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…
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.
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.
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?