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A guide to getting around Yangon

by globalvoicemag.com

Yangon, the largest city in Myanmar, is a bustling metropolis filled with rich culture, history, and charm. As a visitor to this vibrant city, getting around can seem daunting at first, but with a little know-how and preparation, navigating Yangon’s streets becomes a breeze. In this guide, we will cover the various transportation options available in Yangon to help you explore all that this city has to offer.


One of the best ways to explore Yangon is on foot. Walking allows you to truly immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and smells of the city. Many of Yangon’s top attractions, such as the Shwedagon Pagoda, Sule Pagoda, and Bogyoke Aung San Market, are easily accessible by foot. The streets of Yangon can be chaotic and congested at times, so be sure to stay alert and watch out for traffic.


Taxis are a convenient and affordable way to get around Yangon. While taxis are plentiful in the city, it’s important to note that not all taxis have meters. Be sure to negotiate the fare with the driver before starting your journey. It’s also helpful to have your destination written in Burmese to show the driver. Taxis are a great option for longer distances or for when you’re in a rush.


Grab, Southeast Asia’s answer to Uber, is another popular transportation option in Yangon. Grab offers ride-hailing services, making it easy to book a car or motorcycle taxi using the Grab app on your smartphone. The fares are usually cheaper than traditional taxis, and the app provides upfront pricing, so you know how much your ride will cost before booking. Grab is a convenient option for getting around Yangon, especially during peak hours when traffic is heavy.


Yangon’s bus system is extensive, with routes covering most parts of the city. Buses are a budget-friendly option for getting around Yangon, with fares starting at just 200 kyats (less than $0.15). However, the buses can be crowded, hot, and slow, so be prepared for a less comfortable journey compared to other transportation options. There are also no set bus stops in Yangon, so you’ll need to flag down the bus and inform the conductor where you want to get off.

Circular Train:

The Yangon Circular Railway is a great way to experience the daily life of the locals while enjoying a leisurely ride around the city. The circular train loops around Yangon, passing through neighborhoods, markets, and countryside, providing a glimpse into the daily lives of the people of Yangon. The train is a cheap and scenic way to explore the city, with a ticket costing just 200 kyats for a full loop.


Motorcycle taxis, known as “motorsai,” are a fast and affordable way to get around Yangon. While motorcycle taxis are not as common in Yangon as in other Southeast Asian cities, you can still find them in popular tourist areas. Be sure to negotiate the fare before getting on the motorcycle, and don’t forget to wear a helmet for safety.


For the more adventurous traveler, cycling is a great way to explore Yangon at your own pace. You can rent a bike from various shops around the city and pedal your way through the busy streets and quiet neighborhoods of Yangon. Cycling allows you to discover hidden gems off the beaten path and experience the city in a unique way. Just be prepared for Yangon’s traffic and congested roads, especially during rush hours.


Yangon’s waterfront location means that boats are a popular mode of transportation for crossing the Yangon River. Ferries run between Yangon and Dala, a small township on the opposite bank of the river, providing a scenic and relaxing journey across the water. You can also take a boat ride to visit attractions like the Twante Canal or explore the waterfront area of Yangon.

Renting a Car:

If you prefer the flexibility and independence of having your own vehicle, you can rent a car in Yangon. There are several car rental agencies in the city that offer a range of vehicles to suit your needs. Having a car allows you to explore Yangon and its surrounding areas at your own pace, without having to rely on public transportation or taxis. Just be aware that traffic in Yangon can be chaotic, and parking can be limited in popular areas.

In conclusion, getting around Yangon may seem overwhelming at first, but with the variety of transportation options available, navigating the city is easier than you think. Whether you prefer walking, taking a taxi, riding a bus, or exploring by bike, there’s a mode of transportation that will suit your needs and budget. So, grab your map, download a transportation app, and get ready to explore all that Yangon has to offer. Happy travels!

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