Bagan is a UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in the Mandalay region of Myanmar, and a focal point of many travellers’ holiday (and their camera lens).
Inle Lake is a common destination for its own, differing reasons. Inle Lake is a 22-kilometer long lake and its shores inhabited by almost 70,000 people of the Intha ethnic group who subsist primarily from its waters. The lake hosts several floating markets, a monastery, handicraft workshops, and the famous Phaung Daw Oo Pagoda visited by Buddhist celebrants from across the country.
When you want to travel the 340km journey from Bagan to Inle Lake you have 2 options: by bus or flight. The most frugal option is by bus, which takes roughly 9 hours and costs around $11. Alternatively, you can take a quick 40-minute flight for about $70.
Taking the bus is a good option for travellers on a budget. There are several bus companies operating from Bagan to Inle Lake.
See the schedules below:
06:30-15:30 08:00-17:00 20:00-05:00
Bagan Min Thar
08:00-18:00 19:00-05:00 20:00-04:00
10h 10h 8h
$12 $12 $13
A standard minivan ticket from Bagan to Inle Lake starts at $11, while VIP buses with more comfortable seats can go as high as $17. Travel time can take from 7 to 10 hours depending on the bus company and the type of bus.
OK Express (Standard Minivan)
Departs from OK Express Bus Stop located 12 kilometers from Old Bagan (hotel pick up is available)
Arrives at Famous Express located in the town of Nyaungshwe
OK Express provides a shared 16-seater minivan for the Bagan to Inle Lake route. There is air conditioning, water, and towel provided.
Bagan Min Thar
Departs from Bagan Shwe Pyi Highway Bus Terminal located 10 kilometers from New Bagan (hotel pick up is available)
Arrives at Bagan Min Thar Bus Station in Yone Gyi Street in the town of Nyaungshwe
Bagan Min Thar provides a 29-seater VIP bus service for its passengers. They provide amenities like free tooth-paste, toothbrush, drinking water, and towel to all passengers.
JJ Express (VIP Bus)
Departs from Bagan Shwe Pyi Highway Bus Terminal located 10 kilometers from New Bagan
Hotel pick up is available
Arrives at Odyssey JJ Express located in the town of Nyaungshwe
JJ Express provides a VIP (2+1 Seat Layout) bus service from Bagan to Inle Lake. A bottle of water, snacks, and a blanket are included. Make sure to book in advance as tickets sell out early.
Important to note that all international tourists are required to pay $10 Inle Zone fee.
The fastest way to get from Bagan to Inle Lake is by taking a 40-minute flight from Bagan Nyaung-U Airport to Heho Airport (1-hour from Inle Lake)
From New Bagan, it is a 20 minute ride going to Nyaung-U Airport. A taxi should set you back $5.
From Heho airport, it is a one-hour taxi ride to Inle Lake. The current taxi rate is between $20 – $26 to go to Nyaungshwe, the main town in Inle Lake.
Several airline companies serve the Bagan-Heho route including Golden Myanmar Airlines, Air KBZ, Myanmar Airways International, Mann Yadanarpon Airlines, and Hahn Air. These airlines operate up to 10 flights daily. The first flight leaves at 07:45 and the last one departs at 16:35. A one-way ticket starts at $70.
For a hassle-free ride, Klook provides transfers from Heho Airport to Nyaungshwe for $21. A sedan or a van will pick you up from the airport and conveniently take you to Nyaungshwe.
BaobaBed Hostel is located in Nyaung Shwe, just a 15-minute boat ride from Inle Lake. The hostel offers free bicycle rentals, a rooftop spa bath, a restaurant, and a bar. The rooms are spacious and comfortable and the staff is known to be extremely friendly and welcoming. You will feel right at home here!
Offering an on-site restaurant, bar, and garden, Inle Inn is located in Nyaung Shwe, just a short boat ride from Inle Lake. All rooms have a private bathroom and air conditioning. Breakfast is included with your stay and can be eaten in the restaurant or delivered to your room.
Set along the river in Nyaung Shwe, which links to Inle Lake, Thousand Island Hotel Inle Lake features large comfortable rooms. The hotel offers bicycle rentals, daily cleaning services, and 24-hour front desk. You can enjoy a snack at the riverfront café or a cold drink at their rooftop bar.