Getting around BurmaTravel in Burma
Travel in Myanmar
Though travelling through Burma has been a challenge in the past, the Myanmar authorities have taken many steps in recent years to improve the country's infrastructures. A lot of streets are becoming more up-to-date, and several motorways (mostly tolls) and footbridges have been constructed to reach more targets. Note, however, that there are certain forbidden areas where the regime collides with national minorities.
Burma's streets have been improving, but it is still a long way to go, and the railroad is in very tough condition. Myanmar National Airlines "UB" (not to be mistaken for Myanmar Airways International "MAI") is known for its low security situation. UB, however, has a number of comfortable services, such as Bagan-Mandalay night services, and is known to operate even when there are few people.
In Myanmar there are also privately held carriers such as Air Bagan W9, Asian Wings and Air Mandalay 6T. Burma has an expansive but old railway system. Locomotives are sluggish, loud, often late, have common power failures, and the restrooms are in poor hygienic conditions; many are just empty bumps in the bottom directly on the undercarriage.
From Mandalay via serpentines and turns to Pyin U Lwin and then over the mountain and the renowned Gokteik bridges is one of the largest train trips in the underworld. Lower Myanmar consists of Yangon - Pathein and Yangon - Mawlymaing, small municipalities with merchants who sell all kinds of things.
Many fast night services have berths, but in high seasons you can book a few nights in advanced. All kinds of busses, from small to big, hideous to luxury, drive on the streets of Myanmar. Ancient Toyota pickups drive all over Myanmar and transport the people of Burma cost-effectively from one place to another.
At the back of the vehicle is a roofed seating area with three seats, one on each side and one in the middle of the vehicle (some smaller vehicles have only two rows), and the footboard is lower and secured so that six or more passengers can sit on it (standing passengers must grab the vehicle frame).
In Myanmar, pickup trucks are omnipresent and every city has a turnstile. Travelers off the well-trodden paths will find them essential, as they are often the only alternatives to an expansive cab or personal travel. It is possible to rent a personal vehicle and drivers at low prices to drive self-sufficient.
Schwedagon Paya's licenced Yangon based guide can bring a chauffeur by road to your accommodation. Taxi cabs (and thus also all passenger and freight vehicles) have red/white number signs, while cars have a black/white one. It is forbidden to ride motorbikes and bikes in Yangon.
There is a large public transport system in Myanmar, most of which is run by the Myanmar authorities, although there are now a number of privately owned ferries. From Mandalay to Bagan the journey from Bagan to Yangon lasts most of a daily and several inches. The Mandalay to Bagan ferries are closed in April, May and June when the waters in the stream are too low, except for the low speed ferries (only on certain dates of the week).