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“Travel with the locals”

Yangon Circular Train
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Yangon by Circular Train: Life Along the Loop
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Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Reviewed 16 November 2013

We decided to do this trip when rain was threatening so stayed dry through a very heavy Yangon storm that flooded many of the city roads and the rail tracks. Only problem was we had to close the windows to keep the heavy rain out.
The journey was great fun, right from seeing the old Yangon central station, buying the hand-written tickets, watching railway workers, vendors and passengers, all the way to farewelling the last group of new best friends we had collected on the train. English speaking passengers were keen to point out the sights from the train and chat about life in Yangon.
Workers at the station were very helpful in directing us to the correct platform and ticket office. Follow the advice of previous posters for times and how to buy tickets.
Fantastic value for $US1.00 each. And great to sit down, relax and chat to locals for an hour in a busy sightseeing program.

3  Thank HDStripad
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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1,096 - 1,100 of 1,592 reviews

Reviewed 4 November 2013

Very cheap way to spend an afternoon. Take wart, it's hot on there but good breeze if you get a window seat.

Thank Kate C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2013

This is an experience to enjoy if you have a spare hour. Foreigners are now allowed to travel on this train and they enter the better carriage. Don't expect soft seats however, or windows [and the fan will work sometimes!] However, it takes a path through the places where ordinary folk live and work and is a social education worth the time. Exit the station at the end of the trip by walking across the track to the opposite platform!

1  Thank david_ng18
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 November 2013

This train will give you a good overview of Rangoon from the get go. Like all trains in Burma it is basic, some may say charming and it is because you don't have to spend too long on it. Unlike the train to Mandalay which I recommend for the adventure. On this circular route you will seethe good the bad and the ugly.

1  Thank kevinhayden
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 30 October 2013

I found this train ride to be a valuable reality check. That aspect alone makes the 3hr bouncing train ride a worthy endeavour. Yes, after one hour I felt I had seen enough to satisfy my curiosity, but that was just the point I think; this is a novelty for readers here but a reality for those that live and work along the rail route.

What to expect? A slow, rollicking train ride that departs Yangon central station and will return about three hours later. the train cars are functional but not necessarily photo-op friendly. the open windows are quite small. the cars are dark and it's just bench seating facing the inside of the car which means straining the neck to look outside. Additionally, expect lots of company too with everyone jammed in the car. Eventually, we camped out in the open doorway and that provided a better venue for photos.

It will become evident that life around the tracks is hard living. The nicely manicured drive from the Yangon Airport to the downtown zone is just that. Without venturing too far from the city itself, the train will expose travelers to a different side of life in "the burbs" if you will. The experience is worth is, the train is pretty gritty and very basic. There is an allure, but not a romance in it to me.

As best I could tell, head to platform 7 and proceed to a mid-platform ticketing office. There were some gentleman in the office that had very basic english skills. They displayed a circular route map with train timings. My suggestion to head to the station in advance to check out the schedule. Payment results in a handwritten ticket that was never once inspected on the train. The train itself didn't stop at platform 7. But around the time of departure just stop in the office to clarify the platform using whatever communication method works.

The train had some random vendors passing through. There are no bathrooms and there is not time to alight the train at any of the stops. The train stops for seconds it seems before continuing onwards. Plan accordingly for sustenance and drink.

With time to kill, I'd recommend taking this adventure. It was satisfying to so easily jump this train and be able to take in the scenery without any concern for time or looming deadlines. The beauty of the Circular Train lies in that sensation that time doesn't matter and one is just there to be a spectator to an important daily ritual for many people.

4  Thank RegionalRoadie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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