How to Travel from Yangon to Mandalay

We have been there, done that! Yangon and Mandalay are the two metropolises of Myanmar that cannot be missed in your bucket list. If you choose Yangon to be your first destination to set foot to in Burma and want Mandalay to be your next one, you should consider these ways of transportation.

1. Buses from Yangon to Mandalay

One of the common means of transportation is the bus. To travel to Mandalay, which is 627 km from Yangon, the bus is the most favored option by travelers.

More than 600-km  is a long journey so traveling by bus takes about 10-12 hours to reach the destination.

The bus departs at two periods of time in the day: around 6:00 AM to 9:00 AM or 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM (depends on each bus company). Frankly speaking, the overnight bus is a better option with a view to save an overnight stay in Yangon and start your journey as soon as you reach Mandalay.

JJ Express Bus from Yangon to Mandalay

The bus is preferred due to its ticket prices. A one-way trip only costs about 12 USD for a normal seat with air conditioner. VIP seats cost a bit higher: about 19 USD and the amenities for passengers are air-conditioner, snack box and juice, blanket, water, movies, spacious space and others. Some recommended bus companies are JJ Express, Myat Mandalar Tun, Mandalar Min Express, GI Group, Shwe Mandalar,etc. Each company is available for booking online or at the company's agency.

On the way moving to Mandalay, the bus will stop several times for passengers to have a short break or buy food because there is no toilet on the bus. Remember to bring a jacket in case the blanket cannot keep you warm, temperature turns low on the bus and buy more snack before getting on the bus, you may be hungry in the long journey.

» Useful info: Hotels in Yangon

2. Trains from Yangon to Mandalay

Traveling by train is considered as the least preferred but it has pros and cons.

The journey takes lots of time, about 14 to 16 hours on board. It has two departure times in a day: 6:00 AM and 21:00 PM. 

The ticket costs about:

  • 50 USD for Sleepers
  • 25 USD for reserved soft seats in Upper-Class carriages
  • 10 USD for unreserved hard bench seats in Ordinary carriages.

Tickets to Mandalay can be booked directly at the main Yangon railways station or at the travel agents like Go-Myanmar, Exotic Myanmar Travel & Tour. Besides, you can ask your hotel to buy train tickets for you. You cannot book a ticket online and remember book ticket three to five days in advance for available seats. The train departs at Yangon Central Railway station and arrives at Mandalay Railway station.

A train from Yangon preparing for a ride to Mandalay

Before deciding to travel by trains, there is something you should keep in mind. Most of train routes from Yangon to Mandalay are quite old so even in Sleepers carriages, don’t surprise, if the fans are broken, the wall is grimy and the floor is grubby. Rustic toilets may clean at first but they don’t keep the same condition afterward. 

In short, the train is not as clean as the images you saw online but about the pros, it can be interesting to try. Staying on board for a long time create time for you to meet the locals, play some games with friends and it can be a wonderful sightseeing tour.

We have some small suggestions for train riders. Buy lots of food and water first though hawkers also sell them they sell at a bit higher price and sometimes, there are long periods when nothing is sold. 

To avoid heat-wave in tropical region between Yangon and Mandalay, you can bring sunblock to put on the window because these two destinations is suffering from the Myanmar hottest area, even when you travel in winter. Take toilet paper along as well, insect repellent is also needed for a few hours after sunset. That is all the basic stuff you need to bring for your most comfort.

» Useful link: Hotels in Mandalay

3. Flights from Yangon to Mandalay 

Traveling by plane is the best option for those who want to save time transporting from one place to another.

A plane ticket from Yangon to Mandalay is the most expensive ticket among all means of transport. A one-way economy class ticket in the low season cost around 110-125 USD. In high season costs 10-20 USD more. 

The direct flight duration from Yangon to Mandalay is about 1 hour and 1 hour 50 minutes for a non-direct flight. Service is provided by Air Bagan, Air KBZ, Air Mandalay, FMI Air, Golden Myanmar Airlines, Yangon Airway, etc. Air-ticket is easy to book online via airlines websites or at local travel agents.

Myanmar National Airlines 

Yangon International airport is far from the city’s center, approximately 30 minutes to the north and takes 2 hours during the rush hours. You should buy your ticket in advance and stock up appropriately for a plane taking off.

No matter which you choose to travel from Yangon to Mandalay, prepare carefully for a trip that is most suitable for your taste. Then have fun at anywhere you stop by in Myanmar.

In order to travel around the city at your utmost convenience, you can contact us directly for car-hiring service or find out more information about Myanmar in Myanmar Travel Advice.

» Visit us at Myanmarairfares for consultants as well as assistance in traveling in Myanmar. 

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