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From Bagan to Mandalay by train

21:00
Bagan
05:00
Mandalay Central
8h
 Refund
21:00
Bagan
05:00
Mandalay Central
8h
 Refund

From Nyaung U Airport to Mandalay by flight

#K7262
08:35
NYU Nyaung U Airport, Bagan
09:05
Mandalay International Airport
30m
20kg

From Bagan Shwe Pyi to Mandalay by taxi+bus joint ticket

08:30
Bagan Shwe Pyi
13:30
Mandalay OK
5h
13:00
Bagan Shwe Pyi
18:00
Mandalay OK
5h
16:00
Bagan Shwe Pyi
21:00
Mandalay OK
5h

How to get from Bagan to Mandalay

Bagan sits only 180 km southwest of Mandalay, but travelling overland will take you a good deal of time. Buses are the fastest means of land transport – they need 5 hours to reach Bagan. Trains cover the same route in 7–12 hours, while a boat trip, though also takes time – up to 10 hours – is quite picturesque. Flights are costly but deliver you to your destination in less than one hour.

Flights from Bagan to Mandalay

The major disappointment about flying within Myanmar is the cost of the air tickets. Regardless quite a decent offer – there is about half a dozen daily flights operated by different companies between the two destinations – prices remain high. When you compare the domestic airfare in Myanmar to that of some of the neighbouring countries – e.g. Thailand with its great choice of low-cost airlines with tickets from as low as USD25 on certain routes –you will want to cry.

To get a seat on a Bagan–Mandalay flight be ready to depart with USD100 and up. You can sometimes grab a promotion ticket if travelling during the low season, but it will not normally cost you less than USD80 anyway.

Another thing to note is that flights are often delayed, cancelled or make additional stops en-route, though the latter happens less often these days.

But a big ‘pro’ point for flying to/from Bagan is a terrific panorama of the temples below your plane’s wing. It really compensates the expenses! Well, at least partially.

Bagan’s airport is located in Nyaung U, 10 km east of Old and New Bagan and about 5 km from the main tourist streets of Nyaung U proper. To get there, take a taxi – it should not cost more than MMK5,000/USD5 from Nyaung U and 8,000/USD8 from both Old and New Bagan.

In Mandalay, all flights from Bagan arrive to Mandalay International airport, aka Annisaton, located 45 km southwest of the city centre. If you have already booked your accommodation in Mandalay, it pays to ask your host whether they can help with transfer but if not, take a taxi: rates are quite reasonable for the long distance you have to cover: MMK12,000/USD10 for private taxi and MMK4,000/USD4 for a seat in a shared vehicle.

From Bagan to Mandalay by bus

Travelling by bus from Bagan to Mandalay is time saving compared to a boat trip and a train journey and money saving compared to flying, though the least interesting. The quality of buses and service vary greatly as some operators offer cramped and worn-out vehicles with wooden benches while others have air-conditioned coaches (for about MMK8,000/USD6) though even those are not the latest edition.

Note that the bus station for Bagan is located close to its railway station in Nyaung U. In Mandalay, most buses from Bagan arrive to the Highway Bus station south of the centre, Chan Mya Shwe Pyi.

From Bagan to Mandalay by train

There are two daily trains between Bagan and Mandalay. Neither of them offers sleeping carriages, but the day train #119 which departs from Bagan at 7am and arrives to Mandalay at 2.30pm is said to have upper class seats from March, 2017. The whole trip thus takes 7½ hours and can be a good option for travelling overland between the two, saving you from a bumpy bus ride.

Train #117 is not recommended: it is much slower departing at an unsocial hour of 4am and reaching Mandalay by 4pm; it also has the cheapest ordinary class seats only and while it is an extremely budget friendly option for MMK1300/USD1, it is awfully uncomfy.

Tip Trains in Myanmar have no air-conditioning. Normally you get enough fresh air from open windows and ceiling fans even during the hottest months, but if the air during the day hits +40C marks the idea of spending 7+ hours without air-conditioning may seem rather unattractive.

In Mandalay, the railway station sits at the intersection of 79 Street and 30 Street, south of the south-western corner of the park surrounding the Royal Palace.

From Bagan to Mandalay by boat

Local ferries and more luxurious cruises travel up and down Irrawaddy River. Taking a boat from Bagan to Mandalay or vice versa is a great way to experience local life and enjoy the scenery. Travelling by boat is not fast: it takes up to 10 hours and costs between USD10 and USD50 depending on the type of the boat and the operator you travel with. Read about our experience of taking a boat from Bagan to Mandalay to get an idea what it is like.

If 10 hours look a bit too much, you can still put your feet on a boat on a shorter stretch of the river. There are regular local ferries from Nyaung U to Pakokku. They take about one hour and cost MMK1000 (for locals; as a foreigner, you will most probably be overcharged – expect to pay MMK5000/USD5).

From Pakokku there are buses to Mandalay, but if you do not have strict time limits, make a detour to Monywa. For an in-the-middle-of-nowhere town of its size Monywa has a lot to offer to a curious visitor – from wonderfully authentic atmosphere of a Burmese provincial town to amazing cave temples of Pho Wing Taung and Shwe Bataung which are an absolute must-see as they are no ordinary and contemporary cave temples you may been used to in Thailand or China but rather ancient Bagan-style creations beautifully decorated with murals you do not normally expect to find in a place like this.

It takes about 3 hours to get from Pakokku to Monywa and the same time to reach Mandalay from Monywa with buses departing regularly throughout the day.

Why travel to Mandalay

Gold leaves-clad Buddha images, wide lanes and boulevards, and a wealth of historical towns like Mingun, Inwa, Sagaing and Amarapura dotting the environs of the city make Mandalay a great stop in your Burmese itinerary. Well, even the only name of the city is intriguing! Mandalay – oh, are you serious? Does it really exist? Yes, it does! You may find the views from Mandalay Hill less scenic than those over the endless pagodas of Bagan from atop of one of its temples; the city itself less meditative than Nyaungshwe by the Inle Lake; and less hectic and lacking that colonial heritage Yangon is proud of. But Mandalay definitely offers enough activities to keep you busy for days: witness daily washing of Buddha’s face at Mahamuni Paya; take a stroll over the cult U-Bein bridge and watch the locals hurrying up on their daily routine over the bridge at sunset; admire an amazing puppet show Mandalay-style; or learn to cook those mouth-watering Burmese curries during the cooking class in Yoe Yoe Lay Guesthouse – and your own road to Mandalay will add a zest to your whole Myanmar trip.

Onward travel from Mandalay

An easy one-hour flight brings you from Mandalay to Yangon, also easily reached by bus or train. Connect via Yangon for all destinations southeast, including Thaton, Hpa-An, Mawlamyine, Ye and Dawei. To visit the Kyaiktiyo Mount, take Yangon-bound buses or trains – they all pass via Bago.

The easiest way to reach Inle Lake is to fly to Heho airport, though buses do a good job, too, reaching Taunggyi and Shwenyaung in about 10 hours.

Buses to seaside destinations like Sittwe and Thandwe (for Ngapali Beach) are also available. They depart from Hlaing Thar Yar Bus Terminal in Mandalay. Note that the journey is quite long and bumpy and takes from 15 to 17 hours. Buses to Sittwe pass via Mrauk U, the 15-century capital of Arakanese Kingdom. Do not miss it, if old temples are your thing.

In recent years a handful of international flights from Mandalay have been introduced, and now there are direct air links to Chiang Mai and Bangkok in Thailand, Singapore and Hong Kong from one to seven times a week depending on the destination.

Passenger reviews out of total 622 passengers who traveled with us on this route.

At 12Go our operators offer three types of service:

Cheap, Fast, Good - but you can usually pick only two of them!
Cheap & Fast won’t be Good. (e.g. buses from/to Khao San Road, local buses or 3rd class trains)
Cheap & Good won’t be Fast. (e.g. VIP trains in Thailand)
Fast & Good won’t be Cheap. (e.g. private limousine services, or VIP24 buses vs Express buses)

Make your choice! Please remember that while we are closely monitoring the services, we are still an agency marketplace. That means we focus on ticketing services and route availability & coverage rather than on the factual seat reclining angle you will get on the bus today.

Feb 17, 2019
train #119 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways
★★★★★
Train left and arrived on time we had a dirty little sleeper cabin and a wubbely train ride for 8 hours it was exactly what we imagined :-)
Feb 15, 2019
bus Minivan, OK Minibus
★★★★☆
Very basic bus, but fine for a daytime journey of only a few hours. The service was great though, very helpful and friendly operators and even dropped us at our hotel!
Feb 12, 2019
train #119 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways
★★★☆☆
The train was dirty and old but was on time and the leg room is quite big and comfort
Feb 9, 2019
train #119 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways
★★★★☆
I give 5 stars to 12go because their communication and service was perfect. However, the railway system in Myanmar needs some work. The bed was comfortable in the sleeper cabin but the cabin was cold even with the windows shut. There was a fan on the ceiling if it got too hot though, which was nice. No mosquitoes in my cabin. The worst part was the shaking of the train, could barely sleep. BUT! I asked the man at the ticket counter in Bagan a few questions. I think he noticed I was a female solo traveler and changed my cabin so I would be alone, as opposed to with other people, probably men. I really appreciated that. And the crew working on the train were very nice as well.
Feb 4, 2019
train #119 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways
★★★★★
12go was very efficient. The train was comfy with affordable price
Feb 2, 2019
train #119 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways
★★★★★
I had a fun experience traveling on the train.
Jan 25, 2019
bus Minivan, OK Minibus
★★★★☆
I took this mode of transport from Bagan to Mandalay city. The pickup from my hotel was swift and transfer to the minibus was smooth. The journey was comfortable though there were many stops to pick up local passengers. The bus arrived in Mandalay on time and without any hiccups. The staff spoke little English but communication was no issue with simple instructions.
Jan 25, 2019
bus Minivan, OK Minibus
★★★☆☆
Late pick up, riding on the back of an open truck for half an hour with a lot of dust could be improved. At destination they dropped me off on a busy road and pointed to a hotel about 10 mins walking distance across a busy road....unexpected hassle. I was given the impression that I will be dropped off by the front of the hotel. However, the bus was clean with AC. And for value for the money is great.
Jan 20, 2019
train #119 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways
★★★★★
Do not do this trip. You dont sleep and its freezing. 12go were very good.
Jan 6, 2019
bus Minivan, OK Minibus
★★★★☆
Except for being collected to the primary starting stop by a truck suitable for livestock more than people, The minivan was very comfortable, the team friendly and efficient and the driver left punctually.
Jan 1, 2019
train #119 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways
★★★★☆
This company is great and would use them again. I've booked through them for Thailand and Myanmar, but would not recommend the train from Bagan to Mandalay. Our sleeper cabin was full of mosquitoes, very cold and we arrived 3 hours late. I've traveled a fair amount in SE Asia and even by the prevailing standards this was rough. None of this is a reflection on 12GO, because they delivered the tickets right to our hotel and answered any questions we had. In Thailand they kept our tickets waiting with someone when we were delayed in picking them up. Our sleeper train to Chaing Mai was quite satisfactory and I'd recommend that to anyone. So 5 stars to 12GO and 1 star to train experience in Myanmar. The rest of the country was well worth the trip though. Happy travels in 2019!!
Dec 25, 2018
train #119 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways
★★★★☆
Old shaky strain but the ride is great! Take a sleeper train, I'm 194 and was long enough for me. Just bring a blanket or something because it can be cold at night.
Dec 6, 2018
bus Minivan, OK Minibus
★★★★★
Всё чётко. Забрали с хостела, привезли к хостелу. All right! Im glad
Nov 23, 2018
bus Minivan, OK Minibus
★★★★☆
Ride was on time but the seats were a bit cramped and not as comfortable for a journey this long. Otherwise it was exactly what we paid for.
Nov 22, 2018
bus Minivan, OK Minibus
★★☆☆☆
Got me from A to B, but the constant beeping really got on my nerves. The 5-hour bus ride was very uncomfortable, luggage and people were piled in the aisle, and the crew kept spitting into the road. Enough to make you queasy! Never again! A far cry from the night buses!
Nov 15, 2018
train #119 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways
★★★☆☆
I first planed to book for a day time train travel, in order to enjoy the view. But it was a failure and I ended up in an overnight train. Seats are are not very comfortable for sleeping. But it was nice anyway.
Nov 10, 2018
avia Economy, Air KBZ
★★★★★
Very easy and on time flight.
Nov 8, 2018
train #119 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways
★★★★★
Absolutely amazing service by 12go. The booking process was smooth and the tickets were delivered to our hotel in Bagan a day before. We had absolutely no issues with correspondence with their team who were very responsive and helped us every step of the way. Thank you 12go - will definitely recommend to our family and friends.
Nov 7, 2018
bus Minivan, OK Minibus
★★★☆☆
Minibus was packed full with people sitting on stools in the aisle. No room for luggage. The driver dropped us off at our hotel, which was great.
Nov 6, 2018
bus Minivan, OK Minibus
★★☆☆☆
:( if you have other choose you don’t go it. It stopped many areas on roadways and bad smell.
Oct 8, 2018
train #119 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways
★★★★☆
I needed to wait for manager. Train was okay.
Sep 10, 2018
train #119 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways
★★★☆☆
The staff pointed me to platform direction but there was no platform indication on site. Local myanmarian helped me out which I'm thankful. The seat on upper class was old & uncomfortable. The open window & fan blowing didn't help as mosquito & insect kept flying in & bit on the passenger. The ride arrived 30mins later than anticipated, due to a stopped during journey guess it was abt traffic control. They actually stopped one station b4 Mandalay, so don't be fooled to get down from there assuming arrived destination.
Aug 23, 2018
bus Minivan, OK Minibus
★★★★☆
Bus was on time and the overall experience was ok. The only downside was that there wasn't too much room - so especially if you're tall it's not really comfortable.
Aug 7, 2018
train #119 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways
★★★★☆
I provided my Hotel address when I booked with the remark, but I didn't receive the email confirmation. I was concerned about how could I receive my train ticket, so I have left my question on the support page and I got an email replied. Finally, I received my ticket from the hotel reception 1 day before the departure date. There is not any issue with a train ticket and I used it as well. It took us 8 hours and that was a bit too much for that distance around 180 km. However, I was happy with overall.
Jul 19, 2018
train #119 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways
★★★★☆
Just really shaky
Jul 5, 2018
train #119 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways
★★★★★
12goasia staff were so helpful, even delivered the tickets to our hotel! Would recommend to any traveler!
Jul 2, 2018
bus Minivan, OK Minibus
★★★☆☆
The bus driver and his helper were very kind and they leave us in our hostel. But the bus could probably be better. Have more comfortable seats
Jun 30, 2018
train #119 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways
★★★☆☆
Although the trains are in dire need of a clean and some TLC, the seats were relatively comfy over a 7.5 hour journey. I was particularly impressed that 12go delivered our ticket to the hotel!
Jun 16, 2018
bus Minivan, OK Minibus
★★★★★
Great and friendly staff. Dropped me off right in front of my hostel!

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