Yangon to Mandalay

Yangon to Mandalay

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1h 30m

From MMK 153,399

Yangon to Mandalay Schedule

Yangon to Mandalay Schedule
Transport NameRoute TimePrice
Myanmar National Airlines Economy #UB68509:30 - 11:00MMK 153,399
Myanmar Airways Intl Economy #8M62410:30 - 11:40MMK 127,500

How to get from Yangon to Mandalay

Sitting almost 630 km north of Yangon, the former royal capital and the second-largest city in Myanmar can be easily reached by bus, rail or flight. The majority of package tourists with limited time make a quick hop between the two cities – flying takes less than one and a half hour. Travelling overland is obviously more tiring and takes from 10 to 15 hours depending on the means of transport you opt for. Buses are often cramped but in general are faster and cheaper than trains. Trains are surprisingly punctual and offer several types of carriages to choose from.

From Yangon to Mandalay by train

The major part of the railway tracks in Myanmar is British built. The two main railway hubs, Yangon and Mandalay, are connected by rail with each other and lower and upper part of the country respectively.

Note In 2012 massive changes into train schedule in Myanmar were introduced, but there is still a lot of out-of-date information on the web – always double-check the information when planning your train journey. Myanmar Railways themselves neither have the official web site, nor support online booking.

Travelling from Yangon to Mandalay by train is a great experience in itself. The route is if not scenic in the full sense of the word, yet gives you the taste of the real country with slender silhouettes of palm trees against the sky, grazing buffalos, vendors patrolling the carriages at the stations and carrying their goods on their heads and local children happily waving to the passing by trains.

The whole journey takes 15 hours and trains are almost always depart and arrive exactly on schedule. Currently there are three daily trains to Mandalay – one morning train #11 leaving Yangon at 6am and arriving to Mandalay at 9pm and two afternoon trains – at 3pm (#5) and at 5pm (#3). Schedule-wise they are the most convenient way to get to Mandalay bringing you to your destination early in the morning (at 6am and 8am respectively). Note though, that neither train #11 nor train #5 have sleeping carriages and offer seats only.

There are two types of seats – ordinary seats and upper class seats. The former are the cheapest way to travel but are far from being comfortable. Basically they are just usual hard seats and nothing else. Upper class seats are soft reclining seats though in some carriages you may found them in fully reclined mode without a chance to put them into upright position. These seats cost twice as much as ordinary seats (MMK30,000/USD20-USD25).

Train #3 has both seats and sleeping carriages. The latter are closed compartments for four passengers with two lower and two upper berths and are definitely a great choice for families or groups of friends. Berths cost about USD6-USD8 more compared to upper class seats.

Note There is no air-conditioning in carriages. Some have ceiling fans and others get their portion of fresh air from the open windows but generally it is not a problem even if travelling during the hottest months (April and May). It also pays to have some warm clothes at hand as it can get rather chilly at night.

In Yangon, Yangon Central Railway Station is located in Kun Chan Road, opposite the stadium. 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.

Tip Trains (except for the express ones) heading from Yangon to Mandalay, pass Bago, the jumping point to the Golden Rock. If Kyaiktiyo Mount is in your must-visit list, consider visiting it first and then hopping onto the train to Mandalay in Bago.

From Yangon to Mandalay by bus

There are several bus stations in Yangon, but the main one for Mandalay-bound buses is Highway Bus Station, aka Aung Mingalar Bus Terminal. It is located well out of the city, 500 m east off Aung Mingalar Highway, between Sat Hmu Street and Sa Gaing Street; further 7 km northeast from Yangon International airport.

Bus tickets can be purchased in the city from counters by the stadium, north of Yangon Central Railway Station. You will surely enjoy the process – normally nobody uses computer systems and when you need a ticket there are at least several people involved to discuss, to phone each other, to make a note in a notebook. But somehow it all functions quite ok – if you get your ticket, you will get a seat, too; do not worry.

The majority of the bus companies offer transfer to the bus terminal as well – a seat in a shared taxi costs MMK1.000 (a bit less than USD1). Bus tickets cost between MMK12,000/USD10 and MMK23,000/USD17. Do not expect extra comfort – buses are usually cramped with rather limited leg space and worn-out though now several ‘Elite’ buses with three seats per row instead of usual four also serve the route and are recommended if you decide to travel by bus. The journey takes from 8 to 10 hours with late afternoon and evening departures available.

Buses from Yangon arrive to Mandalay Highway Bus Station located 8 km from the city centre. To get to the city, you have three options: a taxi, a motorbike taxi or a pick-up truck which is basically the local form of public transport. Taxis offer quite inflated rates – e.g. MMK7,000 per vehicle; motorbike taxis are cheaper (MMK2,500). To get a ride in a pick-up truck you have to walk out of the station to the road where they will be more than happy to give you a lift for MMK500-MMK1000.

Flights from Yangon to Mandalay

Yangon to Mandalay is arguably the most popular air route in Myanmar. It is served by a handful of regional and domestic airline companies including Myanmar Airways, Air Mandalay and Yangon Airways among others. Together they operate up to a dozen daily flights. Prices normally start from USD100 one-way and include checked luggage – though it always pays to check with the airline in advance. Flying time is from one hour to 1 hour 25 minutes.

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 bus – look for any bus heading to 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.

Mandalay International airport sits 45 km southwest, a good deal away from the city. Taxi fares to the city, to our big surprise, are rather reasonable: expect to pay MMK12,000/USD10 for a private vehicle. Shared options are also available (MMK4,000/USD4). If you have already booked your hotel in Mandalay, check with your host first if they provide transfer from the airport. Even if they do not, they can help to organise it at a bit lower price.

Why go 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

If you are following the Big Four itinerary, your two next destinations are either Bagan (from 5 hours; MMK10,000/USD9) or Taunggyi (for Inle Lake) (10 hours; MMK10,000/USD9). Both are connected to Mandalay by buses leaving from Highway Bus Station. If heading to Bagan, you can add a bit of colour to your trip taking a bus to Pakkoku first and then boarding a boat from Pakkoku to Nyaung-U (one hour). Nyaung-U has a very specific means of public transport in the form of horse-carriages (you can take the same carriage to tour the temples of Bagan, too).

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.

Transportation from Yangon to Mandalay

Yangon to Mandalay Destination Reviews

Train #11 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Mar 24, 2020
La réservation et la livraison de nos billets de train de Yangon à Mandalay à notre hôtel s’est déroulé sans faille Faite vous livrer si vous partez tôt le matin car les guichets n’ouvrent qu’à partir de 8h
Bus VIP 27, Mandalar Minn Express (Mandalar Minn Express), Mar 23, 2020
Excellent service and care.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Mar 11, 2020
2 berth sleeper was ok but train very noisy, rattling & shaky. Train broke down, didn’t move for 5 hours, then finally 7 hours late on arrival. No information or communication provided at all. No apology.
Bus VIP, JJ Express (JJ Express), Feb 16, 2020
Very comfortable large reclining seats (and blanket), snacks and drinks services. Sleep was disrupted due to a lot of harsh breaking and a 1.30am stop at a bus station where everyone was required to leave the bus for half an hour.
Train #3 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Feb 15, 2020
So nice experience to travel slowly through Myanmar, and share this moment with burmese families, monks, and all those who pick up the train to sell some food etc. Upper class has very confortable seats.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Feb 7, 2020
12GoAsia were very good. Efficient & prompt. The train was as previously reviewed by others : very noisy & bumpy, but a good insight into local life & scenery. At this time of year it is also quite cold at night. We were really pleased to have had the experience, but wouldn't be too inclined to repeat it soon (though the track upgrade work is visibly underway).
Bus VIP, JJ Express (JJ Express), Feb 4, 2020
Great trip, clean bus! Could improve by keeping some passengers quieter over night trip! It was on time however in Mandalay we were put on local bus at 5.00 in the morning (20 min journey) to the centre. This was not stated on our ticket so quite a surprise
Bus VIP, JJ Express (JJ Express), Jan 30, 2020
The bus was so comfortable, with AC not too strong. Snacks provided were also tasty. They offered us a free ride to the city center, but it was difficult to find out where to get off as the bus stopped several times without any info.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Jan 27, 2020
Blankets would be amazing
Bus Economy 45, Elite Express, Dec 25, 2019
the elite's driver drove his car safely and I could sleep the whole trip except when stop for dinner.
Bus VIP, JJ Express (JJ Express), Dec 24, 2019
Seat is not very comfortable for me at 6 feet tall.
Bus VIP 27, Mandalar Minn Express (Mandalar Minn Express), Dec 21, 2019
Comfortable bus, however no toilet on the bus. Stopped twice for toilet, some of them quite disgusting... Of course not the driver's fault...
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Dec 20, 2019
Nice alternative to avoid flight. Tickets were ready to pick up two days before. Absolutely no problem. Train is loud and not really clean, not for everybody, but my children loved iti
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Nov 27, 2019
I give it 4* because our tickets were delivered to our hotel in time, the day before we travelled. Their support team had emailed before to reassure all was well, and our 2 person sleeper was probably best on the train. So 12GoAsia deserve 4*. The train probably 2*, as it was very bumpy and most of the time was dark so nothing to see either. Maybe day time train more interesting!
Bus VIP 27, Mandalar Minn Express (Mandalar Minn Express), Nov 25, 2019
I had no choice but to book an overnight bus because the sleeper train is full. The bus is clean and the steward is very attentive, with snacks and drinks for everyone. Good experience.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Nov 6, 2019
1. Hassled by MR porters at Yangon station who demanded large sums for minimal work. The porter was not requested or required. 2. The windows on the carriage were extremely difficult to raise or lower. 3. At dusk the carriage filled with midges, flies, mosquitoes attracted by the light. 4. The sleeper bed was extremely hard. 5. Above all not knowing if one can buy a ticket until a couple of days before ones journey is stressful. (Unable to get return ticket as all taken by others earlier on day of sale). 6. 12Go Asia agent for purchase of ticket was pitiful.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Oct 31, 2019
You should take the train if you want to go for a slow jurney, see the countryside and just relax. Expect a bumpy ride, no AC and no punctuality, but thats part of the charm. Sleeper Class was fine. You can order food on the train and the staff is helpful. If you are on a schedule and expect a lot of comfort, you are better off flying or taking the bus. Ticket was issued and there was no problem with picking it up. Of corse you pay for the service if someone is going to stand in the line and get the ticket for you. Price was ok for me.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Oct 1, 2019
What an experience!
Bus VIP, JJ Express (JJ Express), Sep 30, 2019
Excellent service and punctuality
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Aug 13, 2019
It was a 16 hour journey that unfortunately didn't enjoy at all. The beds were not very comfortable and with the noise and motion of the train, I barely slept the whole journey. The toilets were disgusting and there wasn't anywhere to even do a basic clean up. Even with the door locked peoole kept knocking every 2 minutes to ask if we wanted food or water. Nothing to see at night and a lot of insects flying around. There's no AC and only a little fan for 4 which isn't great. The cabin was not very clean and the sheets / pillow cases not very clean either. The only good thing was a few sceneries along the way but again most of the time, being the night train, we couldn't see anything. Wouldn't do it again and fly.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Aug 9, 2019
staff are helpful and got the best room in the cabin
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Aug 8, 2019
ver y good experience.
Bus VIP, JJ Express (JJ Express), Jul 31, 2019
Good english spoked, leaved and arrived on time, water and snacks for free on board, two stops for toilet and not to sell things, free shuttle bus to Mandalay centre from central bus station
Bus VIP 27, Mandalar Minn Express (Mandalar Minn Express), Jul 2, 2019
Excellent service. Keep up the good work
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Jun 24, 2019
Very bouncy. If you are a person who finds sleep difficult you won't get much on this trip.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Jun 13, 2019
This is a good way to get to see some of Myanmar countryside and was one of the main reasons I took the train. The carriages and tracks are old and are in need of upgrading. If you are a light sleeper be warned it is a bumpy and noisy journey, but I was expecting this and I managed to get a reasonable nights sleep. I would consider doing this again once they have upgraded the trains
Bus VIP, JJ Express (JJ Express), May 27, 2019
The ride was good and comfortable but the place were the buss would departure and the check in was not correct supplied by 12GO
Bus VIP, JJ Express (JJ Express), May 24, 2019
We used JJ Express VIP. It was great reclined chairs, water, and food provided, entertainment system in the back of the chair. Could not have asked for more. We could actually sleep for most of the journey.
Bus VIP, JJ Express (JJ Express), May 16, 2019
It was very convenient!
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), May 14, 2019
Do this trip only if your fascination with the passing scenery and tide of humanity exceeds your tolerance of noise, discomfort and heat. Mine does luckily so I thoroughly enjoyed this unforgettable experience.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Apr 14, 2019
Very noisy and uncomfortable train journey, but that was expected based on other reviews, and apparently the line and trains are in process of being upgraded so once complete would hopefully be a lot better. Some great views of countryside and villages in the morning. Food available regularly, recommend sleeper carriage for extra space.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Mar 27, 2019
Trip was fine but train was dirty, old and crowded. Very little English spoken. No coach numbers on outside of train. Food was ok.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Mar 27, 2019
I expected aircon but there was no aircon. The ride was very loud so I didn't sleep much. The food was good (fried rice no meat). There was a little misunderstanding because I thought they asked me if egg was oke but apparently I ordered an extra scrambled egg (which turned out to be an omelet).
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Mar 6, 2019
More uncomfortable than I thought it would be. Sixteen hours unable to sleep very much due to motion and noise of train. Do not recommend to anyone. Much better to fly, Not very safe! There were five members of the police on board the train. — to protect the passengers from loosing their belonging and possible physical attack. This must have happened on previous train journeys, being reason for their being there.
Train #11 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Mar 1, 2019
Obsolete, loud train that bounces and rocks and rolls for just under 16 hours. You take this train for the experience and I'd wanted to do it for a long time. It's a trip you won't forget!!
Train #11 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Feb 18, 2019
Ride is exactly what you'd expect - long and bumpy. Nevertheless, it's an unforgettable experience and something worth trying.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Feb 18, 2019
The ride is not comfy and the train not clean. But its an experience ????
Train #11 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Feb 7, 2019
Was a long day on the train but a wonderful experience. Tickets were easy to purchase. Thankyou
Bus Express, JJ Express (JJ Express), Feb 1, 2019
Comfortable bus. Good food at the lunch stop.
Train #11 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Jan 27, 2019
15.5 hours, upperclass, Yangon Mandalay, day train. The Seats are very comfortabele. The train it self is an old Chinese train, partly cleaned. Toilet was ok but Asian type. Lots of food offered the whole trip from walkers through. Charming. Also beer. Beware for the cooked food ... can be contaminated. Track is often bad which makes the train wobble a lot but long parts are ok and the train makes good speed. The views are good and that was my main reason to take the day train.
Train #3 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Jan 26, 2019
Couldn’t sleep because locals shouting all night selling their food. Already they stop at a time. Not all night.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Jan 18, 2019
While it was a true adventure, the rest rooms could do with some work.
Bus Express, JJ Express (JJ Express), Jan 6, 2019
A very comfortable bus. The driver/s and their assistants were all very helpful. My only complaint would be that we weren’t advised there was no toilet on the bus. So I had to ask the diver to stop for a quick loo break on the side of the road for both myself and my son. Traveller tip ~ don’t drink beer before getting on the bus!
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Dec 24, 2018
The train ride was comfortable excpt the toilet
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Dec 23, 2018
It was a nice experience, could not sleep that much, but that's ok. Beautiful countryside, super friendly stuff. Would do it again and can recommend it to everyone. Service by 12goasia was on the point, office easy to find. Thanks!
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Dec 19, 2018
Train on time, sleeper OK, but noisy, dinner/food was very good. Toilet if you better avoid or use in the beginning of the trip. I used at the end and there was no water to wash hands.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Dec 17, 2018
Office in Yangon very hard to find, the Fantastic Condominium entrance is behind an outside restaurant so you need to take s step of the sidewalk into the garden to see the sign. Train was ok, toilet surprisingly clean in the beginning, better to go when stopped at stations due to movement as it is a squat toilet. I didn't sleep much because of the movement but enjoyed the ride anyway. Compared to Thai trains it was bumpier and dirtier.
Train #11 Upper Class, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Dec 17, 2018
We took the day train Yangon to Mandalay .. must take the Upper Class seats, otherwise either fibreglass or wood slats, without cushioning .. great views and plenty of local food, drinks provided by vendors walking the carriages.. ride is bumpy but, based on the number of new railway sleepers stockpiled alomg the track, ride should b improved sometime soon
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Nov 26, 2018
Long slow train trip. Got quite cold at night. Very bumpy and stops at every possible stop on the way. They will ask you what time you want dinner but this is not included, it costs extra. Only 2 people to a sleeper so pretty Private. Keep the door shut and the hawkers will leave you alone.
Train #3 Sleeper, Myanmar Railways (Myanmar Railways), Nov 19, 2018
Have thoroughly enjoyed my night train to Mandalay. As Nicholas from Australia said it’s not japan rail. Could have provided airline type blanket as it got quite cold in the night. Also the berths could have been better cleaned . Apart from that would travel same way again.
167 customer reviews