Mingalabar Inle Lake – 10 Hours Minivan Ride to Nyaungshwe

Based on our travel itinerary, after a night in Bagan, it’s time for us to move to Nyaungshwe or also known as Yawnghwe. Nyaungshwe are the main access point to this beautiful and iconic destination of Myanmar, Inle Lake where it is now grown into a bustling traveller centre with a high numbers of guesthouse, hotels, restaurants and many others. After a few discussion, we decided to take the earliest bus to Nyaungshwe at 7.00am via minivan where we could experience the daytime journey and the hillview with an average price of USD15. Another trip will be at 7.00pm via express bus. 

Morning breakfast at Bagan Nova Guesthouse. It’s gonna be another long journey today! Oh ya, we really had a pleasant stay here!


Bid farewell to the super friendly and helpful staff here. It was so cold that morning.

Sharp at 7.00am, our minivan arrived. We were the first passengers on board. Hence, we got to choose the best seats in the van compared to others. Lucky us. But first, we didn’t expect that it’s gonna be that long! From New Bagan, we then moved to Old Bagan till the minivan are full with passengers. There are 11 numbers of passengers in total. All of our backpacks and luggage are securely tight up at the roof. Hope everything is still there when we arrive at our destination. 😀


Pity the American couple sitting right next to the driver. They were struggling fitting themselves in the front portion of the minivan.

Our first pit stop is definitely the petrol station. Our driver couldn’t speak fluent English. Once he jumped off from the van, the first thing that he did was to show us the toilet. We then understand that he basically reminded us to go to the toilet as it will be a long way till we reach the next pit stop. While waiting for the petrol to fill up the tank, a local guy came to us and started to speak Malay as he spotted me with hijab. We was extremely excited and asked him a lots of questions since the driver couldn’t give us definite answer. He told us that he used to work in Malaysia and that petrol station is belong to his Uncle. We were made to understand that we are going to reach Nyaungshwe most probably around 5.00 pm and the next pit stop is about 2 – 3 hours drive as that will be the nearest town. We share and convey and the messages to the rest of the passengers too.


Our driver (in light blue jacket) was explaining to our translator, the guy who can speak Malay.


We then stopped at one of the local restaurant for lunch break. We shared a table with this 2 lovely doctors from German who are currently travelling in ASEAN countries for 3 months before continuing their postgraduate studies. We brought along and shared a cup of instant noodles. It came to our surprised when the girls popped the question whether it is easy to get any ‘Halal’ food here in Myanmar. Therefore, we came to a conclusion that both of this girls knew about ‘Halal’ food and stuff. Impressive!


Passengers backpacks and luggage at the so-called ‘overhead compartment’.

Right after the toll road, we got to see the beautiful hill view of Shan State. The road leading to Kalaw and Nyaungshwe was way too small and winding! And dangerous too! Way dangerous as they are driving as if they were Vin Diesel in the Fast & Furious movie. Phew! Half of the entourage stop over at Kalaw as they are going to continue with their hiking journey here. We were told that Kalaw is an ideal place for walking and trekking where it is possible to discover less visited minority hill tribes villages. Our first impression on Kalaw – the town was covered and set amongst magnificent pine forest. Temperature are started to decrease. It’s getting colder here.

The beautiful hill view of Shan State.


Sharp at 5.00pm, we then reached the main entrance of Nyaungshwe town. All visitors are required to pay for the Inle Zone Entrance Fee for USD10 per entry. Unfortunately, we didn’t capture this earlier during our research.


The van driver sent us straight to the hotel that we’ve booked earlier – Inle Apex Hotel. It’s a very basic hotel and the hotel are strategically located a few meters away (5 minutes walking) from the jetty. Another warm welcome from the hotel staff and crew. Hospitality are at it’s best!




Our room.



Just to kill the time before it’s get dark, we asked from the receptionist whether we could rent the bicycle for just half an hour. They couldn’t make any decision as rental was charge by hour. Hence, they talked to their supervisor and the supervisor told us that we could use the bicycle for FREE! It’s a complimentary by the hotel. At the mean time, it’s getting colder outside. Temperature dropped to an average of below 20’c. We knew that we gonna shivering that night as we’re not prepared for that cold weather. Bertabah je lar.




Nyaungshwe Jetty


FF’s spent his night by talking to the hotel staff and crew at the lobby while I stucked watching a night movie. We later wrapped the day by hibernating at the hotel room as it was soo cold that night.

We will continue our journey on Inle Lake Discovery – Seagulls In Flight and Intha Fisherman of Inle Lake.

Simply us,
Zara AB & FF
ZaraAB Travel #zaraabtravel
Husband & Wife All Around the Globe

6 thoughts on “Mingalabar Inle Lake – 10 Hours Minivan Ride to Nyaungshwe

  1. 10 hours dalam minivan. Adoiiii. I yang baca pun rasa letih. Naik kereta 5 jam KL – Penang pun dah rasa nak marah semua orang. Haha. Tapi tu la, travel ni memang menguji keimanan dan kesabaran gitu. Bagan Nova tu nampak cute la.


  2. Dzuliza – Yeap! 10 hours in the minivan. Letih kan? But it was really an experience for us as at the first place, we never thought that the whole journey will took us for 10 hours. Ingatkan 5 – 6 hours jek.


  3. 10 jam trip, boleh kematu jadinya. Hehe. Tapi rasanya jalan siang hari pun ok sebab dapat tengok pemandangan. Kalau malam mesti membuta je.


  4. Pak Mie – Yeap betul tue Pak Mie. Seronok jugak kalau daytime, Kalau malam mmg tido la. Tapi ada pros and cons jugak. Kalau siang hari dpt nikmati pemandangan tapi rugi masa sebab banyak masa dalam van.


  5. apis says:

    Hi, I’m so inspired (read: envious) when I read your travelogue. Allah, untungnya! Hopefully both of you dont mind if I steal your ideas and itinerary. Working hard to save up money for my own trips. Saya doakan perjalanan korang selamat dan sentiasa dilindungiNya. Happy travelling! 😀


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