Travel Info & Tips - Get around
How to get around in Myanmar
Travel within Malaysia is quite convenient within various modes of travel - air, rail, or road. Each mode is efficient, affordable and convenient. The fastest way to get around is via plane. With Malaysia's great offers of low budget airline flights to the major cities that are flying daily. The train is also a good way, you will see a lot but it is often busy and requires booking in advance. Air-conditioned buses are going mostly straight to the big cities while regular buses crisscross the country between every one-horse town.
Entering Myanmar through the main neighboring countries. The international airports are in Yangon and Mandalay and the main entries. The countries with direct routes into Myanmar are India, China, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia. Out of them, Thailand is the most popular entrance.
Travel Myanmar by plane
Yangon International Airport has direct airlinks with Thailand (Bangkok and Chiang Mai), Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, India, Hong Kong, China, Vietnam (HoChi Minh, Hanoi,) and Siam Reap. Myanmar Airways, Air Mandalay, Air KBZ and Air Bagan regularly connect Yangon with all main destination within Myanmar.
Mandalay the second largest city in Myanmar; also has the international airport but there are only a few scheduled international airlines landed there so fare.
Air Carriers to Myanmar are mainly: Air China, Air Mandalay, Air Bagan, Bangkok Airways, Indian Airlines, Korean Airlines, Malaysia Airlines, Mandarin Airlines, Myanmar Airways International, Hong Kong, Silk Air, Thai Airways International and Thai Air Asia.
Flights are still relatively few but also this is getting better, it is strong recommended to book well in advance in order to be assured of a seat. Meanwhile airline tickets, international as well as domestic can be booked directly online with the airlines.
While planning for domestic travel, you should realize that the distances in Myanmar are considerable. If you want to visit many places in a short period of time, often the only option is to take domestic flights. There are regular domestic flights to all the main cities and places of interest so that makes life easier. But the additional costs and time can be weighed heavy on your budget and timeframe.
Travel Myanmar by road and train
Buses and trains - both are pretty slow, especailly trains. Border crossing by public train or bus is not possible. Myanmar can be accessed only by road via border crossing at Muse by the China border; Tachileik and Kawthaung by the Thailand ranged border crossing permission and visa.
A train ride on narrow-gauge tracks is like goin by horse with the old carriage rocking back and forth, maybe not something for everybody. Comparing to a bus trip on the same route, taking the tain means extra travel time on top of extra expenses. Train tickets are usually more expensive than bus tickets, but a great chance to interact with locals.
Traveling by road is a good alternative but due the distance and the fact the road is not everywhere in top condition, you will have to spend many hours in the car from A to B. For example, from Yangon to Mandalay it takes around 12 hours. It is recommended to take either by private car (Taxis are available everywhere) or by express coach to explore Myanmar by road.
The express coach is very convenient, there are air-conditioned and travel at night. Therefore, by traveling at night you can save time and money. But nevertheless, it can be quite exhausting. Express Bus Terminals: No border -crossing bus lines at the moment. Domestic highways bus terminals are Aung-Yadanar and Sawbwargyi-Gone, both about 10 miles from downtown Yangon.
There is also a regular rail services and coaches from Yangon to major cities in the States and Divisions.
Travel Myanmar by boat
There is an enormous number of vessels traveling the rivers of Myanmar. But again, due to the long distance, not many are used by foreign tourist.
There are however a small number of shorter routes that are convenient and attractive. One of the most popular is the Mandalay-Bagan Express Ferry (8 hours per trip).
Others are the Mandalay – Mingun route to the north. The Bhamo – Mandalay route (overnight) as well the Yangon – Pathein route. Except for the Mandaley – Bagan route, which is used often by tourist, travel by boat on the other route is suitable for the more adventurous traveler.
Car Rental in Myanmar
There ar no car-rental agencies in Myanmar, but you can get from all guestshouses, hotels, airport and elsewhere cars with drivers.
To drive one yourself, permission mst be aranged via the goverment-run MTT and Rad Trasport Administration Department and you must be accompanied by a local at all times. Therefore it is much easier and more relaxed to hire a car with a driver. The best place to arrange a driver, perhaps for a full trip is in Yangon, but it's possible to track down a "taxi" or "private car" from most travel agencies and guesthouses around the country.
There are three unofficial tpes of cars:
- Tourist Car - these are reasonable new, airconditioned cars run by a company that provides back-up or repairs in the event they break down.
- Airport taxi - is a midrange optin they are called airport taxis but often yellow taxis offering yu their service for your whole trip.
- Private Cars - the cheapest optins are 'private cars' run by entrepreneur drivers. These go with window down, no aircondition.