The Great Myanmar Adventure
Myanmar is a beautiful country with an interesting history and landscape to be explored. On your Myanmar itinerary, you will have the chance to see the local farm life and the vibrant sceneries of the country. This train journey is a great chance to explore the culture of Myanmar.
Travel Warning for Myanmar
During the riots and political rumors in Myanmar, we do not recommend traveling to Myanmar. Please inform yourself in advance about possible entry restrictions. Stay healthy and safe travels.
Railwayhero does not take responsibility for any rail company or country’s decision to limit or refuse travel.
Recommended Days: 10 Days
Riding Hours: Approx. 39 hr
Distance: 1,652 km
Yangon: City Living
Yangon (Rangoon) is the largest city in Myanmar and is full of life and color. The city has so many different elements to it that will keep you on your toes. From market stalls and cafes to lakes, parks, and boutique shops. Yangon is a must-visit city in Myanmar for every traveler.
The Shwedagon Pagoda, also known as the Golden Pagoda, is a symbol of the city due to its deep-rooted history. It holds strands of Buddha’s hair and is an important site for Buddhists all over. Wander around Kandawgyi Lake with its floating Karaweik Palace (it’s actually a restaurant).
Take the path around the lake to see the rickety boardwalks or sit and enjoy the views. Head over to the Rangoon Tea House in downtown Yangon for some delicious cocktails. And nearby you can try authentic dishes that blend the flavors of Myanmar with India for a delectable feast.
Yangon Central Station → Bagan Train Station | Duration: 17:42 h | Transfers: 0
There is one daily train from the capital to Bagan. Buy your tickets at the train station.
Bagan: Green Envy
When you visit Bagan, take in its beauty all tucked within the curve of the Ayeyarwady River. In this city, you can wander through temples and pagodas, try some traditional dishes in the eateries, and enjoy a very relaxed stay all whilst having so many options of places to explore.
Bagan is a green city, and using electric bikes to explore allows you to travel along the winding tracks where the 11th – 13th-Century temples and pagodas lie. Some of the more popular times to visit the archeological park are sunrise and sunset, and another mode of transportation that offers wonderful views is by hot air balloon. We recommend enjoying the park by air for sunset or sunrise to see the temples unable to be explored by foot. Then finish exploring the rest of the area by e-bike in order to get a better look at the more iconic temples.
Some of the best-preserved temples which are enterable are the Thatbyinnyu Pagoda, Shwezigon Paya, Shwesandaw Pagoda, Lawkaoshaung Temple, Ananda Pahto, and Gawdawpalin Temple. After a day of exploring, stop at the Mani-Sithu Market for unique, locally made handicrafts that are on offer before heading off to Mandalay.
Bagan Train Station → Mandalay Central | Duration: 8:12 h | Transfers: 0
This next journey to Mandalay will take around 8 hours and leaves once daily.
Mandalay: Jade Delight
Mandalay is a picture-perfect dream destination along this Myanmar itinerary with winding alleyways, street markets, pagodas, and monasteries. A riverside city that is full to the brim of sights and activities to be enjoyed.
Head to the Jade Market, a must-see attraction, where you will find overflowing stalls of jade originating in northern Myanmar. Watch the locals as they discover the worth of each jade piece and maybe you’ll find some you’d like as a souvenir.
Make a visit to the U Pein Bridge, which is known, as the best spot to visit at sunrise. This teakwood bridge is historic in its architecture and is now used by locals for exercise and fishing within the water below. Before leaving town, head to Shwe In Bin Kyaung. Or one of the many other monasteries and pagodas, throughout the city in order to get an insight into the history and religion of the country.
Mandalay Central → Thazi | Duration: 3:00 h | Transport: Train
Thazi → Kalaw | Duration: 6:52 h / 1:30 h| Transport: Train or Mini-Bus
There is no direct connection to Kalaw from Mandalay but there is a train from Mandalay to Thazi where you can stay overnight, and then the next day take the extremely scenic “slow train from Thazi” to Kalaw (approx. 7 hours), or after arriving in Thazi from Mandalay take a mini-bus / shared taxi (1.5-2 hours) to Kalaw. Buy your train tickets for both legs of the journey at the station.
Kalaw: Scenic Beauty
Kalaw is a city that has a beautiful surrounding landscape, from rolling hills, mountains, and local villages scattered across the countryside. Kalaw is often a place to visit on your way to Inle Lake and enjoy scenic hikes, but there are also plenty of temples and markets to wander through.
Kalaw has interesting British colonial architecture dotted throughout the town. With cottages in this British style, you often forget that you are wandering through Myanmar instead of an English village. Kalaw Mosque is a beautiful place to visit and is the central place of worship for the Muslim community in the town.
Hike over to Inle Lake with its idyllic azure water. Along the trek, you will be able to visit local farms and monasteries. There are also options to take shared taxis and mini-buses from Kalaw to Inle Lake. Take a shared boat trip where you can enjoy the dancing fishermen looking for tips out on the water or charter your own boat to see those too. If you’re able to linger longer in the area, watch the sunset or head to the south end of the lake to visit Sagar, the flooded ancient state capital.
Before heading back to Yangon to end the trip, journey to Thazi by train where you will take in the exquisite scenery and farm life of the country.
Kalaw → Thazi | Duration: 6:52 h / 1:30 h | Transport: Train or Mini-Bus
Catch the slow train to Thazi and either on the same day or a day later (if you wish), catch the overnight train back to Yangon. Train tickets can be bought at the train station or online at 12Go.
Thazi → Yangon Central Station | Duration: 12:11 h | Transfers: 0
*Disclaimer: Due to the fluidity of transportation schedules, the information seen on RailwayHero may not be up to date at the time of readíng. Always double-check with the operator for the latest information.