How much does it cost to travel in Myanmar? Your Myanmar Travel costs will all depend on your travel style, taste and budget.
I was traveling around Myanmar during the whole month of March 2017 in a very different way from what
I’m used to. I didn’t make any reservations or plans in advance, or even have an itinerary and a travel budget.
I was on a five-month trip across Asia as a solo traveler and wanted to visit not only the most popular destinations in Myanmar (Yangon, Bagan, Mandalay and Inle Lake), but also others not yet on tourists’ radar that were suggested by locals.
My Myanmar travel costs would probably have been lower if I had booked everything in advance as I always do, but having the free time and flexibility to work out my itinerary while traveling also enabled me to negotiate guesthouse and tour prices and especially visit places in Myanmar that I’ve never heard of before.
Myanmar Travel Costs
Before I start describing my Myanmar travel costs per destination/day, I need to remind you that in order to visit Myanmar you must get a visa.
You can apply for an electronic visa (eVisa) online, which is valid for 28 days. The process is very simple and easy and costs US$ 50. If you overstay, you have to pay US$ 3 per day.
My Myanmar Travel Costs Summary
Is Myanmar expensive? Nope. Here is a summary of my Myanmar travel costs, which I will break down by destination / day.
Accommodation: US$ 342.50
Food: US$ 118.00
Transportation: US$ 163.70
Tourist Attractions: US$ 72.30
Tours/Guides: US$ 448.00
Miscellaneous: US$ 32.50
Total: US$ 1180.00
How much does it cost to travel in Myanmar?
As in many other countries in Southeast Asia, travelling around Myanmar is very cheap. However, domestic flights and accommodation aren’t as cheap as in Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam, for example.
US dollar is widely acceptable, as long as your dollar bills aren’t old, written on or ripped. Roughly one dollar buys 1000 Kyats, but you can sometimes get 1200 or even 1300.
Yangon was the first city I visited in Myanmar.
I booked a very simple hotel for two days just before leaving Jakarta to avoid wasting time looking for a place to stay as I was due to arrive in Yangon at night.
You can find private rooms with bathroom for an average of US$ 17/night and dorms for US$ 10/night. In Yangon, the transportation is mainly by taxi, unless you hire a private car with a driver. There aren’t buses from the airport and the only way to get to the city is by taxi.
How much does it cost to travel in Yangon?
Accommodation: US$ 78 / 5 nights
Food: Lunch US$ 10.40 + Dinner US$ 9.80 + Snacks: US$ 7.30 = US$ 27.50
Transportation: Taxi from the airport US$ 6 + Taxi within the city US$ 10.50 + Taxi to the bus terminal US$ 5.50 + Public Transportation US$ 0.50 = US$ 22.50
Attractions: Shwedagon Pagoda US$ 6 + National Museum US$ 3.70 + Botataung Pagoda US$ 4.50 = US$ 14.20
Extras: Guide US$10 + Donation US$ 2 + Miscellaneous US$ 6.20 = US$ 18.20
My Myanmar Travel Costs in Yangon was very reasonable, coming to a total of US$ 160 ÷ 5 days = US$ 32 / day
Suggest read: 7 Best Things to Do in Yangon
After spending five days in Yangon, I headed to Bagan.
But I only booked my accommodation two days in advance and it was hard to find good deals.
Bagan seems to be the most expensive city in Myanmar, and if you include the balloon flight, it will have a big impact in your Myanmar travel budget. But it is an once-in-a-lifetime experience and should definitely consider doing that.
Just to visit the city, you already have to pay an entrance fee of US$ 18.50.
How much does it cost to travel in Bagan?
Accommodation: US$ 97 / 4 nights
Food: Lunch US$ 9.50 + Dinner US$ 13 = US$ 22.50 (I went to two dinners with puppets show)
Transportation: Bus from Yangon US$ 14 + Taxi US$ 4.80 + E-bike rent US$ 4.50
= US$ 23.30
Attractions: Bagan Archeological Zone Entrance fee US$ 18.50 + Royal Palace US$ 3.70 (a waste of money and time, in my view) = US$ 22.20
Balloon ride: US$ 340
Extras: Donation US$ 3.50 + Beer US$ 1.10 = US$ 4.60
My Myanmar Travel Costs in Bagan:
Without the balloon ride: US$ 170 ÷ 4 = US$ 42.50 / day
With the balloon flight: US$ 510 ÷ 4 = US$ 127.50 / day
- If you aren’t on a budget I really recommend Riding a hot air Balloon in Bangan
After those 4 full days in Bagan I decided to go to Chin State, to visit some tattooed-face women villages.
I planned my itinerary by myself instead of taking a private tour, and it was much cheaper but also a little bit more complicated.
How much does it cost to travel in Mindat?
Accommodation: US$ 6 / night
Food: Breakfast US$ 0.60 + Luch US$ 2.5 = US$ 3.1
Transportation: Bus to Pakokku US$ 2.20 + Pakokku taxi: US$ 1.10 + Van to Mindat: US$ 5.20 = US$ 8.50
Trekking for 2 days/1 night: US$ 60 (food and accommodation included)
Attractions: Nose flute show US$ 3.70
Donation: US$ 3.10
My Travel Expenses in Mindat/Chin State:
A total of US$ 84.5 ÷ 2 = US$ 42 / day
- You may also be interested in: Visiting Tattooed face Women Villages in Mindat, Myanmar
While I was in Mindat I met a Dutch lady and we decided to travel to Monywa and then to Mandalay together.
Because I was travelling with someone else and could split the costs we decided to book a very good hotel in Monya with pool and lake view for an awesome price.
There are some interesting places in Monya, but transportation and food isn’t very easy to find. We hired a really nice guide with a tuk-tuk who took us around and ended up eating in the hotel because the food was much better than the restaurants we found in town.
How much does it cost to travel in Monywa?
Accommodation: US$ 35 / 2 nights
Food: Lunch US$ 2 + Snacks US$ 2.20 + Dinner with drinks US$ 12 = US$ 16.20
Transportation: Bus from Mindat to Pakokku US$ 5.20 + Bus from Pakokku to Monya US$ 1.50 + Tuk-tuk US$ 1.90 + = US$ 8.60
Attraction: Thanboddhay Pagoda US$ 2.20
Tour: Tuk-tuk to the giant Buddha US$ 5.50 + Boat & Car to visit some caves US$ 14 = US$ 19.50
Because I had someone to split the costs, my Monia Travel Costs was about average, even with booking a better and more expensive hotel. Total US$ 81.50 ÷ 2 days = US$ 41 / day
We left Monywa and took a truck (local bus) to Mandalay. Once there, we took a motor taxi and went to some hotels that we checked online but didn’t make a reservation.
There are many interesting things to do in the Mandalay area, and I personally consider this city better than Yangon, as the only daytrip you can take from Yangon is to the Golden Rock, while in Mandalay you can visit 4 other cities that are nearby, and you can even take a day trip to Monywa if you want (131 Km – 81 mi).
Like in Yangon, the best way to get around in Mandalay is hiring a private car with a driver. But you can also rent a motorbike, get a motor taxi., or ride a bicycle around the city.
How much does it cost to travel in Mandalay?
Accommodation: US$ 43.50 / 3 nights
Food: Lunch US$ 9 + Dinner US$ 9 + Snacks US$ 1.80 = US$ 19.80
Transportation: Motor taxi US$ 7.80 + Ferry to Mingun US$ 3.70 + Truck from Monywa US$ 2.20 + Truck to Sagaing US$ 0.40 + Taxi US$ 2.70 = US$ 16.80
Attractions: Mandalay Historic Zone US$ 7.40 + Mingun – Sagaing Archeological fee US$ 3.70 + Moustache Brothers’ show US$ 7.40 + Mahamuni Buddha Temple US$ 1.50 = US$ 20
Extras: Donation US$ 2.60 + Miscellaneous US$ 6.40 = US$ 9
My Mandalay travel costs was a total of US$ 109 ÷ 4 days = US$ 27 /day
To visit Inle Lake, I took a night bus from Mandalay to Shwe Nyaung, then a
taxi from Shwe Nyaung (Junction) to Nyaung Shwe.
Upon arrival, I had to pay a visitor’s entrance fee and look for accommodation. Hotels for under US$ 15/night aren’t that good in Nyuang Shwe, after visiting three or four of them with my taxi driver, I picked one, but wasn’t happy with my choice though.
How much does it cost to travel in Inle Lake?
Accommodation: US$ 13 /night
Food: US$ Breakfast US$ 2.20 + Lunch US$ 4 + Dinner US$ 2.50 = US$ 8.70
Transportation: Bus from Mandalay to Bago US$ 9.60 + Taxi from Shwe Nyaung (Junction) to Nyaung Shwe US$ 3.70 = US$ 13.30
Attraction: Inle Lake Entrance fee US$10
Extras: Inle Lake Tour US$ 11 + Donation US$ 1.50 + Miscellaneous US$ 2.70 = US$ 15.20
My Myanmar travel costs in Inle Lake, was a total of: US$ 60 ÷ 2 days = US$ 30 / day
[box]Read here: Inle Lake, Myanmar – Why you Shouldn’t miss it![/box]
I spent only 2 days/ 1 night in Inle lake, and headed to Hpa-An, in the south.
I was looking for different landscapes and places to visit in Myanmar, and decided to follow the recommendation of my Yangon guide.
Once again, I only took note of some hotels’ names, but didn’t make any reservation. As a result, I didn’t like the most popular guesthouses (Soe Brothers), and had a hard time to find another. So I ended up staying in a very simple guesthouse, with horrible Internet and A/C that didn’t work very well.
But the points of interest in Hpa-An are very interesting, shared tours are very cheap and the trip was worth it.
How much does is cost to travel in Hpa-An?
Accommodation: US$ 6 /2 nights
Food: Breakfast US$ 0.70 + Lunch US$ 3.20 + Dinner US$ 2.70 + Snack US$ 0.50 = US$ 7.10
Transportation: Bus from Nyaung Shew US$ 9.60 + Taxi US$ 1.90 + Bus to Hpa-An US$ 5.20 = US$ 16.70
Tours: 2 tours, US$ 3.70 = US$ 7.40
Extras: US$ 1.50
My Myanmar travel costs in Hpa-An was the lowest with a total of US$ 39 ÷ 2 days = US$ 19.,50 / day
- Suggested Read: 5 must see hidden and sacred sites around Hpa-An
After travelling to so many dusty places and being in a tuk-tuk, moving from one place to another, I decided to spend my last days in Myanmar at one of its beautiful beaches.
To get to Dawei from Hpa-An was relatively easy, but first I took a very old bus, then they told me that I would take another bus, but in the reality it was a van. I arrived in Dawei around 2:00 AM, didn’t find accommodation and had to stay in a “café place” until 8:00 AM.
From Dawei I ended up paying a motor taxi to take me to Sin Htauk Beach, 2 hours away.
I stayed in a very nice waterfront beach bungalow, but this place was very hard to get to, the food was more expensive than any other place that I visited in Myanmar, and the people who work in the hotel didn’t speak English, so there were some stress and a lot of misunderstanding.
To make things worse, I lost my camera and phone to water damage when crossing a river to visit Paradise Beach nearby.
How much does it cost to travel in Dawei?
Accommodation: US$ 58 / 2 nights in Sin Htuak + US$ 6 /1 night in Dawei = US$ 64
Food: US$ 16
Transportation: Bus from Hpa-An to Mawlamyine US$ 0.75 + Van from Mawlamyine to Dawei US$ 8.10 Motor taxi from Dawei to Sin Htuak Beach US$36 + Bus to Thailand US$ 10 = US$ 54
Extra: US$ 1.90
My Myanmar travel costs in Dawei was the highest after Bagan, because of accommodation and also transportation, which is expensive in the south because of the lack of buses. The total was US$ 136 ÷ 3 days = US$ 45 / day
From Dawei I crossed the border by car to Thailand and continued my trip across Asia.
The Total of My Myanmar Travel Costs
So my Myanmar travel costs come to a total of US$ 1,180, which is a daily average of US$ 43.70. If you take out the balloon flight in Bagan, it would come to a total of US$ 840 and US$ 31/day.
Pretty good, right?
Of course you can spend less if you backpack in Myanmar, share rooms and travel with someone else, and you can also spend much more if you stay in better hotels and pay for cars, drivers and private tours.
But I believe with this information you will feel much more financially prepared to travel in Myanmar.
Safe travels and enjoy it.
P.S: I excluded the visa fee and the flight from Bangkok to Yangon.
Contact of my guides:
- In Shwedagon Pagoda, Yangon: Aung Myo Ngwe, [email protected]
- In Mindat: Naing Awm 00959452093497
- in Mindat: Mr Htike 09400407695 / 09974111510 and [email protected]
- Book Your Flight Find deals on airlines on my favorite search engine: Skyscanner. Be sure to read my How to find cheap flights article.
- Rent A Car Rental Cars is a great site for comparing car prices to find the best deal.
- Book Accommodation Booking.com is my favorite hotel search engine. But Hotels.com and Hilton Hotels have very interesting reward programs. If you prefer to rent locals’ apartment, the best option is undoubtedly Airbnb. Here is US$ 30 credit towards your fist booking.
- Protect Your Trip Don’t forget travel insurance! I always use World Nomads for short-term trips and SafetyWing for long-term ones. Find out why Travel Insurance: Much More Than a Precaution, a Necessity.
- Book Tours in Advance Book unforgettable experiences and skip-the-line tickets with GetYourGuide or Viator .
- Book Ground Transportation BookaWay offers a stress-free experience with secure payments and no hidden fees. You pay online and receive your itinerary by email.
- Luggage Solutions Rent your luggage with Cargo or if you need to drop off your own luggage and enjoy your time without dragging it all over a city, find a LuggageHero shop here.
- Get a Travel Card Revolut Card is a pre-paid debit card that enables cash machine withdrawals in 120 countries. I’ve been using my Revolut Card for over a year and never paid foreign-transaction fees again. Get your Revolut Card with free shipping here.
- Packing Guide Check out my How to Pack a Carry-on Luggage For a Five-month Trip to help you start packing for your trip. Don’t forget your camera, chargers and other useful travel accessories.