How to go from Yangon to Bagan by road?

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How to go from Yangon to Bagan by road?

It will be hard to find a traveller who visits Myanmar but does not want to go to Bagan. I was no exception (and I am glad about that).

As most of the travellers arrive Myanmar in Yangon International Airport, the easiest way to go to Bagan is to catch a flight. The closest airport to Bagan is Nyaung U Airport and it is pretty close to the town near Bagan. However, it is about 6 times more expensive than going by road(no surprise, right?).

When I was planning to go to Bagan from Yangon, I was doing some research. Hence, I stripped out going via train as it sounded like a slower journey and I did not have a lot of time to spend on the road either. That leaves me with the option of taking a bus. Again, I read some not so good reviews of the bus to go to Bagan as the people who went through bus before complained about loud music, movie in a television and light in the night bus. However, as I was trying to save some money, I decided to go with a bus.

Fortunately for me, it was a very pleasant journey! I purchased a ticket of Bagan Min Thar VIP Express Bus online using my credit card from Oway. The bus was scheduled at 8:00 PM from Gate 1, Bagan Lane, Bagan Min Thar Bus Gate in Aung Mingalar Highway Bus Station. The bus station is pretty near from the airport but pretty far from Yangon town. On top of that, the traffic can be crazy in the evening, so you should start at least 90 minutes prior to your journey from Yangon.

My past experience says that, usually, the buses do not always leave on time in this region. However, to my surprise, the bus started at 8:04 PM. There was only three seats in a row(2 + 1). As I was a solo traveller, I got a single seat. Once the bus started, I was waiting for the loud music and movie to be started! But, it never took place 🙂

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My bus to Bagan from Yangon – it was a VIP one!

Actually, almost all the people in the bus was foreigner, I believe, that is why they customised the trip accordingly. We were served with a water bottle and some snacks after the bus started. After about three hours of journey, the bus stopped in a place where you will find restaurants. However, it was no good for me as the menu was not in English. So, I decided to buy a bottle of water. Hence, I experienced a bad thing. The change came in short comparing to the quoted price. So, I needed to approach the lady to proclaim my money! Later, I found that, I paid a premium to buy the bottle of the water. So, it is better to have some reserve of water and snacks when you leave Yangon.

You will find toilets in the back of the restaurants, keep in mind that, there is no toilet inside the bus(although I read somewhere that, the toilets are available inside the bus). It’s better to use it as you might not get another break. Another important thing is to take a not of the number plate of the bus, as several other buses will stop there for the same purpose. Moreover, name of the buses are written in Burmese language, you will get a small English paper pasted on the windshield.

When, the driver and stuffs leave buses in the break, they will close the doors, it means that, if you are inside, you can’t leave, if you are finished ahead of time, you can’t enter. The break was for thirty minutes.

When, the bus resumed it’s journey again, the staff gave a can of Coca Cola and a small packet of cake to every passenger. It is a perk included in the ticket. I did not take the Coke as I did not want to run into an unpleasant ‘toilet situation’ in the middle of the journey. However, we got another opportunity in an open field later 🙂

The bus arrived about 4:30 AM in the morning in Nyaung U. The name of the bus station is Bagan Shwe Pyi Highway Bus Terminal which is about 5 KM from the town and 10 KM from the old Bagan.

Overall, it was a good journey, comfortable, in even speed and with good break.

Tips: Try to avoid first two rows. For some reason, there was a rotating light in front of the driver, which turning on and off in a rhythm. It gave me a hard time for quite a while even though I closed my eyes!

Fuad Omar

Fuad Omar

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