Yangon, Myanmar For Less Than $25 A Day

Myanmar is one of the up and coming travel destinations and is set to become the new Cambodia or Thailand with its selection of amazing historical sites and tasty local cuisine. Airlines like Air Asia now offer frequent flights to the capital of Yangon, due to this the influx of tourists is continuing to grow and grow.

Although there has been an insane fluctuation in the price of things like accommodation in Yangon due to this rise in tourism, the good news is that it is still possible to experience Yangon for less than $25 a day!

Accommodation

Super Budget: Mahabandoola Guest House

Mahbandoola Guest house offers private double rooms for $10 USD a night and single is only $5. Remember to ask for the room with the air conditioner and you might be lucky and score this room, otherwise its fan only.

However it’s best to know in advance that Yangon suffers from frequent blackouts so you may find yourself without any power to run the air con or fan! If you are happy to stay in the dorm, which is really just a mattress on the floor or in the “hobbit cave” as we fondly named it, this option will only cost $4 per person!

The bathroom is shared and not the cleanest but if you’re really on a tight budget Mahabandoola is centrally located by the Sule pagoda and is close to the local bus station so you can grab a bus anywhere in town with ease! It’s also only a short walk to the Yangon train station!

There are a few other guest houses around but we found Mahabandoola to be the best price and location in Yangon.

Attractions

Shwedagon Pagoda

Now, with that local bus stop so close by, jump onto any bus heading to the Shwedagon Pagoda (just ask the attendant at the stop which bus to catch)! You can also take a taxi, prices should be no more than 3000 kyat, make sure to negotiate before getting in!

The Shwedagon Pagoda has an entrance fee of $6 USD. It is worth it as this is the most stunning pagoda in Myanmar. We have heard that they can sometimes charge a camera fee, but we were never charged.

A pagoda has been on this site for over 2000 years, it’s quite a sight. We especially recommend going at night to see the pagoda as it is completely lit up, this is the best time to get some timeless shots! The ticket is valid all day so you can visit both day and night to get a selection of images of the pagoda if you like, just remember during the day the ground gets insanely hot and it’s bare feet only!

As this is a religious site please remember to dress appropriately with men and women wearing clothes that fall below the knee and women’s shoulders must be covered.

Thingyan (Water) Festival: April 13th – 16th

In April every year the country comes alive to celebrate the Buddhist “Thingyan Festival”. This festival last for 4 days and is a time of cleansing where everyone pours water over each other to clean off the sins of the previous year… In other words it’s the biggest water fight in the world!

During this time you can’t go outside without getting completely soaked and it’s common to have a random Burmese local yell out at you from a passing jeep “Are you Happy?”

There are individual water stations set up on the streets where you can grab a hose and soak all those who dare to pass by, but the best thing to do is find a jeep with some space in the back, jump on board and ride around making new friends along the way! Everyone is very welcoming and even though there is a language barrier there is no language needed when having a good time.

All of the events are completely free, the only cost might be a beer or two or a bottle of local whiskey (2000 Kyat) as added persuasion to join the back of a jeep!

Eat

Street Food

Yangon is a smorgasbord of different food options and it is all very affordable! The streets are lined with different options: from noodles (300-400 kyat) to Indian samosas (100 kyat or 10 cents), chapattis and the local specialty “Mohinga” which is a fish based noodle soup.

One of our favourite places for food in Yangon is “Beer Street” (19th Street) which is in the heart of Chinatown. This place comes alive at night with locals and foreigners all coming together to sample amazing street side BBQ and have a cold beer! Here a full BBQ fish will cost you anywhere from 1000 kyat and up depending on the size of the fish! That’s only $1 USD! There are also a variety of cheaper options with vegetable skewers from 100 kyat.

Drink

Myanmar Draft

Myanmar offers an excellent draught beer (Myanmar Draft) which is available in most beer stations. What’s even better is the standard price for an icy cold beer is 600 kyat  – 70 cents. Only on beer street will you find beer served with food. In Myanmar it is tradition to only have tea with a meal then go elsewhere for a beer, so don’t expect beer stations to have anything more than peanuts to snack on but guess what it’s free so have as many as you like!

A Day in Yangon: The Total cost for 1 person

  • Accommodation: $5
  • Attractions: $6
  • Taxis: $3 each way = $6 (Much less if you take the bus though!)
  • Food: $3
  • Beer: $1.40 (let’s say you have 2 beers)
  • Daily Total: $21.40
  • That leaves you $3.60 to spend on more beer!

Meagen Collins is chief editor of the Five Dollar Traveller website & author of Budget Burma: A comprehensive budget travel guide for Myanmar. While digesting her frequent food babies, Megsy blogs about tasty bites, booze, travel and whatever random topics pop into her head along the way! 5DT on facebook.

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Agness Walewinder
Agness Walewinder
Travel freak, vagabond, photography passionate, blogger, life enthusiast, backpacker, adventure hunter and endless energy couchsurfer living by the rule "Pack lite, travel far and live long!"
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39 thoughts on “Yangon, Myanmar For Less Than $25 A Day”

  1. The Pagoda looks amazing- great that you added the proper dress so people know. That hostel would encourage me to camp our if there are any options!

    1. Hi!

      We are not aware of many camping options but apparently sleep in a monastery is often possible – and free! But that will be on the floor too.

  2. Omg, that guesthouse looks amazing and strange. Love that guy’s hat.
    I also noticed the floating guy in the photo. I’m disappointed he isn’t actually floating. I was going to ask where he got that magic carpet.

  3. Rika | Cubicle Throwdown

    Wow, I had no idea it was so inexpensive! That’s great! The guesthouse is interesting…not sure I’d be able to do the hobbit hole :)

    1. Hi Rika,

      Myanmar in general is very cheap. Some guesthouses have upped their rates a lot in the last couple of years, so double rooms are normally $20 in many towns. Yangon has some of the best deals!

  4. Wow the food sounds even cheaper than the rest of SE Asia. I would love to go to Burma as I love the rest of SE Asia, especially Laos.

  5. Water Festival looks like a fun thing to take part in. Something like La Tomatina in Spain or Holi in India. Street food looks good too, and can’t beat the price.

  6. I had no idea that Air Asia was flying Yangon now! Thanks for the tip… now it’s time to go check out some flights… :)

    1. Air Asia also fly to/from Mandalay as well so its an easy one way travel option…you dont have to back track to leave the country!

  7. Dana Carmel @ Time Travel Plans

    That water festival sounds like so much fun and I like its symbolism. And the cost of street food in Yangon is unreal! I think it’s amazing that you guys only spend $25/day during your travels. It brings a whole new meaning to budget travel!

    1. Agness Walewinder

      $25 in some countries is a lot of money so you can easily enjoy your travels without spending much. It’s good to see Myanmar on this list :).

  8. I’m so bummed we didn’t make it to Myanmar when we were in Asia! Hopefully it will still be as inexpensive when we eventually make it there!

    1. Agness Walewinder

      Same here. We were considering going to Myanmar when being in Cambodia, but we decided to move to Laos instead. I guess this country has been always inexpensive and we also hope it will stay this way when we finally make it there.

  9. Stefania - the Italian Backpacker

    I’m not sure I could stay in the hobbit hole, but everything else looks amazing, especially the pagoda.

  10. I dont see why you shouldnt travel to Myanmar if you are in SEA for holiday. Not only cheap in accommodation, but the culture is really fascinating. I like their foods as much as i like the heritage sites:)

    Simon

    1. Meagen Collins

      Agreed! It’s a amazing country that is rapidly changing, so get in there fast and experience it ALL before it changes too much!

  11. Since I booked my December trip, I’ve been so excited to go!! Looks absolutely stunning those pagodas, and I’m very intrigued by that budget accommodation. Will have to have a browse around for it! =)

  12. Myanmar jest bardzo drogi i proszę nie wprowadzać w błąd.
    Wynajęcie łódki na jeziorze Inle to koszt 25 USD, piwo 2 USD, posiłek 5-6 USD, hotel spełniający min. warunki to ok. 40 USD. transport z każdego lotniska w Myanmar – ok. 15 USD. Wejście do archeologicznego Baganu ok. 10 USD od osoby, hotele w Baganie rozpoczynają się od 60 USD, transport po zabytkach 25 USD. Dodam, że w Birmie nie ma możliwości negocjacji, ceny są odgórnie ustalane, Birmańczycy są niechętni do jakichkolwiek negocjacji. Byliśmy w listopadzie 2012 r. Zwiedziliśmy całą Birmę, kraj przepiękny ale również jeden z droższych w Azji.

  13. You guys should come visit to Burma. There are so many budget air lines fly to Burma from Bangkok (air asia, GMA, Nok air, … ). you can ask me everything about Burma.

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