I like train and most of the guide are saying that taking the circular train around Yangon is a good way to discover the city and its inhabitants, so I thought ok let’s do this !
The circular was build by the British and makes a...circle around Yangon or actually was making a circle, they are improving the lane so some stations are closed and currently you cannot do a full circle. The trains are old Japanese train, with a lot of Japanese’s signs that weren’t remove, there is no A/C, it’s quite slow (or very slow), the line is around 50km long and it took me 4 hours (the cashier told me 2 hours) for 200 kyats (13 cents?) to make the whole trip, was it worth it ? Yes ! Was it too long ? Yes as well ! 2 hours would have been perfect for me but maybe because of the construction it was really slow.
Now let’s speak about the journey !
I started from the central station of Yangon which is very close to Sule Pagoda and the Sakura Tower.
The price is pretty fair with only 200 kyats (13 cents more or less), you will have to buy your ticket directly on the platform (for me it was platform number 7 but it could change I guess). The train is pretty small with 4 cars, some are old “upper class” and some regular class, there is no A/C anyway but I would advise you to go to the upper class because you can see easily the outside from the seats while it won’t be as easy in the other coaches (windows in your back). If the upper class coach are full don’t worry after a few stops you will find a spot easily.
The train is pretty hard to get into, no steps and quite high so if you need it ask for some helps, once inside the journey will quickly begin so what can you expect to see ? People, commuters, merchants of food, drink, strawberries, cigarettes (there is a no smoking sign but I am thinking that it was a Japanese sign as I have seen quite a lot of people smoking including some policeman), but what is the most surprising is the life outside the trains and on the tracks. People walking from a place to a other, workers, but mostly open market settle on the tracks.
All the pictures of this day around Yangon, if you have a bit of time it’s definitely worth it !