The distance from Mandalay to Bago is 563 km. By train the journey takes 14 hours to 15 hours, which means the train travels at an average speed of under 40 kilometres per hour. By road the journey would take around 7 hours if you travelled non-stop. To travel from Mandalay to Bago by bus, however, you need to either change buses in Myanmar’s capital city of Naypyitaw, or take a bus to Yangon and travel from there to Bago. Either way, in practice travelling by bus from Mandalay to Bago is unlikely to be much quicker than travelling direct by train, and of course a lot less comfortable than booking a sleeper berth on an overnight train.
Train Times Mandalay to Bago
There are 3 direct train services a day from Mandalay to Bago.
|05:00||20:30||12||15 hrs 00 m|
|15:00||05:00||6||14 hrs 00 m|
|16:30||07:30||4||15 hrs 00 m|
- Upper Class Seat: $ 15
- Sleeper: $ 17
Buy Train Tickets to Bago
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- Train Tickets: Available for collection in Mandalay the day before you travel.
Location of Mandalay Station
Location of Bago Station
Bago is one of the ‘Big 5’ of tourism in Myanmar. The other four most popular places to visit are Bagan, Mandalay, Yangon and Inle Lake. One of the things that makes Bago such a popular place to visit is its accessibility: by road Bago is less than 100 km from Myanmar’s largest city and major international airport of Yangon. The other reason for Bago’s popularity as a tourist destination is its temples and palaces which are impressive in both scale and design.
The earliest surviving buildings in Bago date back to the 12th Century to the time when Bago when a very small town. Since that time Bago has become an increasingly important town, and the fantastic architecture is testament to this. Its importance peaked in 1369 AD when it became the capital of the Mon Kingdom, which was one of the kingdoms which later became incorporated into what we now know as Myanmar. Given its long history there are lots of historical sites and temples to visit. The top five are:
- The Shwethalyaung Buddha: Possibly more than a 1,000 years old (the exact date has not been precisely established) this statute of a reclining Buddha is 55 metres long and 16 metres high. It is has been extensively restored and had additional artwork added to since being ‘rediscovered’ during British colonial rule in the 1880s. The story is that the statue has been found in the jungle.
- Shwemawdaw Pagoda: Commonly referred to as the Golden God Temple, Shwemawdaw Pagoda is 114 metres high making it the tallest temple in Myanmar.
- Kanbawzathadi Palace: Reconstruction of a royal palace which burnt down in 1599. This may not be the original building but it a splendid reproduction based on the original design and an architectural wonder its own right, built with large teak wood pillars and set within some fantastic scenery.
- Kalyani Ordination Hall: The original building, dating back to 1476 AD, collapsed in 1930 during an earthquake. This reconstruction features some some very important archaeological artefacts salvaged from the original building, most important of which are 10 sandstone pillars featuring inscriptions telling the early history of Theravada Buddhism.
- Mahazedi Pagoda: Also destroyed in the Great Earthquake of 1930, this is another reconstruction. The original building was constructed in 1560 to house Buddha relics. The relics are no longer there but the reconstructed Pagoda is impressive.