so with just days in Myanmar, we opted to rent this three-rowed tourist van for our trip to Bagan and we owe that to Melo's impressive negotiation skills. this meant comfort and flexible stop-over intervals. the train trip would have been more of an adventure something that we still want to do some time but not over a limited time.
Melo took the front seat, Gay, little Luna and Monette on the first row, Marky and Ron on the second row while Rob, Jerome and i took the back seat. since the second row only has two seats, i had my spot like a that of a business class. extended leg-room that is.
majority of the trip was along the expressway, road was good like. almost endless views of rice fields, flat dry plains and few hilly views like one would see when traveling from Pampanga to Tarlac via SCTEX. first half of the trip we spent time joking around while taking photos of a reddish sunset caused by the dust.
first stopwe only had two stops on this 11-hour road trip, first stop was in search for a quick snack stop over at a seemingly isolated gas station with just a mini store selling fruits and the usual sari-sari store one would see in the Philippines.
this was a typical old style gas station, where the way to check the level of gasoline on its underground tank is through a long wood inserted on a hole. while a motorcycle can be gassed up using a large container and a funnel.
still full from our lunch, we had our second stopover to take light meal but ended up ordering for salad. this little town in Taungoo is rustic and in contrast to Yangon, here motorcycles are allowed. i saw several motorized industrial carts which looked like the kuligligs in the Philippines. from here, we had slept almost the last remaining hours to Bagan.
arriving at central bagan
we thought that this trip would bring us to Bagan early morning, but our driver said that we will most likely be there by around two in the morning. so we had to find a sleepover accommodation. something good enough for a sleepover. our guide recommended Bagan Central Hotel.
arrived at New Bagan around 2:00am. we were expecting a typical backpacker's block structure with small rooms and small hallways but to our surprise, the place was cozy. just the right reward after that long trip from Yangon. we ended up spending some time drinking coffee and chatting around this space infront of our rooms. no better reward for a very long day.
yangon to bagan options:
plane: daily flights are available from Yangon to Bagan (Nyaung U) via Mandalay Air (1hr 20mins) or one can also fly from Yangon to Mandalay (1hr 30mins) then bus trip to Bagan (2hours).
bus: there are several available bus liner that serves this route.
van: you can find van options at the airport through travel agencies. you can negotiate from there. make sure to check the van capacity and assure air-condition is good. (8-9hrs)
train: has daily scheduled trips (16h-18rs)
Myanmar related posts:
First Day in Yangon
Travel Guide to Myanmar
Why am i going to Myanmar?