Myanmar on a Budget – Top Tips
While travelling in South East Asia for 6 months and visiting 9 countries somehow Myanmar was left at the end. But I would say that according to friendliness of people and smiles it is the best country in SEA! Places? Yes, there is something interesting (Bagan, Inle etc), but most of the time it is people who surprise you and make you fall in love with this country. What scares most of backpackers are prices and thoughts that this country is super expensive. I was one of them.
But now as I have spent ~ 3 weeks here in this beautiful country I could share some tricks and tips how to save up money and travel cheap in Myanmar. We were travelling as a couple and I think that’s the cheapest way to travel here.
* Accommodation. That is what scares most of the people. They were super expensive couple years ago, but now more and more cheap hostels pop up.
- In Yangon I would recommend Mahabandoola guest house which is 50 meters from Sule Pagoda (double room 12$, single 6$).
- Mandalay – Royal guesthouse which is not online, but has double rooms with breakfast for 14$.
- Hsipaw has guesthouse which offers double rooms for 10$ including breakfast (you can book it – https://goo.gl/IFJosF ).
- Bagan – cheapest option for accommodation is Jasmine guest house which offers rooms for 10$ including breakfast (doubles), but usually it is full, close to this one there is lucky seven guesthouse offering doubles for 14$ without breakfast.
So as I said there are cheap options, where you can stay and save money, also you can get cheap hammock in Vietnam or anywhere in Asia and just hang it under a tree.
* Transport. We were using trains + hitchhiking, train is a good option when you want to save for accommodation, we saved 4 nights like this. Yangon to Napyidaw, Mandalay to Hsipaw, Mandalay to Bagan, Bagan to Yangon. If you want to spend night in the train I recommend you to take second/upper class which is just 2 times more expensive than ordinary, but you will have soft seats instead of wooden bench. Ordinary class is fun for shorter rides or trips on the day time, all the action happens in these carriages. Keep in mind that trains are slow. For example Yangon to Bagan by train is ~18 hours and by bus or car – ~8 hours, but trains are usually more than 2 times more cheaper and if you take ordinary usually it is 4 times cheaper than buses! Hitchhiking also works really well both for long and short distances.
You can find all train routes in Myanmar here – https://goo.gl/lPDhV7 .
* Bagan. Rent an e-bike and share it for 2 people. It is easy to find one for 6000 kyat per day or 3500-4000 for half day (if you want to see just sunrise or sunset, not both).
* Food. This one is super cheap in Myanmar in the streets. You can easily get noodles with chicken or other stuff for 500-1000 kyat, Burmese curry costs between 2000 and 4000 but usually it can be shared by 2 people. Bottle of water is 300 kyat, but I saw so many places where you can just drink or fill water in the streets for free (not sure about quality of it).
Don’t be scared, visit Myanmar. It is cool place! And it is really possible to travel here with 15$ or under per day per person. If you cut accommodation and camp then 5-10$ per day is possible.