Myanmar Travel Costs: Spending Breakdown

Myanmar travel costs

The goal for our RTW trip is to keep spending to under $100 USD/day.

We assumed Myanmar would be fairly cheap with it being SE Asia and still fairly untraveled as a whole. However, once we started looking at accommodations we realized it might be a bit more expensive than we expected. Accommodations were going to be at the high end of what we figured we would be spending in ANY country, let alone one not well developed!

After discovering what our budget was up against from a lodging perspective, we decided to go to work on areas we could cut back to save money. One big area we found to save on was transportation. We decided to use all night buses between cities; it was cheaper than flying and doubled as accommodations for those nights (although this may have been a mistake after our bus experiences).

We ended up splitting our time between the cities of Yangon, Bagan and Inle Lake, spending a total of 16 days in Myanmar. Six days in Yangon, six in Bagan and four in Inle Lake. After all was said and done, we tallied up our spending and hit  $90.31 USD/day for 2 people. SUCCESS!

Here we go…

Spending Breakdown

Accommodations: $512.17 USD (lodging prices seem way out of whack for the country, especially compared to other costs like food and everyday expenses)

Transportation: $502.21 USD (includes roundtrip flight from Thailand, three overnight buses, visa fees, e-bike rental)

Food: $265.00 USD (food is pretty cheap and breakfast was included at our guesthouses)

Sight Seeing: $148.27 USD (we actually expected this number to be higher, especially since we hired a driver in Bagan for a day)

Souvenirs: $5.28 USD (postcards – sounds like some arrived to their recipients and some didn’t)

Other: $12.08 USD (laundry service and donating our leftover Kyat (Myanmar currency) to the Red Cross)

Total Cost: $1445.01 USD

Other stats from our time in Myanmar

# of beds slept in: 4

# airports slept in: 0

# trains/buses/airplanes slept in: 3

Favorite Activity/Location: (Alana) I really enjoyed the morning we woke up early to see the sunrise in Bagan. It was crazy cold but totally worth it, especially once the hot air balloons showed up. (Matt) I loved our day touring Bagan with our driver Win. It was a great way to get to know the area and gain a better understanding of what Myanmar has gone through over the last few years.

Favorite Food: (Alana) Overall, I did not enjoy the food. However, I LOVED the green curry at Weather Spoon’s in Bagan. I may have ordered it four days in a row 🙂 (Matt) My favorite dish is probably the tea leaf salad. We tried the dish at a number of restaurants in each city we visited, but it was best at Weather Spoon’s in Bagan in my opinion.

Weather Spoon's Restaurant Bagan

Green curry, burger and tea leaf salad from Weather Spoon’s Bagan

Favorite Beer: (Alana) Dagon lager – Although I didn’t have very many. Instead, I really enjoyed lassies, which are fruit smoothies with yogurt. Banana was my favorite 🙂 (Matt) Myanmar – It was not something to write home about, but it did the trick on a hot day.

Worst Experience: (Alana) The bus ride between Bagan and Inle Lake. We expected an extremely bumpy and nauseating ride. We got that and more. I’ll let Matt explain since he had to endure the worst of it. (Matt) Yes. By far the worst experience was the ride from Bagan to Inle Lake. We had a late departure, most likely a drunk/buzzed driver, we clipped another bus parked on the side of the road, we picked up random people on the side of the road, and then random people sat next to me in the aisle on a kick seat for six hours. Luckily they fell asleep on the shoulder of the person sitting across from me, so I suppose it could have been worse.

Bus from Bagan to Inle Lake

Our wonderful ride from Bagan to Inle Lake.

Could we live here?: No. We had some wonderful experiences in Bagan and Inle Lake and would highly recommend a visit, but we couldn’t handle the food in the long run.

How do you think we did?! Did you think the daily average would be lower?

 

About Alana

Alana is one-half of Great Big Globe. She loves animals, the Wisconsin Badgers, exploring new countries and chasing the sun.

11 comments

  1. Very entertaining write up, it is sad that accommodation cost is higher than other southeast Asian countries but Myanmar really is a wonderful place to visit.

  2. I have been warned about the accommodation costs in Myanmar. I travel solo but am hoping to team up with someone to share the cost when I go. I’ll be checking out your other posts to see what you go up to but thank you for the tea leaf salad tip!

  3. Myanmar is not Asia in terms of good & cheap accommodation as Thailand or even Singapore. Prices are high and the services are not that good. Still, this can be a good thing because the tourists will not be some many and “destroy” this unspoiled country so fast.

  4. Alana I’ve noticed that; for a poor country the lodging costs are so high. Really strange. We’ve not visited yet long term but we’ve done visa runs from Thailand to Myanmar like 10 times and we’ve also done a bunch of research on the place. As for the rides, wow, I hear you! We had a similar experience in Laos, both when busing from the capital to Van Vieng and also when we took the 24 hour bus from Luang Prubang to Chiang Mai. Drivers almost passing out at the wheel, driving into blind curves on the OTHER side of the road lol….I’d cough out loud to keep ’em awake 😉

    Thanks for the fun share and keep on inspiring!

    Ryan

    • Haha, the coughing is a great tip! I am not sure these guys would have heard it over there blaring cell phone music. Actually, they were watching music videos on their cell phones and driving at the same time. 🙂

  5. I plan on heading to Myanmar from Chiang Mai in a month or two, so this is valuable info for me! Thanks for the breakdown.

    • Hi Helen- Happy to hear you found it valuable. We really enjoyed Myanmar. Please feel free to reach out if we can help you with any other information. Have a safe trip and enjoy your time in Myanmar!

  6. I am going there soon so it was interesting to see this!

    In my experience, places without a reasonable amount of tourists usually are expensive. It’s like you need a certain number before things get cheaper and then if you hit too many, they get pricey again!!

    • Hi Sharon- Glad to hear you are going to Myanmar. I think we are really fortunate to be able to visit now as the country is rapidly changing.

      I agree with you on the price thing. It was just that we felt accommodations were out of whack as compared to everything else. Matt and I could eat like kings for $7USD but then went back to our $35USD/night private room with no windows and shared bathroom. 🙂 It’s all part of the deal though so no complaints on our end.

      Enjoy your trip!

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