Here are some brief tips for travelling to Myanmar…
- Get an e-visa online to speed up immigration if your passport allows for it.
- Do not exchange currency at Yangon Airport (perhaps except for US$ – this seems to be fine). You’re looking at a loss of 20-30%+. Ask a taxi driver to stop at the Thai Embassy, and there is a place right behind it called Northern Breeze that does a good rate. I hear that some in the city centre of Yangon also do a good deal.
- Always ask for a confirmation of price before getting in a taxi – none of them have working meters. Look out for those labeled with “City Taxi” on the driver’s door, and that they also have a red licence plate to ensure you use an official taxi. Average price for a short taxi journey is 2500 kyats (US$2.50).
- Book any overnight bus tickets in advance. I lucked out as there was ONE ticket left to Bagan the day I arrived at the airport. Also, the bus station area is humongous, with many different bus companies sprawled over a great area. Buying a ticket there would just be a huge inconvenience.
- Bus tickets from Yangon – Bagan would cost around US$21 for a “first class bus”, and then perhaps getting cheaper from there. Driving is chaotic, so be prepared.
- You can apparently book tickets online or at the airport.
- Leaving for the bus station / airport from the city centre any time of the day could take forever. Give yourself at least an hour and a half minimum before check in time.
- Taxi fare from the city centre in Yangon to the bus station is roughly 10,000 kyat (US$10).