Riding the Yangon Circular Train
The Yangon Circular train was built in 1954 and is a rail network for the local commuters. It serves the Yangon Metropolitan area and is operated by Myanmar Railways.The railway is 45.9km long and has 39 stations, it runs 20 times a day and takes around 3 hours to complete the whole circle.The Circular train is mostly used by lower income commuters and apart from the buses, it is the cheapest method of transport. Around 100,000 to 150,000 tickets are sold every day and unbelievably it only cost us 200 Kyats a ticket, that’s only 14 pence!
HOW TO GET TO THE CIRCULAR TRAIN
The best way to get on the Circular Train is by going to the Yangon Central Railway station, just off of Pansodan Street. We entered through the main entrance and had no idea where to go, but everyone was more than helpful and gave us directions. There is also a tourist office there where you can go in and get some information and the platform number. We were told to go to Platform 7, but as we were walking a young girl said she would show us where to go, and took us straight to the desk, for nothing in return. We heard you can get tickets from a travel agent but they are just as easy to get in person, and as I mentioned earlier at 14 pence a ticket you can’t go wrong!
We walked from our hotel to the Central Railway Station as it was only a short walk but taxis in Myanmar are available and are an affordable way to travel there.
OUR EXPERIENCE OF THE YANGON CIRCULAR TRAIN
We ended up doing the full three hour journey although you are able to get off and explore at any stop you wish too. What we really loved about this trip was that we were really able to get an experience of what the local life in Myanmar is really like. Even though you may see some tourists here, this is not actually a tourist attraction, but if you really want to see the local way of life in Myanmar, this is the way to do it.
We saw so many things on the circle line and some of the views were breathtaking. On the train ride there was also people playing music and dancing and people selling food to commuters. Sometimes, in other places we have been to, we would get seen as tourists and would have everyone coming up to us trying to sell things, but not here. The people were purely selling food to the local commuters. It was also a great way to speak to some more people in Myanmar (so many people speak English and want to practice it) and this just confirmed to us again how kind and caring the people in Myanmar are.
As you can imagine, as enjoyable as this experience is, there is no air-conditioning or comfortable seats, but it’s well worth the numb bums! But as I mentioned before you are free to get on and off as you wish if you need to stretch your legs and explore. We do advise that you take a bottle of water on though, we bought ours from some people selling food and drink on the platform before we boarded the train.
Overall, riding the Circular Train was the most incredible experiences and I wish I could do it all over again. It really was the one of the best ways to experience local life, mix with the locals and really immerse yourself in the culture of this beautiful country. We highly recommend that you do not miss out on this amazing opportunity!
Take Care, Rebecca.
If you’ve got any questions, want to add anything, or just want to say hi, use the comment box below.
Want more? Check out our video we made whilst riding the Circular Train in Yangon –
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