In pictures: Burma’s many modes of transport

EVER wondered just how people get around in a nation that has had such little exposure to the outside world? Well transport in Burma (Myanmar) is probably not that much different than you might have thought, or even seen elsewhere.

With buses, trains, boats, motorbikes, bicycles, taxis, horse and cart, buffalo carts and trishaws there’s plenty of variety, whether you’re riding or just hanging on. In the cities transport is fast and furious but it slows to a sedate and enjoyable crawl once you head to the countryside.

Once you are meandering along a river or putting along in a train, the old adage comes true – the journey is the destination. And this kind of travel is also ideal for learning about varied Burmese cultures, trying local foods, getting to know people and seeing the country.


Calling for passengers, a local bus in Yangon – buses sometimes barely stop and are often packed to the rafters.

Hanging on. A monk catches a ride on a local bus, Mandalay.


A balancing act, bicycles are a common means of transport around Burma (Myanmar).

A cyclist crosses the U Bein bridge at sunset, Mandalay.


Much of public transport in Burma (Myanmar) is of the ped-powered variety. Affordable and eco-friendly it's popular for getting kids home from kindergarten.


All the kids out for a ride with mum. Motorbikes are not supposed to be used in Yangon city because of traffic congestion.

Combining transport: motorbikes on a ferry, Mandalay.


Slow boat travels on the Ayerwaddy.


Fishing and foot paddling, Inle Lake.

The picturesque realms of Inle Lake are best serviced by water.

Bullock carts

Bullock carts by the Bagan temples.

Farmers heading home in the sunset, Bhamo.


Taking a track through the paddy fields, Hsipaw.


A train leaves Yangon train station.

Meal time aboard a train to Mandalay.


Taxis and buses queue at a busy intersection in Yangon.

Horse and cart

Colourful cart near Mandalay.

All photos here are by Joanne Lane,