Travel Tools – the Night Bus

Saving on a night’s accommodation can be an important tool for a budget backpacker. Combine this with traversing hundreds of kilometers across a country and you have the joys of travelling on a night bus. In Myanmar this was by far the easiest and cheapest way to get around. I travelled on night buses between:

  1. Yangon to Inle Lake
  2. Inle Lake to Bagan
  3. Bagan to Yangon
  4. Yangon to Mawlamyine
  5. Yangon to Mandalay

 

Pros

Cheap and you save on a night’s accommodation

You don’t have to see the dangerous driving that during the day would have you gripping your seat for dear life

Good way to meet some locals

 

Cons

It’s often pretty cramped

12 hours in a bus is no one’s idea of a fun time

Very loud Buddhist chanting being played on the tv or over the radio

Terrible Burmese soapies being played on the tv

Terrible Burmese songs (or rip-offs of Western Songs) being played on the tv 

The gastro roulette that is eating at all night restaurants

Getting to your accommodation at 4 in the morning and having to way until 10 to check in meaning that you have to sleep on the lobby floor

The ‘shuttle service’ from central Yangon to the main bus terminal which took around an hour on the back of a ute sucking in peak hour fumes

 

It can be a great experience though – glimpses of traditional villages through a moonlit night, pagodas lit up like a Las Vegas casino flashing past, watching villages waking up as the sun slowly rises over paddy fields and banana plantations and that ultimate joy of reaching your destination in one piece!

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Categories: An Aussie abroad, Food, Myanmar, Travel Tools | Tags: , , , , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Travel Tools – the Night Bus

  1. Baz

    I lasted 8 seconds into the you tube video

    It seems that your cons list is more comprehensive then your pro’s!

  2. Angela Kruger

    We traveled through some of southern Vietnam and Malaysia on night (and day) buses – what an experience! A good one though. Like you said, you get the ‘local experience’ which only makes traveling more interesting and worthwhile. Hope this little note finds you well and happy – sounds like you’re both. Enjoying reading your blog!

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