2018 Update. An airport to city shuttle bus has launched. Info here.
WARNING. Yangon buses are re-routed as of 16th January 2017. That means some – but not all – of the information below is being updated.
So far I know that advice for getting in to town from the airport by bus is not changed except that the number of the bus you are looking for is No:37 (Blue) and I t does not go all the way to Sule Pagoda. You need to get off at Myinigone and switch to No:61 (Blue) to Sule Pagoda.
It’s the same numbers heading out to the airport. No:61 from Sule and then No:37 from Myinigone.
If you are not in the heart of downtown the No:37 starts from Mahabandoola Road near Pongyi Road to the west of downtown.
For Dagon Ayar bus station it’s also No:61 (Blue) from Sule Pagoda without the need to change bus. [Also there is the No:20 from Thein Byu Road some way north of the trainline].
For Aung Mingalar bus station it’s No:7 (Red) from Sule Pagoda to Za Wa Na and then change to bus No:18 (Red) to Aung Mingalar bus staion.
Original post starts here …
It is easy and cheap to get to and from the airport and the bus stations without taking a taxi. It does not take much longer than by taxi – the terrible traffic – much better than it was since the flyovers opened – is the same for everyone.
Yangon’s Mingaladon Airport is ten miles from downtown. There is no bus that goes all the way to the airport but there is still no need to take a taxi.
Bus number 61 leaves downtown from Sule Pagoda. It costs 200 or 300 Kyat. Get of at Myinigone and switch to No:37. In the early morning it takes about 45 -60 minutes, more in peak, to get to a place known as Se’ Mi’ (Burmese for ten mile) which is a short way beyond the turning for the airport.
Get off at Se’ Mi’ and cross the road to find small pick-ups going up to the airport. They cost 200 Kyat and will drop you off at either the international or domestic terminal. Or get a cab from Se’ Mi’ for 1000/1500 Kyat.
If you are heading into town from the airport do the above in reverse. You find the pick-ups to Se’ Mi’ by turning left outside whichever terminal you arrived at and walking up the street (past the new terminal under construction) and around the corner – five or six minutes max – to where you will see the pick-ups beneath a large tree. Alternatively sometimes it’s possible to wave one down and hop on as they pass the terminal.
Another option is to walk to Se Mi. It’s only 12 minutes from the new domestic terminal. A bit more from international. The road is shaded by trees most of the way.
The pick up (or a taxi if you prefer) drops you at Se’ Mi’, then take the 37 / 61 bus combination (or a perhaps a bunch of others – listen out or ask for ‘Sulay’) into town. They drop off in town just south of the pagoda, on Merchant Street or by Trader Hotel depending on which route and bus they are.
Taxi drivers at the airport will tell you there is no bus to downtown – but then they would say that wouldn’t they.
If even after reading this making your own way from the airport does not suit you ..
There are two main highway bus stations (Kar Geh in Burmese).
Aung Mingalar bus station is about twelve miles from downtown, beyond the airport. It’s the main bus station and it serves towns and cities to the north and east including Mandalay, Inle and Bagan – and some cities in the west too depending on the bus company.
The 7 and 18 buses in combination connects Aung Mingalar with downtown (see top of post).
I hear a Scanna bus will also run directly.
Buses run from 6am until at least 8 or 9pm leaving from bus stops on Sule Pagoda Road just north of the pagoda. The fare is 200 or 300 Kyat depending on which bud you get.
Heading into town from Aung Mingalar buses start even earlier in the morning but can be a bit trickier to find depending on where your main bus has dropped you off. Some buses pick up inside the bus station. Walking out to the main exit will put you on the route they use to get to the main road. Others start out from the main road itself. Again the fare is 200 or 300 Kyat.
First thing in the morning a bus in either direction will take 45 minutes to an hour. Allow a bit longer at busier times, at least 1 hr 30m at peak times.
There is also a a people carrier bus service that runs to Aung Mingalar between 5.30am and 9pm (leaving when full) from the same location close to Sule Pagoda priced at 1000 Kyat. The company is called Aung Ma Ha. Many of the cars are Myanmar beer branded, some with Aung Mingalar on the rear windscreen – in Burmese.
Dagon Ayer bus station serves towns and cities to the west and in the delta including Pathein, Ngwe Saung and Chaung Tha. It’s a similar distance away from downtown across the Yangon river.
No:61 (Blue) leaves from Sule Pagoda without the need to change bus.
Bus No:20 starts out from near Thein Byu Road somewhere tbc and runs up the western side of Yangon before crossing a big bridge. Buses heading into town park up close to the entrance / exit and leave regularly from early morning into the evening. Allow at least an hour off this trip. The fare is 200 Kyat.
If you use this advice and save yourself 7, 8 or 9 dollars a trip how about giving one of those saved dollars away? Maybe buy someone hungry some food?