Yangon to Mandalay

4 ways to make your own way

Distance between Mandalay and Yangon is about 644km/400mi. There are five ways that take you there within fastest 2 hours or longest 3 days. Flying is always the best option.

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4 Ways - why you should fly

The fundamental transportation system is pretty laid-back in Myanmar. This is not the only problem that one faces while choosing between transportation means: road conditions, vehicle conditions, weather and cost shall all be taken into consideration. Here you are looking at 4 possibilities and we definitely suggest flight.

flying-to-mandalay

Option-01: Flying (one hour)

Regular services between the two biggest cities are operated by domestic airlines only. It is obviously the easiest way at a price of USD120 per person. Not neccessarily the most comfortable way, though.

  • Pros:
    - Short time, less than one hour.
    - Both airports are close to the cities.
    - 3 flights per day, morning/noon/afternoon
  • Cons:
    - Small and old aircrafts, limited services
    - Sold out easily during peak season
buses-in-yangon

Option-3: Car / Bus (at least one overnight)

If you want to explore along the way, then driving is a good way to go. There are some sleeper long-distance coaches that run at least one overnight (if not two).

  • Pros:
    - Private car is all to your own
    - Public bus is fairly cheap, USD12 to 24/seat
    - Multipile depature times a day
  • Cons:
    - No bathrooms on the bus (only rest stops)
    - Too much time watsed on the way
    - Horrible road conditions
sunset-over-the-irrawaddy-river

Option-02: Cruise (3 to 14 days)

The Inland Water Transport (IWT) runs a ferry service that takes between 5 to 8 days with a change of boat in Pyay. Private cruise companies offer rides between 3 to 14 days, too.

  • Pros:
    - A good way to relax and enjoy the view
    - Private cruises offer more luxury trips
  • Cons:
    - IWT boats are cheap but not so cozy
    - Private cruises are pretty expensive
    - Too much time, subject to water flow
trains-in-myanmar

Option-04: Train (15 hours)

Train is the locals' primary choice for this journey. Sleeper trains are available and seats are set aside for foreigners exclusively. Buy tickets at least 2 days ahead. Online booking via USD is possible.

  • Pros:
    - Train ride at a low price, USD18 to 24/seat
    - 15 hours and save up one night's hotel
    - A/C (or at least fan) and bathroom available
  • Cons:
    - Seats are too small for westerners' build
    - Dated trains with non-working facilities
    - At least 15 hours spent en route

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