Yangon Circular Train – a comprehensive guide with tips & tricks

Probably the best way to explore Yangon on a budget is to take the Yangon circular train around the city. Trust me, this is not your ordinary travel experience. Taking the circular train in Yangon will get you through local neighborhoods, small towns and local markets. 

This experience is great if you want to experience first-hand the local culture. There’s no better way to find out more about the everyday life of people in Myanmar than to sit for 3 and half hours, in a train, with a bunch of locals. It was one of the highlights of my backpacking trip to Myanmar.

Before getting deeper into the Yangon circular railway experience, I’ll tell you only one thing: expect the unexpected!

To read more about the most beautiful temples in Yangon, click here.

Riding the Yangon Circular Train

1. Yangon Circular Train history

The Yangon circle line train was built by the British during the colonial times and it was opened in 1954. The train operates on a 45.9 kilometers long loop and it stops at 39 stations. This means that the Yangon circular train stops almost every kilometer, making it very convenient for local people to get around the city.

This circular railway was built to connect the metropolitan area in Yangon and is used daily by tens of thousands of people. Although plans have been made to modernize the trains, they are still almost as old as the line itself.

More awesome things to do in Yangon:

Some of the trains were imported from Hungary in 1960s while the newer ones, imported from Japan , were introduced in 2007. However, even the Japanese ones were already old when they were brought to Myanmar.

If you’re looking for luxury or comfort, this is definitely not the place where you’ll find them.

A good way to learn more about the Circular Train’s history is to book a ride with a local guide. You’ll have the chance to interact with a local and find out more about the Burmese culture.

2. Yangon Circular Train – what to expect

For me, this was an eye-opening experience. I thought that after traveling for so many months around Southeast Asia, I’ve seen it all. I couldn’t be more wrong but let’s start with the beginning of the story.

2.1 The train station

My journey started at platform 7 at the Yangon Central Railway station (this is where I recommend to take the Yangon circular train), Myanmar’s largest train station, built by the British in 1877. There are no timetables with the train’s schedule or platform anywhere around the station. At least, not in English. I had to ask around to find out which is the platform where the circular train arrives.

Yangon Circular Train central station
Yangon Central Railway station

A local man told me that for the Yangon circular loop I have to buy the tickets directly from the platform. This was a bit unusual for me since almost everywhere around the world the tickets are sold in the train station’s main lobby.

When I arrived at the platform indicated, I saw the ticket booth and bought the tickets. After waiting for about 45 minutes, a local man told me that the train will actually arrive at platform 5 so I followed all the local people and jumped over the train tracks to get to platform 5.

-> Read more about Myanmar here

Yangon Circular Train central station
Yangon circular train platform

Safety doesn’t seem to be a priority here but this was just the begging of my train journey around Yangon.

I saw kids playing barefoot on the platform while using stones instead of chalk to draw on the pavement. I saw kids trying to sell water to tourists to make an extra penny. I saw families with bags of groceries heading towards their homes but most importantly, I saw teenagers with English books in their hands. For the young generation of Myanmar, learning English is a priority.

-> Read more about Myanmar here

Yangon Circular Train people in station
Kids playing in the train station

2.2 The cirular train journey

After waiting for a few more minutes, I saw the train in the distance. It looked so old that it was a wander it was still functional.

Once I got on the train, I couldn’t help but notice the old fans hanging from the ceiling (don’t expect aircon in the Yangon circular train) and the long, uncomfortable plastic benches along the wagon. In just a few minutes we started our 3 and a half hours ride, leaving behind the concrete buildings and making our way through the rice fields and small villages.

For more awesome things to do in Yangon, click here.

Yangon Circular Train arriving at the central station
The circular train arriving in the station
Yangon Circular Train local people on the side of the railway
Photo taken from the Yangon circular train

While on the outside the scenery was changing, on the inside something far more exciting was happening. People selling all kinds of fruits, vegetables and food started coming through with their big baskets.

One after the other, each of them tried to gain as many customers as possible. The circular train in Yangon turned into an open market where people happily did their groceries.

More awesome things to do in Yangon:

Yangon Circular Train market - people selling vegetables
A Burmese man selling corn
Yangon Circular Train local people
A Burmese woman selling food

After another half an hour, everybody seemed to forget about all the chaos caused by the sellers and turned back to their previous activities. A man was taking his afternoon nap on the bench, a woman was breastfeeding her child and a teenager was reading an English book.

Tip: Make sure to use the toilet before getting on the train. The Yangon circular train toilet is not something you want to experience.

2.3 The Yangon circular train market

At about the half of the ride the train stopped and there was a lot of noise coming from outside. When I looked through the window I was surprised to see tens of people selling fruits and vegetables on the train tracks. People from the train got off, went to the Yangon circle train market, did the groceries and came back with their bags full.

-> Read more about Myanmar here

Yangon Circular Train market - people selling vegetables
Yangon circular train market

2.4 What it meant for me

It was incredible to have the opportunity to be so close to the daily life of Burmese people. For 3 and a half hours I had the chance to be one of them, to really experience what it’s like to live in Yangon’s suburbs.

Seeing Yangon by circular train was an experience that I will value all my life because it has thought me an important lesson: poverty and kindness go hand in hand in Myanmar. The Burmese people are the kindest, most welcoming people I’ve met in my journey around Southeast Asia. They’ve made my stay in Myanmar unforgettable.

Yangon Circular Train wagon seller
People sitting in the Yangon circular train

Also, I’ve learnt another important lesson: my definition of struggle can be somebody else’s definition of a decent life. This realization made me humble and grateful for this amazing experience.

To see which are some of the most beautiful places in Myanmar, click here.

3. About Yangon City Circular Train

3.1 Where to get on and off the circular train in Yangon

I recommend starting and ending your journey at the Yangon Central Railway station. This is the biggest station along the circular train route. Here, because there are many employees and they are used to tourists, you can get all the information you need (train schedule, stations).

Choosing other stations to start your journey automatically means that the chance to find people who speak English is lower.

-> Read more about Myanmar here

Yangon circular train stations

However, if you’re feeling adventurous and want to visit some tourist attractions around the city, the Yangon Circular Train best stations to get off and explore are the following:

  • Myittar Nyunt Railway Station –  to visit Chauk Htat Kyi Pagoda and Ngar Htat Gyi Pagoda
  • Yaegu Railway Station – to visit Kabar Aye Pagoda
  • Tadalay Station – to visit Tooth Relic Pagoda

3.2 Schedule/ Timetable

The train functions on two rails going both directions (clockwise and counter clockwise). If you want to take advantage of the rush hour when the train is very busy, you should take the train either early in the morning or in the afternoon. During the day, the train is moderately busy.

Below is the Yangon circular train schedule for both directions (you can choose any of them). Please keep in mind that this timetable is not always accurate and the circular train can be late.

  • 6.10 AM (RIGHT/LEFT)
  • 8.20 AM (RIGHT)
  • 8.35 AM (LEFT)
  • 9.30 AM (RIGHT)
  • 10.10 AM (RIGHT)
  • 10.45 AM (LEFT)
  • 11.30 AM (RIGHT)
  • 11.50 AM (RIGHT)
  • 12.25 PM (LEFT)
  • 1.05 PM (RIGHT)
  • 1.40 PM (LEFT)
  • 2.25PM (RIGHT)
  • 3.30PM (RIGHT)
  • 4.40PM (LEFT)
  • 5.10PM (RIGHT)

3.3 Stations and map

To check out the Yangon circular train route, please see the map below. The circular railway is the one colored in red.

Yangon Circular Train route map
Yangon circular train map

3.4 Tickets – price

To buy tickets for the Yangon circular train you will have to go directly to the platform where the train arrives (usually platform 7 but it can change so you’ll have to ask). The price for one ticket is 200 Kiats ($0.13).

I’ve heard stories that sometimes the employees selling the tickets will ask for more money if they see that you are a tourist. Keep in mind that the real Yangon circular train price is 200 Kiats and don’t agree to pay more.

After paying, you will receive a paper ticket – don’t throw it away.

Yangon Circular Train tickets
Yangon circular train ticket

4. Where to stay in Yangon

If you’re looking for the best accommodation in Yangon for your budget, here are a few recommendations:

  • Budget – Backpacker Hostel –  excellent location, clean, good breakfast included
  • Mid Budget – Hotel G Yangon – modern, excellent location, spacious room, beautiful decor
  • Luxury – Pan Pacific Yangon – beautiful infinity pool, excellent views, excellent location, friendly staff

5. Final thoughts

Riding the circular railway in Yangon was one of the highlights of my trip to Myanmar. The people are extremely friendly and it has been an honor to be part of their lives for a few hours. If I’m going back, I’ll definitely explore Yangon by circular train again!

May the travel bug bite you!

More about Myanmar:

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Yangon Circular Train guide

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Aurelia Teslaru

Aurelia Teslaru is a professional travel blogger and the writer behind Daily Travel Pill. With a 4-year experience as a travel writer and photographer, Aurelia only shares travel guides about destinations that she visited.

She has been to more than 40 countries during the past 10 years and aims to explore 50 countries before turning 30 years old. Aurelia is a digital nomad who transformed her passion for travel into a lifestyle. Read more about her here.

To follow her adventures, check out her Instagram and Facebook pages!


  1. Edwin
    April 4, 2019 / 7:27 pm

    Hey! Excellent post about the circular train! I only have one question. Is the 200kiats ticket good for the entire day or every time you get off and on the train, you have to buy a new ticket? Thanks!

    • dailytravelpill
      April 5, 2019 / 2:54 am

      Hey! As far as I know you will have to buy a ticket each time you get in the train! The ticket is really cheap and I wouldn’t risk it. You can also ask as the Yangon Central Station! The people are really nice and helpful! Enjoy your ride!

    • Myo Thet Khine
      April 8, 2019 / 11:26 am

      You need to purchase only one time to enjoy one loop of circle train. No need to buy ticket again within the time limit even you’re alighting from train. Usually the ticket is valid for about six hours and it was stamped on it at the time when you purchase. All you have to do is to keep and bring along with you during your ride on the train. Hope this will clarify your concern. 🙂

      • dailytravelpill
        April 8, 2019 / 12:03 pm

        Thanks so much for the update!

    • Peter Chan
      December 13, 2019 / 5:49 am

      Valid for the date stated on the purchased ticket. Time was also stated, but pledge ignorant and you may get away with it.

  2. Carolina
    May 24, 2019 / 10:38 am

    Which was the last station that you visited and returned to station 7 in yangon??

    • dailytravelpill
      May 28, 2019 / 6:10 am

      I started at the Yangon Central Railway Station and ended my tour in the same place. I didn’t get off the train but you can if you want 🙂

  3. Alison Holt
    September 24, 2019 / 3:18 pm

    Hi, if I get off the train and get back on again, does the front of the train say circle line? How will I know if I’m getting back on the right train or is this the only train that goes on this particular line?
    Thank you 😊

    • dailytravelpill
      September 25, 2019 / 8:10 am

      Hi. There are trains going both directions – clockwise and counterclockwise. To make sure that you’re going in the same direction when hopping on the train again, just remember the direction it was going. Enjoy!

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