Myanmar is becoming very very expensive, especially for planes, hotels and transportation.
In Yangon and Mandalay, restaurants are also becoming very expensive.
For hotels, most prices have been multiply by 3 or 4 during the last two years, a good 2 starts hotel is now between 50 to 80 USD, if the hotels claims three stars it will be around 100-130 USD...
Make your budget carefully in advance.
How many people are travelling ?
Obviously, your travel style will impact a lot on your budget but the main difference also will come from how people are you for your trip in Myanmar.
We have seen more and more people travelling in groups of 6-8 friends in order to reduce transportation cost.
Keep in memory that inflation is very high in Myanmar and price for petrol is always increasing. Ask a precise budget to your travel agency before you come in Myanmar to get the most accurate picture of the situation.
The latest Lonely Planet guide book on Myanmar gives a real price range for renting a good car, for highway, per day 80 to 100 USD a day. (small car), up to 200 USD a day or more for a 6-8 seaters car (highway price)
It seems very expensive (and it is by the way).
You will always find somebody who rent a car at a cheaper price. You must be very careful on what you are agreed to pay : gas ? food ? accomodation ? poll gate ? boat gate ? repair charge (very important)....
The best way to reduce your transportation cost and to stay free to go where you want is to group together for renting a car.
- 2 + 1 guide (or 3 people)
- 3 to 6 + (1 guide)
: the best to reduce cost per people.
Car - Bus.
It will be the most expensive part of you budget, especially if you try to find yourself a driver, usually travel agencies have better price and cars are in better condition, which is very important.
You will probably be able to find a cheaper car than a local travel agent by renting a taxi, but be extremely careful of the car quality (you will understand here when you take a taxi) and who is going to pay what ?
Sometimes (often) there is a lot of surprise.
Prices have increased a lot because of the inflation and gaz prices. Allow 50 to 120 USD per day per car for highway trip, allow 20 to 30 a day in you are driving around the same city for a "saloon" (3 seaters) car.
Price is almost the same for a "Saloon" car (3 people) than for a Toyota Hiace (5 to 9 people). The best is to be 6 people (you still have room in the car).
Our advise : rent a car to travel in the same "area" like Mandalay-amarapura-sagaille, Inle-pindaya-Kalaw, Yangon-Bago, Bagan-popa.
Use big air-con bus from your trip between the main cities. Obviously, If you can afford to keep a car during all your trip in Myanmar, it is the best solution.
Buses. (more information Here)
Buses are very convenient, fast and very cheap compare to car.
For those who are travelling alone, bus (air con or local) buses is the best choice. It is quite cheap (from 10 to 20 USD per way), it could be faster than car (air con bus) and you save one night in the hotel and one diner. Most of the air con bus drive at night and provide a free meal.
Avoid the small local pick-up for the long trip, like Bagan-Kalaw. It is extremely cheap but you will be totally exhausted after 17 hours driving and it is extremely dangerous during the rainy seasons.
Use the small pick-up for visiting cities and the suburb.
If you are travelling alone and if you do not want to try the blue local pick-up, or the train, plane can save money (compare to a car).
Especially on the Bagan-Inle road, Inle Yangon.
We do not think it is the best way to travel in Myanmar, but you will save a lot of problem and time.
Prices have also increased a lot for 2013.
It could cost you betwen 80 to 140 USD (one way). For some destination, such as Kentung, or Putao, it is more than 150 USD per way.
Do you need a guide ?
We really think that a guide will help you a lot during your trip in Myanmar. It is a real advantage if you want to better understand Myanmar culture and the country itlself.
Obviously, it is also a big help for your day to day negociation, visite, if you need to buy a ticket or anything else, and you give a job to Myanmar people, which is even better.
If you are 4 or 6 people the cost will be around 5 to 10
USD per day per people or even lower, and your benefit is real.
September 2013 : Prices for guide have quite increased now, especially local guide in Bagan. Expect 35 to 50 USD a day around Bagan.
Entrance and pagodas fees.
Most of the pagodas in Myanmar have a free access
but in the main tourist area (Yangon, Bago, Inle, Mandalay Bagan).. you have to pay an entrance fees and somethings a photo camera fee.
List of the entrance fees and pagodes fees :
Download pdf file for entrance fees :
Meals and drinks:
For a meal in a correct Myanmar restaurant, you will pay between 4- 8 USD per people. It could be less in the street or in very simple restaurant, you can get a "meal" for 2 USD, in the street for 0.5 to 1 USD (be careful with your stomach).
In Yangon, Mandalay, restaurants prices are very high, especially if it is a good clean place, where wealthy burmeses people are coming.
- A meal in a good restaurant (tourist place) : 8-15 USD per person.
- A meal in a Thai/Chiness good restaurant in Yangon : 8 -15 USD per person.
- A beer
: 1 to 3 USD.
- Water in bootle: +- 0,4 USD
- A coke :+-1 USD
- A diner or lunch in a 4 star hôtel will cost you more than 20 USD per pax.
- A diner in the best French restaurant in Myanmar (it is like in a very good one in Paris) (Le Pansea, le Planteur, l'Opéra) will cost you between 40-100 USD per people + wine.
Prices have changed a lot compare to 2011 or even 2012. Your "old" paper guide book will probably be totally wrong about the prices.
Hotels are much more expensive than in Thaïland or other place in south East Asia.
- Small guest house or dormitory : 4 to 8 USD (extremely simple and very difficult to find now - 2013)
- Bigger guest house or small hotel. You may have bathroom attached, probably no air con (fan instead), 15-25 USD
- Motel or hotel : 15-35 USD you can get very good room with air con, bathroom attached....etc.
- Good 2 stars hotel (most common hotel) : 25-60 USD per night.
- 3 stars hotels star around 100-120 USD. Panorama hotel in Yangon is consider 3 stars (officially) and price is above 100 USD.
In this category, you can get "old", not renovated 3 stars hotel for 80-110 USD and brand new ones for 100-140 USD.....
- 4 stars : Above 250 until 600 or 700 USD per night.
Peak Seasons hotels
Hotels at Ngwe SAung, Ngapali (especially Ngapali) and Yangon are more and more practising "peak seasons" prices for November, Xmas New Year and February.... (best period of the dry winter seasons).
Normal prices are then even higher and starts to be totally unreasonnable... try to avoid if possible.