We had been reading about things to do while in Yangon and one activity we were keen to do was to take a ride on the circular train.
As the name suggests, it is a train that does a loop around Yangon and outlying villages and towns, beginning and ending in Yangon Central Railway Station. (Or wherever you want to get on and off!) This was just easier for us as the station was across the road from our hotel.
At 2000 kyat (pronounced Chyat) or AU$2 or £1, the 4 hour or so journey, covering around 29 miles and 38 stations along the way seemed pretty good value to us.
Myanmar trains are mostly old Japanese trains and not in very good condition. We felt every bump on the hard seat as the train made its way clickety clacking through villages and towns, crossing busy markets which were almost on the tracks themselves!
You can travel clockwise or anti-clockwise. We just got on the first train that came along. They run around every hour but be aware some trains don’t complete the loop so you need to get off and get back on the next train.
The train was packed as we climbed the high steps to board. People were sitting at our feet and in doorways (which stayed open the entire journey), with their legs dangling over the sides. It was obviously a very popular way to travel for locals and tourists alike. Most people seemed to be dressed for the occasion!
Vendors rushed on board at every station pounding the carriages loudly selling their wares from food and drinks to electronic gadgets. They would even prepare a meal at your seat before getting off when another seller would get on and the whole thing would be repeated.
We would recommend anyone to ride on the Yangon Circular Train just for the unique experience!