Best way to Travel MyanmarThe best way to travel Myanmar
Travel in Myanmar (Burma) by public transportation
Bigger cities in Myanmar have a wide range of bus (ka), motorbike taxicabs, bike-rikschas, or trishaw (saiq-ka, for sidecars), horse-drawn carriages (myint hlei), ox-drawn carriages, cabs (taxis), small tricycles similar to Thai tuk-tuks (thoun leg, i.e.'three wheels'), small four-wheeled'blue taxis' Mazdas (lei leg, i.e.'four wheels') and contemporary pickup lorries (lain na, i.e.'line car').
Small-town areas are highly dependent on motorbike tachis and Trishaw as the major mode of transportation. In large metropolitan areas (Yangon, Mandalay, Pathein, Mawlamyine and Taunggyi), however, there is a permanent price per passenger for bus services on the major roads, usually K200. In some cases, international travellers "raise" prices for taxi, motorbike taxi, trishaw and horsetruck.
You can arrange brief trips in the center of the town between K500 and K1000. In contrast to busses, they travel on a regular basis during the days. Pickups often begin at the coach or train stations (in some cities they stay under a large bankan in the middle ) and then, unlike many other busses, make laps through the main roads to catch more people.
Travel | About Myanmar (Burma)
Much of Myanmar, especially its borders and areas where the regime is in dispute with national minorities - such as large parts of Shan and Kachin states - are either totally banned from visiting foreigners or need a visa that can take severalweek. For example, parts of the state of Rakhine have been shut down and re-opened more than once by the end of 2012. org ), although it may not be up to date, and if you want to apply for a license, the government-run Myanmar Travels & Tours (MTT; com) agencies located in most important travel locations should be able to help.
Aside from Myanma Airways, the state-owned airlines, a number of privately held carriers - including Air KBZ, Air Mandalay, Air Bagan, Asian Wings, Yangon Airways and Golden Myanmar Airways - operate inbound flights and have bureaus in larger destinations. In view of the long travel time by land and the relatively low price of air travel, air travel can be an advantage.
This is the only possibility in a few cases, such as a visit to Kengtung, as the long-distance trails are blocked for non-nationals. There are many flights on round trips and stops at several aerodromes. A number of disadvantages exist for internal aviation. It' also not possible to buy your ticket on-line, although some carriers - such as Ambassador Mandalay - allow you to make on-line bookings and then make payment as soon as you arrive in the state.
That is likely to improve once the penalties are relaxed, but in any case it is usually a little less expensive to buy your ticket through your own tourist agency. Travelers should also refrain from traveling when trying to restrict the amount of funds they spend with the Myanmar authorities or their pals (see The Code of Conduct for Myanmar).
Coaches are usually quicker and less expensive than train journeys and are usually the best way to deal with a low cost. However, bus journeys can be very strenuous, as most long-distance transport operations run through the nights, stop for regular lavatory stops and arrivals before sunrise. Traveling at nights also means missing the countryside, but the natives like it because they can go without work.
While most intercity coaches are quite convenient, please take along your hot clothing as they have a tendency to start the A/C. For a small surcharge, it is possible to take a more advanced coach on large distances such as Yangon to Mandalay. You can also take longer distances by public transport such as Taungoo to Mandalay (instead of the whole Yangon-to-Mandalay trip); these are usually in poorer shape but are less expensive for short journeys, as you will have to cover the whole cost of the whole ride on long-distance busses, even if you only get on or off partially.
There are also smaller, 32-seater commuter busses, which should be prevented as they are usually full of baggage. It is a good idea to make a reservation one or two days in advance if there is a lot of traffic (e.g. Bagan-Nyaungshwe), if there are only a few busses (e.g. Ngwe Saung-Yangon) or if you take a coach on the way (e.g. in Kalaw).
Myanmar's rail system is outdated, sluggish and generally inconvenient. Most lines are quicker and more dependable - it is not unusual for rush runs to be slowed down by several short lines, and the commuter lines are even worsen. The railways are also more costly than coaches, and since they are run by the state, the funds go to the state.
On a few roads, such as from Mandalay to Naba and Katha, traffic is blocked for non-nationals. The other is for the adventure itself: many trails lead through areas of great natural beauties (the Goteik Bridge between Pyin Oo Lwin and Hsipaw is a good example), and there is the possibility to interoperate with the locals.
Long haul coaches often have dining carts, and grocers either come on deck or perform window operations when the coaches stop. Though not as frequent as in some South East Asia destinations, there are group buses and groupage transporters (the latter also known as minibuses) on some itineraries.
Usually they are about fifty per cent more expensive than a single place in an air-conditioned coach, but take you wherever you want, which will save you money in cities where the coach terminal is not conveniently situated. Besides these inter-city activities, which are mainly used by local people, there are a few special activities for non-nationals.
Renting a rental vehicle in Myanmar is not a viable alternative as there is too much bureaucracy, but it is simple to organize a vehicle and a chauffeur (starting at about $40/day) through your lodging or your local tourist agency. Some parts of the countryside, for example Mawlamyine and Hpa-an, it is also possible to rent a motorbike, usually for K8000-10,000 per night plus petrol.
You should make sure that your trip policy will cover the cost of motorcycling before you rent a bike. Myanmar's commuter transportation is usually a mixture of bus, taxi, pick-up, bike taxi (where the passengers are passengers) and bicycle rickshaw. There are only busses in the major towns, inclusive Yangon and Mandalay, and they are very inexpensive.
The itineraries can be very difficult to work out, but if you are not in a hurry, then driving in the busses is certainly an adventure. This also applies to pick-ups that span certain distances and collect and drop off persons on the move; as a rule, they leave on a regular basis throughout the entire daily period and can become so full that the passenger can travel on the top of the vehicle.
Cabs are available in major metropolitan areas and vary from 1970s Toyota cars to occasionally new left-hand driven imported cargo. But on the other side, and especially in Yangon, they don't seem so eager to negotiate once they have quoted a prize. Three-wheelers are still in use in many places, although they are replaced by motorbike taxes, which are much quicker and usually at the same cost (about K500-1000 for a brief trip).
Many of these means of transportation can also be rented for one night, which includes a chauffeur who can be organised directly, through the lodging or through tourist agencies; you must negotiate to get a good rate. Motorbike cabs are particularly favored for single travelers, and may not be much more costly than renting a self-drive motorbike.
For groups there is often a good offer to collect the car, for example in one of Mandalay's "blue taxis". Small cities use horse-drawn vehicles as an important means of transport to transport visitors to various places, especially Bagan, Inwa and Pyin Oo Lwin.