Riding the Circle Line's decrepit carriages along rickety old rails is a divisive experience. It's a chance to interact with locals on their daily commute and take in well off-the-beat-track Yangon at a slow place. But it can also feel like travelling in a washing machine on spin cycle and is not advisable if you suffer from travel sickness.
It's currently not a circular route – trains either head west out of Yangon train station to Insein or go east towards Hlwaga. Departures are infrequent and clustered between 9am and 1pm and 4.45 and 6pm. Trains leave from platform 6/7 at Yangon train station, accessed off Pansodan St; tickets are bought on the platform.
If you're up for it, we recommend catching one of the morning departures towards Insein and getting off at Kyemyindaing for the Coconut & Banana Wholesale Market (these leave at 9.40am, 9.50am, 10.40am and 1.05pm) or going towards Hlwaga (departures at 6.10am, 10.50am, 11.55am and 2.20pm) and getting off at Tadakalay for Meilamu Paya.
Japan has provided Myanmar Railways with over US$200 million to buy new trains and upgrade tracks so that a circuit can be completed in less than two hours; the expected completion of this project is currently 2023.