Bagan is the most beautiful place in Myanmar and one of our favorite Southeast Asia tourist spots. There are more than 2 000 Buddhist temples around Bagan. We will tell you how to get from Mandalay to Bagan by bus, plane, boat, taxi and train.
Don’t miss the sunrise for starting your day. Go inside a temple barefoot and climb to the top where you will enjoy an amazing sunrise. Go around with a bicycle or E bike during the day around their temples. Try to meet locals while you are cycling around the temples, having tea with them. At the end of the day, you should go for the sunset.
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.
How to get from Mandalay to Bagan
How to get from Mandalay to Bagan by flight
If you want to get from Mandalay to Bagan by flight. It will the fastest and most comfortable way. It will take only 30 minutes to get from Mandalay to Bagan by plane from Mandalay to Nyaung U Airport.
NYAUNG U AIRPORT TO BAGAN
Nyaung U Airport also known as Nyaung Oo Airport or Bagan Nyaung Oo Airport is in Nyaung-U (or Nyaung Oo), a town. Nyaung U airport to Bagan there are taxis going to Old Bagan, New Bagan and Nyaung U town. Prices are around $6-8 USD.
HOW TO GET FROM MANDALAY TO BAGAN BY BOAT
You can go from Mandalay to Bagan 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.
It can be a great option enjoying cruising the river during the day and getting to Bagan on time for the sunset.
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 FROM MANDALAY TO BAGAN BY BUS
If you go on a budget this is the best way to go from Mandalay to Bagan is by bus. There are night minibuses for $10-12 USD and the travel time is around 7-8 hours.
By bus from Mandalay to Bagan is the most popular option. Make sure you bring a jacket since it can be cold with the air condition. The buses usually give you water and do one stop on the way.
The buses are leaving Mandalay from Kywel Sel Kan Bus Station located 10 kilometers far from city center. Taxis going from Kywel Sel Kan Bus Station to city center in Mandalay can cost around $10-12 USD.
Vans from Mandalay to Bagan
There are also vans going from Mandalay to Bagan. 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.
Mandalay to Bagan by Train
If you want to go from Mandalay to Bagan by train. There is only one daily train going from Mandalay to Bagan at 7 pm. The train ticket will cost from $5-15 USD. It depends if you choose economy or first class.
It will take 7 hours and you will find difficult to book online. You can ask help from your hotel to book your train ticket in advance and they will print for you. Or you will get your print ticket in the train station.
Mandalay to Bagan by Taxi
If you want to get from Mandalay to Bagan by taxi. You will have to get a car with private driver since it’s not allowed for tourists to rent cars in Myanmar.
The travel time Mandalay to Bagan by taxi is around 4 hours, The price is around $70 USD. It can be a great option if you are traveling with a few people or with a lot of luggage.
Where to Stay in Bagan
Old Bagan is where most expensive hotels are. Old Bagan is close to the temples so the most comfortable especially for the sunrise. There are restaurants and most of the things you can find here. We stayed in Old Bagan and it was great after the sunrise we were close to our hotel. Later also for the sunset we were just 5 minutes bicycle distance.
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. Even you don’t stay there we recommend you to go for a a juice or beer and enjoying the pool area.
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!
Nyaung U is where most budget accommodations are. There are bars and restaurants around the area. Places to rent bicycle and E Bikes. You can also find local markets to eat and shopping souvenirs.
For accommodation, you can find accommodation prices starting from $15-20 USD in a local guesthouse 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 Yangon with prices starting from $20 USD. Click here to get $30 USD off your first booking with AirBnB!
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