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.
(Map of Myanmar from wikitravel, can be re-used under CC BY-SA 3.0)
How much does it cost to travel in Myanmar?
Myanmar Travel Costs on a Shoestring Budget
US$25 | 44,000 Kyat
We’re going with $25 as our 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 and it’s 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 more popular sites can take a large chunk out of this budget on any given day though. However on quieter days where you’re not travelling between towns or forking out for attractions then you can get by on less than $20 if you’re savvy so it certainly averages out.
Backpacking costs in different countries in Southeast Asia.
More Comfortable Myanmar Backpacking Budget
US$40 | 70,000 Kyat
Myanmar isn’t really like Thailand or Cambodia, where there is a big party culture amongst backpackers and 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 our 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, then you’d be wise to allow for more like $40/day.
Cost of Transport, Food and Drink in Burma
Flight from Yangon to Mandalay – from $100
Bus from Bagan to Mandalay (around 5-6 hours) – from $8
Meal at a local restaurant – $2.50
Large bottle of local beer in bar/restaurant – $1
Dorm bed in Yangon – from $8/night
Private double/twin room in Mandalay – from $15/night
Entrance to Bagan temples – 25,000 Kyat (around $20 at local exchange rates)
These prices are as of December 2016. Everything else on this page was updated in early 2019.
Compare Burma prices to the cost of travel in the Philippines if you’re looking for an extension to the typical Southeast Asia mainland loop.
Money in Myanmar
Currency – Burmese Kyat
£1 = 2000 MMK
€1 = 1750 MMK
US$1 = 1550 MMK
(All exchange rates are correct as of January 2019)
Black market rates may vary considerably to the ones listed above. US Dollars are widely accepted in many travel situations.
street art in Myanmar (via HI TRICIA! 王 圣 捷, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0)
This post was last updated in January 2019.