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Home Travel Guide Myanmar Travel Guide Myanmar Transportation: How to Get to & Get Around

Myanmar Transportation: How to Get to & Get Around

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Transportation facilities in Myanmar are relatively well-developed. Airplanes are the preferred mode of transportation for people traveling to Myanmar. Intercity buses and city taxis are the most common modes of transportation in Myanmar and are highly popular with tourists. You may not be aware that Myanmar has 10,271 kilometers of inland waterways, with the Irrawaddy River being the country’s main navigable route. Therefore, boats and ferries are also regular modes of transportation in Myanmar. Want to learn more about Myanmar transportation? Please read on.

Getting to Myanmar

By Flight

There is no doubt that planes are the best way to travel abroad, and the same goes for traveling to Myanmar. There are more than 30 airports throughout Myanmar, including 3 international airports in Yangon, Mandalay, and Nay Pyi Taw.

The main airlines in Myanmar are Myanmar International Airway, Air Yangon, Air Mandalay, Air Bagan, Air KBZ, and Asian Wing Airline, all of which have official websites, but do not offer online booking services. However, you can check the specific Routing Map on the websites to see if there are flights operating between your departure and destination.

No direct flights to Myanmar from countries in Europe and America. So, visitors have to transit from other countries, such as Tokyo in Japan, Seoul in Korea, Guangzhou in China, and Dubai.

Yangon International Airport (RGN)

A 20-minute drive from the city center, Yangon International Airport is the busiest airport in Myanmar, offering international and domestic flights. Direct flights operate between cities in many countries around the world and Yangon, including Seoul, Tokyo, Kunming, Guangzhou, Taipei, Bangkok, Kolkata, Delhi, Dubai, and Ho Chi Minh. Here is a table showing flight times between Yangon and major international transit cities for your reference.

From

To

Flight Time

Seoul

Yangon

5h 55m

Tokyo

6h 35m

Guangzhou

3h 20m

Taipei

4h 05m

Bangkok

1h 30m

Dubai

5h 45m

Ho Chi Minh

2h 30m

Phuket

1h 45m

Delhi

3h 45m

Yangon Airport offers the largest number of domestic flights in Myanmar, making it easy and fast for travelers to reach any destination. Here is a table listing flight information between Yangon and Myanmar’s popular travel destinations.

Mandalay International Airport (MDL)

Mandalay International Airport, Myanmar’s largest, is about an hour’s drive from the city center. The airport offers flights mostly to other domestic cities in Myanmar (such as Yangon and Myitkyina), while international flights are only available to Bangkok, Thailand, which take 1 hour and 50 minutes and cost about US$125.

Nay Pyi Taw International Airport (NYT)

Nay Pyi Taw International Airport is located 16 km south of Nay Pyi Taw City, the capital of Myanmar, adjacent to the old Nay Pyi Taw Airport. The new airport covers an area of 111,500 square meters and has a runway of 3.6 kilometers. With an annual capacity of 20 million passengers, the airport is the third largest in Myanmar, offering international flights to Kunming and Beijing, as well as domestic flights to cities such as Yangon and Mandalay.

By Road

Most of Myanmar’s borders are closed, but tourists can enter the country from China and Thailand. However, it is usually a hassle because you can only go through the correct border crossing point. The policy on entry by land changes frequently, so it is important to be aware of the latest policy before departure to ensure a smooth entry. In a word, it is not a recommended way to get to Myanmar.

Getting around Myanmar

(1) Flights

Yangon is usually the first stop on a trip to Myanmar. If you want to continue your visit to Mandalay or Bagan, flying is the easiest way to get around. A flight from Yangon takes 1 hour and 25 minutes to Bagan and costs about $115; it takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to Mandalay and costs between $104 and $139.

Note: Tourists need to purchase tickets at least one day in advance. Please have US dollars and your passport ready when you do so. Airline tickets purchased from travel agencies are generally slightly lower than that from airline offices.

(2) Trains

In Myanmar, travelers are less likely to travel by rail than by coach or plane. Not only are the railroads in Myanmar old and in poor condition (built during the British colonial era), but they also run slower than buses and cost far more than buses. However, the advantage of taking the train is that tourists can enjoy the beautiful scenery along the way.

Myanmar’s busiest main railway line is the Yangon-Mandalay line, which runs north-south.

cai rang floarting market

(3) Long-distance Buses

Long-distance buses are an economical and fast way to travel in Myanmar, with low fares and many trips. This is why many of the roads in Myanmar are in relatively poor condition, but most tourists and locals are happy to take the coach to and from Myanmar’s cities. With the rapid growth of tourism, Myanmar has developed many premium VIP buses for international tourists, such as the JJ Express Bus, with more comfortable seats and more space.

In addition, Myanmar operates night buses that provide water, snacks, and blankets, as well as dinner on some trips. Tourists can book bus tickets at the hotel front desk a night in advance, or at a travel agency.

(4) Boats & Ferries

Myanmar has very long waterways. The boat ride from Bagan to Mandalay is a leisurely and romantic way to get around and you will have a great view of the Irrawaddy River. There are regular daily express boats between the two cities, which take about 9 hours and cost $43 one-way, including the service charge. Please consult your local travel agent or the wharf ticket office in advance for booking ticket and ferry schedule information.

cai rang floarting market

(5) Buses

Taking buses is a safe mode of transportation in Myanmar. Myanmar’s buses are mostly retrofitted from obsolete South Korean and Japanese buses in relatively rudimentary conditions. However, bus fares are cheap, usually between 100 and 300 kyats.

In addition, there is a pickup truck in Myanmar, a privately operated bus with fares similar to government buses. But, tourists have to squeeze into the back of the cramped truck with locals if there are many people on board.

cai rang floarting market

(6) Taxis

Taxis are ubiquitous in larger cities like Yangon and Mandalay. Travelers can hail a ride on the Grab app, which typically takes them five minutes and is cheaper than a random cab on their way. A taxi to the city’s attractions is usually less than 2,000 kyats (≈ US$1). A taxi to the city’s attractions typically costs under 2,000 kyats (≈ US$1).

Most taxis are privately owned, and they also offer charter services. Visitors can charter a car for a day trip around the area with a driver. The exact cost depends on the model and luxury. A mid-range sedan car costs around 30,000 kyats (≈ US$14.50) a day.

(7) Bicycles

It is easy to rent bicycles to get around in various tourist areas in Myanmar, and some hotels offer bicycle rental services for about 1,000-2,000 kyats per day.

(8) Carriages

A horse-drawn carriage is a special form of transportation in Myanmar, mainly in Bagan. Tourists can charter a full day (costing about 20,000 kyats/US$9.5) or a half day, following a set route. It is quite leisurely to walk along the country roads in a horse-drawn carriage and admire the pagodas of all sizes. It is quite leisurely to take a horse-drawn carriage ride along the country roads and admire the stupas of all sizes.

cai rang floarting market

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