a popular question raised by the visitor is that, “How to travel from Yangon to Bagan?” The following are some options we recommend.
Travel from Yangon to Bagan by air
It can be said that airline service in Myanmar is quite expensive. You will have to pay $95-155 for a Yangon Bagan flight (from Yangon International Airport to Nyuang U Airport). However, this is the easiest and quickest way to travel from travel from Yangon to Bagan. In need, a direct flight takes only 1h20 and a non-direct one (via Heho Airport or Mandalay airport) takes about 1h50. There a lot of daily flights offered by 7-8 domestic airlines; the flights sometimes are canceled due to bad weather condition, especially in the rainy season (May to October).
The Air Bagan is probably the best airline flying the route from Yangon to Bagan, but you can also choose from Air Mandalay and Myanmar Airways. Note that Nyuang U Airport is 7 km far from Bagan, so check to see if your hostel or hotel will pick you up.
Travel from Yangon to Bagan by bus
Both day buses and night buses are available for the 611-kilometer journey between Yangon and Bagan. In general, travelers are apt to choose night buses for Myanmar travel to feel less tired and save a hotel night. A bus ticket is quite cheap, only US $11-15.5 for normal class and US 18.5-0 for VIP class. Travel from Yangon to Bagan by bus will take about 9-10 hours. The bus journey is relatively pleasant thanks to a road condition and quality of the bus itself (all buses are air-conditioned). However, it will be better for you to prepare medicines if you have to suffer from motion sickness, and you should be aware of the fact that the bus may be noisy until midnight as the driver turns on movies or Burmese traditional music very loud.
The bus normally leaves the downtown Yangon at 7.00pm and arrives in Bagan around 5.00am (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.
Travel from Yangon to Bagan by train
During your Burma tours, you should understand comprehensively that a journey by train from Yangon to Bagan will be very long (15-17 hours) and mostly unpleasant. The train is hot and noisy and its speed is incredible slow.
However, the traveling train is very cheap that it costs 16,500 (17 USD) kyat for an upper-class sleeper ticket and even only 4,500 kyats (4 USD) for an ordinary class seat one. Food and drink are not included in the ticket price. In addition, note that you cannot buy the tickets at the train station. Instead, you have to buy them from some travel agents in Yangon center. You should also prepare warm clothes as the temperature may be much reduced at night. Trains normally leave Yangon station at 4.00pm, and arrive in Bagan around 10.00am (the next day).
Choosing the way to travel from Yangon to Bagan totally depends on you. Consider thoroughly your budget, timing and also your adventure mind to make the best decision.
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Yangon is the largest and most cosmopolitan city in Myanmar. Some travelers say that there is nothing in Yangon except noises and dust, and they just consider it as the transit city to other destinations in Myanmar such as Bagan or Inle Lake. In fact, Yangon itself is really an attractive destination, which is full of life colors, majestic pagodas, tranquil green parks and friendly people. Here we provide you with useful Yangon travel tips on the sites and activities you should not miss on your Yangon tour.
1. Shwedagon Pagoda
Being the most important pagoda in Myanmar, Shwedagon Pagoda is a must on your Yangon tour. Legend has it that the gilded pagoda with 99-meter-high main stupa was built more than 2,600 years ago, but this information is not confirmed by historians. According to archeological reports, the structure is about 1,000-1,500 years old. It’s said that the pagoda houses relics of 4 Buddhas, so it’s considered as the most sacred place in Myanmar.
You do not need to worry about the shortage of things to visit as there are various mini-museums and photo displays throughout the pagoda. It will take at least 2 hours to see everything inside. Shwedagon Pagoda is open every day from 4 am until 10 pm. Entrance fee is 8,000 Kyat ($8) per person.
2. Sule Pagoda
The pagoda is much smaller than Shwedagon Pagoda, but it is a very peaceful and relaxing place. Burmese people believes that it’s was built even before Shwedagon Pagoda. Visiting the pagoda on your Yangon tour or Myanmar travel, you will have a quiet time to see local people praying and admire its beauty without feeling annoyed by a mass of tourists. Sule Pagoda is open every day from 6 am until 10 pm. Entrance fee is 3,000 Kyat ($3) per person.
3. Night market at Maha Bandula road
Located on the main road leading to the Sule Pagoda, the night market full of noises and smells may not attract you at first sight. However, if you like night like and are interested in Burmese street food, do not miss the market on your Yangon tour. Here you can eat local food, drink traditional Burmese bear (called Myanmar) and even try fried insects!
4. Yangon zoo
A visit to the zoo on your Yangon tour which is more than 100 years old would be a good… or bad experience. Indeed, it’s always a very controversial place: some people accuse that the animals here have very poor living condition and that it’s not very safe place because of lack of bars and cages.
It’s true that in this zoo you can be really close to deadly animals like hippos. If you lean out, you could even touch them. No one is there to take care of the safety of tourists.
You can take really awesome photos and hand-feed the animals here at the zoo, but if you are not careful enough, you can be hurt by animals. Yangon Zoo is open every day from 8 am until 6 pm. Entrance fee is 3,000 Kyat ($3) per person.
5. Kandawgyi Lake
Kandawgyi Park is one of the lush green lake parks in Yangon. Making a visit to the park, you will be able to choose either of the options. On the east side of the park are a number of restaurants, including the Karaweik Palace, where you can eat and have a drink. It costs you 300 Kyats ($.30) to enter this area.
The other section is the lake boardwalk, an ideal elevated platform where you can enjoy wonderful views of the lakes, the Karawiek Palace, and the Shwedagon Pagoda in the background while doing exercise or walking. If you come here on a nice day when it’s not raining, you will be able to contemplate a stunning sunset view of Shwedagon Pagoda.
Visiting Kandawgyi Park is one of the great things to do on your Yangon tour because its tranquility and freshness are completely opposed to the busy and hectic downtown Yangon.
6. China town
If you are a foodie, head to Chinatown town on your Yangon tour. This is one of the busiest and most eventful places in the city, especially in the evening when food vendors appear on sides of the streets, and provide you with everything from ready-made foods to fresh produce.
The Kheng Hock Keong Temple, Sule Pagoda and Night market at Maha Bandula road are all located in the China Town area, so can make a day tour to these places.
7. Kheng Hock Keong Temple
This is the largest, oldest and most important Chinese temple in Yangon. Although the pagoda is really small comparing to Sule Pagoda or Sule Pagoda, it is still worth visiting. Peaceful atmosphere and sophisticated Chinese architecture are typical characteristics here. The admission to the Kheng Hock Keong Temple is free.
8. Bogyoke Aung San Market
The market is the biggest traditional one in Yangon and a wonderful destination for shopping for Burma tours. Indeed, you will be able to find almost all products there such as artwork, handicrafts, souvenirs and Burmese dresses. More particularly, the market is a famous address in selling jewelry and gemstones. If you want to give your friends and relatives unique or valuable gifts brought back from your Yangon tour, you can purchase them with reasonable price at the Bogyoke Aung San market. However, don’t forget to bargain! The first price you will get is always too high. The market is open between 10 am and 5 pm from Tuesday to Sunday.
After visiting these places and other interesting ones on your Yangon tour, you must ask yourself that why some people could say, “there is nothing in Yangon except noises and dust”.
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.
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It can be said that cuisine, especially street food, is one of the most standout characteristics of Yangon tourism. The city seems to be built for snacking with delicious dishes that are equally diverse compared to any street food heavens in Southeast Asia such as Vietnam or Thailand. You can find the best street food in Yangon at temporary carts set up by vendors each morning, and the snacks and stews are sold throughout the day, reflecting a wide cross-section of different and ethnicities and cultures. Here are the best courses of stress food you should not miss on your tours in Yangon.
This is the unofficial national dish of Myanmar. A pungent fish broth is flavored with turmeric, pepper, and lemongrass, which swirls around slippery thin noodles. If you taste the dish for the first time on your tours in Yangon, you will hardly recognize fish immediately; it’s mixed with chickpea flour to make an appetizing thick stew usually served for breakfast.
The assault of flavors in the early morning is the perfect way to start your day tour day tour Yangon. Although mohinga is sold all over Yangon by vendors, at Myaung May Daw Cho shops, the broth is brighter, thicker and pungent with ginger. In terms of food safety, it’s more comforting to know your fish broth was at least made in a kitchen with walls. The famous mini-chain of mohinga shops has several locations in Yangon, one of which is located 5 minutes walking from the Shwedagon pagoda, and it will cost you $3 to have a mohinga serving. Note that mohinga usually sells out by 9 a.m., so it’s better to you to get up early.
Myaung May Daw Cho
118A Yay Tar Shay Old Street, Bahan
Mont Lin Ma Yar
Roughly translated as “husband and wife snacks,” these tiny bites are a visual delight for your Myanmar travel. Skillful vendors add dollops of rice flour batter to a large sizzling cast iron pan which resembles a muffin tin. Toppings such as roasted chickpeas, quail eggs, scallions are added to half of the dollops, and then, the two halves, like a husband and wife are joined to make a little cake.
The Mont Lin Ma Yar version with quail eggs is the perfect breakfast food. Although you can find Mont lin ma yar vendors all over the downtown Yangon, the place you will find out the best vendor on your tours in Yangon is on Anwaratha between 29th and 30th. Here the quail eggs are cooked perfectly, not oily or dry like at other vendors, and the fried bites are extra crisp.
Nameless Street Vendor
Anawrahta between 29th and 30th Streets, near Bogyoke Market, Dagon
Located on 19th street between Anawrahta Road and Maha Bandoola Road are a variety of Barbecue restaurants, where storefronts display skewers of meat, fish, and vegetables ready to be rushed back into the kitchen and then they’re grilled over intense flames. Grab a plastic basket, fill it with raw skewers, wait your turn and it’s sure that you will have one of the most wonderful cuisine experiences on your tours in Yangon.
Kaung Myat, easily identified by its bright green interior matching the label of the omnipresent “Myanmar” beer, will first serve you a particularly appetizing skewer of peeled baby potatoes. Then there are delicate strands of enoki mushrooms, clumped together along with broccoli and okra; all are marinated in the same sweet lime chili sauce. A whole grilled fish is another mouth-watering course here. The fish is cut into sections, so you can easily peel away with chopsticks. When you run out of beer, make kissing sounds to draw the attention of waiters.
110 19th Street, Latha
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The Shan state in Eastern Myanmar shares borders with Thailand, Laos and China. It has been a region of civil war and conflict since Burmese independence in 1948. Chinese factors have affected not only by the politics but also on the cuisines.
Shan cuisine has various variations of a simple noodle course with a thin broth of black pepper and fragrant garlic. The noodles of this region are usually of the thicker rice variety, and they’re tossed in a spicy and sweet pepper-based sauce with bits of pork or chicken meat. The red pepper sauce reminds of a Thai sweet chili sauce, but it’s more fragrant as if mixed with Chinese five-spice powder.
If you want to enjoy a real San noodle bowl on your tours in Yangon, go to Aung Mingalar, a bright and airy restaurant located just behind Bogyoke Market. Here there is an English menu that makes it easy to order. The sticky chicken noodle salad is extremely delicious. Thick rice noodles sit in brown sweet soy based sauce and served with a side of a herbaceous clear soup and a tiny plate of pickled greens.
Aung Mingalar Shan Noodle Restaurant
Bo Yar Nyunt Street, Dagon
Special street food has made tourism in Yangon more attractive and likely. Enjoying these dishes on your tours in Yangon, you will not only have memorable experiences but better understand Burmese cuisine and culture as well in your Burma tours.