How to Get from Yangon to Chaung Tha: The Odyssey

Our hotel at the beach had been booked well in advance.  But one small detail was still unclear. Once we landed in Myanmar we had two days to figure out how to get from Yangon to Chaung Tha.

If you have been a good reader of this blog you will remember from my previous post that it is not possible to book any domestic travel by yourself, at least not before you are in the country.

I had read on Trip Advisor that there are two options:

  • By bus from the station which is in the suburbs, and around 50 minutes taxi ride from Downtown.
  • With a private car (my favorite option)

We asked the staff at our hotel (In a hindsight I can tell that every hotel can help you arranging your trips) about the two options and we got the following quotations:

  • Departure from the bus station of Yangon at 7 am; arrival in Chaung Tha 2 pm (note that the distance is just 250 km). Departure from Chaung Tha 9 pm; arrival in Yangon 10 am (!!!). Total price for both $ 100. Any other option was sold out.
  • Private car with a driver $ 500

We then went for dinner without confirming anything. On our way we entered a hotel in China Town to exchange some money and oh-what-a-chance, they were making travel arrangements too. This time the quotation for the private car for 5 days was just $300 and we booked it right away. I am still unsure about how this happened considering the almost non existing English language skills of the girl that was assisting us. However, the truth is that the next morning our driver was actually waiting for us at our lobby and he was actually going to take us to Chaung Tha.Yay!

On a final note my suggestions for a trip from Yangon to Chaung Tha:

  • The road is super bumpy every single meter of the way. An abundant breakfast might not be the best idea.
  • If you want the best ticket price buy it without the middle man. The bus should cost around $ 8 which is very different from the $ 25 per person we were quoted
  • We passed through the bus station and it looks nothing like a station. A busy bus parking with food stalls seems a more appropriate description. If you opt for the bus allow some extra time to figure out the right vehicle. And learn how to pronounce your destination.
  • If you are not staying for many days it is better to negotiate with the driver to stay in town so that he will also be able to bring you back. They usually have a fixed rate per day.

Next on the blog: the shocking reality of a Burmese beach

Here are some pictures I took along the road.

  • This sounds like such a crazy experience. Knowing how much I worry about things, I’d probably freak out on a road like this ;))

    • Gabi

      You would totally freak out. I had taken a medicine for car sickness which drugged me and I slept almost all the way. However, I saw the groups of men at the illegal toll stations looking at us for some very very long seconds and probably thinking if they can extort more money from us. Or killing us and selling our organs, I don’t know. But for sure they weren’t thinking of offering us a tea.

      • OMG!!!! This sounds absolutely insane. You’re unbelievably brave!!