Bus Travel in MyanmarCoach tours in Myanmar
Traveling in Myanmar (Burma) by bus
Nearly always quicker and less expensive than train services, Myanmar's bus fleet ranges from deluxe, air-conditioned and fast coaches to less deluxe but comfortable coaches ('no A/C' ), locals' busses and 32-seater coaches. Bottled waters are often distributed in better coaches. The TV often roars for a large part of the journey - usually it stays at Myanmar gigs or films, things like, oh, characters who die bloodthirsty fatalities in cars, but the casual Raiders of the Lost Ark slip in.
Bring a coat or rug (both are recommended) as the temperature can fall sharply at nights; however, cooling can also make it cool. The Myanmar superstitious says that no one should be asked: "How much longer? Do not try not to worry when you see some locals holding their breaths when a bus is approaching a particularly questionable looking viaduct.
There are many long-distance journeys that offer the greatest convenience, with new (ish) air-conditioned coaches - some of which are very beautiful. The locals can't allow themselves to spend a working night in a bus, so they would rather drive over night; and the busses don't heat up so much by dodging the harsh afternoon solar radiation.
They all stop several a day for long journeys for toilets and afternoons. When you want additional climate control but do not want to travel all the way on one of these trails, you usually have to cover the full cost of the ticket (e.g. from Mandalay to Taungoo you will have to cover the full cost of the ticket to Yangon) and expect to arrive in the midnight.
Similarly large but older coaches without A/C make short distance journeys, such as for example from Yangon to Pyay or Taungoo to Yangon. Travel time for all kinds of traffic is very flexible and all kinds of busses can sometimes fail. Old busses often stop to spray a warm motor.
It is advisable to book busses for important stretches such as Lake Bagan Island a few nights in advance from November to February. Seats are reserved for all coaches - you should be able to see the timetable at the booking office. There is no apparent way to travel by bus between the four major Myanmar destinations:
Yangon, Inle Lake, Mandalay and Bagan. The majority of travelers depart from Yangon and one evening take the bus to Mandalay and then choose between Inle Lake or Bagan; this will require at least a few accommodation coaches. When you like to see the landscape out of the windows or sleep in bed, you can travel to these places without taking a nocturnal bus.
Preplanning is necessary and will take a little more travel around one weeks and a minimum of K50,500 for the following busses, vans and/or pick-up trucks: