Myanmar / Burma Travel Update
Since I was there, the situation in Myanmar/Burma has changed a lot. In February 2021, a military coup sparked widespread civil unrest and armed conflict.
The U.S. State Department currently advises: "Do not travel to Burma due to civil unrest and armed conflict." You can find their full travel advisory and security alerts here. And you can find the British Foreign Office's travel advice for Myanmar / Burma here.
If you’re flying to Bagan, Nyaung-U Airport is the airport you’ll fly into. As small as it is, it’s the airport that serves as the aerial gateway to the Bagan region. (There are other ways to reach Bagan, of course, such as flying into Mandalay and taking a bus or boat.)
It’s technically in Nyaung-U, just to the northeast of the Bagan Archaeological Area and about a 10-minute drive from the village of Old Bagan.
Don’t expect the height of luxury or fancy lounges. There’s a single runway, basic security, and a rudimentary departure lounge shared by all the passengers.
It lies just outside the Bagan Archaeological Zone and serves prop planes–the rumble of jet engines pose too much threat to the nearby historic pagodas.
One of the reasons that the airport is small is that they’re trying to limit the size of the planes arriving here. Even the small planes that do come create enough noise to be a potential problem for the structural integrity of the nearby stupas, pagodas, and temples, and larger jet planes would create even more problems.
Photos of Nyaung-U Airport
What to Know Before You Go
Its airport code is NYU.
As with most names in Burmese, it has been transliterated in multiple ways. You might also come across places where it’s written as Nyaung Oo Airport or Bagan Nyaung Oo Airport.