Photo: One of Thaton's many pagodas.

How to get to and from Thaton

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


Air

With Mawlamyine Airport being closed as of 2016, the closest airport to Thaton is Yangon, approximately six hours' away. The Thai border and Mae Sot airport, which has flights to Bangkok, is around four hours to the east.

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Train

Thaton is a stop on the southern rail route between Yangon, Bago, Mawlamyine and Dawei. Note that the branch line east towards Hpa-an is no longer functioning. The station lies approximately two kilometres down the partially sealed road to the immediate south of the market.

In a southerly direction, trains seem to be scheduled to depart at 01:30, 13:15 and 06:00 heading for Mawlamyine, Ye and Dawei while north to Kyaikto, Bago and Yangon times are in theory 10:33, 21:55 and 23:25. We’d better warn you though that all of the other three timetables we looked at, plus the ancient looking blackboard at Thaton station itself, had completely different times written down. The solitary passenger on the platform looked as lost as we did and despite two visits we failed to find any station master who could help us.

In short then we’d be tempted to say that if you want to try a Burmese train experience, Thaton is perhaps not the place to do it. If you insist, do check with your guesthouse, the station master if you can find him, other passengers, a few moto-taxi drivers and the bloke in the tea shop next door. Take an average then turn up two hours before that. Mawlamyine should be around 1,000 kyat standard and 4,000 first class, or for Yangon the rate should be 1,500/5,000 kyat.


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Bus

Plenty of small buses and pick-up truck-type transport heads to the neighbouring towns of Bilin to the north, Mawlamyine south (45 minutes) and Hpa-an (90 minutes) east. For larger buses, Thaton is more of a lunch break stop than a destination, so they are much harder to come by. Bus stations are located around the clock-tower roundabout, with departures every 30 minutes or so between the hours of 05:30 and 16:00 for either Hpa-an or Mawlamyine, with rates of around 1,000 for and 1,500 respectively. You can flag down these local buses anywhere enroute so if you’re staying at Aung Thitsar, for example, and heading to Hpa-an, then just wait outside the resort entrance -- don’t bother going into town.

Larger buses and shared taxis for Yangon tend to depart morning and evenings and cost 4,000 to 6,000 kyat, depending on the company and bus type. Ticket agents are around the clock-tower roundabout and in the car park opposite the pagoda.

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Getting around

You’ll see plenty of moto-taxis around the market, clock-tower and pick-up bus stations. A ride around town costs 500 to 1,000 kyat.

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Where to next?

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


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