Overview | Bus | Flight | Secret Escapes


How to get from Mandalay to Inle Lake?

Inle Lake is a perfect destination to explore the more rural and rustic side of Myanmar after experiencing the larger cultural and commercial hubs such as Mandalay.

Surrounded by high hills, Inle Lake is a travellers hotspot for its floating villages and towns inhabited by the indigenous Intha people. Visitors to the lake will observe the traditional wooden houses built on stilts, silk weavers engaged in their ancient artistry, and local fishermen exhibiting their unique rowing style.

The cheapest option to travel the 260-kilometer journey from Mandalay to Inle Lake is by a 6 hour bus ride, which costs approx $12. Alternatively, you can take a short 30-minute flight for $55.

Bus or Flight?

Transport modeDurationCostsAvailability
Bus6h$12Check bus tickets
Flight30m$55Check flights


Bus icon

Mandalay to Inle Lake by Bus

Duration: 6 hours
Cost: $12

Currently, there are 2 bus companies operating from Mandalay to Inle Lake. See the schedules below:

Bus companyScheduleDurationCosts
OK Express07:30-16:30
JJ Express09:00-15:00

It takes at least 6 hours to get from Mandalay to Inle Lake and the bus costs between $11 and $14, depending on the bus company and the type of bus.

OK Express (minivan)

  • Departs from OK Express Bus Stop between 86th & 87th Street, Mandalay
  • Hotel pickup is available
  • Arrives at Famous Express located about 10 kilometers from Inle Lake

OK Express provides a 16-seater minivan for the Mandalay to Inle Lake route.

JJ Express (VIP bus)

  • Departs from Chan Mya Shwe Pyi Highway Station just 5 kilometers from the center of Mandalay
  • Arrives at Odyssey JJ Express located about 10 kilometers from Inle Lake

This is a VIP (2+1 Seat Layout) Bus service suitable for travellers who desire a comfortable ride from Mandalay to Inle Lake.

Important to note that all international tourists are required to pay $10 Inle Zone fee.

Check Available Bus Tickets


flight icon

Mandalay to Inle Lake by Flight

Duration: 30 minutes
Cost: $55

The fastest option to travel from Mandalay to Inle Lake is by taking a flight from Mandalay International Airport to Heho Airport, the closest airport to Inle Lake. Travel time is only 30 minutes and one-way ticket starts at $55.

Mandalay International Airport is located 40 kilometers south of the city center. To get to the airport, you can take a taxi for around $10.

Golden Myanmar Airlines, Mann Yadanarpon Airlines, Air KBZ, and Myanmar Airways International operate up to 5 Mandalay-Heho flights daily with convenient departure times. The first flight leaves at 8:40 am and the last one departs at 10:20 pm.

Heho Airport is about 40 kilometers from Nyaung Shwe, the main town in the Inle Lake area. From the airport, you can take a taxi to Inle Lake for around $20.

Instead of taking a taxi at the airport, you can also book a private transfer from Klook for $21. When you book online, your driver will be waiting for you at the airport with your name on the sign.

Check Flights on Skyscanner


My favourite places to stay in Inle Lake

BaobaBed Hostel Nyaung Shwe Inle Lake

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 

Read more

Inle Inn

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 

Read more

Thousand Island Hotel Inle Lake 

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

Read more



More routes to Inle Lake

Bagan to Inle Lake

Hpa An to Inle Lake

Yangon to Inle Lake

More routes from Mandalay

Mandalay Airport

Mandalay to Bagan

Mandalay to Hpa An

Mandalay to Yangon

Most popular routes in Myanmar

Bagan to Inle Lake

Bagan to Mandalay

Mandalay Airport

Mandalay to Bagan

Yangon to Bagan

Yangon to Mandalay


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COVID-19 Limitations: Transportation services have limited availability and schedules might be less frequent. Please check our recommended booking websites for the most recent schedules.
COVID-19 UPDATE: Due to recent travel restrictions, most of the transportation services are currently unavailable or subject to change.