Myanmar has an extensive bus network and although many roads pretty rough, this is the cheapest way to get around. The quality of buses varies—there are the "luxury" buses that run the Mandalay–Yangon route, and then there's the rest of the lot. Because so many roads are in poor condition, trips take longer than advertised; the drive from Yangon to Mandalay should be around 12 hours and the fare no more than 11,000 kyat. When possible, opt for the air-conditioned buses (pack something in which to wrap yourself) and sit in the front next to a window, where it's least bumpy.
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