Burma – Circle Train Yangon

The 3 hours train ride around Yangon is a fun way to see the outskirts of the city…

The train system in Myanmar has the reputation of being slow and inefficient. I avoided the trains during my travel. However I could not resist the three hours train ride with the circle line around Yangon. The main station in Yangon is not spectacular. Three trains leave the stations every afternoon for northern Myanmar, esp. to Bagan and Mandalay. For the circle line they use locomotives imported from Alstom in 1984, recently equipped with newer chinese diesel engines. The conductor was happy.
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The train leaves several times per day on the circle tour, the fare is 1 USD. Platforms always are rather deserted.
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Leaving central station in Yangon the train moves to the next station, just a few blocks away. The mood of the people is as relaxed as the train is slow.
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Outside you still have a mixture of city buildings and small shacks. It would be exaggerated to call the stops “stations”.
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Even though I had the feeling that Yangon is a big city, I was surprised to see the landscape- and the people at the stops- changing after 40 minutes. They were actually farming out here and several huts had stables with pigs attached.
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In the train there was still a lot of space and people were sleeping or staring out of the windows.
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Reaching Danyingon, the turning point on the circle line, everything changed drastically. Suddenly busy women were lifting their bags with vegetables etc. into the train to secure a seat. Within two minutes the whole wagon I was sitting in was packed.
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And of course several women entered to offer their services…

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So the mood in the train had shifted completely. All the women were going to markets downtown. The ticket inspector had a hard time to pass through. Women were charged extra for their bags.cirle line-23cirle line-26
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I hardly could move and had to be patient until the first women were leaving the train to go the various markets in Yangon. Time to have some lunch…Looking out you could see the city coming closer again.
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Reaching Yangon Central Station time for the “balance sheet”. I returned to the main hall. People would wait here several hours more before the train departs to Mandalay.Exif_JPEG_PICTUREcirle line-1-3

If you have the time I highly recommend to take this entertaining train ride…

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