How to Get to Mandalay from Bagan

Flight and cruise are both good ideas

Bus, flight, cruise and car drive can all get you to Mandalay from Bagan. If you'd like to be a bit adventurous, cruising is always a fun way to go.


Flight, Cruise, Train and Road Trip

In most cases with our previous guests, Mandalay is taken as the last stop after either Inle Lake or Bagan. Considering all the splendor and excitment from the previous destinations, you wouldn't want to be worn out by getting to Mandalay. That's why we think flying is an all-time solution. Nevertheless, other options bring along different experience and it's important to understand what to expect from each one.


Option-01: Flying (Most Recommended)

Domestic airlines operate several flights between the two cities. Airport town of Bagan is Nyuang U, about 40 minutes of driving away and the airport is rather small and loosenly-managed.
Quick Facts:

  • Distance: 124km / 77mi
  • Duration: 30 minutes of flight
  • Cost: USD60 to USD120
  • Earliest Departure: 0700am
  • Downsides: Small and old aircrafts, limited space and in-flight services; early departure.

Option-3: Train (Not for Everybody)

For most locals, train is still the first choice but not the same story for foreigners: old tracks and trains in sever lack of comfort. However, this 7-hour journey can be some experience if interested.
Quick Facts:

  • Distance: 151km / 95mi
  • Duration: 7 to 10 hours
  • Cost: USD15
  • Earliest Departure: One train at 0700pm
  • Downsides: Uncomfortable and never runs on time; no working A/C

Option-02: Cruise (Second Best)

Many cruise companies offer one-day cruising itineraries on the Irrawaddy River. Cruising upstream from Bagan to Mandalay offers better experiences during September to April.
Quick Facts:

  • Distance: 181km / 113mi
  • Duration: 10 to 14 hours
  • Cost: USD50 to USD200
  • Earliest Departure: 0600am
  • Downsides: Limited cabin services; duration and prices vary greatly.

Option-04: Road Trip (Bus or Private Car)

Considering there are many ancient towns and smaller cities en route, a road trip might not be a bad idea. Always better to rent a private car and driver than being jammed in hot public coaches.
Quick Facts:

  • Distance: 181km / 113mi
  • Duration: 4 to 7 hours
  • Cost: USD20 (bus) to USD150 (private car)
  • Earliest Departure: Your call
  • Downsides: Bumpy road; not very comfortable for senior travelers or babies

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