We just arrived in Yangon at 8 am, spent the day exploring the center and caught the 9pm bus to Mandalay. I can recommend JJ Express (Joyful Journeys), but unfortunately they have no website. What you have to do is contact them on their FB site below and they will reserve seats for you. We reserved them about one week in advance and when we arrived at the bus station our names were already on the list. It is worth spending the extra money to take the most comfortable bus. We paid $19 each for the trip to Mandalay, and for that price we got reclining seats, a tv screen in the back of the seats,a blanket, bottle of water and a snack box. The temperature of the bus was not too cold and i did not use my blanket much. The driver was good and did not speed at all. I believe that there was only one stop for a toilet/meal break on the trip which took 8 hours. It was flat all the way and i was glad i took the night bus and got some shut eye. It might have been a little boring on the day bus. Mandalay is only 70m above sea-level so that gives you an idea how flat the 600 km trip was.
I met some people who had horrible experiences on the buses as they bought cheap tickets and they were crowded and even had small stools in the aisle. It is possible to get a cheap ticket to Mandalay for half of what we paid but i would not advise this. Most of the buses don't have toilets so it is advisable not to drink too much before your trip
The bus station is about 20 km from the city center, and it is huge so allow an hour to get there. At the bus terminal there are plenty of restaurants, shops, stalls where you can buy snacks, drinks and fruits.
Aung Mingalar Bus Terminal is the one that mainly serves the north of the country but there are two more so check beforehand which one you need to go to.
(date took the bus - April 6, 2007)
Yangon - Mandalay
Tourist Bus- 10,000 Kyat (around US$ 8.00)
Thanks to VT member Zin for buying the ticket for me. The usual fare for foreigners is from 13,000 Kyat to 14,000 Kyat.
Taung Paw Thar Express
Departure time: 5:00 p.m.
Actual departure time: 5:20 p.m.
Arrival time: 8:30 p.m.