Getting there & away
Yangon has two main bus stations. The Highway Bus Centre (Aung Mingalar Bus Terminal) serves the most destinations, while the Hlaing Thar Yar Bus Terminal (Hwy No 5, Yangon-Pathein Rd) serves the Delta.
The Highway Bus Centre is a confusing array of competing bus companies in a dusty lot, just southwest of Yangon Airport.
The Hlaing Thar Yar Bus Terminal is a good 45 minutes west of the centre on the other side of the Hlaing River.
Guesthouses can assist with purchasing tickets, which will certainly save time, if not money. Bigger companies with bus-ticket offices opposite the Central Train Station include Kyaw Express (242473), Sun Moon Express (642903) and Transnational Express (249671).
Several buses to Pathein (K3000, three to four hours), Chaungtha Beach (K5000 to K6000, six to seven hours) and Ngwesaung Beach (K5000 to K6000, five hours) leave from the Hlaing Thar Yar Terminal from early morning until about 1pm. The comfiest ones leave early.
The 716km-long trip from Yangon to Mandalay is the only train trip most visitors consider, but the government profits handsomely from the overpriced tickets, so we don’t recommend it. The express trains are much more comfortable than the average Burmese train. Reserve sleepers (ie anything that contains sleeping berths, including some day trains) several days in advance. There is currently no conventional night sleeper to Mandalay, just a 12.45pm departure that arrives at the absurd hour of 3am. Book advance tickets at the Yangon train station (274027; 6am-4pm).
There are four main passenger jetties on the Yangon River waterfront, which wraps itself around southern Yangon. Long-distance ferries head up the delta towards Pathein or travel north along the Ayeyarwady River to Pyay, Bagan and Mandalay.
When purchasing a ticket for a particular ferry from the government-run IWT (284055) at the back of Lanthit St jetty, be sure to check from which jetty the boat departs.