The airport was originally built in 1947 on a former World War II airfield. At one time it was regarded as one of the best airports in Southeast Asia however, over the years, it fell into disrepair and became rundown.
The new international terminal was opened in 2007, and the old terminal is used for domestic flights. The airport is located in Mingaladon Township, about 15km (9.3 mi) north of downtown Yangon. To get to town there are many waiting taxis (and touts for taxis) at the arrival terminal.
The fare to town should be about 4,000 to 6,000 Kyat. However, beware of anyone who offers to take you to your destination, and who will ‘show you the way’. Do not share a taxi with someone you don’t know.
- Flight of the Gibbon™ Zipline Tour
- Elephant Jungle Trekking & River Rafting Full-Day Tour
- Excursion to Ancient Temples
- Full-Day Excursion to Chiang Rai & Golden Triangle
- Night Safari Tour
- Mountain Bike Tour with Chiang Dao Cave Visit
- 2-Day Chiang Dao Trek
- 2-Day Mountain Biking Adventure in Chiang Dao
- Overnight Segway Ride & Ziplline Tour
- White Water Rafting Adventure
After disembarking your flight take the short walk through to the immigration area. You will immediately notice that the people waiting for you outside can see you through the enormous glass walls separating the air side from land side. This is very nice design touch and means anyone waiting for you can watch you proceed through the next steps before reaching them.
The visa-on-arrival option was suspended in Myanmar in 2010 until further notice so you should have your visa from a Myanmar embassy before you travel. Immigration officers at Yangon are reported to be very warm and friendly and the process should be quite fast due to the small number of foreign visitors.
The baggage claim area is next and be prepared for some wait here for the luggage belt is known to take around 30 minutes to begin. Once you claim your luggage head through the appropriate isle at customs; green for nothing to declare or red if you suspect you have some kind of contraband. Through customs you can exit the building and find a currency exchange, tourist information and taxi stand just before the exit.
Note that once you check in at the airport you are not able to go back outside as the check in area is a security cleared space. Upon entering the airport you are required to show your passport, ticket and pay the US$10.00 departure tax. You will be given a receipt for the departure tax which you then show to the clerk at the check in counter. You must pay this tax before checking in. At the check in counter airport porters will ask if you need assistance. If you need it by all means accept their help and be prepared to pay them some pocket money, but if you don’t want help be sure to let them know so as to avoid any awkward situations.
Proceed up to the second floor for immigration which will probably be fast due to a small number of foreign travellers. Past immigration you enter the clean and comfortable departures area. Each gate has a separate lounge and once you enter the gate lounge you wont be able to exit so be sure to have your coffee and do whatever shopping you wish before entering.
There is no direct bus service to Yangon International Airport however a local bus does stop in front of the airport. Note that these busses can become very crowded making it extremely difficult if you have heavy luggage.
The best option is to hire a taxi to take you on the 15km journey into Yangon and vice versa.
Eating & Drinking
There is only one café in the international departures area located on the second floor. The café serves local and some foreign dishes, as well as coffee, tea and soft drinks. Comfortable sofa seating is interspersed with leafy green plants for a relaxing environment. Be sure to visit the café before you enter the departure gate lounge.
There is very little in the way of entertainment at the airport except for people watching in the café and plane spotting through the large windows that overlook the tarmac.
Shopping and duty free
Once you clear immigration you will find a few duty free shops which stock the usual range of items including cosmetics, perfumes, alcohol and cigarettes. This area also has a number of market stalls laden with souvenirs, silks, t-shirts and other interesting items. Another mini bazaar like this can be found near the café on the second floor.