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Daily Travel Costs of Backpacking in Myanmar (Burma)

Travel in Myanmar from as little as $25 per day.. If you're fond of prison conditions!

How much are daily travel costs for backpacking Myanmar

So, how much does it cost to travel in Myanmar (Burma) in 2014? You're probably wondering how will traveling Myanmar (Burma) fit into your daily budgets whilst on your travels.  Before we traveled to Myanmar, we had spoken with a few travellers that had been and all had given a different story.  So what's the real answer on how much to set aside as a daily budget for Myanmar?

The good news is, if you are working to a $40 per day budget you're going to be fine.  Even if your daily budget is slightly lower than that ($30-$35).  You still should have no issues traveling extensively around the country and finding reasonable accommodation.  And the bad news?  Well we will get onto that part later on..

Myanmar Kyat (Chat) Currency Information:

Current exchange rates for 1 US Dollar to Burmese Kyat..

1.00 USD = 985.999 MMK
US Dollar Burmese Kyat
1 USD = 985.999 MMK 1 MMK = 0.00101420 USD

These rates are available at Yangon & Mandalay Airport up to the value of $100 on a single transaction.  Official rates outside the airport are around 970 Kyat.

Daily Travel Costs in Myanmar (Burma):

To get things moving, below is our average daily travel expenses (per person) in US$.  You can reliably use these average travel costs, providing you are a group of 2 or more, sharing accommodation and transport in most cases. These figures do not take into consideration single occupancy.

Accommodation Meals Transportation Attractions Sundries
$15 $10 $6 $3 $3

I can even break these figures down further for you, in relation to a 3 week (21 days) trip to Myanmar..

Accommodation:

We spent $310 per person, with $20 per person / per night being the most expensive stays.  Below are the average prices we paid in each location, per person.

Yangon Kyakityo Mawlemyine Pyay Magwe Bagan Mandalay Chaung Tha
$15 $12 $7 $20 $8 $20 $14 $20

Meals:

We spent $200 per person in total.  But take into account we splurged a bit when we were in Yangon at Union Bar & Grill and then Afternoon Tea at The Strand.  Lunch and Dinner are roughly the same price, as you tend to eat similar food for both.  If we didn't have breakfast included at the hotels (most of the time), we skipped breakfast and had an early lunch instead to save money.

Transportation:

We spent $133 per person in total.  Below shows a breakdown of how much each cost us individually..

Car Taxi's Coach / Bus Pickup Trucks Motorbike Taxi's Train Bicycle Hire
$44 $42 $23 $13 $8 $4

I will note though, that it may seem like we spent a lot on taxi's / pickup trucks.. But this part is unavoidable in Myanmar given the lack of alternative options.

Attractions costs in Myanmar:

Here is a sample guide to how much we paid for attractions in Myanmar.  We have written guides on each of the attractions listed, click on any of the headers to read that article.

Sundries

From laundry to snacks in the day, our sundries expenses came to roughly $60 per person, that's just $3 a day. Below are some example costs in Myanmar for everyday expenses!

  • Big bottle of water will average 500 Kyat ($0.50)
  • When you can get laundry done it will cost 3-5000 Kyat per load ($3-5).  Remember though,  it will likely be hand washed, as Burma is pretty poor!
  • Bag of crisps (Potato Chips)  is around 200 Kyat ($0.20)
  • Big bottle of Myanmar beer is around 1,400 Kyat ($1.40)
  • Snacks from market stalls and supermarkets will set you back maybe 2-600 Kyat ($0.60)
  • If you want imported food stuffs, then Yangon has everything you might possibly want.  From Lays Potato Chips to Cadburys Milk Chocolate.  All for about the same price you'd pay at home surprisingly.

Myanmar by and large is a very cheap country to travel around.  But there are some caveats I must throw in that will impact your potential travel costs..

  1. Firstly prices for accommodation are going up in general, but not as much as other blogs are telling people.  We are talking about a few dollar increases per year and that's normal even in the west.  There was a scare in the past 12 months because Myanmar were hosting the SEA Games in December 2013.. But that went without a hitch and now you will find a good deal of additional hotels available for your travels.  Read our suggestions for hotels in Mandalay and Bagan.
  2. Try not to travel during peak season (November – February).  The weather is nicer, but you will have to pay a higher price for hotels and booking further in advance for things will be a requirement.  Still, if you can't change your travel plans, don't worry about it too much!

How much we spent in Myanmar for 21 days (2 people)

The below table shows our full travel costs for 21 days in the country.  Based on 2 people travelling together, so if you are in a group of 2 or more, half the amounts displayed and that's a good indication of planning a daily budget for Myanmar per person.

OVERALL TRAVEL COSTS Total Cost (Kyat) Total Cost (US $) Total Cost (UK £)
Accommodation 620,500 $621 £388
       – Hotel 620,500 $621 £388
Attractions 123,200 $123 £77
       – Spearfishing 40,000 $40 £25
       – Temple 75,200 $75 £47
       – Tour Guide 8,000 $8 £5
Meals 401,989 $402 £251
       – Afternoon Tea 39,000 $39 £24
       – Breakfast 7,000 $7 £4
       – Brunch 3,000 $3 £2
       – Dinner 170,789 $171 £107
       – Lunch 182,200 $182 £114
Sundries 130,240 $130 £81
       – Laundry 8,600 $9 £5
       – Misc 19,800 $20 £12
       – Refreshments 27,960 $28 £17
       – Snacks 15,100 $15 £9
       – Souvenirs 12,000 $12 £8
       – Supermarket 46,780 $47 £29
Transportation 266,900 $267 £167
       – Bus 84,000 $84 £53
       – Hire Bikes 8,000 $8 £5
       – Motorbike Taxi 26,000 $26 £16
       – Pickup Truck 44,500 $45 £28
       – Taxi 88,400 $88 £55
       – Train 16,000 $16 £10
Grand Total 1,542,829 $1,543 £964

Pie Chart: Daily Travel Costs in Myanmar

Predominately our budget went towards accommodation at 40% of our total costs.  This was to be expected after spending an average of $15 per day, per person.  I believe though, that you could manage fairly well on $10 if you needed to make your budget stretch, by staying at the cheaper guesthouses.  Nothing can be done about transportation unless you aren't planning on seeing anything outside of the cities.  We ate fairly well and were never hungry at any point, so maybe you could reduce this down if required.

Average daily travel costs in Burma

What is the cheapest Daily Budget you could travel on?

This is a good question, and worthwhile knowing what the bare minimum you could travel on, in the country.  Let's say you are 2 people sharing and are keen to see a lot of things and travel fairly extensively.  I think perhaps by sharing and cutting back on some of the expenses we incurred.  You could get a hotel on average for $10 a night (just because some towns are more expensive than others), meals maybe $6 a day, transport if you are careful could come down to perhaps $4.  Attractions you will be hard pressed to get below $3 average per day and sundries items maybe down to $2.  This would mean the minimum you need to travel Myanmar is $25 per day, per person (in a group of 2 or more).  Just remember that budget accommodation in Myanmar (Burma) isn't like budget hostels in Thailand..  Expect very little comforts and be happy if you have a working fan!

That concludes our guide on building a daily budget for Myanmar.  I hope we have answered your questions on “how much does it cost per day to travel”.  Post any additional questions in the comments section.

Interested in reading our other Travel Guides on Myanmar?

About Darryl Hall (85 Articles)
Darryl left the shorelines of England in 2013 to study and travel in China and South East Asia for a year. Darryl is a co-founder of escapingthedesk.com, a travel blog with the aim of sharing travel tips, country & city guides for other backpackers. Visit my Google+ page.

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