Bus – Getting Around Myanmar
Myanmar travel methods are many. Travelers can pick and choose any while they are on the go. Buses, trains, ferries are the different ways of getting around in Myanmar. Myanmar is open to tourists but prior planning is better. It is advised to check before planning because situations can change anytime.
Myanmar buses come in different shapes and sizes. Buses are faster and also cheaper than trains. Most of the buses are run by private companies. Before many buses were operated by the government’s Road Transport Enterprise (RTE). Now, all these buses are exclusively used to transport cargo while the passenger buses are run by private companies.
Different bus options include luxury air-conditioned express buses, less luxurious buses without air-condition, local buses and also mini 32 seaters. Long-haul trips from Yangon to Mandalay are very comfortable in these luxury air-conditioned buses. Most of these buses ply overnight leaving between 4 pm and 10 pm at night and arriving at their destinations early morning between 5am to 6 am. Old buses are used for short haul trips.
The Myanmar quadrangle – Yangon, Bagan, Inle Lake and Mandalay can be covered by bus with ease. There is no one obvious way to cover but requires changing a couple of overnight buses. One way would be to board a morning bus from Mandalay to Tanuggyi near Inle Lake. Next, take a morning bus and reach Bagan by day and then return to Yangon after two days. Bus connections are available from Yangon to other cities.
Since night temperatures dip, it is recommended that the passengers carry a jacket or a small blanket with them. A bottle of water is handed out in the luxury buses while in others you need to carry your own.
Foreigners can use kyat to purchase bus tickets of any class. A bus ticket may cost approximately USD 8.50. Since November to February is the peak tourist season one has to pre-book couple of days in advance.