Most popular transportation style for this sector. Nowadays buses are comfortable and good quality for overnight traveling. There is no sleeping bus like in some other countries, seats are normal which can fold and lean to the back. Price is 12 USD to 18 USD depending on the type of seat.
Normal seat- it’s quite tiding to lean
VIP seat – It is ok to lean
VVIP seat – comfortable
There are a couple of bus stops at the rest camp during the trip. Every time they stop, you will have to leave the bus. Moreover, A/C is quite cold. Those two things make it a bit annoying traveling by bus.
One other thing is that drivers and helpers do not like asking ETA. They believe that asking ETA is a disturbing journey. Better not to ask.
Flying from Yangon to Mandalay takes around 45 minutes. You may need to depart early from the hotel since Yangon traffic is unpredictable.
In Mandalay, the airport is located outside of the city area. It will take around 45 minutes to drive back to the city.
Price is quite expensive – starting from 90 USD to 180 USD.
The approximate time you required for this travel will
There are taxis at Mandalay airport, however prior booking from Travel Company or Transportation Company is a better and safe option.
Trains are the cheapest option and the longest time to travel. As of 2021, trains are quite improving but road infrastructure needs to improve. You may see on youtube that Myanmar trains are bumping like hell.
In trains, there are more options for seat selection. Normal seat, First Class, Upper Class, Sleeper Class, etc.
Traveling time from Yangon to Mandalay will take between 14 to 15 hours.
However, you may experience a panoramic view of Myanmar.
If you are traveling with friends or family, a private car is the best option in price, time, comfort, and safety. Travel time will take 6 to 7 hours. You will have experience on the new highway road, the ordinary lifestyle of Myanmar.
One significant thing to experience traveling by private car is the weather of Myanmar. Lower Myanmar is tropical and the middle of Myanmar is quite dry. Landscape during travel is noticeably changed.
Most locals travel by private car and enjoy their time.
When we talk about sightseeing in Mandalay, we should consider the weather and dust. Mandalay is one of the hottest cities in Myanmar. Somewhere like U Bein is very dusty.
There are 4 options to do sightseeing in Mandalay.
The first, is cycling, you may rent a bike from your hotel, and biking around the city is good for early morning and evening. Especially cycling along Mandalay palace will be your last long memory.
Second, one is sightseeing by motorbike. It is somewhat illegal and we do not recommend it. In Mandalay, many motorbikes are going around and it is not easy to manage between them. If there is an accident, most bikes do not have any insurance. Again better not to risk since you are in Myanmar for enjoyment.
The third option is sightseeing with Tuk Tuk, a tri motorbike. This option is better than going by motorbike. Anyhow it is suitable for short trips like going from A to B and short sightseeing in the evening due to the heat of Mandalay and dust. Tuk tuk does not have a side cover and their roof is plastic and just over your head. So it’s heated. Most importantly, Tuk Tuk is not a cheap option. If you are using sightseeing for the whole day, it will cost you almost a private car.
The fourth option is a private car. Most travelers enjoy private car options. Sightseeing in Mandalay does not mean that only in downtown Mandalay. You should visit U Bein, Inwa, Mingun, Sagaing, etc., a Private car is a comfortable option and especially it’s got A/C and cover from dust.
Especially if you want to continue to other parts of Myanmar after Mandalay, traveling by private car is the best option.
If you are concerned about cost, a private car is a bit more expensive than Tuk Tuk.