Burma Transportation Tips by into-thin-air
Burma Transportation: 142 reviews and 153 photos
Passing under the Ava Bridge
When travelling from Mandalay to Bagan one option is to take the new fast ferry. By Burmese standards the $16 fare is extortionate but it is a touch of luxury !! In fact the most comfortable journey that I undertook on my entire trip !!!! The seats are aeroplane style, have Loads of leg-room and recline, the cabin is air-conditioned. The views out of the large windows as you head downstream are Stunning, but on the off chance that you do get a bit bored with them you can dine in the ferries small and rather expensive restaurant or go and sun-bathe on the deck !!!!
Tickets are best booked at least one day before from the office near to the jetty, Make sure that you are allocated a window seat !!!
Left behind by the Britt's ????
When Arriving at Yangon International Airport don't get the Airport Taxi's into town !!! These will cost you at least $5 !! But if you walk out of the Airport Compound and cross the road you will find Lots of taxi's there more than happy to take you into the centre of Yangon for $3 !!!, the $2 difference will pay for your Dinner !!!
If like me you flew into Bangkok to Sort Out your Visa and Flight from there, you will be looking for a Good Travel Agent !!
I found " Tami Tours " to be Excellent, I compared her prices with several other agents and she was by far the best !!! located at 49, Soi Rambutri Jakaphong Rd ( behind the temple at the bottom of the Kao San Rd )
She organised me a Return Flight -- Bangkok to Yangon and a Visa, the Visa within 24 hours and the flight the next day after. The flight was with M.A,I, and I found their service to be excellent ( I had heard a lot different reports before trying them myself !! ) The total cost was around £150, a little more expensive than I originally thought that it would be BUT ABSOLUTELY NO PROBLEMS !!!
Other Contact: Fax 02-281-0745
On Top of Mount Popa !!!
I wasn't sure which section to include this tip in ????
When on your Travels GOOD Information is sometimes hard to come across !! Hotels / Guest-Houses want you to use services that they earn commission from and much the same if you pop into a " Travel Agent "
In Nyaungu ( for Bagan ) I found that " Ever Sky Information Service " was EXCELLENT !!!!
Nanda who runs this Service is a Lovely Lady. Friendly, Helpful and absolutely Full of Local Knowledge !!
She is located on New Park Street at the opposite end to the Bus Station !!
Whatever your Question, there will be a strong Probability that she will be able to give you a Good Straight Answer !!
Bus Information,. Train Information, Local Sights, Day Trips and taxi Hire ( I hired a taxi from here to visit Mount Popa, $15 when I had just been quoted $20 at the Bus Station !!! ) to name a few !!
Check her out. that's my Advice !!!!
Inside a " Cave Temple " near Old Bagan
When choosing your Cycle to tour around Old Bagan it is well worth spending a little time in finding a Good Serviceable bike !! Some of the ones that I saw on hire were complete Wrecks with canvas showing through the tyres and saddles with springs sticking through !! It's No Fun when you get a Puncture and have miles to push your bike to have it repaired !! apart from the puncture repair costing you a few Kyats you will inevitably loose valuable Time !!
I found the Best Place to Hire your Cycle was " Ever One Cycle Hire " on the main street in Nyaungu opposite the email place, their Cycles were Almost New, well Maintained and the prices were either less or certainly no more than everywhere else !!
Lunch stop with " Asia Express "
After enduring several Long Bus and Very Uncomfortable, Cramped Bus journeys on my Travels Through Burma it was Brilliant to find myself on a Bus with Comfortable seats and Good Leg-Room !! -- Which Bus Company was this I hear you all saying !!!??? Well the answer is " Asia Express " I caught this Bus from Pyay to Yangon and we did the trip in an incredible 6 hours including quite a long Lunch Break !! We reached Speeds of over 50 M.P.H. -- Flying by Burmese Standards !! A Good Trip with a Bus Company I can Recommend !!!!
More Bagan Temple's !!!
When travelling back towards Yangon from Bagan by Bus then a Good Option is to Break your Journey in Pyay. This will also give you the opportunity of experiencing Normal Life in a Rural Burmese Town and visiting the Ancient City of Thayekhittaya.
I took the 16.00 Popa Dagon Bus from Nyaungu to Pyay, this took ten hours so arrived at Pyay late but I had no problem in finding Good accommodation there on arrival.
The Popa Dagon Bus was in Good Condition and had reasonably Good leg room by Burmese Standards !!
Tickets should be bought as far in advance as possible from Nyaungu Bus Station to avoid the possibility of having to sit on a plastic stool in the Isle for the 10 hour trip !!!!! The ticket price also includes a " free pick up " from your Hotel / Guest-House !!!
All Aboard -- Well Nearly !!!!
If you haven't either the time or the inclination to travel all the way from Yangon to Inle Lake by Train then another option is to go by Bus as far as Thazi and pick up the Train there !!
This is an incredible section of line, it leaves the Ayeyarwady valley and climbs over 1000 metres up onto the escarpment passing over some hair-raising viaducts and then up the side of a mountain on a series of switch-backs !! It is still a 10 hour Journey to go all the way from Thazi to Shwenyaung but never-the-less an Incredible one and I can guarantee that you won't get either bored or Fed-Up with the scenery !!
Buying the Train Ticket, Yangon Railway Station
It is now possible to purchase an ordinary class ticket on the train from Yangon to Shwenyaung ( for Inle lake ) the cost of this ticket is $10 and not $35 / $40 as stated in Lonely Planet !!
I had heard about this ticket before setting off on my trip. so when I arrived in Yangon one of the first things that I did was to go to the Railway Station and find out how you went about getting one of these tickets !!??
The first trip there I was told that it was NOT POSSIBLE, all Foreign travellers had to travel either 1st or Upper Class !! I wasn't convinced so went back the next day to see if I could find a different member of M.R. to ask !!?? at first they again told me NOT POSSIBLE !!!! But I persevered and eventually the guy produced a book and told me that it was indeed possible to get the $10 ticket but it couldn't be purchased in advance and I would have to buy it on the platform one hour before the train was due to depart !!
This left me with a small Quandry as Bus's for Nyaungshwe Depart from Yangon Daily at 12.00 and the train wasn't scheduled to depart until 15.00. so if unable to purchase the ticket it would mean another night in Yangon !!
I decided to Give the train a go !! and arrived at Yangon Station at 13.30, plenty of time before the train was due to leave, at first I was again told that NOT POSSIBLE to buy the $10 but I sad YES POSSIBLE !!!! and eventually a small ticked booth opened up on platform 4 and I was able to buy the said ticket without much Hassle at all !! I had to hand over my Passport, details of which were written on the Ticket and I was also given a reserved seat !! This was the Start of a Cracking Train Trip and one that I wouldn't have wanted to Miss
The Message -- Don't take No for an Answer !!!!!!!
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