Mandalay’s dusty Highway Bus Station sees a mind-numbing array of daily options for transport. You can arrange tickets to Yangon at small stands downtown or check with your guesthouse on the latest, greatest company
Buses for Monywa (K5000, four hours) leave from a small downtown station off 88th St. Some Monywa-bound drivers refuse to take foreigners.
There is a night bus with air-con (6PM departure, 10400k, 12-15 hours) running into Mandalay. Almost certainly the cheapest option for getting between the two main cities in Myanmar.
From Inle Lake, Kalaw or Mid-Eastern Towns
There are buses available along this route, either a day minibus (5AM departure, 9000k, 9 hours) or a night bus with air-con (6PM departure). The minibus in the day takes a slightly shorter route than the larger (and some say more comfortable) full-sized night bus. Expect windy and bumpy roads, stops for picking up and putting down passengers, and, if you are lucky, a search of the bus by un-uniformed and just-bribed police officers.
From the Highway
Bus Station you can either take a taxi or pick-up into town. Taxis are overly expensive (quoting prices as high as 2000k per person or 6000k for the car), and often bargain in a mob fashion (except they all offer the same price and try and gang-up on you). A far cheaper option is to simply walk out of the bus station yards to the West, and find one of the pick-ups which just ran a load of people to the station from town (500k per person) - they are normally more than happy to help and there is no commission issues to worry about.