No trip to Myanmar is complete without a trip to the former capital of Yangon—it's one of the best destinations in Myanmar, complete with shimmering pagodas and colonial architecture. Getting there from Nyaung Shwe is a full day's trip but one you can make fairly easily and comfortably due to the wide variety of transit options. The distance between the two locations is approximately 400 miles (650 km).
By plane, you can make the journey in just over an hour (about 4 hours with travel time), or go by road in about 12 hours. Land options include bus, train, and private vehicle. The road in between the two destinations is windy and bumpy but the views leaving the mountains around Inle Lake are beautiful. If you're traveling by private vehicle, you can stop at places like Naypyitaw and Moe Yun Gyi Wildlife Sanctuary to stretch your legs, or even break the trip up into two days.
If arranging your own travel seems daunting, you can also book a 10-day tour which includes both destinations and takes care of all of the transportation for you. Another options is this 8-day trip which also includes both cities, along with a visit to see monks and silk-weavers.
Duration: 1 hour, 15 minutes
If you're looking for the fastest, most comfortable way to get from to Yangon, air travel is definitely the way to go. The flight itself only takes one hour and 15 minutes, and the entire journey can be done in about four hours. There are at least five airlines that offer direct flights between the two destinations including Myanmar National Airlines, Golden Myanmar Airlines, Myanmar Airways International (MAI), Mann Yadanarpon Airlines, and Air KBZ.
Flights departs from He Hoe airport (HEH) about 40 minutes by taxi from Nyaung Shwe. They arrive at the Yangon International Airport (RGN) in Mingaladon which sits just 9 miles north of the city.
By Private Vehicle
Duration: 9.5 to 12 hours
Another option to get from Nyaung Shwe to Yangon is to travel by private vehicle. You can rent a car or hire a driver, depending on your preference, though the latter may cost more than a plane ticket. If you drive yourself, you'll have to traverse some winding and often rutted roads but it will give you the freedom to go at your own pace.
To get there, head north to Shwenyaung-Nyaungshwe Road and follow that highway for about five hours. After that, you'll take Yangon-Mandalay Expressway most of the rest of the way south to Yangon. There are sites like Moe Yun Gyi Wildlife Sanctuary along the way, and Naypyitaw is an excellent midway point to stop for the night if you want to split the trip into two days.
Duration: 11 to 12 hours
There are two buses that operate routes in between Nyaung Shwe and Yangon—JJ Express and Mandalar Minn Express. Both are VIP-style buses equipped with air conditioning, charging ports (on some vehicles), and fully reclining seats. They usually hand out water and snacks, and the customer service is typically friendly and attentive. Buses depart from the Nyaung Shwe bus station and arrive in central Yangon.
Duration: 31 hours
Another way to get to Yangon from Nyaung Shwe is by train, although it's not a particularly good option. The journey is slow and the cars aren't exceptionally comfortable. The silver lining is that they scenery is very pretty so if you enjoy long train rides and aren't bothered by overcrowding or being jostled around, it can be a decent option.
The train trip will involve two legs—first, a 10-hour journey to the town of Thazi where you'll have a layover. From there, you'll travel about 12 hours south to Yangon. The total trip time is upwards of 30 hours.