Myanmar CostBurma Costs
Myanmar's policy reforms are increasing the number of international tourists; a nation that for many years had only a few million tourists a year now has over a million. Given the current limited capacities, this has resulted in a corresponding price increase.
Myanmar has good offers, and some things are really inexpensive, but in general you shouldn't count on such low rates as you would find in Vietnam, Cambodia or Laos. U.S. dollar is used in Myanmar for hotel use, historic area entries, rail travel and some travel reservations, and the country's own native language, the Kyoto (pronounced chat), is used for just about everything else.
In Myanmar, most of the population arrives in the biggest town and former capitol Yangon. Together, these places form a delta in which most visitors for about 10 long nights move, perhaps to add a trip to one of Myanmar's seaside resort on the Bay of Bengal. Most of the country's hotel and tourism facilities are located here.
But if you go further away from the well-worn paths, Myanmar has a lot more to boast. But traveling and rucksacking in Myanmar takes time, and the further you get into these unexplored areas, the more slowly your journey will be. Myanmar has no youth hostels yet, host families are technologically illicit and not all of them are open to non Myanmar residents.
Homestay families are usually permitted in more isolated areas where there are no other possibilities, however, and almost all travel locations have some of their own number. In this context, it should be noted that Yangon tends to have higher than other parts of the state. It is not therefore inexpensive, but if you move away from the well-worn paths, it is sometimes possible to spend the night in low-priced lodgings that are very simple.
Dining in Myanmar is another tale. In tea houses, pubs and diners all over the countryside there is inexpensive cuisine. Usually in bigger capitals there is a place around the edge: China, India or Thailand. You will seldom throw back more than K1500-K3000 per capita from a street cafeteria and one of Myanmar's most common meals, Mr. Mahinga (rice pasta in seafood broth, which is most often consumed at breakfast), can be consumed for only 300 K.
Bottling K300-K400, bottles of K800 sodas, and a glass of locally branded beers usually cost K900-K1600 in stores, pubs or bar. Of course, the price of meals and drinks in west facing eateries, pubs and hotel are much higher. Tips in Myanmar's restaurant are not common, although sometimes a locals who has been helping you will ask for "tea money".
Travelling by coach is the most inexpensive and convenient way to explore Myanmar. Municipal busses are inexpensive (K200 or K300), but the signs are all in Burmese, making it very hard for a foreigner to determine a route - although you can always ask a native. Foreign nationals are paying for US dollar train fares and the price is higher than for the natives.
That makes rail journeys more costly than coach journeys, although busses are usually much quicker. The price of the tickets depends on the length and category of the tickets; you can afford up to $50 for a long-distance traveller or up to $5 for a regular grade passenger like the one shown below.
There is a fairly extensive national airline system; one-way fares usually cost between $50 and $150. Cabs are omnipresent in major Myanmar towns, and the reserve rate for a brief trip is usually 1500K. There are no counters (even those that say "meter taxi" on the side!); the rates are arranged at the beginning of the trip and should be made.
The price ranges from less than K1000 to K5000 for longer trips between cities. Selfdrive rent ave is currently not available in Myanmar. This can be as high as $2, though the most popular - and costly - Bagan, which now cost $15. - Myanmar is fast, but many places and places have free Wi-Fi.
Myanmar's telecommunications sector is only beginning to open up, and at the present time it is hard and costly for foreign nationals to obtain a SIM access code; in fact, there are currently no official services, as only local people are permitted to buy them. They could get one on the illegal trade, but it'd probably cost you about $100.
The article was authored by Marcus Allender, creator of Go-Myanmar.com - the first complete Myanmar trip website to offer a host of constantly updating nationwide information and on-line bookings. Please see the relevant articles below for lower fares around the globe, or subscribe to the RSS newsfeeds ( (top right of this page) for your blogs or email.