Getting to Bagan from Mandalay or Yangon can be done by plane, train, bus or river boat. Several trains a day travel between Yangon and Mandalay, with both government and private operators. Most trains are overnight, as is the bus service. Note that tickets for either a bus or train must be booked the day before, and your passport is required to make a booking.
If you have plenty of time, the river is an interesting option for travel from Bagan to Mandalay (or vice-versa). Both 'slow' and 'fast' boats are available, although the fast option still takes nine hours.
Airlines Serving Bagan
Bagan has a small, old airport. It is, however, not without some charm. The tarmac is separated from the terminal by a formal garden, so walking between the terminal and your plane involves a stroll through the park. Most of the local airlines service Bagan, although schedules seem to change frequently. The airlines you're most likely to use are listed below.
- Air Mandalay
- Air Mandalay several times daily between Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan. They also operate a seasonal service between Chiang Mai, Thailand and Mandalay.
- Air Bagan
- Air Bagan also flies between Yangon, Mandalay and Bagan. They have some larger planes, including jets, in addition to the ATR planes used by the other local airlines.
Taxis are not readily available at the airport, so it's best to arrange transport to and from there through your hotel.
Archaeological Zone Entrance Fees
An entrance fee of US$10 must be paid by each person visiting Bagan. The fee may be paid on arrival at the airport.