Do you know that there are many cheap ways for tourists to travel to Bagan without worrying about overspending? This blog will cover all you need to know about planning a memorable budget trip to Bagan.
The trip will be an overnight trip with for two days. And this kind of budget trip is the most common among Myanmar students and locals who do not want to overspend anything. So don’t be worried about overspending during your trip.
This blog will cover;
- How to travel cheap to Bagan
- Where to stay cheap in Bagan
- Where to eat on a tight budget
- Dos and donts when you are in Bagan
How to travel cheap to Bagan
There are two options; train and bus. The train is cheaper but will take 17-19 hours from Yangon to Bagan while the bus will only take 9-10 hours. I will start with option A.
Traveling by train (cheaper option)
As a budget trip to Bagan, we chose the train to Bagan from Yangon since it is very cheap and fun. But if you don’t want to take a 17 hours train.
You can find Myanma Railways Booking Office on Google map and it will be located in front of Sakura Tower which is near Sule. We buy the ticket three days in advance since the season is the peak tourist season. The ticket office hour is from 7 am to 3 pm.
Be careful with the departure time. The train usually leaves in the evening or at night and the next day you arrive Bagan.
You should go for the sleeper ticket if you want to spend the night more comfortably. But the sleeper seat comes in 4 beds in one compartment and so you need to share with the other three people if you travel alone and dont want to buy four tickets for yourself.
But, for our budget trip, we bought the high class ticket which only costs around 10000 Kyats. Make sure you bring enough food and water. The train is not as bumpy as expected and we could spend the night with the high class ticket.
Traveling by bus (the faster option)
If you choose the bus, take the night bus in time, so you can arrive Bagan not too early in the morning. Most hotels will let you check in after 6 am. So you can save your budget by not paying for an extra night. Ask the bus service provider if they arrange ferry to the hotel or not.
The next day, you will arrive at Bagan station. From this station, you can take a taxi or 3-wheel-car to the hotel in Nyaung U. The drive took us 15 minutes to reach our motel in Nyaung U. The 3-wheel-car will cost 5,000 Kyats for the whole seats. So, the traveling part is done.
Where to find budget accommodation in Bagan
Choosing a cheap and clean accommodation is tricky for a budget trip to Bagan. But there are some cheap but clean motels in Bagan but most of them are quite far from the temples. Unless you are willing to ride an e-bike in the morning, we recommend you to find some cheaper hotels near the temple zone.
When choosing hotels, Nyaung U has the cheapest ones, New Bagan has fairly mid-price accommodation and Old Bagan has the most expensive hotels. Booking in advance is recommended.
For us, we stayed at Eden Motel in Nyaung U. Room with 3 bed cost 25,000 Kyats. For us, we rent a room with two bed which cost us 21,000 Kyats. They put an extra bed for us at no extra cost. The room is clean and air-conditioned with a bathtub. Note that the price may go up to double depending on the peak traveling season.
How to do sightseeing in Bagan?
So we arrived at the motel in the early morning at around 4. After a short break. We rented 3 battery bikes arranged by the motel. It costs around 8,000 Kyats for an e-bike for the whole day. When the battery is low, we can call their phone number and they provide a replacement.
The morning was still cold and dark but the feeling of riding the bike in the early morning in Bagan is memorable with all the smell and sound of nature in the surrounding. Google map is useful but we recommend that you download the Bagan map for offline access. Because the data is not accessible in some temples.
Start from the famous temples and pagodas. For the sunrise and sunset spots, check out this article about Bagan sunrise and sunset.
Where to eat without overspending during Bagan trip
There are a lot of local food shops pretty much everywhere in Bagan. In the morning, you can eat traditional foods like Mohinga, coconut noodles or garlic noodle which all costs less than a dollar. If you want to spend less on food, New Bagan has good restaurants at a cheap price.
In the evening, we buy some local snacks and spend the rest of the evening enjoying the sunset view of the river at Bu Pagoda.
If you have more tips and hacks about traveling cheaply in Bagan, drop your comment below.