The downtown area of Yangon has many attractions visitors can walk to, but certain places like the Shwedagon Pagoda and Inya Lake are some distance away from the city center, and require travelers to get there by renting a private car or taking a taxi.
This brief guide indicates the best ways of getting around Yangon so guests can make the most of their time in the city and travel in as comfortable a manner as possible.
Private Cars with Private Guide
Renting a car-with-driver is certainly the most convenient and flexible way for guests to explore Yangon. All cars are imported, well maintained, and air-conditioned, and their drivers are dependable and courteous.
Yangon is warm nearly all year round. The annual average temperature is about 83ºF (28ºC) and temperatures can reach highs of around 99ºF (37ºC).
Such warm weather conditions, coupled with the fact that Yangon is a polluted and congested metropolis, make it a near-necessity for guests to travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned car.
The driver will be provided with your itinerary beforehand. He will know which attractions you need to be shown around and will take the best possible routes to get you there, so you won’t have to worry about figuring out a thing!
The Guide will be enthusiastic about sharing their culture and way of life with you, and will be keen to make sure you have a great time during your stay in Yangon. They will make sure the car is always clean and cool before you get in, and will have bottles of water and tissues ready in case you need them. Whatever you require, they"re there to help you with it.
The guide speaks English and is well informed, and friendly. You can spend as much — or as little — time as you want at any given attraction, and you have the opportunity to explore the city at your own pace.
It is important to bear in mind that the quality of infrastructure in Myanmar is low, comparing poorly with that of other countries.
This all makes traveling by private car, with reliable drivers who know the area well, the most desirable option. All you have to do is sit back, relax, and let your guide take care of everything for you!
You can get a clearer picture of the weather in Myanmar and better plan your trip by reading the following in-depth article.
To learn more about private guided tours, including itineraries and costs, please click here.
Taxi service is available in Yangon, just like in most big cities in Myanmar. Taxis are not necessarily cheap, however, and most are not air-conditioned. Since Yangon is hot almost all year round, traveling in a car without air-conditioning is far from ideal.
While taxis are certainly easy to find, one ought to understand that traffic in Yangon is really bad (particularly in the evening around rush hour) and most taxi drivers charge extra (sometimes as much as 30%) after sunset. Moreover, not all Yangon taxi drivers speak English.
If it"s convenience you"re after, do avoid traveling by taxi.
If you do, however, choose to travel by taxi, we recommend you negotiate a price with your driver beforehand since most taxis in Yangon are not equipped with meters. This will save you the stress of figuring out an agreeable price with your driver upon completion of your journey.
Using buses to get around in Yangon is another possibility, but we don"t recommend it. Making sense of the system is a real challenge for travelers.
Buses are sometimes old, dilapidated, and packed to the brim with people. There are no signs in English, but instead bus routes are numbered in Burmese script. You probably don"t want to be traveling by bus!
Trishaws (cycle rickshaws) are another possible way to cover short distances in the downtown area, but the vehicles are really uncomfortable.
Trishaw drivers refuse to make longer journeys due to the heavy traffic in Yangon throughout the day.
Travelers keen on riding in trishaws should be warned that trishaw drivers have a reputation of ripping foreigners off and rarely, if ever, do they charge less than taxis.
The Yangon Circular Railway is a 28.5-mile (45.9-kilometer) loop system that connects Yangon"s satellite towns and suburban areas to the city. The entire network stretches over 39 stations and sells about 100,000 to 150,000 tickets daily.
Hopping aboard the circular train is highly recommended as it offers guests an authentic experience of the city and its suburbs.
Guests can arrange for a 1-hour circular train experience that allows them to mingle with locals and gain unique insight into daily life in Yangon.
Visit Myanmar with Asia Highlights
We provide tailor-made tours to Myanmar. Tours typically start or end in Yangon or Mandalay and last approximately 9 days; visiting Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake.
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