Monday, May 6, 2013

Yangon to Bagan Night Bus


Myanmar Day 2 (continued)


My bus to Bagan was scheduled to leave at 6:00 PM. I decided to leave the city center by 4:45 PM because they said, it would take me an hour going to the bus station considering the traffic. Apparently, because of the school holiday, a lot of students were heading to their home towns that weekend.

They were right about the traffic forecast. It took us a while to get to my designated bus company waiting area. Aung Mingalar Bus Station is huge and different bus companies have their own slots there. It took us several stops and turns before we found my bus, Mandalar Minn.



the very busy bus terminal


Despite the traffic jam, I still arrived a little early for my departure time. I admit, it wasn't the bus terminal I was expecting to see. I thought there will be like a big covered area with steel chairs for waiting passengers. But nada. Each bus companies just have their own little waiting area inside their offices and that's it. In my case, the waiting area inside was already too crowded. I just bought an ice cold soft drink from the vendor outside and asked if I could use one of their chairs, which they gladly lent me. I just smiled and hung out with the locals there even though I couldn't understand a thing from their joyful conversation. Sometimes you have to do just that. :)

Fifteen minutes before the departure time, I approached the attendants and asked about my bus. Luckily, they just have started the embarkation process. Excited to leave, I was not able to take a photo of the bus anymore.



complimentary bottle of water


There are staff who will assist you with the boarding process and the storage of your luggage. I think there were about four of them. I found it nice actually. There's always someone who will attend to your needs. Every passenger has a free bottle of mineral water and there's also a plastic bag ready in case you felt nauseous and you have to throw up. :)



ready to sleep?


They also provide a neck pillow and a blanket for a more comfortable slumber. It is a 9-hour bus ride, so you will be sleeping your night away for sure. I have no problems sleeping on the road no matter how bad the road is. I've gotten used to it. Maybe I was traveling too much.



bus station vendors


We departed at around 6:10 PM. Sitting at the window seat was futile, it was night. Half way through our journey, we stopped somewhere in between Yangon and Bagan. It was a 30-minute break. We were encouraged to freshen-up, as suggested by the free toothbrush and cold towel they were giving as we get off the bus - and to eat or have dinner.



the pitstop


Everything was so new to me. I mean the surroundings, the crowd, the types of food. I just ended up grabbing a cup of noodles which surprisingly was the "hottest" chicken noodle I've ever tasted. I mean spicy hot! And then, I also discovered this yummy cake. The label was Pucci Cake, I guess that was the bakeshop name. I regretted I only bought 1 pack. It was to die for.



spiceh!!!


Satisfied with the eats I found, I peacefully got back to sleep once we boarded again to continue our journey hehe. It was a convenient night bus trip I must say. I don't have any complaints. We were very much taken cared of. The bus travel and customer service were efficient. Road travel in Myanmar after all is a pleasant experience.

What did I do when I arrived in Bagan? I waited for that magical sunrise. :)

***I paid 15,000 Kyats for my bus ticket from Yangon to Bagan.


This is Part 4 of my Myanmar travel series.

30 comments :

  1. I'm going to Myanmar on September. I'm so excited, especially for Bagan! Will definitely read your entire Myanmar series before then. =)

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  2. Hiyee Claire! Spend as much time as you can. Mine was so bitin, I wasn't able to cover Inle Lake and Mandalay. I'll also wait for your Indonesia posts. Baka dun naman ako by September hehe. :)

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  3. a very tourist friendly bus trip...

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    1. Yes, it was. Thanks for visiting my blog. =)

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  4. Hi there,

    I am planning on traveling to Bagan from Yangon as well. Would you recommend this bus company? Did you end up going to Mandalay as well? What bus company did you take? Would appreciate tips from you.

    -Mongkol

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    Replies
    1. Hello Mongkol! Yes, I had a nice experience with them. But I think, generally, night buses in Myanmar are pretty good. I did not go to Mandalay though. I was just in Myanmar for a few days so I didn't have enough time to go farther.

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  5. Hi Lizzie,

    Thanks for your information!

    I would like to know if you bought the bus ticket from the hotel.

    Thanks a lot for your help!

    Cheers
    Minh

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    Replies
    1. Hello Minh,

      In my case, I bought it myself at the Ticketing Office in Aung San Stadium. The tickets my hotel was selling were already sold out at that time.

      You're very much welcome! Enjoy you trip to Myanmar! =)

      Cheers,
      Liz

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    2. Thanks Lizzie much! I've just skimmed through your Burmese diary and noticed that you visited only Yangoon and Bagan (feel free to correct me if I'm not right). I just would like to know whether you catch a bus back to Yangoon and fly home from there or by other way.

      I'm planning a 5-day trip and thinking I would spend 2 days in Bagan, that city is such a wonder, and therefore need some of your valuable tips about transportation in Myanmar.

      Thanks again, Lizzie!!!

      Minh

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    3. Yes, you were right Mihn. I've only visited Yangon and Bagan because I only had 5 days in Myanmar, not enough time to cover more places. From Bagan, Inle Lake is 6 more hours and Mandalay is 9 hours! So you can do the Math.

      I only took the bus on my trip to Bagan (back and forth). Air tickets are very expensive and I don't want to spend too much. If budget is not an issue for you, Yangon Airways and Air Bagan has flights to and from Bagan at USD 89-94.

      Hope this helps,
      Liz

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  6. Thanks Liz! This is helpful. I'm headed there in a few weeks and will definitely use this information. What hotels did you stay in, or is that information in the rest of your blog? Thanks again!

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    1. Hi Rose! You're welcome. I have the hotel review of the places I stayed at in Myanmar in this blog too. Here are the links:

      http://www.thebookwormtraveler.com/2013/04/where-to-stay-in-yangon-myanmar.html

      http://www.thebookwormtraveler.com/2013/04/budget-hostel-in-yangon-myanmar.html

      http://www.thebookwormtraveler.com/2013/04/where-to-stay-in-bagan-myanmar-pyinsa.html

      Hope this helps and enjoy Myanmar! =)

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  7. Hi Liz - from Bagan, are the buses running on night as well? What time will it arrive in Yangon?

    Thanks,
    tj

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    Replies
    1. Hello TJ,

      Yes. In fact I took one going back to Yangon as well. I had the option to choose between a 6:30 PM and a 7:30 PM bus. I chose the 7:30 bus and arrived in Yangon 4:30 AM the next day. I was in downtown Yangon by 5AM and waited for the guesthouse to open up hehe =)

      You're welcome,
      Liz

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  8. Hi Lizzie,

    were you traveling alone? did you feel unsafe as a woman traveler

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    1. Hello! Yes, I traveled solo in Myanmar on the entire trip. I've never felt unsafe in this country not even once. It is generally safe for lone women travelers! =)

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  9. I'm going to Myanmar late november. I wil have just 5 days but really ecxited to visit Bagan but I have doubts about the night bus...
    I cannot find the bus company to search for the bus.. is it possible to make reservation?
    I will arive in Yangon at 11am... And want to get a bus on the same day at night...
    Do U think is it possible?
    thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hola Fernando! Don't worry, there are several bus companies operating in the Yangon-Bagan route. Online transport booking is not yet a common practice in Myanmar. When you arrive in Yangon, go straight to Aung San Stadium. There are several ticketing offices there, where you can buy your bus ticket to Bagan. That was where I bought mine. There shouldn't be a problem especially if it's not a holiday in Myanmar. You can also stay for a night in Yangon. I know a $5 per night guest house there. Best of luck and have an awesome trip! :)

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  10. Lizzie, I'll travel to Myanmar next month (December, high season there, I worry there's no more seats if I do not buy/book tickets in advance, could you pls give me an advice ? Thanks a lot.

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    Replies
    1. I'm afraid they don't have online bus booking in Myanmar yet. Maybe you can ask your hotel to do the booking for you if you want to make sure you secure your tickets. :)

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  11. lizzie which the fare and what type of bus has

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    1. Hi Hiro. I paid 15,000 kyats for my Yangon-Bagan bus ticket. It was a comfortable aircon bus being run by Mandalar Minn bus company. I hope it answered your question. =)

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  12. i've read there is already an online booking, but it's quite expensive at $22/pax (yangon to bagan). We are travelling in April and afraid that we will be caught with their new year's celebration. what is your advise?

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    Replies
    1. That is a $6 difference then. Well, I heard it is difficult to travel during New Year. In my case, it was a school holiday in Myanmar when I came and tickets being sold at the hostels were sold out. It is entirely up to you. Whether you'll want to secure one online or take a chance when you get there like I did. :)

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  13. I'm glad i stumbled upon your blog. We haven't finalized our itinerary but we are contemplating on riding a sleeper bus. Hopefully we can cover 3cities in 5days this April. Excited to have a glimpse of Myanmar!

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    Replies
    1. Hi Chinggay. Taking the sleeper bus will save you 1 night accommodation in a hostel BUT if you're really going to push for 3 cities in 5 days, I suggest flying to save time. Enjoy your trip to Myanmar! =)

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  14. Hi,

    I'll be in Myanmar in August. I'll arrive at Yangon airport @ 17h30 sharply, do you think i can catch the latest bus to Bagan? Do you know what time of th latest night bus to Bagan?

    Thanks

    Huong

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    Replies
    1. Hello Huong,

      I'm afraid arriving 17:30 in Yangon and trying to catch the bus to Bagan at the same night may not be possible. Buses operating the Yangon-Bagan route normally departs 18:00 and 18:30 and you have to check-in at the bus station 30 minutes before departure. Aung Mingalar Bus Station is 30-45 mins drive from the city depending on the traffic.

      I suggest stay the night in Yangon and do it the next day. The Shwedagon Pagoda is beautiful at night and you can go sightseeing the next day before heading to Bagan. :)

      ~Liz

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  15. Hi Liz, thanks for the informative blog! I am also planning to take the night bus like you, but am not sure which guesthouses/hotels are near where the bus drops you off in Bagan (cos not sure where this is). Since it's before dawn when you arrived, May I know how u got to your guesthouse/hotel in Bagan? thanks!

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    1. Hello there! Nyaung U is a small town so guesthouses are not too far from the bus station. I even saw few backpackers just walking around to find one. I took a horse cart though. Most guesthouses are in the Main Road (yeah, that's how they call it), and that's where I found one with the help of my horse cart driver. Just don't pay for more than 2000 kyats from bus station to the Main Road :)

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