This post details the estimated cost of travel in Myanmar AKA Burma. Read on for suggested shoestring and more comfortable backpacking budgets for the mysterious Southeast Asian country as well information about the local currency and sample prices.
Myanmar Cost of Travel in 2023
Shoestring Backpacker Budget
- US$30/day (63,000 Myanmar Kyat)
$30/day is a typical Myanmar backpacking budget which makes it a fraction more expensive than some of its Southeast Asian neighbours but not significantly so. The cost of accommodation is certainly a bit higher with slightly less backpacker style offerings than in Thailand for example. It’s also not the easiest country to get around so you can end up spending more on transport, particularly if you want to see a large portion of a country that is deceptively big.
You may read articles or hear from people who describe Myanmar as expensive but that is only in very relative terms. Overall it is still a budget-friendly destination with dirt cheap food available all over the country.
Entrance fees for some of the country’s most popular temples and sights can take a decent chunk out of this budget, but that will only be on a few certain days. On quieter days, where you’re not travelling between towns or forking out for attractions, you may be able to get by on as little as $20 if you’re savvy so it certainly averages out.
More Comfortable Myanmar Backpacking Budget
- US$40/day (84,000 Myanmar Kyat)
Myanmar isn’t really like Thailand or Cambodia, where there is a big party culture amongst backpackers and where the potential to just blow your budget on partying each night exists. It’s a more tranquil kind of place and by adding $15 or $25 per day there’s not really a significant amount of extra things you can do so $40 should be very easy to stick to whereas a shoestring Cambodia backpacking budget for example would take more self-restraint.
There is a fairly rigid path that travellers in Myanmar tend to take in terms of where to go and what to do and the previous budget allows for that. Increasing your budget a fraction allows you to perhaps stay in a few nicer hotels in areas where the budget travel accommodation options are limited or poor, which is the case in some parts of the country.
Myanmar doesn’t have the extensive travel infrastructure of some of its neighbours to the east so in some cases there will only be one real option for getting from A to B and smaller destinations may only have a couple of hotels geared towards foreign visitors, which can lead to high prices. Therefore if you are trying to get off the beaten path in Myanmar, you might be wise to allow for more like $40/day.
How much do things cost in Myanmar?
|Approximate Price (in US Dollars)|
|Flight from Yangon to Mandalay (1 Hour)||$100 (plus baggage fees)|
|Bus from Bagan to Mandalay (5 Hours 30 Minutes)||From $7|
|Meal in an affordable local restaurant||$1.50-3|
|Local beer in bar/restaurant||$1-1.50|
|Dorm bed in a hostel||From $8/night|
|Budget private room||From $12/night|
|Access to Bagan temples (3 Day Pass)||$15|
|Travel insurance for backpacking Myanmar||Depends on age, length of trip & other factors – Get a quote from Heymondo in less than a minute!|
Overall expenses for anyone travelling around Myanmar are perhaps slightly more than the cost of travel in the Philippines for example, although not by much. The country is a possible extension for anyone doing the typical Southeast Asia mainland trail through Thailand, Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam, although recent political developments and accusations of severe and widespread human rights abuses, particularly against the Rohingya ethnic minority have put a lot of people off visiting. Do you research into this before deciding if Myanmar is a country you want to visit.
Money in Myanmar
Currency – Burmese Kyat
£1 = 2600 MMK
€1 = 2280 MMK
US$1 = 2100 MMK
These exchange rates are accurate as of April 2023. US Dollars are widely used in many everyday transactions in the country, although efforts are being made to clamp down on this. Mobile/contactless card payments are now more common, although you will need cash when travelling around Myanmar, particularly in more rural areas.
This Myanmar backpacking budget was last updated in April 2023.