How to get from Bagan to Inle Lake
Bagan and Inle Lake are top attractions in Myanmar. Nowadays, traveling between these destinations is much easier than it was in the past. There are more options for travelers from Bagan to Inle Lake. The quality of transportation has been improved so much and more frequently as the number of visitors to these cities has been growing much in recent years. A boat or train is not available for this route. Travelers can consider between travel by air and by road.
1. Bagan to Inle Lake By air
– Flying time: 40 minutes
– Airlines: Air KBZ, Myanmar National Airlines, Golden Myanmar Airlines, Mann Yadanarpon Airlines & Air Thanlwin (formerly Yangon Airways)
– Price range: 80 – 100 USD per ticket
– Departure time: 07.45, 08.35, 09.05, 09.20, 16.35 (schedule can be changed without notice)
Departure airport: Nyaung U Airport (NYU)
Nyaung U airport is one of three main overnight stay areas in Bagan. It will take 10 – 30 minutes to get to the airport depending on where you stay.
Arrival airport: Heho airport (HEH)
From Heho airport, you need to get to Nyaung Shwe town, a gateway to Inle Lake. The drive can take 45 minutes – 1 hour. A taxi is available outside the airport. However, you should book a transfer in advance to avoid being overcharged. Besides, if you travel in a big group, it is more economic and convenient to book a private van/bus
If we add transferring time from/to airports, the total time you need to spend for a flight is around 3 hours. It makes flight the quickest way to travel from Bagan to Inle Lake.
One thing which may surprise you is that seats will be free. You can choose any seat which is not occupied on the airplane. All the flights in Myanmar are based on the two biggest airports as Yangon or Mandalay. When the flights arrive at Bagan airport, few people will get off while others get on. It is not easy for the staff at Bagan airport to control, so they let seats free.
2. By bus
– Traveling time: 7.5 – 8 hours
– Bus company: JJ Express, Bagan Min Thar
– Price range: 10 – 20 USD per ticket
– Departure time: 08.00, 08.30, 20.30, 22.00
Departure station: all buses depart from Bagan Shwe Pyi Bus Station, located very close to the airport. Both companies offer free pickup services from your hotel in Bagan, so you can save on the taxi cost of going to the bus station.
Arrival station: Nyaung Shwe High Way Bus Station. It is located at Yone Gyi Road, in the middle of the commercial area and close to all the hotels and night markets.
How to buy tickets: you can book online directly through the bus company’s website or ask your local agent to book it for you. You should do it at least 2-3 days in advance to get VIP buses. Otherwise, you may need to travel in minibusses or shuttle vans where you’ll be crammed in with no space. To get pick–up service, a hotel address will be required.
When traveling by bus, make sure that you have warm clothes as the air-conditioned is usually cold. Although you will be provided snacks and water on the bus, you had better buy some more in Bagan. The buses have a break on the way but I am not sure you can find what you want.
Read more: Things to do in Inle Lake
3. By private car/van
– Traveling time: 7 hours
– Price range: 140 – 190 USD
– Departure time: flexible
If you are afraid of flying but do not want to share space with strangers on a long journey, a private car/van is an ideal option. With a distance of 340 kilometers, it will take around 7 hours to get to Inle Lake from Bagan. This option is also great if you are traveling in a group or with a lot of luggage. In addition, you can combine a transfer with a few stops for sightseeing on the way such as Mt. Popa or Kalaw.
For transfer inquiries, please contact the Myanmar Travel team. Our experienced consultants will get back to you with the best advice and arrangements.
Notes: All foreigners need to pay 15000 Kyats (12 USD) for the entrance fee. It will be collected at checkpoints before you enter Nyaung Shwe town. Please prepare cash for it. A credit card is not accepted.