Myanmar on a Budget – One month for less than $500

Are you planning a trip to Myanmar on a budget and have no idea what your estimated expenses are? Or maybe you even have read before that the expenses in Myanmar are usually higher than in the rest of Southeast Asia? Or if you just want to know how to save some money during your trip through this unique country, however, you came to the right place to get all this information!

In this post, you can find an overview of all the money we spent during our 28 days in Myanmar on a budget, exact to the last Cent. Due to this information, you can find out what your estimated Myanmar Budget will be. 

Of course, I will also reveal, how it was possible to just spend so few money without missing out any experience. And you will see: It’s pretty simple saving money in Myanmar and you can do it, too!

Expenses in Myanmar (28 Days)

Total: 402,08 € /ca. $483,59 per Person

Author’s note:
All the given prices below have been paid in the main currency of the given country (Kyat). The prices only have been converted into Euro and US-Dollar for better understanding. Any discrepancies may result from rounding and converting. State of the exchange rate Kyat to Euro: August/ September 2017; Euro to US-Dollar: January 2018.

Total expenses in Myanmar in 28 days

Transport: 133,00 € /ca. $159,96
Breakfast: 03,71 € /ca. $4,46
Lunch: 28,34 € /ca. $34,09
Dinner: 57,94 € /ca. $69,69
Water: 1,90 € /ca. $2,29
Entrance & Activities: 40,89 € /ca. $49,18
Random: 19,40 € /ca. $23,33
Accommodation: 146,88 € /ca. $176,66

Expenses in Myanmar per Day (28 days)

Total: 14,36 € / ca. $17,27

Transport: 4,75 € / ca. $5,71
Breakfast: 0,13 € /ca. $0,16
Lunch: 1,01 € /ca. $1,21
Dinner: 1,00 € /ca. $1,20
Water: 0,07 € /ca. $0,08
Entrance & Activities: 1,46 € /ca. $1,76
Random: 0,69 € /ca. $0,83
Accommodation: 5,25 € /ca. $6,31

How to save a lot of money during your Myanmar travel?

Before we arrived in Myanmar, we read in different blogs that a trip to Myanmar (even if you go to Myanmar on a budget) apparently can be quite expensive. Since we were traveling for seven months in Asia, our Myanmar budget was actually quite small. We were even thinking about skipping Myanmar or spending less time there after reading that other travelers have spent around 1000€ there per head. As always we didn’t want to miss an experience but spending as few money as possible. In the end, we did exactly even though we just spent around 400€ (ca. $485). That’s less than half of what other people spent there. Read here how we did it. 

Your first time in Myanmar?

Find everything you need to know about this unique country before your arrival in this post.

Transport

Bus

Myanmar, previous called Burma, is a pretty big country with a really bad road network. The cheapest ways to get from one city to another are either buses or airplanes (See next point).

Due to the lack of highways, as we have them in most Western countries, trips by bus can get kind of long. At least, the bus is usually the cheapest means of transport in Myanmar.

If you want to save a lot of money while traveling through Myanmar, try to catch the night buses. This way, you don’t have to pay for an accommodation and save time as well. 

Taking an airplane in Myanmar

Taking a bus in Myanmar can be quite exhausting. Often, you are on your way several hours, the whole night or the whole day. This can take up a lot of time that you are losing for exploring the country. And if you don’t have much time to spend in Myanmar, you might rather wanna take an airplane to get to your Destination.

Same goes for everyone that enters the country by land from Mae Sai (Thailand). You can easily enter Myanmar from there, but don’t get the option to get further inside the country by land as the roads from there are closed for tourists.

So where to get the cheapest flights in Myanmar? For me, definitely, the best option to find the best flight deals is Momondo. Here, you can choose between hundreds of different companies and airlines in order to always get the best deals available.

Just try it for yourself! (To be sure, you can, of course, compare to different sites to be sure to have the best deal…)


Tuk-Tuks and Taxis

If you want to spend less money on your ride, make sure to bargain before your trip. Better check in your accommodation or on the internet (helpful tools are (my) travel blog or TripAvisor) beforehand what the usual fare for this route is.

Food

Traditionelles Essen in Myanmar I Birma I Burma I Essen I Myanmarguide I vickiviaja

Have breakfast in your accommodation

Even though the accommodation in Myanmar are usually a little bit more pricey than in Myanmar’s neighbor countries, the big benefit is that the breakfast usually is included in the room fee. 

As you can see in my expenses overview, we almost didn’t spend anything on breakfast in Myanmar as we could usually have breakfast in our accommodation.

This way, you cannot only save money but also time, as you don’t have to look for a nice place to have breakfast every morning.

Avoid tourist restaurants

Especially, in tourist regions such as Bagan and Yangon, you will probably realize that the prices for food are usually way higher than in the rest of the country. 
But if you just keep looking away from tourist hotspots, you might find way cheaper options to eat.
Anyway, if you get tired of fried noodles and rice, you might wanna check one or two more touristy places nevertheless.

Street food

streetfood cambodia

If you want to save even more money and try authentic Myanmar food, you should definitely try out street food.

For everyone that is afraid of trying street food, I can take your worries: After 6 months in Southeast Asia eating street food all the time, I have never been sick from it so far.  

The secret to figuring out whether street food is good is to check: Are many locals eating there? Because usually, that means that they have made a good experience with this place in the past. Therefore, probably it won’t do you any harm either.

Water

Staying hydrated is important, especially in the heat of Myanmar.

Some accommodations let you refill your water bottle free of charge. This way, you cannot only save some money but also help the environment.

In Myanmar, water usually has affordable prices. Usually, it is cheaper to buy big bottles (1 liter) than small ones (0,5 l) longterm. It’s not easy to find 1,5l bottles in Myanmar, though.

Another way to save a lot of money is by buying a so-called Lifestraw. It disinfects and filters tap water in order to make it drinkable. With such a lifestraw, you can filter at least 1000l and therefore not only save money by not buying water but also reduce your plastic waste a lot.

Entrance & Activity

Geld sparen in Myanmar I Reise Budget I Myanmar Budget I Birma

If you want to save money on entrance fees, there are not many options in Thailand.

In Myanmar, you don’t only pay entrance for sights and temples, but often also for cities and areas, such as Bagan or Inle Lake.

The only way to save money on entrance fees is to figure out beforehand, whether the entrance is really worth it.

Talk to other travelers, that have already been to this place, check this and other blogs, or check recommendations on TripAdvisor and Co.

Accommodation

Accommodations in Myanmar usually cost more than accommodation in other countries around Southeast Asia.

Usually, it is cheaper to get a private room for two people rather than staying in a dorm. Actually, we found more hotels and private rooms anyway than dorm beds.
If you are traveling alone, you might want to check for other travelers to share a private room with. (For example, people you meet on the way, in Facebook groups or forums)

Booking in advance?

During raining season, usually, you don’t have to book your accommodation in advance, as there usually always is a free room somewhere. You can just easily look around for a nice place on-site. The prices are mostly the same, whether you book them in advance or in person. 

However, if you are traveling by bus, it might be better to book in advance, as the buses often already arrive between 03 and 06 am at your destination. If you have booked already and your accommodation not fully booked, you can often get to your room already after arrival to get some rest.

The only drawback is that there are many cheap places which are not available online yet. Thus, only can be booked on-site.

Where do I find the best accommodation deals?

The biggest variety of accommodation for different kind of budgets you can find on booking.com.

After booking with them 5 times, you can get even more discounts and extra services. That can pay off quite fast if you are traveling through the country. Just try it!

Booking.com

Random

Most of the random expenses we had in Myanmar was spent on fresh fruit juices. Anyway, in Myanmar, they often add sweetened condensated milk, milk powder or sugar to their juices, which is why we did without them more and more towards the end of our trip through Myanmar. You can see easily that our expenses at Random are way lower than e.g. in Thailand.(Check our Thailand Budget here)

Myanmar Bagan
You shouldn’t miss beautiful Bagan when traveling to Myanmar

Alcohol in Myanmar

Alcoholic drinks, especially beer, is usually quite affordable in Myanmar. As well in supermarkets as in restaurants, you can get them easily and cheap. 

During our trip, we did more and more without alcohol though and when comparing to other travelers, we realized how much money we actually saved by not having an evening beer every day.

Sim-card

Myanmar was one of the only countries in which we actually decided to buy a sim-card with mobile internet. And we can highly recommend you to do the same. The wifi-connection, in general, is not comparable with other countries in Southeast Asia. Almost every day, the connection was gone for some hours (usually, when you needed it most) or didn’t even work at all. So, it is nice to have the option to use mobile internet to tell your family and friends at home that you are fine.

We chose a prepaid sim-card from Ooredoo Myanmar. The price was with 3,5 GB for 6500 Kyat (ca. 4€ /$4,80) more than fair. There were other options as well, but this one fit best our needs I guess.

When comparing to other travelers, we realized that other companies didn’t differ much regarding price and quality. It’s therefore up to you which one you choose. 

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About me

Vicki

Hi, my name is Vicki. Here you can accompany my boyfriend Eduardo and me on our way through different countries of this world. Let's travel together!

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