Mandalay to Bagan

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How to get from Mandalay to Bagan

Mandalay, the second-largest city in Myanmar, is a relatively new city in historical terms. The vehicle clogged streets and haphazard architecture are a testament to this fact.

Bagan, on the other hand, has much more ancient roots. A UNESCO World Heritage Site situated in the Mandalay region of Myanmar, it is the site of the Bagan Archeological Zone. It has a vast area containing the largest concentration of Buddhist temples and pagodas in the world. The 26-square mile area has over thousands of temples that were built during the Pagan Kingdom beginning in the 9th century.

3 ways to get from Mandalay to Bagan

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus4 hours$10Check Bus Tickets
Train8 hours$8Check Train Tickets
Flight30 minutes$62Check Flights

To travel the 180 km journey from Mandalay to Bagan, you have 3 options: by bus, train, or flight. The bus ($10) journey takes about 4 hours, while a train ($8) takes roughly 8 hours. The fastest option is by flight ($62), which takes only about 30 minutes.

Mandalay to Bagan by Bus

Duration: 4 hours
Cost: $10
Duration: 4 hours
Cost: $10

At present, there are two bus companies operating from Mandalay to Bagan. See the schedules below:

Bus schedules from Mandalay to Bagan

Bus companyScheduleCosts
OK Express05:30-11:00
Check Bus Tickets
Moe Thout Tun Express06:30-10:30
Check Bus Tickets

Note: All international tourists are required to pay $16 Bagan Zone Fee. The pass is valid for 3 days and can be bought from any of the many checkpoints leading into Bagan.

The 4-hour journey from Mandalay to Bagan costs roughly $8 to $10 depending on the bus company and the type of bus.

OK Express

  • Departs from OK Express Bus Stop between 86th & 87th Street, Mandalay, Myanmar (hotel pick up is available)
  • Arrives at Bagan Shwe Pyi Highway Bus Terminal located 10 kilometers from New Bagan

Moe Thout Tun Express

  • Departs from Chan Mya Shwe Pyi Highway Station just 4 kilometers from the centre of Mandalay
  • Arrives at Bagan Shwe Pyi Highway Bus Terminal located 10 kilometers from New Bagan

When you arrive at Bagan Shwe Pyi Highway Bus Terminal, you can take a taxi to the centre of Bagan for about $6.

Mandalay to Bagan by Train

Duration: 8 hours
Cost: $8
Duration: 8 hours
Cost: $8

If you are not pressed for time, you can take the train from Mandalay to Bagan for 8 hours. It is cheap and comfortable with spacious carriages if travelling upper class. Tickets starting at around $8.

However, note that only 1 train per day connects Mandalay Central Railway Station to Bagan and it departs at 9 in the evening. Arrival is at 5 am at Bagan Railway Station in Nyaung-U.

Train schedule from Mandalay to Bagan

Train companyScheduleCosts
Myanmar Railways
(train #120)
Check Train Tickets

Make sure to book your tickets early, as Myanmar Railways requires booking in advance for upper-class seats.

At the railway station, there are private taxis that will take you to Bagan town centre for about $8. If you want to save money, shared taxis are also available for $1. Another option is to walk 150 meters to the highway and flag down a car for slightly cheaper than a private taxi, usually about $3.

Mandalay to Bagan by Flight

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: $62
Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: $62

The fastest and most convenient option to travel from Mandalay to Bagan is by taking a flight from Mandalay Airport to Bagan Nyaung-U Airport. Travel time between these two cities is only 30 minutes, and a one-way ticket starts at around $62.

Mandalay International Airport is located 40 km south of the city centre. A taxi to the airport should set you back $10.

Air KBZ, Myanmar Airways International, Mann Yadanarpon Airlines, Hahn Air, and Myanmar National Airlines operate up to five Mandalay-Bagan flights daily with convenient departure times. The first flight takes off at 7:00 and the last one departs at 18:20.

From Bagan Airport, you can take a taxi to the city centre for approximately $5. Klook also offers private transfers from Nyang-U Airport to Bagan city in a comfortable airconditioned vehicle.

Check Flights on Skyscanner


Our favourite places to stay in Bagan

Shwe Nadi Guest House

Ideally situated in central Bagan, Shwe Nadi Guest House is within walking distance to the Nyaung U Market and plenty of restaurants and shops. The accommodation features a 24-hour front desk, airport transfers, room service and free WiFi throughout the property. The Guesthouse also offers e-bike rentals. 

  • Friendly and welcoming staff
  • Excellent breakfast
  • E-bikes rentals
  • Fantastic location

Private rooms start at $16 per night

Read more

Ostello Bello Bagan

Ostello Bello Bagan is set in an ideal location, within walking distance of many restaurants, sights, and amenities. The on-site bar is great for having a cold drink and relaxing. The on-site restaurant is open early and serves both local and Western dishes. Snacks, coffee, tea, and water can also be found at the shared lounge throughout the day.

  • Cozy and clean rooms
  • Great food
  • Friendly and helpful staff
  • Convenient location

Private rooms start at $29 per night 

Read more

Bagan Wynn Hotel

The Bagan Wynn Hotel is set in a quiet, peaceful location not too far from the sights. The hotel offers a restaurant, free private parking, a bar, an outdoor swimming pool and a fitness center. The property provides a 24-hour front desk, room service and currency exchange for guests.

  • Accommodating staff
  • Restaurant and bar
  • Peaceful location
  • Spacious rooms

Private rooms start at $33 per night

Read more


More routes to Bagan

Hpa An to Bagan

Inle Lake to Bagan

Yangon to Bagan

More routes from Mandalay

Mandalay to Mandalay Airport

Mandalay to Hpa An

Mandalay to Inle Lake

Mandalay to Yangon

Bagan to Inle Lake

Bagan to Mandalay

Mandalay Airport

Yangon to Bagan

Yangon to Mandalay

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About the author(s)

Travel Planning Expert

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.