Last updated on January 22nd, 2019 at 10:10 pm
Myanmar, also known as Burma, is a country with bustling historical temples, pagodas and monasteries and captivating scenery. As the new age of media and accessible information comes, tourists from all over the world is seeing the inviting beauty that Myanmar offers.
In this budget travel in Myanmar, you’ll know how much you need to spend and other more things to know to be able to have a better time and stay in Myanmar. From the accommodations and food, this post can guide you for your future visit in Myanmar and help with your budget planning.
Is it safe/difficult to travel in Myanmar?
Myanmar’s tourism increases every year and so far, tourists are quite safe when traveling to Myanmar. You have just to be mindful of yourself and things because you will be in an unfamiliar place so it’s best to plan ahead. Myanmar is also getting well known as a good travel destination, so it’s worth noting that it can get crowded especially with tourists who bought packaged tours and deals.
Best time to visit Myanmar
Myanmar has a monsoon climate with three main seasons. The best time to visit most of Myanmar is from November to February, when temperatures are relatively manageable. From March to May, the country becomes very hot, particularly the dry zone of the central plains where Bagan and Mandalay often see temperatures in excess of 40°C. However, it can get crowded over the winter season so also consider the rainy season for the best time to visit, especially if you’re intending to visit areas in and around Mandalay and Bagan.
Visa in Myanmar
Myanmar launched the eVisa system on 1 September 2014. eVisas are issued online for tourism and business purposes only. An evisa is issued within 3 working days, is valid for 90 days from the date of issue and allows a stay for up to 28 days (for tourists) or 70 days (for business travelers). The fee for a business eVisa is US$70, while a tourist eVisa costs US$50. However,if you’re a normal holder of passport from chosen countries like Brunei, Singapore, Philippines and others do not require a visa to enter Myanmar for tourism and business visits for up to 14 days unless otherwise noted.
Cash and ATM in Myanmar
Myanmar’s currency is Burmese kyat. If you’ll convert it to US dollar, $1 is equivalent to 1,593.12 MMK (Burmese kyat). While in the country, you’ll have to use a mix of US dollars and Burmese kyat when buying and going around. And the bills needed to be in pristine, unmarked, fold-free status especially the American US Dollars which are typically $100 bills. Foreigners must declare amounts exceeding $10,000.- or equivalent. As Myanmar is just a developing nation, ATM machines might be widespread on bigger towns and a few smaller spots where tourists frequent but there will be no 100% guarantee that there will be ATM in every other places. Exchange bureaus, banks and hotels have become more regulated and should, in theory, be offering similar rates if you would exchange your money to Burmese kyat. However, it’s always a good idea to shop around to get the best value exchange. Click here to know the exact rate!
Internet in Myanmar
Amidst the lack of development in Myanmar, it’s surprising that the internet access is going widespread. You can fins establishments like hotels and coffee shops wherein you can use their wifi, even on some remote locations, too! Prices at internet cafes are usually around 500 MMK per hour or $0.30, although they may be higher outside cities. You can find free wifi at many restaurants and bars. The problem would be its speed. Internet in Myanmar can be quite slow, especially in rural areas. But it has an incredible upgrade from 2014 where you’ll be lucky if a page loads! The coverage can be greater in the major cities in Myanmar, including Yangon, Mandalay, etc.
On the other hand, if you want a more personal access, you can buy simcard after you arrive in the airport. There will be booths that will sell $1-2 per simcard and around $10-15 for the internet package, but it still depends on how many data you’d like to buy.
Food budget travel in Myanmar
You’ll find that food in Myanmar is really cheap. It might vary just a little per place but the prices are just almost the same. An average meal in restaurants can just cost at least 3,000 MMK or $1.88. For places where tourists mostly comes, it’s expected for a meal to be at least 6,000 MMK or $3.76. Shan noodle soup can go as $0.31 only. Fried rice and fried noodles can cost $1.25! Beers can be bought for less than a dollar. More than $2 for a beer will be overpricing so be mindful of this.
Typically, a person can get by a day in Myanmar with a budget of $10-12 for food and drinks.
Accommodation budget in Myanmar
Of course, accommodations in Myanmar are also less expensive compared to other countries! Singled bed dorm rooms can only cost as low as $5 to $10 a night! Guesthouse rooms can cost $25 for two people, so if you’re with someone, you can split the bill for a more comfortable stay. It’s just unfortunate that very few of the guesthouses in Myanmar can be booked online because of accessibility issues and if ever you find an advertised email address, it doesn’t guarantee a reply. It is also worth noting that there are a few guesthouses that doesn’t accept foreigners or tourists. You can also try to bargain for a lower price but make sure that it is a reasonable price.
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Tours/ Entrance Fees in Myanmar
In Yangon, which is the largest city in Myanmar, entrance fees for museums and other attractions starts from $2 for Sule Pagoda and as high as $5 for National Museum and Gems Museum. Free entrance to 6 Storage Buddha. The fee to access the whole area in Bago costs $10. Generally, entrance fees just goes from those price range with the most expensive are $10 for the Inle lake zone whole are access and $15 for the whole area access to Bagan Zone. Apart from this there are affordables trekkings with guides around Myanmar in Kalaw! The trek includes food and accommodation and you can expect to pay $25-30 per person everything included!
Local Transportation in Vietnam
For transportation, larger towns in Myanmar has buses or Ka, motorcycle taxis, bicycle rickshaws or trishaws/saiq-ka ($0.20-2.00 a ride), for sidecar, little three-wheelers somewhat their version to Thai’d tuk-tuks which is also called locally as thoun bein, meaning ‘three wheels (about $0.20 per ride), and the tiny four-wheeled ‘blue taxi’ Mazdas (which is very rare now). There are other rides that involve animals such as horse carts and ox carts. Horse carts can be rented for a day for $15-25. It can fit 2-3 people. It looks fun but a little uncomfortable.
While the buses in the main cities of Myanmar uses the regular route, the transportation in smaller towns are motorcycle taxis, trishaws and horse carts.
You can also rent bicycles for a day for $1.50-$2.50 and motorbikes for about $8 a day. But if you think it’s a bit tiring to do, you can opt for the buses and other ways of transportation. The most comfortable one would be VIP night buses. They are air conditioned and worthy for just $10-18. You will save one night of accommodation for this price!
Budget travel in per day in Myanmar
For $25-30 a day, you can live comfortably in Myanmar. From accommodation, food and transportation, depending on the activities you’ll do. Compared to other countries, Myanmar is perfect for backpackers and people who would love to visit foreign countries without breaking the bank. But of course, you can spend more and have a more comfortable travel experience in Myanmar.