After spending 2.5 days in Bagan, we continued our journey to the next destination – Inle Lake.
Read the pervious posts about Bagan:
- Top 5 practical information you need to know about Bagan.
- A half day tour to Mount Popa and don’t do it if your time is limited.
During the entire trip, we have travelled in different transport methods for the experience. The Burmese loop we did was:
Mandalay to Bagan by boat on Irrawaddy River, 10 hours
Bagan to Inle Lake by plane, 40 mins
Inle Lake to Yangon by bus, overnight, 12 hours
The reason we chose to fly was none of us wanted to spend Christmas evening on an overnight bus, so we decided to party hard in town and then catch the plane to Inle Lake on Boxing day. We bought our ticket as soon as we arrived in Bagan, the flight ticket cost didn’t vary so much despite the last minute purchase.
What options available from Bagan to Inle Lake?
Travel by bus?
A cost effective way of travelling especially if you chose to hop on the overnight bus, which will save you one night of accommodation. Also the bus terminal is inside the Nyaungshwe where most of the hotels are.
You can book your bus ticket online via Bookaway.
Departure: Bagan Shwe Pyi Highway Bus Terminal
Arrival: :Bagan Min Thar Bus Station
Duration: 7-8 hours
Average cost: US$10-15
Travel by plane?
A much faster route but costly. There are 3-4 flights daily between Bagan and Inle Lake. Trip duration is 35mins. Average cost between US$50 – US$70.
Departure: Bagan Nyaung-U Airport
Arrival: Heho Airport
Please be aware that the flight arrives in Heho Airport which is about 35km away from the major town – Nyaungshwe in Inle Lake region. Cost approximately MMK25,000 (US$20) for the journey by taxi.
What to expect if travelling by plane?
It’s fun to travel in a turboprop. The check-in desk in Bagan Nyaung-U Airport was very manual where the ground staff used paper and pen to check you. There is no computing system for the check-in process for domestic flights.
You get an airline sticker on your shirt as proof of you’ve been checked in. Then, you go through very relaxed security checks. The airport was tiny, just one terminal building and one hall with a little cafe inside after security point.
Private car or taxi?
Cost US$150 for the car and a driver. If you have a lot of time and budget then going by private car isn’t a bad idea. You get to see most of the land and it’s beautiful landscape with as many stops as you want.
A little thing good to know before travelling on the bus …
Reserve your bus ticket! Bus tickets often get sold out if you leave it too late. In Myanmar bus companies offer female friendly seating layout, single seat on one side and double seats on the other side.
That’s why it’s important if you reserve your ticket early and you get to select the seat too!
Bring a cardigan or jumper with you on board as overnight buses can get really chilly.