Bumpy, unreliable, and painfully slow – what’s not to enjoy? Train travel across Myanmar may not be the most effective mode of transport to get around but what it lacks for in comfort levels, it more than makes up for with stunning scenery, cultural insight, and friendly locals. Whilst we prefer to get you from A to B a little easier, there are a few train journeys we simply couldn’t allow you to miss out on. The train ride from Kyaukme to Pyin Oo Lwin is one of the must do train journeys in the world, as you pass over the magnificent Gokteik Viaduct. You’ll also have the chance to take in scenic views and mix with monks as you ride the Yangon Circle Line back from Bago. You simply can’t leave Myanmar without at least a taste of the railway!
Without doubt, the easiest and quickest way to travel Myanmar is by air. Domestic flights connect the country with frequent, daily services to the majority of Myanmar’s main destinations. Whilst core routes offer direct services, many flights operate on a circular routing, stopping off at a number of airports along the way, so you may find you will need to fly indirect at times. Due to routing and demand, departures often miss their scheduled slot so not only are delays common but you may also find they’re running ahead of time! Years of experience has taught us which airlines, routes and connections generally run according to schedule, so we’ll only book these flights for you.
A hugely popular method of travel, taking the bus around Myanmar is often the simplest means – especially when travelling on a budget or if you have time on your hands – and we can pre-book all of your tickets for you. Long-distance journeys are mainly operated by private companies with fully air-conditioned, comfortable vehicles and are a great way to see parts of Myanmar otherwise missed. You’ll wind through villages and along off-the-beaten-track routes that offer incredible views of breath taking scenery. If you take an overnight bus, remember to pack a warm jumper as the air conditioning can leave the cabin overly cold.
Taxis, Trishaws, and Horse-drawn carts
For travel around town, there are a number of options. Most popular is by taxi and they can be hailed from the street, or pre-booked from your hotel. As most drivers speak limited English, it helps to carry your hotel’s business card or a map on which you can point out where you want to go. Trishaws are also readily-available on most street corners and make for a far more authentic way to go short distances, as well as one of the cheapest ways to get around. In smaller towns and rural villages, horse-drawn carts are still widely used and heavily relied on. These wooden and bamboo carriages are especially popular in Bagan and Pyin Oo Lwin, and are a delightful way to go about your sight-seeing. No matter where you are or what mode you’re taking, always remember to agree on a price in advance!
Whilst river cruises along the Ayeyarwady River are often arduously slow and uncomfortable, shorter trips on Myanmar’s network of waterways offer superb glimpses in to local life and make for a pleasant break whilst out trekking. The most famous of all destinations is Inle Lake, where we’ll arrange for you to explore the floating gardens and markets of the indigenous Intha people by private wooden motorboat. You’ll no doubt find yourself drifting along picturesque rivers and streams at some stage during your time in Myanmar and as most boats are open-topped, be sure to bring a hat or umbrella to shield from the sun!
Cycling is a wonderful way to explore the local area, especially in the smaller towns and villages. Bicycle rental is cheap and readily available from most hotels and provides you with the ultimate freedom to move at your own pace and leisure. The best spots to hop on two wheels are when exploring the ancient stupas of Bagan and peaceful surroundings of Pyin Oo Lwin (included in your trip) and around the villages and gardens on the banks of Inle Lake. Just be sure to take a bottle of water with you!
Private Car Transfer
As you’ll be on the move independently during your holiday, many of our trips involve travel by modern, air-conditioned car. Private transfer allows for a whole host of opportunity to add flexibility and convenience to your trip. Your friendly drivers are likely to speak only basic English, so if you’re travelling without a guide you might need to employ the handy international language of mime to get chatting! We’re sure you’ll be laughing and joking in no time.
Travelling with Meaning
In Myanmar, we highly recommend travelling by as many authentic methods as possible – at least once. Seeing the towns and villages by bicycle is environmentally friendly and hiring trishaws and carts to get around helps provide an income to many locals. Train travel will offer the best opportunity to mix with locals and personal encounters such as these will be some of your most cherished memories. Taking buses to get from A to B will also see you drop by villages and vantage points that very few in the world would’ve ever visited!