We weren’t sure what to expect when it came to budgeting for Myanmar – whilst we knew it had a reputation for being more pricy than neighbouring countries, we were keen to track our spending and see how our final costs turned out. Our travel style is probably mid range backpacker, so we’re keen to find bargains and not waste money unnecessarily but don’t mind paying out for a decent meal or day out.

Our priorities were staying in cheap but clean and centrally located accommodation, taking in as many of the sights as possible as we only had 2 weeks to see as much as we could, and we tended to avoid street food and stick to budget to mid range restaurants.

Here’s what it cost us to travel for the itinerary we followed for our 2 weeks in Myanmar – prices are for two people for accommodation, transport and food & drink, and individually for sightseeing with a full total summary at the bottom:

Getting There & Back

Flights into and out of Myanmar can tend to be on the expensive side when Air Asia and similar budget airlines cover so many of the surrounding countries for rock bottom prices. We flew in from Bangkok to Yangon at a cost of £61.22 / $78, and out from Mandalay to Chiang Mai for£127 / $159 per person but have excluded this from our total figures as it varies so much depending on where you’re flying from and when.

Total Summary

Here’s an overall summary of transport, food, accommodation and sightseeing for 2 weeks for 2 people in Mandalay in January 2017. We spent 3 nights each in Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake, and took 3 night buses along the way!

Accommodation: 12 nights in hotels (double rooms / 9 nights including breakfast)
357.18USD / 284.57GBP

Transport: Including 3 night buses, 1 day boat cruise and many taxis
278.08USD / 221.55GBP

Sightseeing: Including all Archeological zone tickets and activities detailed above
209.54USD / 166.94GBP

Food & Drink: Including all meals eaten out and plenty of coffees / drinks along the way
320.58USD / 255.41GBP

Total:
1165.38USD total for two people
928.48GBP total for two people

 

Cost Breakdown by Location:

Yangon

We spent 4 days and 3 nights in Yangon and packed in loads of activities, from the museums and pagodas to the local train line and day trips out of the city to see the WW2 cemetery and famous Inya Lake. It was also the only place we stayed where our accommodation didn’t include breakfast, so we ate out a lot. Additionally, our transport costs were pushed up by paying 50000K / 36USD to hire a car and driver for the full day on our final day in the city.

Transport

10USD Taxi to City from Airport
66,500K /48.72 Taxis Around the City (inc. a driver for one day)
19USD VIP Bus to Yangon per person

Total: 96.72USD

Accommodation (double room)

81.60USD / 3 nights

Sightseeing (per person)

National Museum – 5000K
People’s Park – 300K
Shwedagon Pagoda Entrance & Donation – 8000K + 750K
Shwedagon Pagoda Tour Guide & Tip – 5USD 2500K
Sule Pagoda – 3USD
Botahtaung Pagoda – 600K
Circular Train – 400K
Zoological Gardens – 3000K
Ngar That Gyi Buddha – 5USD rip off tour

Total: 28USD per person

Food & Drink

125,000K / 91.58USD

Bagan

We spent a further 3 nights in Bagan – which was far more touristy and therefore more expensive than Yangon. However, once you’ve paid the archeological zone entrance fee, this means your costs for sightseeing are pretty much covered. Our transport costs include bike hire for 3 days and a boat trip from Bagan to Mandalay.

Transport
30000K – Taxis, including one on our first morning to the hotel and then to a Pagoda for sunrise and back
21000K – 3 Day’s E-Bike hire
32USD Boat from Bagan to Mandalay per person

Total: 101.36USD

Accommodation (double room & breakfast)
132.48USD / 3 nights

Sightseeing (per person)
20USD entry fee
5000K Guide to Dammayan Pagoda
5000K Archeological Museum
5000K Golden Palace

Total: 30.99USD per person

Food & Drink

74,600K 54.65USD (cheaper because my stomach had given up on Myanmar food by this point so I wasn’t eating huge amounts!)

Mandalay

Mandalay is a bit of a strange one – we spent 2 nights here before heading to Inle Lake on a night bus, then came back for one night and one day before catching our onward flight to Thailand. I’ve included costs for the full 3 nights and everything we did in our time in the city so it’s more accurate. Transport and food were quite pricy but sightseeing inexpensive due to the archeological zone ticket.

Transport
41000K Taxis (taxis here far more expensive than Yangon)
12USD Night Bus to Inle Lake per person

Total: 54USD

Accommodation (double room & breakfast)

62.10USD / 3 nights

Sightseeing (per person)

10000K Archeological Zone Fee

Total: 7.32USD per person

Food & Drink

116,500K / 85.35USD

Inle Lake

Inle Lake was our favourite place and where we spent the most time and did the most activities. We spent 3 nights and 4 full days here, like we did in Yangon, although could have spent longer!

Transport
2USD Bike Hire
12USD Night Bus to Mandalay per person

Total: 26USD

Accommodation (double room & breakfast)

81USD / 3 Nights

Sightseeing (per person)

10000K Archeological Zone ticket
5000K Aung’s Puppet Show
20000K Cookery Class
20000K Private Boat Tour – price includes both of us (including Indein Village)
2500K Tip for Boat Driver
5000K Wine Tasting

Total: 52,500K / 38.46USD

Food & Drink

121,500K / 89USD

Summary Total by Location:

Yangon:

Total Cost (couple): 325.90USD
Total Cost (per person): 162.95USD

Bagan:

Total Cost (couple): 350.47USD
Total Cost (per person): 175.24USD

Mandalay:

Total Cost (couple): 216.09USD
Total Cost (per person): 108USD

Inle Lake:

Total Cost (couple): 272.92USD
Total Cost (per person): 136.46USD

 

Is It Expensive to Travel in Myanmar?

So there you have it – our breakdown of how much it costs to travel in Myanmar. It’s cheaper than we expected it to be, and we feel like we ate some great food and were really busy the whole time we were there. Saving money on accommodation by taking night buses definitely helped us reduce our costs, and as the hotel standards aren’t always great for what you’re paying it’s not too much of an issue.

It’s definitely more expensive than other countries in South East Asia, but we found it easy to travel round and it’s a an absolutely beautiful place with so much to see that it’s more than worth upping the budget for a couple of weeks.

P.S – Before I get any smart comments – I know my two total figures differ by about a dollar…. I am ridiculously bad at maths and you’d laugh if you knew how long it took me to calculate all of this. So, when I totalled it up and noticed the difference I thought sod it! 🙂

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