Last updated on September 4th, 2019 at 01:53 pm
Bagan the most touristic place in Myanmar and one of the most visited places in Southeast Asia. Almost all the people who visit Myanmar take go to Bagan. It’s amazing place! Bagan is one of the best places that you can find in South East Asia like Angkor Temples in Cambodia. There are hundred of Buddhist temples around the amazing landscape in Bagan. We will tell you in this blog post how to get to Bagan from Yangon, Inle Lake and Mandalay. Also more tips and recommendations to prepare your next trip in our Bagan travel guide.
Read here our Inle Lake travel guide!
Read here things to do in Yangon!
Best time to visit Bagan
When you are visiting Myanmar, you should know about the weather. The weather is really hot in Myanmar. There are two seasons in Myanmar for the weather, dry and wet season. Dry season is from October to May, being November and December the coldest months in Myanmar. And wet season from May to early October, being May and June the hottest months in Myanmar. It means the best time to visit Bagan is from October to February when the weather is nicer and not rainy. Also between October and April you can enjoy the Hot Air Balloon in Bagan. Otherwise you will not be able to fly around Bagan outside those dates.
Cash And Atm in Bagan
Myanmar’s currency is Burmese kyat. If you’ll convert it to US dollar, $1 is equivalent to 1,500 MMK (Burmese kyat). While in the country, you’ll have to use a mix of US dollars and Burmese kyat when buying and going around.
There are ATM’s and exchange offices in Bagan in Old Bagan, New Bagan and most of them in Nyaung U where most of the budget accommodation is. The rates are very similar when exchanging money and the ATM’s charge around $5 USD commission per withdrawal plus the commission that your banks apply to your card.
Read here our full blog post about Budget travel in Myanmar!
How to get to Bagan
How to get to Bagan by Plane
The easiest and most comfortable and quickest way to get to Bagan is by airplane. Nyaung U airport is just a few kilometers away from Old Bagan. There are a few airlines Air Mandalay, Air Bagan and Asian Wings. There are daily flights daily from Yangon, Mandalay and Inle Lake to Nyaung U airport.
Nyaung U Airport also known as Nyaung Oo Airport or Bagan Nyaung Oo Airport is in Nyaung-U (or Nyaung Oo), a town. There are taxis going from the airport to Old Bagan, New Bagan and Nyaung U town. Prices are around $6-8 USD.
Prices are expensive and you can expect to pay from $70-120 USD each person. You can click here to buy your tickets and check schedule with 12 Go.
How to get to Bagan from Yangon
The most popular way to get Bagan from Yangon is by night bus if you go on a budget. It will take 10-12 hours and there are local buses and VIP buses going there for more comfort. Expect to pay for local buses around $12 USD and around $20 USD for the VIP Bus that you can book online.
In Yangon the bus station is 15 kilometers far away from city center in the North near the airport. It’s called Aung Mingalar Bus Station. You can get to Aung Mingalar Bus Station by public bus from city center only for 200 Kyats in bus number 36 yellow color. Also you can get a shared taxi from Sule Pagoda for 1000 Kyats. For more comfort you can go by Grab and taxi and prices will go around 10000 Kyats. By bus from city center can take 1 hour and 30 minutes and they are usually crowded. We decided to go by bus since it was cheaper than Grab and Taxi.
How to get to Old Bagan, New Bagan and Nyang U from the Bagan Bus Station
The Bus Station in Bagan is 20 minutes taxi ride to Old Bagan and little bit less to New Bagan and Nyaung U. Prices to go there by taxi are 9500 Kyats from Old Bagan. 8500 Kyats from New Bagan and 6000 Kyats if you are staying in Nyaung U where are the most of the hostels and cheap accommodation in Bagan. Prices of the taxis are fixed there is a sign where you can check them. So drivers will not try to increase the price. The taxi will stop to pay the entrance fee in the check point. Make sure you have cash USD, euros and even better Kyats. The price of the entrace fee is 25 000 Kyats and if you pay in USD and euros it will be 2-3 extra for the exchange rate. It’s valid for 3 days. In our case from 1st of May and expiring 5th of May so we guess you can stay 4-5 days. Check the ticket below!
On the way back Bagan Bus station if you want to get the night bus. There is a small bus driving you to the bus stop from hotel and hostels in Bagan. It’s included in your bus ticket both of them VIP or local bus!
How to get to Yangon by train
There are daily trains from Yangon leaving around 4 pm and arriving in Bagan around 10 am next day. Prices can go from $10-12 to $50 USD if you choose VIP class and traveling with meals, air conditioning, and all the comfort.
How to get to Bagan from Inle Lake
If you want to get to Bagan from Inle Lake there are night buses leaving from the bus station in the town of Nyaung Shwe. The bus can take 10-12 hours and there are also mini vans going to Bagan. Prices are starting from 15000-30000 Kyats depending if you are traveling by minivan, local bus or VIP bus. You will get to Bagan Bus Station around 4-6 am. So you can be lucky and get there on time for the sunrise.
There are also daily flights from Inle Lake to Bagan and prices are around $70-120 USD. Travel time is around 30 minutes and the airport in Inle Lake is located 45 minutes driving distance North direction.
Read here a full blog post how to get to Inle Lake in Myanmar!
How to get to Bagan from Mandalay by boat
You can get to Bagan from Mandalay by boat cruising the Irrawaddy River main one in the country. The boats are leaving Mandalay early morning and getting to Bagan around sunset time. The travel time is around 10 hours. Prices are going around $30-40 USD depending of the boat, company and comfort that you want to have with breakfast and lunch included.
Read here: Just take note that boats from Mandalay to Bagan and viceversa aren’t running from mid April to October. Make sure you check in advance!
How to get to Bagan from Mandalay by bus
If you go on a budget this is the best way to get Bagan from Mandalay. There are night minibuses for $10-12 USD and the travel time is around 7-8 hours. The comfort of the minivans isn’t the same than a bus but it’s faster. Your choice depending your schedule and budget in Myanmar.
Also it can be perfect if you are in a hurry and you don’t have so much time since you can reach for the sunrise in Bagan as I did in my first trip to Myanmar a few years ago.
If you want more comfort you can hire a private driver from Mandalay to Bagan around $50-60 USD and you will go from your hotel in Mandalay to your hotel in Bagan without worrying of anything and more comfortable. It can be great if you are traveling 3-4 people since the price isn’t very high.
You can get to Bagan by plane from Mandalay. It will be a short ride 30 minutes and prices are around $50-70 USD per person.
You can even get Bagan from Mandalay by train. There is a daily night train leaving Mandalay to Bagan at 7 pm. It costs around $15 USD and it will take 7-8 hours to reach Bagan. Make sure you plan in advance booking online or you will maybe run out of tickets going getting by train to Bagan from Mandalay.
Where to Stay in Bagan
We stayed in Old Bagan at The Hotel@Tharabar Gate and we really liked it our staying. It was so close to the temples which was great for the sunrise. Also most of the temples are in Old Bagan we can always go for a quick rest since it was so hot the weather. We could enjoy swimming in the pool and catching up with work since the internet connection was working good in the hotel.
Apart from the location the food, the staff and the facilities were awesome. They provide everything that you need services and information to go around Bagan. Click here to check their prices and availability!
If you want to stay in other area in Bagan prices are starting from $15-20 USD in a local guesthouse in Nyaung U depending on how much you want to stretch your budget. Luxury hotels in Bagan can cost $50-300 USD for a room if you wish more comfort when visiting Bagan. Click here to get the best deals with Agoda and Booking.
You can also try AirBnB in Inle Lake with prices starting from $20 USD. Click here to get $30 USD off your first booking with AirBnB!
Travel Tip: Click here to know prices and schedule to book your bus/boat tickets online in Myanmar with 12Go Asia.
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