Photo: Myawaddy street scenes.

How to get to and from Myawaddy

Use the quicklinks below to jump to the desired section regarding transport in and around Myawaddy.


Neither Myawaddy nor the state capital Hpa-an have airports but Mae Sot, lying just a short distance over the border in Thailand, lies just a short distance over the bridge and from here it's a 45-minute flight to Bangkok.

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Since there’s only one road out of town, there’s only one direction you can travel in from Myawaddy, at least until Highway 58 forks west to Mawlamyine, when you have a choice of two destinations.

Tourist services in Bangkok and Chiang Mai both organise through journeys to Yangon, passing through Myawaddy and Hpa-an, but we couldn’t find anywhere to purchase such tickets in either direction from Myawaddy itself. A variety of transport options however leave from the main road in the town centre heading either to Hpa-an, Mawlamyine or Yangon and points north. We even saw a 13:00 departure for Mandalay advertised for amateurs of very, very long bus rides. You’ll have the choice of pick-up, (songthaew) buses local-style to Kawkareik or Hpa-an, minibuses or shared taxis to Mawlamyine or Hpa-an, and air-con coaches including sleepers to Yangon.

All vehicles leave from outside their respective offices on Bayintnaung Road near to the bridge. Guesthouse and hotel receptions will happily provide you with tickets for a small commission.

Public minibus services and shared taxis will both generally pick up (and drop off at the other end) at the hotel of your choice, which is convenient though both can be comfortable or not depending upon how many passengers they’re trying to fit it. On both occasions we tried shared taxis we had front sets to ourselves and no complaints at all. Drivers may or may not break up the journey with a stop at a roadside cafe near Kawkareik and so times vary between 2.5 and 3.5 hours for Hpa-an. Cost is around 10,000 kyat. Ditto Mawlamyine, though add on 30 minutes of driving time.

Yangon prices vary considerably between air-con buses, VIP ones, minibuses and shared taxis, but range from 8,000 kyat for a regular air-con up to 22,000 kyat for the front seat in a shared taxi, and 25,000 kyat for a VIP night sleeper. Buses leave regularly throughout the day and taxis and minibuses depart whenever they find customers. In our experience, anyone with a car driving to Hpa-an or further automatically becomes a default taxi and will take along one or more passengers to help cover petrol costs. It’s certainly not as bad as the eight people in a Toyota Camry you'll get in Cambodia.

Furthermore minibus drivers seem more respectful of foreign passengers – who remain something of a novelty – and will generally make sure you’re reasonably comfortable. And they don't yet seem to hurtle around mountain bends in the same nail-biting fashion as say Chiang Mai to Pai minibus drivers.

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Myawaddy? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Burma_myanmar.

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