The most sensible and easiest way to get from Yangon to Bangkok is obviously to fly. There are almost two dozens of daily flights heading to the both of Bangkok Airports with low-cost companies offering amazingly sweet deals. That said, you can also get to the Thai capital overland checking a couple of interesting places en route both in Lower Myanmar and in Thailand, though the travel time alone is going to take at least a full day.
Flights from Yangon to Bangkok
In Yangon, Yangon International airport lies 17 km north from the Central Railway Station. It is not served by public transport – to get there you have to take a taxi (MMK8,000/USD8). You still can cover the major part of the distance between the city and the airport by public bus – look for any bus heading to Sel Maing Kone or Maha Si (ask locals, otherwise you are unlikely to figure out which bus is ok for you) and then walk up Yangon Airport Road – it is 2.5 km to the terminal building. A taxi from the stop should cost you about USD1.
With flying time between Yangon and Bangkok of 1½ hour in media and great deals starting from as low as USD30 one-way, there is no better way to travel between the two than to fly. From the early morning (6am) till evening (10pm) there is a choice of two dozens daily flights landing in the both Bangkok airports.
Low-cost airlines including Thai Lion Air, Thai AirAsia and Nok Air fly to Don Mueang airport while plusher Thai Airways and Bangkok Air use Suvarnabhumi airport as their hub. Note that the two latter are significantly more expensive (with airfare starting from USD175 one-way) though offer a higher level of comfort.
If Bangkok is your final destination, there is no much difference whether to land in Don Mueang or Suvarnabhumi airport. Both have great transport links with the city centre.
If you are going to continue your journey to other destinations overland, note that there are direct buses from Suvarnabhumi to some popular beach destinations around the country including Pattaya, Hua Hin, Koh Samet or Koh Chang among the others. There is also a railway link from Suvarnabhumi which brings you to Hua Lamphong railway station in the centre of the city to catch one of the trains heading south, north or east, e.g. to Suratthani for further hop to the islands of the Gulf – Koh Samui, Koh Phangan and Koh Tao.
From Yangon to Bangkok overland
If Lower Burma with such destinations as Thaton, Hpa-An, Mawlamyine and more remote Ye and Dawei are on your travel itinerary, instead of turning back to Yangon after checking all or some of them you can then go east, cross the land border with Thailand at Myawaddy–Mae Sot border crossing and go all way southeast to Bangkok. The journey is easily done by a combination of trains and buses or buses alone.
If at Mae Sot you feel you have had enough of overland travel, catch a direct flight from Mae Sot to Bangkok with Nok Air and in an hour you will land in Don Mueang Airport.
To get to the border from Yangon, you can travel via Thaton, Hpa-An or Mawlamyine.
Note The border crossing closes at 8pm. You are unlikely to make it in time if you leave Yangon in the morning and travel either via any of the above-mentioned towns or by a direct bus (12 hours). There is a selection of budget-friendly guesthouses and hotels in Myawaddy to spend a night and a couple of sights to check including the Crocodile temple and the market to have a local meal.
A train or a bus ride from Yangon to Thaton takes 6½ hours. Sitting at the crossroads between Yangon and Lower Burma, Mawlamyine, Hpa-An and Myawaddy included, Thaton does deserve a closer look. Beautiful Mon-style pagodas and almost zero foreign tourists are among its strong points. Buses from Thaton to Myawaddy travel via Hpa-An and take between 5 and 6 hours.
Similarly a good idea is to travel via Hpa-An. There are hourly buses to Hpa-An from Yangon, normally taking up to 8 hours to get there. A perfect mix of natural attractions, golden pagodas and cave temples, Hpa-An makes for a great stop. Note that the town recently has become a popular weekend destination for the Thais coming from the other side of the border. A bus ride from Hpa-An to Myawaddy takes about four hours (MMK12,000/USD9).
Mawlamyine, the fourth largest city in Myanmar, still remembers the days when it was the capital of Brutish Lower Burma, and the amazing well preserved colonial architecture adds a special air to the meditative atmosphere of the town. There are buses and trains from Yangon to Mawlamyine, trains taking up to 10 hours and buses slightly less.
Crossing the border
Exiting Myanmar is normally quick provided you have not overstayed your visa. Entering Thailand is also hassle-free, though in recent years the number of visa-exempt entries is being restricted consistently. Now you can only enter the Kingdom twice a year travelling via land borders without a visa. So bear it in mind and obtain your tourist visa n advance if necessary.
When in Thailand, take a tuk-tuk or a motorbike taxi to the bus station, around 4 km east of the border, off route 12. The airport is located in the same area. There are four flights a day from Mae Sot to Don Mueang airport in Bangkok performed by Nok Air (11.20am, 1.55pm, 3.40pm and 5.50pm) and a choice of buses to Morchit Bus Terminal. There is at least one morning bus at 8am and a sufficient number of night buses leaving between 8pm and 10pm. Prices fluctuate from THB400 to THB700 depending on the class of the bus with travel time usually less than 11 hours.
Why go to Bangkok
Is there another Asian capital where the latest progress and traditional lifestyle blend in such a harmony as in Bangkok? Bold skyscrapers pierce the skies, golden temples adorn the city; chic shopping malls host top world brands while the vibrant street markets tempt with delicious flavours of the yummiest and spiciest local dishes. State-of-the-art skytrain cuts through the city, flying high above the street bustle, clumsy ferries ply the muddy waters of the Chao Phraya River and it seems that real magic helps speeding cheerful pink, yellow and green taxis find their way through the labyrinths of incredible Bangkok spaghetti junctions.
As centuries ago, the stately prangs of Wat Arun catch the first rays of sun dawning over the capital and the dazzling chedis of Wat Phra Kaew shine bright. Austere giant Yaks guard the capital while the Bangkokians and the guests of the Land of Smile alike dine and wine in the vertigo rooftop restaurants, work, party and picnic. Steel and concrete have not yet taken control over leafy parks and squares, and quaint khlongs embraced by wide modern thoroughfares are reminiscent of the times when the Bangkok of today was only a newborn.
Onward travel from Bangkok
Bangkok is the major transportation hub for all journeys around Thailand. Buses, trains and planes connect it to all the provincial centres and major towns country-wide. Some of the most popular destinations you could be interested in include Phuket and Krabi in the Andaman region; Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai in the north; Nakhon Ratchasima and Udon Thani in Isan.
International destinations throughout the world and especially in the South East Asian region are also within an easy reach from Bangkok. Think Kuala Lumpur in Malaysia, Manila in the Philippines, Hanoi in Vietnam and much more.