The easiest and quickest way to travel from Bagan to Kalaw is by bus. You can travel by train but it will take you a long time to reach Thazi which is the junction for train services to Kalaw, and the train from Kalaw to Thazi is also very slow. By bus from Bagan to Kalaw it takes 6 to 7 hours with no need to change bus or train on route.
Bus Times to Kalaw
There are four direct bus services a day from Bagan to Kalaw which you can book online.
|08:30||14:30||JJ Express||6 hr 00 m|
|19:00||02:00||Bagan Min Tha||7 hr 00 m|
|20:30||03:30||Bagan Min Tha||7 hr 00 m|
|22:00||04:00||JJ Express||6 hr 00 m|
- JJ Express bus ticket: $ 17.60 all bus services.
- Bagan Min Tha bus ticket: $ 16.50 for the 19:00 departure and $20.90 for the 20:30 departure, which is a VIP service with less seats which means the seats recline further.
Buy Tickets to Kalaw
Use the Search Box below to buy your bus tickets from Bagan to Kalaw.
- Check-in 30 minutes before departure.
- One bag per person allowance for luggage stored in the hold.
Bagan Bus Station
All bus services from Bagan to Kalaw depart from Bagan Shwe Pyi Highway Bus Terminal.
Kalaw Bus Stop
All bus services from Bagan terminate outside the Winner Hotel in Kalaw.
Located at 1,320 metres above sea level, Kalaw was once popular with Burma’s British Colonial rulers and is now the trekking centre of Myanmar. Kalaw is a small town with around 60,000 people living in the town centre and another 130,000 people living in the surrounding area. Kalaw has a mix of different ethnic groups living there, with a sizeable group of inhabitants with ancestors who came from Nepal and India to work on the railways during the time of British rule. There are Indian and Nepali restaurants in Kalaw as well as places serving the cuisine of Shan state and range of ‘international dishes’. Kalaw also has hotels and guesthouses catering for foreign visitors, as well as ‘beer stations’ around the market area, making Kalaw one of the more appealing places in Myanmar for backpackers.
From Kalaw there are a number of shorter and longer treks you can do. The shorter treks can easily be completed independently. Thein Taung Monastery on the hill overlooking makes for a pleasant short walk particularly at sunrise and sunset. Hnee Pagoda, with its 500 year old bamboo Buddha, and Shwe Oo Min Pagoda are also a short walk away from the town centre. Of the longer treks, the most popular is the walk to Inle Lake some 50 km away. The walk to Inle Lake take 2 days, with one night spent on route. You can do this walk independently if you are motivated and prepared to organise your own accommodation. Most people choose to pay one of the trekking companies based in Kalaw to organise the trek with a guide, food, an overnight stay in a village on route and their bags delivered to them on arrival at Inle Lake. Another longer trek which is also popular is to the town of Pindaya, which is famous for its caves. If you plan to do this trek independently then the best strategy is to leave most of your stuff in Kalaw and take a minibus to Pindaya with the aim of walking back to Kalaw, which will take you 2 to 3 days.