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How to get from Bagan to Inle Lake
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-kilometrelong 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 340 km 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.
2 ways to get from Bagan to Inle Lake
|Bus||9 hours||$11||Check Bus Tickets|
|Flight||40 minutes||$70||Check Flights|
Bagan to Inle Lake by Bus
Taking the bus is a good option for travellers on a budget. There are several bus companies operating from Bagan to Inle Lake.
Bus schedules from Bagan to Inle Lake
Check Bus Tickets
|Bagan Min Thar||08:00-18:00|
Check Bus Tickets
Check Bus Tickets
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 toothpaste, 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. It’s best to book in advance because tickets sell out early.
Note: Aall international tourists are required to pay $10 Inle Zone fee.
Bagan to Inle Lake by Flight
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.
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.
Our favourite places to stay in Inle Lake
BaobaBed Hostel Nyaung Shwe Inle Lake - Budget Friendly
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!
- Restaurant and bar
- Rooftop spa bath
- Friendly staff
- Clean and spacious rooms
Private rooms start at $19 per night
Inle Inn - Budget Friendly
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.
- Breakfast included
- Excellent location
- Restaurant and bar
- Helpful and cheerful staff
Private rooms start at $21 per night
Thousand Island Hotel Inle Lake - Mid Range
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.
- Perfect location
- Café and bar on-site
- Wonderful rooftop view
- Spacious and comfortable rooms
Private rooms start at $41 per night
Routes from Inle Lake
Most popular routes in Myanmar
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Ela is a storyteller, content producer, solo traveller and a mermaid-in-training. When she’s not in front of her laptop, you will find her barefoot and living her best tan on some island in the Philippines… Or exploring the depths of its seas as a budding freediver. An island girl at heart, she’ll be happy anywhere there is sea, sand, sun and coffee.
Based in Bali, Maarten’s passion for travel is undeniable. In 2016, he decided to quit his job as a stock analyst and started doing what he always dreamed of: travelling through South East Asia and helping other people plan their trips. When he is not working on Gecko Routes, you’ll find him surfing in the ocean or exploring the best gems of Indonesia.