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The road to Mandalay: Bus ride from Bagan to Mandalay



K, this was definitely the most interesting bus ride of my life so far. After 3 days in Bagan, I was thinking its time for me to move on. I asked my hotel (Eden hotel) about bus tickets. Sure enough, just like every other hotel in Myanmar they do sell tickets. They asked me if I wanted the regular bus (which stops by the hotel meaning I wont have to walk to the station) or if I wanted the air conditioned tourist bus (walk to the bus station). I thought- oh, no more walking! I'll take that.


Highlights: Very, very interesting bus ride. The phrase 'freak show' comes into mind. Just the number of people they jam pack into the bus is cwaaazy!!!
Cast of Characters: just myself. I met a German couple on the same bus. We were the only tourists on board.
Logistics/ Links:
When: I was traveling around Myanmar mid-Feb, 2012.
Location: Bus ride from Nyaung U Bagan to Mandalay, Myanmar
Cost: This is the crazy part- the nice, air-conditioned tourist bus (where each person gets their own seat) is only $1 more- aaaggghhh!!!! I paid about $8 for the 9hr bus ride.
Trip Report: The bus ride was kind of a test of  my mental endurance & limits of my sanity. The bus left at about 8am & arrived at Mandalay around 5pm. There were several stops along the way. I made friends with some locals seated next to me. One of them was a girl traveling with her little brother. They let me tag along with them & invited me to join them for the lunch break. Everybody in Myanmar is really nice. She got off the bus sooner than I did. My next seatmate is a local guy who knew some English. We were chatting a little bit. He invited me to go visit Kyaiktiyo Pagoda with him. I politely declined. Not too interested in a golden rock balancing off a cliff.

The German couple had massive backpacks that they stuck on the floor under their seats. The backpacks were too huge that it extended all the way to underneath our seats. To say that we did not have any leg room is an understatement. Burmese folks are super nice that they just did not step on the packs. For about 4-5 hrs they had no leg room. They put their feet up to the back of the seat so they won't have to get the packs dirty! We had no leg room! I just stepped on their packs in the first 15mins because there is no way I can't put my feet down on a 9hr bus ride! I am still amazed at how nice those Burmese folks are. Fortunately the roads are not super bad & no motion sickness problems.


If you think the inside of the bus is full, you should have seen the top of the bus too!

During one of the bus stop breaks. It was a circus. There was a guy walking around with half of his head scarred from a burn injury. He was screaming out every few minutes. It was totally freaky.

The bus is full, go away

Gas stations around Myanmar

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