Getting Around Myanmar

At 261,159 square miles (676,398 square km), Myanmar is the largest country in mainland Southeast Asia. Its eastern border runs the entire land portion of western Thailand, poking its head up in the north where it meets up with Laos and China. On the western side, it shares a border with both Bangladesh and India. 

The country is shaped like a jagged diamond with a long, narrow tail in the south that stretches down for about 600 miles (972 km). Most of the tourism, however, occurs in the central-southern portions of the main section with Mandalay in the north and Mawlamyine in the south. East to west, it stretches from the Thai border and the Andaman Sea.

Within this space, you can travel by bus, train, or private vehicle if you’re planning to go by road. However, the highways are often bumpy and slow so many travelers choose to fly instead.  Domestic airfare is cheap and the flights are frequent, making this the preferred option in most cases. 

If you do decide to travel by land, private vehicles are usually your best bet, although the private buses are surprisingly comfortable, too. All of ones labeled “VIP” have air conditioning and most have amenities like reclining seats, charging ports, blankets, and snacks, too. The customer service is fairly good and you’ll get the treat of watching the lush scenery outside the window. 

Traveling by train, although cheap and available, is not typically recommended. Unlike Vietnam or other neighboring countries, the trains in Myanmar are notoriously slow and uncomfortable. They don’t always run on time and the ride is extremely bouncy — not ideal for anyone prone to motion sickness. The upshot is that if you do take this route, the landscape out of the window is very pretty.  
Start planning your trip
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Stunning landscape of Ngapali beach in Myanmar.
How to Get to Ngapali

Ngapali is located about 4.3 miles (7 km) from the town of Thandwe in the Rakhine State. Without a doubt, it is one of the most stunning places in Myanmar. Most travelers from... read more

High sacred place of Mount Popa Myanmar (Burma)
How to Get to Mount Popa

Mount Popa is a sleeping volcano in Myanmar that sits just 36 miles (58 km) outside the ancient ruins of Bagan. Hiring a driver is your best option, though you can also rent a... read more

  Save Download Preview HPA-AN, MYANMAR - 19 NOVEMBER, 2018: Horizontal picture of the exterior of Sadan Cave and some traditional boats in Hpa-An, Myanmar.
Map of How to Get from Yangon to Hpa An
How to Get from Yangon to Hpa An

Decorated with limestone mountains mysterious caves, Hpa-An (also spelled Pa-An) is one of the best reasons to go to Myanmar. Getting there from Yangon takes about 5.5 hours if... read more

The breathtaking view of the colourful rolllings hills of the Kalaw highlands as seen when trekking from Kalaw to Inle Lake, Myanmar.
Map of How to Get from Bagan to Kalaw
How to Get from Bagan to Kalaw

Both Bagan and Kalaw are must-see attractions in Myanmar, especially the latter which is the starting-off point for trekking adventures to Inle Lake. Getting there isn't... read more

KALAW, MYANMAR - DECEMBER 07, 2016 : woman tribe harvesting red chili near Kalaw Shan state in Myanmar (Burma).
Map of How to Get from Mandalay to Kalaw
How to Get from Mandalay to Kalaw

Traveling from the hot air balloon-filled Mandalay to the town of Kalaw—the starting point for treks to Inle Lake—is an easy and fairly fast trip, at least as far as travel in... read more

Fisherman silhouette at the sunset on the Inle Lake, Myanmar
Map of How to Get from Bagan to Inle Lake
How to Get from Bagan to Inle Lake

Bagan and Inle Lake are two great reasons to visit Myanmar. Getting from Bagan to Inle Lake is a relatively easy trip that can be done in one day. The small fishing community,... read more

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda also known as Golden Rock is a well-known Buddhist pilgrimage site in Myanmar, Night view of Burmese pagoda, Golden rock, Balancing rock, Mon State, Burma, Myanmar.
How to Get to Mount Kyaiktiyo

Rumored to be balancing on a delicate strand of Buddha's hair, the shimmering golden Kyaiktiyo Pagoda (also known as Golden Rock) towers over the beautiful mountainside in... read more

INLE LAKE, MYANMAR - DECEMBER 09, 2016 : Fisherman fishing at sunset on the Inle Lake Shan state in Myanmar (Burma)
How to Get to Inle Lake

Inle Lake is without a doubt one of the best reasons to visit Myanmar. Getting here requires a short flight (45-90 minutes) from either Yangon, Mandalay, or Bagan to He Hoe,... read more

Map of How to Get from Mandalay to Bagan
How to Get from Mandalay to Bagan

With glittering pagodas and crumbling ancient temples, Mandalay and Bagan are two of the biggest reasons to visit Myanmar — and fortunately, they happen to be fairly close to... read more

Ngwe Saung Beach palms coat the west coast of Myanmar.
How to Get to Ngwe Saung

Myanmar's luxurious, beachfront Ngwe Saung resort is easy to reach from Yangon, Mandalay, or Bagan. Regardless of starting city, travelers can hop a quick flight (45-90 minutes)... read more

Map of How to Get from Bagan to Yangon
How to Get from Bagan to Yangon

Yangon is roughly 390 miles (625 km) south of Bagan. The journey from the templed city can take anywhere from a 1.5-hour flight to an 18-hour train ride. Traveling by plane is... read more

Taung Kwe Paya, an unusual buddhist temple erected on big rocks. It is the most famous temple of kaya state, Loikaw in Myanmar.
Map of How to Get from Yangon to Loikaw
How to Get from Yangon to Loikaw

Getting from Myanmar's biggest city to Loikaw, the gateway to the Kayan Lahwi tribe, is not a difficult endeavor but it does involve some planning. It's roughly 300 miles (490... read more