Guide to: How to Travel from Bagan to Inle Lake?

Inle Lake is one of the most recommended tourism destination in Myanmar. This place is full activities and places to see, especially the boat trip, and the Nga Hpe Kyaung. However, again, how can we travel to Inle Lake? If that’s the case then no worry, here we are, Guide to: How to Travel from Bagan to Inle Lake?

Normally there are three transportation options in Myanmar: airplane, train, and bus. In some cases visitors can have other choices, for example boat trip between Bagan and Mandalay. Sadly things can be different depends on our current and next destination. Like in this case, we only have: airplane and bus.

Travel on Air

As usual, domestic flight is usually the most pleasant way to go around in Myanmar, provided that we have more than enough cash. The air-trip starts from Bagan Nyaung U Airport to Heho Airport, which is 46 kilometers to the Northwest of Inle Lake. The flight cost currently is from 70 to 120 $USD.

bagan to inle lake

After your arrival at Heho Airport, you will need to take a taxi or bus to get to Nyaung Shwe, main town in Inle Lake area. If you choose taxi, it will take about 45 minutes from Heho Airport to the town. And here’s the catch: taxi will cost you around 25.000 Kyats, or roughly 20 $USD. Interestingly, you can go with other tourists to reduce the bill. This ‘method’ is especially good when you’re traveling alone or with just 1 or 2 more friends.

bagan to inle lake 2

The other choice which is bus, it generally takes more time and cost much cheaper compared to taxi. The bus ride can be rough and uncomfortable, still it depends on different services.

That’s our ‘pleasant’ choice, so how about our more common choice: bus?

Travel on Bus

For those who already came, or searched about Myanmar travel, bus might be ‘terrific’ experience, or a potential ‘nightmare’. That’s sound horrible indeed, but let’s take a look at this option in a… objective way.

Since this is a common mean of transportation for both locals and travelers, you can find tons of bus services. There are much to choose from, and you can also ask your hotel staffs for information and support.

bagan to inle lake 3

The price for bus trip from Bagan to Inle lake is significantly cheaper than airplane (of course!). It’s about 12 $USD, or 15.000 Kyats at the moment. In most bus services, bus ride will start from approximately 3:00 AM, which can be big problem for some tourists. It commonly takes 12 hours from Bagan to Inle Lake. A long journey, and here’s some issues that tourists often afraid of:

  • Bus quality: Now bus quality depends on different service providers, but about 4 – 5 years ago most buses seem to be in low condition. Which includes: dusty, cramming, open-windows.
  • Too many passengers: A bus can be extremely annoying as they will try to have as many passengers as they can. The number of passengers can be as twich as the amount of total seats in the bus.
  • Vomiting: Now this might be the scariest thing. Not all people are immune to car/bus sickness. With too many people on the bus, as soon as one person vomits, others can soon to follow.

bagan to inle lake 4

‘So that mean all the trips can be like this?’… Luckily, in reality it’s not that bad all the time. As mentioned, there are many bus services so it will not be tough if we’re lucky.

In addition, it is told that there are a ‘third’ option which is private taxi. At first glance, the private taxi service looks promising. But again, it is a private service. And as a private service, the quality depends a lot on providers. Some said that the price for private taxi can be absurb (more than 120 $USD, which is equal to an air-trip). Still, private taxi is a viable option.

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