Oh the infamous journey from Yangon to Bagan by sleeper train. From honest reviews to train bookings and ticket prices, we’re here to tell you all about the sleeper train from Yangon to Bagan in Myanmar. Traveling is all about experiences and this train ride is one to say the least.
All aboard to Bagan, Myanmar!
The Yangon to Bagan Sleeper Train
Yangon To Bagan Train Ticket Booking
First things first, where to buy your train tickets for the Yangon to Bagan sleeper train. Well, you have two options. Regardless which option you go with, it’s best to buy tickets 1-3 days in advance of your desired departure date.
Option 1 – Buy Tickets In Person
Don’t ask us why, but tickets for the Yangon to Bagan train are NOT sold at Yangon’s Central Train Station. Instead, they are sold at the “Myanma Railways Booking Office” – and no, that was not a typo, “Myanma” is the actual name.
Once at the Booking Office, wait in the queue and approach the window once it’s your turn. Let the teller know which ticket option you would like and what day you want to book your sleeper / night train for.
IMPORTANT: You must have your passport with you and bookings must be made in Kyat (Myanmar currency) – Debit and credit cards are not accepted
If you’re a little worried about going to right location to buy tickets for the sleeper train, check the map below. The Myanma Railways Booking Office (purple pin) is located a few blocks away from Bogyoke Aung San market.
Option 2 – Buy Tickets Online
While there is no official site to book online through, you are able to book with a tour agency like 12go Asia. To reserve your Yangon to Bagan train ticket, book below.
Sleeper Train Ticket Prices
Now, before you book your sleeper train tickets from Yangon to Bagan, understand you have several ticket options to choose from.
- Upper Class Sleeper Car – $16 USD per person
- Upper Class Seat – $10 USD per person
- Second Class Seat – $8 USD per person
- Third Class Seat – $5 USD per person
- Children: Children 3 years old and under travel for free where children under 10 pay half fare.
NOTE: Prices may fluctuate and you may pay more as a “foreigner” but you can expect to pay, on average, around the prices listed above.
First class sleeper car is the option we went with. We know what you may be thinking “oh sleeper car, sounds lovely”, right? Ha, well in comparison to the other options, yes. But don’t you worry, we’ll get to that a bit more a little further down in the post.
When To Buy The Bagan Sleeper Train Tickets?
Like we said above, do your best to buy your Yangon to Bagan train tickets a few days ahead of your desired departure date. We tried to buy tickets the day before our desired departure date and no luck – sold out.
With the tickets being so out, we had to leave 4 days later than originally planned or intended. We took every advantage of those extra days and did a few day trip to Hpa An – so no loss for us.
However, if you are on a strict timeline and itinerary, we advise buying your tickets as soon as you can to avoid any potential delays.
Yangon to Bagan Sleeper Train Timetable
Looking for a train schedule? It’s a short one. There is one train that departs daily at 4:00pm from Yangon to Bagan. This is the sleeper train / night train.
There are no trains that travel during the day from Yangon to Bagan. If you would like to travel during the day, may we suggest traveling from Yangon to Bagan by bus.
How Long is The Train Ride from Yangon to Bagan
Around 17 hours – yes, you read that correctly, 17 hours. For us, that 17 hours ride turned into a 20 hours ride. We left Yangon at 4:30 pm and arrived at Bagan’s train station around 1:00 pm the next day.
From what we understand, this is typical. The train always ends up running behind and takes longer than expected.
That bring’s us to our next point. The train from Yangon to Bagan is not a direct line. There are numerous stops along the way for locals to get on and off and for goods to be loaded and unloaded off the train.
While these stop add to your train ride, the stops are not long, which is nice.
Where Does The Sleeper Train Depart From in Yangon?
Now, to not add to any confusion or stress on the day you leave, understand where you buy your train ticket is NOT where you depart from.
You bought your tickets from Myanma Railways Booking Office and you’ll depart from Yangon’s Central Train Station located on Kun Chan Road.
What To Pack For The Sleeper Train to Bagan?
The biggest thing to pack is FOOD. You’re on the train for 17+ hours, so you’ll be getting hungry. Snacks are a must if you’re going to survive the sleeper train from Yangon to Bagan.
You can pick up snacks from a local market or a convenient store in Yangon. Some snack options that we picked up was a loaf of bread and some jam.
Once on the train, there really isn’t much of an opportunity to get off the train, even though there are stops. However, there are vendors that come to the window and sell some food items, so don’t panic if you forget some food or find yourself hungry.
As for the rest of the items, you’ll have your luggage / backpacks with you so you should be set but a few essentials to pack are….
- Toilet Paper (there is none on the train)
- Sleep sheet (the beds are super dusty)
- Deck of cards (to help pass the time)
- Motion sickness medicine
- Sleeping mask
- Ear plugs
- Headphones + downloaded content
What’s First Class Like On The Sleeper Train to Bagan?
Being completely honest in order to set your expectation…This first class sleeper car is far from what Western societies define as first class.
The train from Yangon to Bagan is old, and well worn to say the least, but it’s full of adventure and character. The sleeper cars themselves are dusty and we question if they’ve ever been cleaned outside of the occasional walkthrough to pick up trash.
There big metal bodies that shake and rattle the entire 17-hour way to Bagan…and trust us when we say, you hear ever rattle and feel every shake.
So now that’ve we’ve set the stage a bit, let’s talk about the layout of the sleeper cars themselves….
Sleeper Car Layout
First understand that the first class sleeper car is a separate car from the rest of the train cars – meaning, once you’re in your car, you cannot get up and walk around to other cars.
We enjoy sitting and talking with locals and other travelers so this was a bit of a bummer for us. We digress, continuing on..
The sleeper car is shared amongst 4 people – 2 people to each side. Each side of the car is the same layout, two cushioned benches with a table in the middle and a raised bunk bed above.
The table folds against the train wall and the cushion seats fold out to make the second bed.
Each sleeper car comes equipped with a bathroom, and by bathroom, it is a rusty toilet with a hole in the ground where you could see the tracks run by as you squat to relieve yourself.
There is two windows to each side of the car – a total of 4 all together. The windows have a metal/tin pull down so you can block air from coming in. There are no screens on the windows so it’s either windows open or closed, no in between.
In addition, there is no A/C in the train but you do have a rotating fan on the ceiling. Luckily, we took this trip in February when the nights were cool so AC was not needed – we just opened the windows to get a cool breeze.
About The Sleeper Train Ride From Yangon To Bagan
Okay, now that you understand how the sleep cars are set up and laid out, let us talk about the ride.
For us, we 100% knew what we were getting ourselves into. We were prepared for what some bloggers referred to as “an agonizing” journey. But dammit, we wanted to experience it!
From what we’ve read, the train ride seemed to be far from pleasant but nothing short of an adventure. We decided that if our travel hero Anthony Bourdain took the sleeper train from Yangon to Bagan, hell, we are doing it too!
About the Ride
The train itself sits on the British rail lines that were originally laid in the late 1800’s and have yet to be updated. The train jerks and jumps the whole way 17 hour way to Bagan and there are times that you think, “this is it, we’re going off the tracks!”
There were several times that we were lifted out of our seats from the jerks but you just laughed and took another laaaarrrggge swig of Myanmar beer you bought from the local vendors that visited your train window during stops.
Sleeping, in all honesty, was the worst part. It’s nearly impossible to sleep when your body is being thrashed around all night, but you manage to get some shut eye in.
Our advice is whoever is the “lighter” sleeper sleep on the bottom bed and not the top. The top bunk you feel everything way more and get tossed around more than the folks sleeping on the bottom.
In all honestly, it wasn’t nearly as bad as we thought it would be. We made this ride to be so awful in our heads that when we were chugging along, we really ended up enjoying it.
Now, let us clarify “enjoyment.” By no means are we going to jump on this train route again anytime soon, but we are totally glad we took the train from Yangon to Bagan versus a bus.
You pass by villages and get a peek into the countryside and lesser seen areas of Myanmar. The sunset and sunrise are beautiful. You sit back and watch the world go by as you play a game of cards with your sleeper car roommates. It really is a ride you’ll never forget.
Yangon to Bagan Train or Bus?
So after reading this you may be asking yourself if taking the sleeper train from Yangon to Bagan is worth it? Our answer to this is “it depends.” It 100% depends on the type of traveler you are and your threshold for new experiences and being a little uncomfortable.
For us, the sleeper train from Yangon to Bagan was 100% worth it. Yes, the ride is long. Yes, the ride is jerky. And yes, the ride can be tiresome but we wouldn’t have traded those 20 hours for anything.
If you have the time, we highly suggest you travel from Yangon to Bagan by train. It’ll be a trip … er… experience you wont soon forget!
If you’re thinking “meh”, I want something more comfortable and something shorter, then look into booking a bus from Yangon and make a bus ride your transportation method on how you get to Bagan.
- For The Budget Conscious: Chan Myae is a family run guesthouse that has private and shared bedrooms. The family is kind, welcoming and will do anything to make your stay enjoyable.
- For The Luxury Inclined: Classique Inn is a beautiful wooden colonial style inn situated in peaceful neighborhood. From its first class vibe to its first class service, Classique Inn is a great choice for your Yangon accommodation.
- For Something In Between: A short distance from Shwedagon Pagoda, you’ll find Shwe War Guest House. The rooms are big and comfortable and the staff welcome you with warm smiles.
For more places to stay in Yangon, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
- For The Budget Conscious: Located in Old Bagan, Ostello Bello offers both private and dormitory rooms and free pasta. Yes, free pasta! The location is amazing, the beds are comfy and the vibe is perfect.
- For The Luxury Inclined: Luxury in Old Bagan can be found at Bagan Thande Hotel. From their refreshing pool to beautiful grounds, Bagan Thande Hotel is a perfect oasis in Bagan.
- For Something In Between: Look Myanmar is warm. welcoming and oh so friendly bed and breakfast. The location is great, well taken care of and walking distance to other shops and restaurants.
For more places to stay in Bagan, Myanmar, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)