Taking a Taxi in Yangon

Currently to get a taxi in Yangon you need to hail a cab from the kerb.

One thing I must share with you is that taxis are abundant in Yangon and they are not expensive.

However most drivers speak only a smattering of English and they don’t use taxi meter i.e. you must be prepared to bargain with them before the journey start. With the worsening traffic situations in Yangon and the over supply of taxis some unscrupulous drivers may try to fleece unsuspecting tourists that do not establish the fare for the trip in advance.

Our advice for tourist landing for the first time at Yangon Airport is to use the official taxi booking counter near the exit of the custom station at the Arrival Hall where they offer fixed price taxi fare with booking slips issued to the taxi driver that brings you to most hotels in Yangon based on an agreed upon fare schedule.

As a guide the journey from Yangon Airport to downtown Yangon (Sule Pagoda) is only Kyat 8,000 for a journey of 17 km i.e. if you book the taxi from the official airport taxi booth. Most taxi journey within the downtown area should be less than Kyat 3,000. (Updated 1st March 2017)

There are currently two Taxi hailing services in Myanmar one is Hello Cab (Hello Ride) the other is Oway Ride. You can download their apps from Apple store of Google Play.

The best taxi app that we have tested is Oway Ride. The app gives you an estimated fare for the journey you have booked.  Its drivers are courteous and they do come on time to pick you up once you hit the book button.  However due to the lack of postal code in Yangon itself – sometime the driver may have problem finding you in part of town where the roads are narrow, congested and is a one way street. Most drivers do not understand English well so communication may be a problem especially if you are alone and you just booked the taxi via the app and the driver is calling you to ask for direction.

South-East Asia’s leading taxi hailing app Grab Taxi has announced that it is entering the market with a JV partner.

There is talk that Uber is in discussion with the Myanmar government to collaborate on using civilian car to provide a similar service.

Given the rather challenging business and legal environment here in Myanmar let’s see which international taxi hailing app gets to start operation first in Yangon. It is easy to make announcement and perform trial however the acid test is who can legally launch their service first and more important build a self-sustaining eco-system of drivers, passengers and happy regulators.

Until that happen – your best bet is to download the Oway Ride app to your smart phone if you plan to come to Yangon and want the convenience of hailing a cab from your smart phone.