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Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Myanmar

Expensive For Asia

Bagan-103

Hot Air Balloon Flight with Balloons Over Bagan, Bagan, Myanmar

Type Of Travel

I am basically a Flashpacker and this is how I traveled in Myanmar in February 2015. I prefer to stay in hostels or local guesthouses, but (almost) always stay in private rooms with ensuite bathrooms. Longer distance I covered by plane, like Bagan to Inle Lake and Inle Lake to Yangon. Good food is important to me, this can be a food stall, small local restaurants and maybe a cocktail sipped on the roof terrace of an international hotel. And I do not hesitate to “do something special” when justified: in Myanmar it was a tour in a Hot Air Balloon in Bagan, an experience of a lifetime!

Itinerary & Time Of The Visit

I used every single one of the 28 days the eVisa was allowing me to stay in Myanmar in February 2015 and visited first the Southeast of the country (Golden Rock, Hpa An & Mawlamyine), before heading to the Northeast (Pyin Oo Lwin, train via the Gokteik Viaduct, Hsipaw) and finally discovered during the last two weeks the more popular and touristic part of the country (Mandalay, Bagan, Inle Lake & last but not least Yangon).

Global Budget

Yes, Myanmar is expensive for Asia, significantly more than its neighboring countries. Especially hotels offer a price / quality ratio far below what I experienced in India, Vietnam, Laos, you name it…

But probably two aspects pushed the budget up during this trip: first, I traveled with a friend on a “regular vacation” the last two weeks in Myanmar and hence decided to fly twice, which added to the Transport Budget. Moreover, in Bagan I decided to do a Tour in a Hot Air Balloon, for a hefty 350 USD, which is what you find below under “Activities”…

Costs per Person per Day in € 2015
Long Distances’ Transport € 9,70
Short Distances’ Transport € 3,20
Total Transport € 12,90
Hotels € 28,30
Restaurants & Food € 5,00
Drinks & Going Out € 2,80
Every Day Life (& Souvenirs) € 1,40
Total Living € 37,50
Visits & Tours € 4,30
Activities € 10,70
Total Tours & Activities € 15,00
Total Country: € 65,40

Hostels & Hotels

Accommodation is expensive in Myanmar, especially considering the price / quality ratio! Do not expect something special while traveling there, at least at a reasonable price…

City Hostel / Hotel
Name
Type of
Accommodation
Type of Room Price
per Night (€)
Evaluation
(1 to 5 Stars)
Yangon Mother Land Inn (2) Hostel Single Room 26,15 ***
Mt Kyaiktiyo (Kinpun) Sea Sar Hotel Guesthouse Single Room 21,74 **
Hpa An Golden Sky Guesthouse Single Room 15,65 ***
Mawlamyine Breeze Guesthouse Hostel Single Room 21,74 *
Bus From Mawlamyine to Mandalay to Hispaw Bus Bus 0,00 **
Pyin Oo Lwin Ruby Hotel Guesthouse Single Room 21,74 ***
Hsipaw Mr. Charles Guesthouse Guesthouse Single Room 35,80 ***
Mandalay Peacock Lodge Guesthouse Single Room 34,70 ****
Nyaung U (Bagan) Bagan Umbra Hotel Hotel Single Room 44,08 **
Nyaung Shwe (Inle Lake) Queen Inn Guesthouse Single Room 27,40 ****
Yangon Mother Land Inn (2) Hostel Single Room 26,15 ***
Total Myanmar 28,27  

Restaurants & Food

On the other hand, food is extremely cheap in Myanmar, at least if you avoid the touristy upscale restaurants, which are overpriced considering the food on offer. In many places, you find great, diverse and cheap street food…

City Restaurant
Name
Type of Meal Type of
Restaurant
Price
Food (€)
Evaluation
(1 to 5 Stars)
Yangon Mother Land Inn Dinner Hotel 2,87 **
Yangon BBQ Food Stall Dinner Food Stall 2,78 ***
Mt Kyaiktiyo (Kinpun) Sea Sar Restaurant Lunch Hotel 2,78 ***
Hpa An Khit Thit Restaurant Lunch Restaurant 3,83 ****
Mawlamyine Grand Father &b Grand Mother Restaurant Lunch Restaurant 2,61 ***
Mawlamyine Market Dinner Food Stall 1,74 ****
Pyin Oo Lwin Indian Food & Snack Lunch Restaurant 4,35 ***
Pyin Oo Lwin Food Stall Bazaar Dinner Food Stall 1,74 ***
Hsipaw La Wün Aung Dinner Food Stall 2,61 ***
Hsipaw Mr. Shake Lunch Food Stall 3,91 *****
Mandalay Pan Cherry Dinner Restaurant 2,43 ***
Mandalay Green Elephant Dinner Restaurant 11,74 ***
Bagan Shwe Ya Su Dinner Restaurant 3,48 ****
Bagan Be Kind To Animals – The Moon Lunch Restaurant 2,70 ***
Bagan Silver House Dinner Restaurant 5,22 **
Nyaung Shwe Red Star Lunch Food Stall 4,35 ****
Yangon Kyay Ohh BBQ & pub Dinner Food Stall 3,22 *****
Total Myanmar 3,67  

Drinks & Going Out

Drinks are really cheap in Myanmar, especially if you stick to beer in bars that cater for locals. In several places, you can marvel at great views while enjoying a good cocktail: Mandalay, Yangon, …

City Bar
Name
Type of Drink Type of
Bar
Price
Drink (€)
Evaluation
(1 to 5 Stars)
Yangon Mother Land Inn Beer Hotel 1,74 *
Yangon 50th Street Bar & Grill Beer Bar 1,70 ****
Mt Kyaiktiyo (Kinpun) Sea Sar Restaurant Beer Hotel 1,74 **
Hpa An Khit Thit Restaurant Beer Restaurant 1,39 ***
Mawlamyine Market Beer Food Stall 1,30 ***
Pyin Oo Lwin Woodland Cocktails Bar 3,04 ***
Pyin Oo Lwin Chinese Restaurant Beer Restaurant 0,52 **
Hsipaw Mr. Charles Guesthouse Beer Hotel 1,74 ***
Hsipaw La Wün Aung Beer Food Stall 0,70 ***
Hsipaw Mr. Shake Cocktails Food Stall 0,87 *****
Mandalay Ayarwaddy River View Hotel Cocktails Hotel 0,00 *****
Mandalay Shwe Ingyinn Hotel – Sky Bar Cocktails Hotel 1,74 *****
Bagan Shwe Ya Su Beer Restaurant 0,52 ****
Bagan Sunset Garden Restaurant Cocktails Restaurant 2,61 ***
Yangon Sky Bar Cocktails Bar 4,35 ****
Yangon Kyay Ohh BBQ & pub Beer Food Stall 1,30 ****
Yangon Vista Bar Cocktails Bar 2,50 ****
Total Myanmar 1,63  

Tours & Activities

Entrance fees are very reasonable in Myanmar. No tour is needed except if you go trekking, which I haven’t done. If your budget allows it, consider a Hot Air Balloon ride in Bagan, an experience of a lifetime! Yes, it costs 350 USD…

Splurge At Reasonable Costs?

Somehow, Myanmar doesn’t seem to be the best place for an expensive yet amazing hotel or restaurant. This might be explained by the fact that tourism is extremely new and that capacities reach their limit in the peak season…

Reduce Costs?

Of course you can significantly reduce cost, especially on accommodation and on transport. You find hostels in every major hub in Myanmar, there are buses crisscrossing the country, …

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2 Responses to Grand Escapades’ Budget Guide To Myanmar

  1. gareth 22. February 2016 at 9:09 #

    HEY there… thanks for the great info….just wanted to know if I didn;t drink, eat at foodstalls and stayed in dorms/guesthouses could I do it for half the price of your trip? thanks

    • Gilles Barbier 22. February 2016 at 15:00 #

      Hi Gareth,
      Thank you for your feedback!
      Myanmar is not the cheapest destination in Asia, and I think it will greatly depend if you are in the highest season or not.
      If in the high season, you can surely reduce the budget down to 40 €, but further bellow will require to cut significantly in the level of comfort, as there are few hostels and guesthouses are quite expensive for Asia.
      In the lower season I guess it is much less of a problem
      Cheers, Gilles

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