Both Bagan and Mandalay are the tourism treasures of Myanmar which attract tourists all over the world, and the ideas about how to get from Bagan to Mandalay will aid your next Myanmar trips. Geographically, Bagan is around 180 km southwest of Mandalay, which is good for overland transport. Oftentimes, it takes the 5-hour bus drive, besides the other options of the 7-hour train and the 10-hour boat trip. What’s more, there is even the domestic flight between Bagan and Mandalay that is less than one hour, and the high-budget passengers choose it.

Less-Than-One-Hour Flight to Mandalay from Bagan

It’s obvious that the aerial transport is costly but it brings you to Mandalay from Bagan in less than an hour, which is the fastest. The only downside of this option is the high airfare, and this is a common problem with flying in Myanmar. For a seat on a Bagan – Mandalay flight, guests should be ready to pay US$100 or higher per flight. Though you are able to search for a promotion ticket if flying during the low season, it does not typically charge you less than US$80 anyway. The high cost is the only cons of this option. And, note that Myanmar itinerary has not had any low-cost or cheap airlines yet.

And its pro is the beautiful panorama or the bird’s-eye view when you are on the top dimension to watching the magnificent temples of Bagan under the wings of the aircraft. That said, the amazing aerial view somehow compensates the expensive airfare. Also, clearly, this is the fastest channel to move between Bagan and Mandalay. So, find your ways to Bagan Airport, located in Nyaung U town, which is 10 km east of the Old and New Bagan areas. You can take a taxi to the airport, and then board a plane. Upon your arrival to Mandalay Airport, use the pick-up services provided by the hotel as long as you have booked it already. If not, get on a taxi to get to your accommodation.

5-hour Bus to Mandalay from Bagan

Taking a drive from Bagan to Mandalay is a time-saving option compared to the long train journey and the boat trip. Also, the 5-hour bus is the money-saving way compared to the expensive flight. However, know that the quality of the bus and its service vary significantly due to the ticket prices and the bus companies from which you book. In most cases, choose the bus with the air-conditioned and padded seats instead of the worn-out ones with the wooden benches. It might turn out to be terrible when you sit on the hard and uncomfortable seat with no air-conditioner. Often, the air-conditioned bus costs you around US$60 per ticket. Hence, opt for the more expensive options which result in a more relaxing journey. In Bagan, you can find the bus station next to the railway station in Nyaung U town. So, getting there and buying your tickets if you prefer the bus ride. Again, the ride will take around 5 hours, so it is best NOT to choose the cheapest bus with wooden benches.

How to Get from Bagan to Mandalay in the Best Way

Not to mention the other transport options of the 7-hour train journey and the 10-hour boat trip, most tourists pay their attention to either the 1-hour flight or the 5-hour bus drive. So, which option should you select? To be direct, if money is not a concern, and you want to get to the destination as fast as possible, then take a flight (as it is costly). If the dollars and cents are really a matter, then buy a bus ticket, and sit on the vehicle for around 5 hours or up, depending on the traffic. While the pros and cons of each option are obvious, the informed decisions should be made according to your context. All in all, the tour from Bagan to Mandalay is surely wonderful. And upon your arrival, the charming city will treat you fantastically with many sites to see and things to do. 

Boat trip from Bagan to Mandalay

Why Visit Mandalay

The trip to Bagan, a UNESCO World Heritage site including the 9th-13th-century pagodas and temples, feasting eyes with the wonderful religious complex, might sound enough to some individuals, but not for the others. They prefer the onward travel to Mandalay, which was the last royal capital of the Burmese kingdom, to perfect their Myanmar expedition, and sure, you are right to do it. The highlights of this ancient city include Mahamuni Paya in which you witness the daily ceremony of washing Buddha’s face, the unique U Bein Bridge that is the world’s longest teak bridge ever built, and the sacred Mandalay Hill in which you climb up, do homage to Buddha images, enjoy the awesome view, and pray for the best. Other notable names are Jade Market, Golden Palace Monastery (Shwenandawkyaung), and Kuthodaw Paya, Ayeyarwaddy River, and Nanmyint watchtower.

It’s worth emphasizing that U Bein Bridge is a must to see. This is a footbridge made from teak and remains as the longest teak bridge in the world. It is most famous for watching the sunset when the Burmese monks and local people are heading home on this bridge. Photography during the twilight conditions in this spot makes every photo an art. Furthermore, you can try a boat trip beneath the bridge for a different viewpoint and access to this unparalleled attraction.

So how to get from Bagan to Mandalay?, those are the channels to travel to Mandalay from Bagan. If you want to spend money and save time, a flight would be the best to go for. If you prefer to save both money and time, consider the bus ride with air-conditioner and padded seat. And if you have plenty of time to spend in Myanmar, try the boat trip for the slow yet scenic transfer. Each person might have their own definitions to define the best ways to move between the destinations, so do you. Fly or drive? You have the information to make an informed decision for your plans from Bagan to Mandalay. Whatever options, both cities are worth all compliments.